Z.O.A. Says State Dept. Action on Negev Ambush Will Be Watched

The National Administrative Council of the Zionist Organization of America, meeting in special session here today, gave its unanimous endorsement to a declaration by Rabbi Irving Miller, ZOA president, assailing the State Department for its policy of “coddling” the Arabs at the expense of Israel and urging it to play a “more constructive role” by concentrating on the fundamental problem of peace.

Rabbi Miller’s statement referred specifically to the massacre of March 17 at Scorpion Pass. He declared that this massacre “is the latest in a series of murderous acts committed by Arab states against Israel” and charged that “full responsibility for this wanton killing must be borne by the Government of Jordan, whose official denials are obviously designed to evade censure by the United Nations.”

Turning to the policy of the State Department, Dr. Miller said: “We recall how hastily and energetically the State Department rushed forward to condemn Israel at the time of the tragic Kibya incident, which had been provoked by a long series of Jordanian attacks carried out against Israel’s citizens without a word of reproof from our government. “

He further emphasized that the manner in which the Administration acts with respect to the massacre at Scorpion Pass will be carefully noted by Arabs and Israelis alike–indeed, by public opinion everywhere–and “conclusions will be drawn by all concerned. ” Some 200 members of the National Administrative Council, the ruling body of the Zionist Organization of America between conventions, attended today’s session.

(Leading New York newspapers this week-end condemned the Arab attack on the Negev bus and pointed out that the underlying basis of the outrage was the Arab refusal to make peace with Israel. The New York Times editorial declared that the “only real solution is acceptance by the Arabs of the reality of an Israeli state and mutual cooperation and goodwill in a land sacred to the religions of all parties concerned.”

(The Herald Tribune, for its part, bluntly blamed the Arabs for the affair and noted “the plain fact” that the “Arab states have refused to take any steps that might contribute to peace and stability.” It cited the Jordan refusal to confer with Israel under UN auspices and the Egyptian blockade as a “pattern of action” that “constitutes more than a threat to peace–it is a denial that there is peace.”)

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