NEW YORK (Jan. 1)
The American Zionist Council has sharply protested against contemplated arms shipments to Egypt and other Arab states by the United States and the United Kingdom. In a letter to Secretary of State Dean Acheson made public today, Louis Lipsky, Council chairman, urged that no arms be sent to Egypt until the Naguib regime had given an undertaking that it is ready to abandon its blockade and war, enter into peace negotiations with Israel, and assume the obligations envisaged in the Mutual Security Act.
The Council pointed out that in recent weeks Arab hostility against Israel had mounted. It cited the Arab League’s attempt to blackmail Western Germany into repudiating its reparations agreement with Israel, the extension of the Suez blockade under General Naguib’s direction, and the bitter opposition of the Arab representatives during the United Nations debates on the proposal calling for direct Israel-Arab negotiations.
“They make no secret of their determination to bring their war against Israel ultimately to a successful conclusion, whether by bombs or by blockade.” Mr. Lipsky wrote. “What guaranty is there that the Arab states, given renewed superiority in weapons, will not promptly renew their war? If our government, in conjunction with its two chief allies, has sufficient influence and authority to prevent such an outbreak, then why does it not use that influence to bring about the peace and regional cooperation which the Middle East so urgently needs?”
The Council stressed that the Arab states remain opportunistically neutral as between Communism and democracy, since “in their brief but revealing history the Arab states have taken their stand in international conflict on the side of the winner only after victory became certain. Those who are moved by expediency are immobilized by uncertainty.”
Mr. Lipsky warned that the premature allocation of arms to the Arab states without any commitment on their part would prove to be the first of many wasted installment payments for a non-existent consideration. “On the other hand,” he pointed out, “there is no doubt as to where Israel stands. We remain convinced that the purposes and principles of our Mutual Security Program will be faithfully implemented if Israel, a potential situation of strength, is made stronger. And we are equally convinced that that program will be undermined if Israel is relatively weakened and its hostile and undemocratic neighbors are strengthened.”