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Proskauer Hails Israel’s ‘shift to Western World’

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Judge Joseph M. Proskauer, honorary president of the American Jewish Committee, said tonight that “Israel’s shift to the Western world augurs well for the future security and stability of the Middle East.” He added that “mutual recognition by the United States and Israel of their need for each other in this period of turmoil and crisis in the Middle East will further the strengthening of peace in that area of the world.”

Addressing four hundred guests at a testimonial dinner for Julius Simon, retiring president of the Palestine Economic Corporation, Judge Proskauer declared that “as an American citizen I feel very strongly that Israel must be aided to become a strong bastion of democracy in the Middle East. Assistance, both on the economic and military level, to Israel is a widening of America’s security.”

He declared that Israel offered vast economic opportunities and described private capital investment there as “an investment in the future of the democratic way of life.” He cited the PEC for its “pattern of development in Israel, geared to assure the sound financial structure of the new State.”

Robert Szold, chairman of the PEC board, said that Israel’s prime need is an expanded industry either producing foreign exchange or lessening the need for it. He described the PEC as the principal channel for American private capital, initiative and know-how.

Joseph Sugarman, who succeeds Mr. Simon as president, said that American and British oil interests were reluctant to engage in large-scale drilling and oil exploration in Israel because of the tense political atmosphere in the Middle East.

Sale of more than $300,000 worth of PEC shares was announced at the dinner. Part of the proceeds will be used for construction in Israel of a factory compound named for Mr. Simon.

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