Views on Israel Presented to Republican Convention in Chicago

The American Zionist Council and the American Council for Judaism today presented their respective views on Israel to the platform committee of the Republican Party as it turned to consideration of foreign policy planks.

In a memorandum submitted to the committee, the American Zionist Council urged the Republican Party convention to adopt a platform plank pledging continued support to Israel and the Arab states in the resettlement of their refugee populations and in the promotion of peace and economic stabilization and development in the Near East.

The specific plank which the party was asked to adopt was presented by Republican Congressman Jacob K. Javits to the platform committee. I.L. Kenen, representing the Zionist Council, who later testified in favor of this plank, stressed that his organization was appearing in behalf of American citizens. Mr. Kenen expressed the opinion that there was no such thing as a “Jewish vote.” A similar view on the “Jewish vote” was stated by Philip R. Toomin of Chicago, who appeared on behalf of the American Council for Judaism. The text of the plank presented by Rep. Javits reads as follows:

TEXT OF PLANK FAVORED BY AMERICAN ZIONIST COUNCIL

“The Republican Party has consistently advocated the reconstitution of a national home for the Jewish people since a Republican Congress declared its support for that objective 30 years ago.

“We pledge continued support to the State of Israel to enable it to carry out its historic and humanitarian undertaking to provide sanctuary for Jewish people rendered homeless by persecution and to strengthen its economy and improve its means of defense as part of the defense of the free world against aggression.

“We urge Israel and the Arab states to enter into direct negotiations for the achievement of permanent peace in the Near East.

“We express our deep sympathy with the unhappy plight of the Palestine-Arab refugees and pledge continued support to facilitates their permanent resettlement in the Arab countries.

“We sympathize with the aspirations of the Arab peoples of the Near East for political and economic independence, consistent with international responsibility and the policy of good neighbors, and we will support measures for the promotion of peace and economic stability and development in the whole region.”

Congressman Javits pointed out that the proposed plank is consistent with past Republican Party declarations and with American Near Eastern policy as formulated by Congress in the past two years. He noted that the Republicans have favored a National Home for the Jewish people in Palestine since the Lodge-Fish resolution adopted by a Republican-controlled Congress and signed by President Harding in 1922. Rep. Javits also cited the pro-Zionist and pro-Israel planks of the party’s platforms of 1944 and 1948, and drew the committee’s attention to the fact that over 50 Republican members of Congress signed a declaration in 1951 for aid to Israel.

The Zionist Council’s memorandum stated that Israel’s record of achievement “commends a declaration pledging continued support to enable it to carry out its historic and humanitarian undertaking to provide sanctuary for Jewish people rendered homeless by persecution and to strengthen its economy and improve its means of defense as part of the defense of the free world against aggression.”

COUNCIL FOR JUDAISM SAYS NO GROUP SPEAKS FOR ALL JEWS

A complaint that during the past decade there has ban an “entirely unwarranted and unsupportable assumption” that in matters pertaining to the State of Israel, Jews in the United States are “largely of a single mind” and comprise “some kind of domestic, political pressure bloc,” was made to the platform committee by the spokesman for the American Council for Judaism. “No Jew and no organization of Jews can speak for all Americans of Jewish faith.” Mr. Toomin underlined.

The basis of American Jewish support of Israel has been and should be one of philanthropy. The international relations of the United States and Israel “should be integrated with the totality of our foreign policy.” the Council for Judaism representative said.

Continuing to discuss U.S. Israel relations, Mr. Toomin declared that they “should be formulated free of pressure by any special domestic groups.” He denied that “all Americans of Jewish faith are agreed to making Israel a favored nation in American foreign policy in the Middle East.”

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