NEW YORK (Jun. 23)
Rabbi Irving Miller, president of the Zionist Organization of America, tonight asserted that American Zionists “time and again have fought to uphold America’s true policies and real interests in the Middle East,” adding that it was fortunate “not only for the Jewish people but for the good name of America and the future of democracy, that we were on guard to defend the traditional policy of our country.”
Opening the 57th annual convention of the Zionist Organization of America at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, the Zionist leader termed preposterous “the Arabs’ ability to fight the Soviet Union in the tragic event of a world conflict” and maintained that the Arab States “would never take up arms in defense of Western democracy. “
Rabbi Miller attacked the State Department’s policy of “coddling the Arabs under the slogan of impartiality” as one which instead of modifying Arab opposition to a peaceful settlement with Israel, “has only served to encourage the Arab politicians to believe that they can continue and even intensify their hostility against Israel with impunity, “
He rebuked Assistant Secretary of State Henry A. Byroade for his recent appearance before the American Council for Judaism, “that small but loud organization whose sole reason for existence is its bitter hatred of Israel, “and called upon the leaders of our government “to make it clear by a word and deed that his statements do not represent the policy of our country.”
“Israel’s enemies in and out of government are once again seeking to undermine the traditional friendship of the American people for the Jewish State,” he charged. “If their current propaganda has a familiar ring, it is undoubtedly due to the fact that its authors include some of those who conceived the fabrications of the forties.
“It is the same little group of embittered men, smarting over repeated repudiations and thirsting for revenge – the same pro-Arab propagandists and missionary elements, now calling themselves the American Friends of the Middle East, plus the same American Council for Judaism, plus some of the same officials of the State Department.”
OPENING SESSION DEDICATED TO HERZL
The opening session, dedicated to the 50th anniversary of the death of Dr. Theodor Herzl, founder of the world Zionist movement, was further highlighted by speeches by Louis Lipsky, chairman of the American Zionist Committee for Public Affairs, and by Dr. Harris J. Levine, chairman of the convention committee.
Mr. Lipsky, who delivered the memorial address in honor of Herzl, reviewed the tragic history of his life and its final victorious consummation in the Proclamation of the State of Israel in May, 1948.
Sounding the keynote of the convention as one of hope and trust in the future of the State of Israel, Dr. Levine called upon all Zionists to close ranks in “the face of the great struggle for the security and welfare of Israel and for the American support which should rightfully go to Israel’s democracy.” Rabbi Miller decried the offering of arms to Arab states, as our government has one in the case of Iraq, “which has openly proclaimed its aggressive designs against Israel,” as a policy hardly calculated to bring about peace and stability in the Middle East.
The ZOA president reminded the American people of the behavior of the Arab states throughout World War II as well as “the open blackmail which they have been employing – with considerable success – in their dealings with the West. This should make it unmistakably clear that these countries would never take up arms in defense of Western democracy,” he asserted.