NEW YORK (Mar. 16)
A resolution calling upon the U.S. Government to grant Israel’s application for military assistance and to postpone contemplated arms shipments to Arab states “until they end their boycotts and blockades, renounce their war against Israel and undertake to enter peace negotiations.” was adopted today at the Mid-Winter Conference of the Hadassah, attended by leaders of the organization from all parts of the country.
“We urge the Administration and Congress to reaffirm our country’s traditional friendship for Israel by assisting her to resettle the refugees who are finding sanctuary threre and to strengthen her industrial and agricultural capacity,” the resolution added. It pointed out that Israel is especially entitled to American aid “in view of the known Communist pressure” against the Jewish state.
Mr. Samuel Halprin, Hadassah leader and member of the Jewish Agency executive, addressing the conference, said that “any attempt now to arm the Arab States would be an invitation to trouble.” She expressed the hope that the United States Government would not permit itself to be used as a pawn by the Arabs “in their game of playing Washington off against the Kremlin,” and urged President Eisenhower to insist on an Israel-Arab peace before giving additional consideration to Arab demands for economic and military aid.
Mrs. Halprin, who just returned from Israel, reported “greater uneasiness” among the Israeli population as a result of the heightened Arab propaganda war against Israel and the increased “incidents” on the Israel borders. “The people of Israel firmly believe that the Arab requests for arms the Unites States are motivated, not by a desire to defend democracy, but by a desire to launch another attack on Israel.”
Dr. Dov Joseph, Minister without portfolio in the Israel Government, told the meeting that “Israel hopes one day to become a model state for other nations to follow.” He called upon the Hadassah leaders to continue and to expand their present comprehensive medical and social welfare programs in Israel. The need for continued Hadassah aid to Israel was stressed also by Avraham Harman, Counsellor of the Israel Delegation to the United Nations.
Peretz Bernstein, Israel Minister of Trade and Industry, emphasized that the actual difficulties of Israel’s economy are the result of a big gap between production and consumption. “This gap must be ultimately narrowed and closed primarily by our increase of production and productivity.” he said. The steps recently taken to restore competitive economy have already resulted in an improved supply situation and increased consumer goods. They will also help to bring nearer such balance of production and genuine earning capacity of the country, he added.