U.S. Sees “justification” in Arab Fears of Israel’s Expansion
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U.S. Sees “justification” in Arab Fears of Israel’s Expansion

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The United States Government believes that “there is some justification for Arab fears that if the population of Israel were to expand materially through further immigration, that it would be humanly impossible to maintain those people within the confines of the present state.”

A statement to this effect was made by Arthur Z. Gardiner, chief political-economic adviser of the State Department’s Near Eastern Division, testifying before the House Foreign Affairs Committee. He directed the attention of committee members to the speech delivered recently at the conference of the American Council for Judaism by Assistant Secretary of State Henry A. Byroade who dealt with the Arab fear of possible “territorial expansion” on the part of Israel.

Mr. Gardiner criticized Israel for withdrawing from the Israel-Jordanian Mixed Armistice Commission and said that Jordan could not be blamed for the mass murder of Israelis at Scorpion Pass, in the Negev. Maj. Gen. George C. Stewart, director of the Office of Military Assistance, said that “if we were attempting to support considerable forces in that area…the manufacturing facilities in Israel would be most valuable.”


Rep. Frances Bolton, of Ohio, chairman of the Near Eastern Subcommittee of the Foreign Affairs Committee, accused Israel of violating the Battle Act, saying that Israel “transgressed” and reshipped strategic materials to the Soviet Union. She asked the State Department to investigate. Departmental representatives agreed, although Norman S. Paul, regional director of the Foreign Operations Administration, told the committee he was not aware of any violation by Israel of the Battle Act.

Mrs. Bolton raised a question as to whether Israel is actually “such a bulwark against Communism.” She said “Haifa was at one time the center of Russian propaganda.” She thought “there is a great deal that goes out of Tel Aviv.” Mr. Gardiner promised to investigate this in connection with the Battle Act.

Mrs. Bolton also accused Israel of letting the land “lie fallow” and said Israelis refused to do farm work. She recommended the Arabs as superior agriculturists. Rep. Karl M. Le Compte, an Iowa Republican, similarly asserted that as far as producing food goes, the Israelis ape not farmers. “I have never seen a Jew on a farm in Iowa,” he stated. Mr. Byroade interjected, “that has been one of the troubles in Israel.”

Regional director Paul of the Foreign Operations Administration, defended the Israelis. “They are learning to become farmers, “he told the committee. I think the facts on their agricultural yields are quite impressive.”

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