NEW YORK (Oct. 25)
Sharp criticism of the State Department’s action in withholding financial aid from Israel was voiced today in a resolution adopted at an extraordinary session of the Administrative Council of the Zionist Organization of America attended by more than 500 Zionist leaders from all parts of the country. The resolution reads:
“We are shocked by the action of our Department of State in cutting off the economic aid to Israel which had been voted after careful deliberations by the Congress of the United States. This unprecedented action against a friendly nation was totally unwarranted. We cannot accept the reasons advanced therefor by the Secretary of State.
“The dispute over Jordan River development is yet to be discussed and adjudicated by the United Nations. Prejudging the outcome in this manner is contrary to the American spirit of fair play. Moreover, as American citizens, we deplore the use of economic pressure to coerce Israel into accepting the State Department’s views prior to a United Nations decision. This is in direct violation of frequently-stated American policy toward friendly nations.
“We call upon our government to reconsider and to reverse its hasty and unfair action in withholding the economic assistance which Israel needs and which is also essential for maintaining the larger American objective of Near East stability and democratic progress. We are confident that when all the facts are known our position will be supported by American public opinion.”
Dr. Emanuel Neumann, member of the Jewish Agency executive, addressing the session, said that “it is appalling that our State Department should have blundered so badly in handling” the Arab-Israel situation. He called upon all friends of Israel and all men of good will “to rescue the fabric of America-Israel friendship from malevolent hands intent upon tearing it to shreds.”
The delegates applauded the statement addressed to the meeting by Rabbi Irving Miller, ZOA president, from his sick bed in the New York Hospital, calling upon the U.S. Government “to halt its present drift towards political disaster in the Middle East.” He said that “the unprecedented withholding of mutual security funds from a hard-pressed nation which has always demonstrated its deep friendship for the United States represents the type of pressure which is repugnant to the American spirit and is damaging to the image of American throughout the world.”
Abraham Goodman of New York, who presided, declared that “as Americans we, the members of the ZOA, have a right to ask our Administration why it has chosen the path of partiality, of pressure and attack on the State of Israel.” He declared that “this is a question that deeply concerns every American because it affects the peace of the world and the forward march of democracy.”