NEW YORK (Jun. 24)
President Eisenhower today emphasized that he considers the Zionist Organization of America to be a group which dedicates itself “with vigor” to many “constructive activities” in the United States and to the “cultural enrichment” of American Jewry. He also lauded the ZOA for strengthening mutual understanding between the people of Israel and the United States,
The President expressed his sentiments in a message to the ZOA 57th annual convention which opened last night at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel here. His message was read to the 1, 200 delegates from all over the country attending the convention, and the convention voted to convey to the President its deep appreciation for his “warm statements.” President Eisenhower’s message reads:
“I am happy to send greetings to the 57th annual convention of the Zionist Organization of America, together with my very best wishes for the coming year. The Z.O.A., which has included some of America’s most distinguished citizens, has dedicated itself with vigor to many constructive activities in this country and to the cultural enrichment of American citizens of the Jewish faith. It has also done much to strengthen the mutual understanding between the people of Israel and the U.S.
“I am sure that in the deliberations of your present convention you will concern yourselves with the welfare of the Near East, I can assure you that your Government shares this concern. It is striving ceaselessly to help solve the pressing political and economic problems of this area and to help develop peaceful relations among the people who live there. The achievement of this objective will require unity of purpose and patient effort by all our citizens, as well as a strengthened bridge of understanding between them and the populations of this complex, significant region of the world.”
U.S. DISTURBED BY ARAB-ISRAEL TENSION, MURPHY SAYS
Robert Murphy, Deputy Under Secretary of State, addressing the ZOA convention tonight, also praised the Zionist Organization of America for reflecting “some of the finest ideals of the American Jewish community. ” He said he was privileged to have the opportunity “to emphasize the appreciation and understanding of our government for these ideals.”
The Under Secretary of State told the ZOA delegates that the United States is “deeply disturbed” by the tension between Israel and the Arab states. “Perhaps this problem is too complex, and the fears and frustrations too deep-seated to make possible the immediate attainment of formal peace,” he said. “But we earnestly seek the emergence of peaceful relationships. We try to encourage every possible action which could lead in that direction–whether it be full and effective support of the UN truce organization, development of the Jordan Valley, a solution of the Palestine refugee problem.”
The State Department believes that the United Nations plan for the unified development of the Jordan Valley will lead in the direction of Arab-Israel peace, he stated. He defended the State Department officials immediately concerned with Near Eastern affairs.
“I can say of my associates in the Department of State who regularly deal with ramifications of the problem that they are affected by sympathy and desire to effect solutions which are in the best interest of the Jewish community and of our country, ” he declared, “In working for these solutions, there is no desire improperly to interfere in the internal affairs of any state. In approaching these problems I think that we in the Department of State are conscious that the Jewish community is not seeking favors and above all that its desire is for peace.”
DR. SILVER DENOUNCES ANTI-ISRAEL OFFICIALS OF STATE DEPT.
Dr. Abba Hillel Silver, addressing the convention, voiced his belief that the anti-Israel utterances expressed by certain officials in the Near Eastern Division of the State Department do not “represent the true sentiments of the leaders of our government who have time and again given expression of their deep and sympathetic interest in the security and prosperity of Israel.”
Answering the recent “unfounded charges” made against Israel by Arthur Z. Gardiner, chief political and economic advisor of the State Department’s Near Eastern Division, and by Representatives Frances Bolton of Ohio, whom he described as “the mouthpiece in the House of Representatives for all pro-Arab propaganda,” Dr. Silver declared;
“President Eisenhower and Secretary Dulles must know that Israel is no threat to the basic interests of American policy in the Near East. They must know that Israel is a democracy, deeply rooted in the millenial democratic traditions of the Jewish people and Judaism, and that it will to the last defend its democratic way of life and institutions.
“They must know that there is a large reservoir of good-will and gratitude to the government and people of the United States among the citizens of Israel for having helped so vitally in the establishment of their state and for the economic assistance which has been given to this day. They are too proud to put their friendship on the auction block or use it in any diplomatic game of blackmail.
“They must know that Israel wants peace with all her Arab neighbors, and has time and again asked for it, only to be rudely rebuffed. They must know that Israel is prepared to cooperate in the solution of all the outstanding issues between it and its neighbors in a spirit of good will and is prepared to cooperate in any project such as the Jordan Valley Authority to benefit all the peoples involved, provided its own vital and legitimate interests are safeguarded.”