LOS ANGELES (Sep. 23)
President George Meany of the American Federation of Labor has appealed to the United States Government to take action to bring about peace between Israel and the Arab states, representatives of 10,000,000 organized workers at the AFL national convention were told today. In a report of the AFL executive council, the delegates were also informed that the organization had written to Secretary of State John Foster Dulles opposing the granting of American arms to Iraq and Saudi Arabia.
Moshe Bitan, representative of the Histadrut, Israel’s federation of labor, addressing the convention, said that Israel was a great social and economic experiment and expressed labor’s pride in its democracy. Mr. Bitan, who was introduced by Mr. Meany, declared that the defense of the free world in the Middle East requires peace in the region and a solution of its social and economic backwardness, not an arms “hand-out” to the Arab states.
Eighty-five percent of all Israeli workers are organized into trade unions, the American representative of the Israeli Federation of Labor said here yesterday. Mr. Bitan reported that Israeli’s union workers total 500,000, and constitute a bulwark against Communist infiltration. “Because these democratic Israeli unions are achieving social and economic justice for all,” he said, “Communism is not now and never will be a threat. ” He appealed to AFL delegates to support Israel’s claims that “a permanent peace must be established in this troubled region before arming Israel’s neighbors.”