NEW YORK (May. 24)
Leading spokesmen for both political parties, including former Vice President Alben W. Barkley and Governor Thomas E. Dewey, last night urged the United States to help build a “strong Israel” as a major step in bringing peace to the Middle East. Joining them in stressing the need for American aid to Israel were Senators Herbert H. Lehman, Democrat, and Irving M. Ives, Republican.
They expressed their views on the current Israel-Arab crisis and on American policy towards Israel to more than 700 Jewish communal leaders attending a dinner-meeting at the Biltmore Hotel launching the Greater New York campaign for the State of Israel’s new Development Bond issue.
Ira Guilden, chairman of the Board of Directors of the Greater New York Israel Bond Committee, announced that nearly $2,000,000 in Israel Development Bonds had been sold for the opening of the Bond campaign last night. The drive, which is world-wide, will seek to raise $75,000, 000 in 1954.
The dinner, which also heard from Joseph Saphir, Minister of Communication of the Israel Government, was featured by a special ceremony formally establishing the “Guardians of Israel,” a new national organization of Americans rendering outstanding service to Israel’s economy.
BARKLEY SAYS U. S. MUST DISPEL DOUBTS OF ISRAELIS
Asserting that American help for Israel means more than economic aid, Mr. Barkley declared “there is something of infinitely greater value that we Americans and our Government can bestow upon Israel.”
“That something,” he said, “is a reaffirmation of our friendship. A reaffirmation of the kind of friendship that we were proud and eager to demonstrate when Israel was born, when we cheered it, when we helped nurse it and when we let the world know where we stood. Our Government and our people have a long tradition of sympathy and working friendship with the people of Palestine and Israel. Nothing should be done or said to impair it.
“And if something has been done or said to cause some doubt in the minds of the people and the Government of Israel, then it is proper in view of the widespread and earnest friendship which our people have for the people of Israel, for our Government to remove that doubt by a clear statement of where we stand now.”
Governor Dewey, in his message to the dinner, declared that the “well being of the entire free world requires that Israel, this shining example of free government, should stand firmly among its neighbors.” He called upon the U.S. to help Israel to become so strong that her people can give their time to human welfare and to the production of goods and services instead of the maintenance of armed camps.”
Mr. Saphir, in a reference to recent suggestions that Israel curtail its policy of unrestricted immigration, strongly emphasized that his government “will not deviate from its policy of securing Israel as the refuge for all Jews who wish or must settle there. “We are resolved,” he said, “to defend the State of Israel and what it stands for.”
Stressing the importance of the “economic integrity and stability of Israel as its mainstay of political independence,” Mr. Saphir asserted that both grants-in-aid by the United States Government and proceeds from the sales of Israel Bonds were vital instruments for maintaining that independence.
“Israel’s economy, ” the Cabinet Minister declared, “is progressing toward economic stability. The availability of investment capital through the sale of Israel Development Bonds will facilitate this progress and assure, at the same time, the various shades of private enterprise sound bases for further development.