Jewish War Veterans Criticize American Middle East Policy

The Jewish War Veterans of the United States today made public here a statement severely criticizing the State Department for its “vacillation” in the Middle East and emphasizing that this policy is “seriously prejudicing American prestige.”

The JWV said that Secretary of State John Foster Dulles came back from his trip to the Middle East “with a cautious, fence-straddling statement” which indicated weakness in dealing with basic problems in that part of the world.

“We have watched the Lebanese look Mr. Dulles right in the eye and say, ‘We don’t want peace, and there isn’t going to be any peace,’” the JWV statement said. “We then have seen Mr. Dulles accept that, return to the United States and with a great show of equal treatment which had no basis in fact, state that all of the countries in the Middle East, Israeli and Arab alike, must be careful not to irritate each other and must find a way to live in unity and peace.

“This ignores the fact that the Israeli Government has offered to join in a common Near East defense pact with the Western powers against Russia and has offered to be our ally in every sense, including a military one, while the Arab states have not. Putting them upon an equal basis and refusing to recognize this distinction is a flight from reality, which we believe to be one of the most serious defects in State Department thinking.

“It has been long standing United States policy to create a Near East defense organization for the two-fold purpose of achieving peace in that area and establishing an effective force against Communism. Lack of strength in implementing that policy has resulted in American failure in that area of the world.

“Secretary Dulles’ statement that a Middle East defense pact could only come about when all of the countries in that area, meaning the Arab countries, wanted it, is equally weak. It is, in effect, a surrender of the idea because the Secretary well knows that such inspiration from the Arab states will not be forthcoming. The only country in the Near East propared to join in a defense pact with the Western powers has been and continues to be Israel.”

Pointing out that the veterans organization has already presented the State Department with a plan which would afford a solution to the Near East impasse, ” the statement said:

“That plan is to recognize as of this moment those countries in the Near East which are willing to join hands with the United States, to take them in as allies and to arm them as allies. To refuse ###a strong and willing ally such as Israel has been for the purpose of appeasing a hostile and unwilling neighbor in that area, is sheer foolishness and is certain to bring us to the end result of all appeasement policies. “

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