Growth of American-israel Friendship Predicted by Sharett

Friendship between Israel and the United States will “grow and deepen” in the future, Foreign Minister Moshe Sharett and Abba Eban, Ambassador to Washington, last night told a meeting of the Israel-American Friendship League. U.S. Ambassador Monnet Davis, who also spoke, paid tribute to the League as an important factor in fostering good relations between the two countries.

The United States can bring nearer peace between Israel and the Arab states, Mr. Sharett declared. “I trust the United States will do so by continuing its assistance to Israel,” he added. He pointed out that experience has shown that Arab friendship cannot be “purchased by hostility toward Israel or by not meeting her needs.”

The Foreign Minister told the audience–consisting of several hundred persons prominent in all walks of Israeli life–that Israel and the U.S. are developing along common lines toward freedom, that Israel is interested in the development of a free regime which would enable Jews to organize and develop Jewish culture and life. Even if the largest portion of the Jewish nation had not been living in the United States, Mr. Sharett said, Israel would have approached the U.S. for aid. “We regard it as a great honor that the U.S. helps us execute our great mission,” he concluded.

Friendship between the two lands will grow “not only on emotional or historic grounds, as hitherto, but on a purely economic and political basis, since the United States is interested in the Middle East and Israel is the sole stronghold of democracy in the Middle East,” Ambassador Eban declared. The more the U.S. helps Israel with economic and military assistance, he said, the more Israel will be able to contribute to the stabilization of the region.

The Ambassador reiterated his government’s opposition to arming the Arab states which cherish the idea of revenge on Israel and hope to wipe it off the map. Such an attempt by the Arab states would plunge the entire Middle East into “indescribable turmoil which would only weaken the Western democracies, especially the American position in this part of the world.”

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