WASHINGTON (May. 11)
High praise for American Jewry was voiced here tonight by Attorney General Herbert Brownell Jr. addressing the first national dinner of the America-Israel Society at the Hotel Statler. He also paid tribute to Israel, and traced the impact of Hebrew legal philosophy upon American law.
“We must not forget that the Jews made their contribution to the cultural, physical and economic development of early America, furnishing spiritual values, in labor, in skill and enterprise. The tercentenary of their coming here is being commemorated this very year,” he said. He emphasized that the American Jews “were in the forefront of all causes calling upon America to adhere to the highest ideals and traditions.”
About Israel, he stated that the world is watching for the Jewish State “to set an example of true tolerance and understanding in its relations with its neighbors.” Israel, he declared, is also expected “to make an increasing contribution to the free world as a model of democracy in action” and “to serve as a leader among peace-loving nations; to be a standard-bearer of justice and equality for all people.”
Mr. Brownell said the celebration of Israel’s sixth anniversary “is a sign that the efforts in desert and mountain, in village and city, of all the men and women who have struggled and strived in Israel, have won not only respect in this country, five thousand miles distant, but positive approbation.”
“The adventure in democracy that is Israel is one which humanists all over the world are watching with sympathy and hope,” he declared. “There is no doubt that the creative spirit, which has already given so much to the world, will continue to produce new and important gifts.”
AMBASSADOR EBAN TAKES ISSUE WITH BYROADE’S VIEWS
Israel Ambassador Abba Eban cautioned the America-Israel Society that any weakening of American-Israel friendship would jeopardize Near Eastern peace. The Ambassador also made remarks obviously in answer to recent controversial statements by Henry A. Byroade, Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs.
On the question of Mr. Byroade’s recommendations with respect to curtailment of immigration by Israel, the Ambassador stated that “at all times and in all circumstances, whatever the sacrifice or the cost, our gates will remain forever open wide, and both our country and our region will be the beneficiaries of any new energies of capacity and faith which we can attract.”
Mr. Eban said: “There could be no greater distortion of the international purpose, indeed of the Divine direction, which has guided Israel’s birth, than to envisage any separation between Israel on the one hand and the Jewish people on the other.” He said “it shall be the continuing concern of our government and people to strengthen the links of fraternity and of mutual responsibility which bind together all who share with us the matchless dignity of descent from the Hebrew faith and tradition.”
It was stressed by Mr. Eban that nothing would contribute more to the attainment of peace than the strengthening of Israel “to a point where its stability and permanence are clearly evident, and the reversal of this historic verdict will appear illusory to any thoughtful Arab mind.”
Mr. Eban said Israel-American friendship must be rededicated and protected “against every peril, ” He said “if it were to be weakened or endangered, Israel would lose the strongest anchor partner of its reliance; America would forfeit the only bulwark in our area of democracy.” He said that nothing could more surely “revive the prospect of war than an impression, whether real or illusory, that America and Israel no longer stand together.”
The Ambassador traced the cultural and historic affinities of Israelis and Americans. He asked if the emergence of the first democracy in the Near East does not create “a special solidarity with all peoples who uphold democracy as a world cause, worthy to win the loyal hearts of men against the sinister allurements of dictatorial power?”