CLEVELAND (Jan. 24)
The Zionist Organization of America’s National Administrative Council today endorsed a statement by ZOA president Irving Miller warning the United States of a “disastrous blunder” which would “undermine the major objectives of American policy” in the Middle East, if it were to arm Arab states hostile to Israel.
Rabbi Miller also pointed out that the “announced policy of the American Government to win Arab friendship under the slogan of impartiality has been followed, significantly, by manifestations of ever greater hostility toward Israel and increased tension.” The ZOA president voiced profound concern at reports that “our Government is planning to send arms to the Arab states of Iraq and Saudi Arabia” and emphasized that it would not only “fail to advance the best interests of our country, but would actually undermine the major objectives of American policy in the Middle East.” Strengthening of the American position or American interests in that part of the world, he asserted, “can only be accomplished by the maintenance and expansion of our Government’s fine program of economic aid to all the countries of the Middle East.”
Last night, Dr. Abba Hillel Silver sharply denied that the American Government has shown favoritism to Israel, and cautioned that “it should not now show favoritism to the Arab states by arming them and create a situation of mortal danger to the State of Israel,” Speaking at a dinner opening the two-day session of the Council, Dr. Silver assailed “the competitive sabre-rattling against Israel by some of the rulers and political adventurers among Israel’s neighboring Arab states who are hoping to make political capital for themselves. . .by offering up an attractive scape goat to their long suffering subjects.”
The Zionist leader made particular reference to a recent statement by King Sand of Saudi Arabia who suggested that the Arab nations sacrifice up to 10 million of their 50 million people to destroy Israel. “It would be better by far,” Rabbi Silver said, “if instead of planning to spend 10 million Arab lives to wipe out Israel, King Saud was planning to spend some of his hundreds of millions of dollars of his oil royalties which he receives from the United States to improve the conditions of the miserable, illiterate, disease ridden Arabs in his kingdom.”
Herman L. Weisman, chairman of the ZOA economic committee, said that the organization’s economic goal for 1954 included helping to secure $30,000,000 worth of Israel exports to the U.S. and to promote the sale of $3,000,000 in stock of the Palestine Economic Corporation. Dro Sidney Marks, national executive director, said that membership had reached 55,500 by January 20, with seven more months to go in the fiscal year, a substantial increase over last year.