WASHINGTON (Oct. 25)
Secretary of State John Foster Dulles met today with a delegation of Jewish leaders representing major American Jewish organizations who took note of recent assurances but requested that the “government refrain from arming the Arab states in the absence of positive guarantees leading to peace.”
Philip M. Klutznick, national president of B’nai B’rith, acted as spokesman for the delegation when it emerged from Mr. Dulles’ office. He declined to comment when asked for Mr. Dulles’ reaction to the views of the delegation.
The delegation submitted a memorandum to Mr. Dulles which asked that the government abandon its policy of arming the Arabs under present conditions; “that our government do nothing to impair the prevailing balance of strength in the Middle East; that it extend to Israel the same agreements already offered the Arab states, and that it invite Israel to join in regional defense planning.”
“We appreciate President Eisenhower’s recent affirmation of firm friendship towards Israel and all other nations in the area, an objective to which you, Mr. Secretary, have also given warm expression. But we respectfully submit that actions under the present policy do not serve the attainment of that purpose,” the memorandum stated.
STRESSES DANGER OF GIVING U.S. ARMS TO ARAB LANDS
“The grant of arms to the Arab states while they refuse to make peace with Israel may encourage them to believe that our government no longer requires them to do so, and may even tempt them to employ their augmented military power in new aggression against Israel,” the memorandum continues. “Since the United States announced its intention to provide certain Arab countries with arms, there has been no abatement of Arab-Israel tension. On the contrary, there have been increased reckless anti-Israel attacks from many Arab centers and by the Arab League in Washington, in London, as well as in the General Assembly of the United Nations.
“Under these circumstances, military aid to the Arab states may well result in armed conflict, rendering the Middle East vulnerable to totalitarian subversion and infiltration,” the memorandum pointed out. “Against this background of continued regional tension we submit that nothing be done to aggravate the present precarious situation. The unilateral grant of arms to the Arab states and the exclusion of Israel from consideration in our government’s defense planning in the Middle East are neither equitable nor impartial toward the peoples directly concerned and will harm America’s own national interests.”
The memorandum was signed by a number of leaders who did not appear in person with the delegation. They included Joseph Breslaw, American Trade Union Council for Labor Israel; Adolph Held, Jewish Labor Committee; Bertard Trager, NCRAC; and Max J. Etra, Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations.
Members of the delegation included Dr. Israel Goldstein, American Jewish Congress; Louis Lipsky, American Zionist Committee for Public Affairs; Rabbi Irving Miller, American Zionist Council; Philip Klutznick, B’nai B’rith; Julian Freeman, Council of Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds; Mrs. Herman Shulman, Hadassah; Joseph Barr, Jewish War Veterans; Dr. Herman Seidel, Labor Zionist Organization of America; Rabbi Mordecai Kirshblum, Mizrachi Organization of America; Rabbi Maurice Eisendrath, Union of American Hebrew Congregations; Charles Rosengarten, United Synagogue of America, and Mortimer May, Zionist Organization of America.