NEW YORK (Mar. 31)
The Department of State was urged today to undertake a searching review of its “faltering” policy in the Middle East because the security situation in that crucial area is “crumbling” and “unless there is an early and decisive change in policy, the Arab states and Israel may drift into open warfare.”
The call was issued by the American Zionist Committee for Public Affairs, newly-established spokesman for all Zionist bodies in America. Its executive committee, headed by Louis Lipsky, approved and published a statement on recent developments in the Middle East, following a meeting at its New York office today.
“Our Government should re-examine its policy in the Middle East without further delay, ” the committee urged. “It should use its influence and prestige to fortify the Armistice Agreements. It should make it clear to the Arab League that it will not tolerate blockades, boycotts, threats and aggression. It should suspend contemplated arms shipments. It should seek to help all peoples of the Middle East raise their living standards. The so-called new approach should be replaced by a really new approach–a just deal in which peace in the Middle East shall be the cornerstone of American policy.”
The committee warned that the Arab states had been emboldened by the pursuit of their favor and that as a result the entire armistice system was crumbling. Furthermore, the recent Soviet veto on the Suez Canal resolution had impaired the ability of the Security Council to enforce the armistice agreements.
“Moreover, the internal upheavals within the Arab countries have increased the danger that Arab leaders may be tempted to embark on some desperate foreign venture, such as a new assault on Israel, to divert their people from their domestic conflicts, the AZC said.
“Our State Department is doubtless unwittingly exacerbating this explosive situation by continuing to talk seriously of giving the Arab states arms, ” the committee declared. It was necessary to consider recent incidents on the Israel frontier, both the massacre of 11 Israelis at Scorpion Pass and the Israel attack on a Jordanian village, “in terms of cause and context, ” it said.
“There is a master plan of aggression against Israel in which all members of the Arab League, in one way or another, are participating on signal. There is a series of threats, blockades, boycotts and border raids which harass the life of the people of Israel. It is no exaggeration to say that all this may be the prelude to a general and undisguised onslaught by the Arab states against Israel’s borders at a chosen moment, ” the committee stated.