Sharett Rejects Byroade’s “Advice” to Israel; Criticizes Russia
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Sharett Rejects Byroade’s “Advice” to Israel; Criticizes Russia

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Israel’s Prime Minister Moshe Sharett today publicly rejected the "advice" given to Israel by Assistant Secretary of State Henry A. Byroade not to consider the Jewish State a center of world Jewry and to limit immigration to Israel as a reassurance to the Arabs.

Speaking before Parliament, the Israel Premier charged that Byroade’s recent speeches can be taken as indication that the United States is attempting to compete with the Soviet Union "in showing greater leniency towards the Arab states while turning a stern face toward Israel."

The line adopted by the Soviet representative at the United Nations Security Council to veto any proposal detrimental to the Arabs and endorse at every stage the attitude taken by the Arab side raises serious problems and may lead to far-reaching results, Mr. Sharett warned. This Soviet stand, he said, threatens either to paralyze the Security Council as a forum where problems concerning the Middle East and Israel-Arab relations can be considered and decided, or to turn the Council into a one-sided instrument capable only of action against Israel.

"If persisted in and further developed, this line is bound to affect Israel’s vital interests and have a negative bearing on peace and stability in the entire region," Mr. Sharett declared. He added that the new turn in the Soviet attitude serves as an additional factor in promoting a trend in the American policy — increasing noticeably lately — to be more lenient towards the Arabs and more strict with Israel. "This tendency, " he said, "received clear and authoritative expression in Mr. Byroade’s recent speeches."


The Israel Premier pointed out that although Mr. Byroade’s speeches contained statements about the Arabs not pleasing to their ears, at the sametime he distorted or ignored basic facts concerning the very nature and policy of Israel. Mr. Byroade’s speeches also contained attacks — expressed or implied — on Israel’s vital interests and the roots of its existence, he said.

"They have justly excited public opinion in Israel and worldwide Jewry, throwing a shadow across the friendly relations between Israel and the United States, " Mr. Sharett stated.

In criticizing Mr. Byroade for suggesting that Israel stop considering itself a center of world Jewry, Mr. Sharett noted that this advice is "tantamount to an invitation to Israel and world Jewry to repudiate the essence of their being." Mr. Byroade’s definition of Jewry is "meaningless, " the Premier continued, "Jews are a people — one people throughout the world — the members of which are loyal citizens of their respective states. The world of Jewish brotherhood, " he maintained "is based on a common destiny — past, present and future –as well as a worldwide Jewish partnership in the construction of the State of Israel and their spiritual attachment to it are fundamental facts of Jewish life. "

Referring to the "astounding passage" in Mr. Byroade’s latest speech in which he suggested that Israel limit immigration, the Premier asserted that while Mr. Byroade might have wanted to show his full understanding for the feeling of the Arab world his statement did "injury to Israel’s most sacred and precious asset" while at the same time adding difficulties to the cause of peace between Israel and the Arab states. Israel, Mr. Sharett stated firmly, cannot possibly accept Mr. Byroade’s advice, while the attempt to justify Arab opposition to immigration is liable only to serve as a new excuse not to conclude peace.


Referring to Mr. Byroade’s statement that if the USSR were to let the Jews out of the Soviet Union it would be only to create turmoil in the Middle East, the Premier recalled Britain’s justification for closing Palestine’s gates to Jews fleeing the Nazis, and continued:

"We do not often make public statements about Jewish immigration from Russia, but if the United States State Department found it necessary to hold a public discussion we cannot but express what is in our hearts — if ever the great day should come when the Soviets let out the Jews to Israel, we shall open the gates to receive all who want to come or are forced to leave.

"This will not be a catastrophe, but a great deliverance. What will be set ablaze will not be a conflagration in the Middle East, but a holy fire in the Jewish people which will rise with all its might and main to help us receive our brothers. Deep in our hearts there is faith that that day will come."

Turning to Mr. Byroade’s remarks about the Arab fears that Israel will expand across its borders into their territory, Mr. Sharett pointed out that Israel had much more reason to fear Arab aggression. If the Arabs do not place their faith in the tripartite declaration of May, 1950 as a bulwark against aggression in the Middle East, why should Israel be asked to place its unreserved reliance on that document, he asked.

There is no indication that the Arabs are ready for a gradual, piece-meal approach to peace, but there is — in Mr. Byroade’s remarks — an implied charge that Israel is stubborn on this issue insisting — in the words of Mr. Byroade — on "total peace or nothing." Israel is ready to enter into negotiations with the neighboring states on either a final and comprehensive peace or a partial or interim arrangement, Mr. Sharett emphasized.

But, he warned, any such arrangement must be based on reciprocity else it would be only a premium form intransigeance and would contribute only to the retardation of peace. "Let me also make clear, " he stated, "that this means a settlement with Israel as it is, in its present boundaries and without the introduction of Arab refugees. Just as the settlement with any Arab state means with that state as it is. "

Pointing out that the United States Government decided to arm Iraq over the strenuous objections of Israel, Mr. Sharett said the present situation "calls for some plain speaking on our part. Israel owes much to the United States, " he declared. "It is intimately connected with American Jewry. It appreciates deeply the political and financial aid which it has been privileged to receive from the United States. It values highly the sympathy extended by large parts of the American people. It regards itself as an organic part of the democratic world.

"Yet Israel’s concern for its own security comes first. In matters of security it must be left to be its own judge. Israel will welcome any help to strengthen its security position, including grants of arms, but no such assistance will ever absolve it of its ultimate responsibility for its own safety," he declared.

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