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Israel Leaders Seek to Check Decline in Pro-American Sentiment

Attempting to check the deterioration of pro-American sentiment among Israelis caused by the recent speeches of Assistant Secretary of State Henry A. Byroade, the Israel-American Friendship League last night held three public meetings in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Haifa at which Cabinet members and members of the Israel Parliament were the principal speakers.

Mrs. Golda Myerson, Minister of Labor, told a League meeting here that she hoped friendly relations between the two countries would continue on a basis of "mutual honor and understanding." She criticized Mr. Byroade’s recent speech advising Israel to limit immigration as a sop to the Arabs, noting that the speech would have been overlooked by Israel had it not been linked with the American decision to arm Iraq. In this connection she charged that Mr. Byroade’s speech played into the hands of the Arab states, giving them all the excuse they needed to ask for more American arms and to refuse to make peace with the Jewish State.

She pointed out that Mr. Byroade had hit Israel in its "most sensitive spot"–the deep-rooted ties between the Jewish people and Israel. She underlined that the present generation of Jews who had paid for their state in the blood of millions of martyrs in Europe and thousands of dead in the War of Liberation would not surrender the independence and sovereignty of Israel and would stick by its most important principle–an open door immigration policy. She called upon American Jewish youth to give Mr. Byroade his "proper reply" by coming to Israel.

Finance Minister Levi Eshkol, speaking at Jerusalem, reported that the country had already achieved sixty percent of self-sufficiency, but warned that the remaining 40 percent of the battle would require an "immense effort — a hard, uphill battle." He asserted that if Israel were to double its economic capacity in the next six-seven years it could maintain a mass immigration, but that even without such an immigration, the normal rate of increase would boost the population to 2,000,000 within a few years.

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