Two Huge Meetings Ask U.S. to Reconsider Its Middle East Policy

The American Government was urged today in resolutions adopted at two huge meetings here to reconsider its current policy in the Middle East and not to send any arms to the Arab states as long as they refuse to enter peace negotiations with Israel.

One of the meetings was arranged by the American Zionist Committee for Public Affairs in the Commodore Hotel where 3,000 people heard prominent Zionist leaders criticize the present Middle East policy of the State Department. The other, attended by more than 1,000 people, was arranged jointly by the Jewish Labor Committee and the Trade Union Council for Israel at the Hotel Biltmore and was addressed by prominent American Jewish and non-Jewish labor leaders, including George Meany, president of the American Federation of Labor.

The resolution adopted at the mass rally at the Commodore Hotel, pointed out that the “Arab states have again rejected the offer of peace tendered by the State of Israel and, as reply thereto, have intensified their economic and political war against Israel.” The resolution expressed protest “against the premature and unilateral supply of arms to these states” on the ground that such action will not promote the cause of peace” or contribute to military defense against aggressive Communism, but will, on the contrary, delay peace, stimulate Arab aggression against the State of Israel, provoke regional conflict, and obstruct any effective plan that may be devised for the regional defense of the Middle East.”

“We urge the American Government,” the resolution said, “to reconsider and review its current policy in the Middle East and that it: 1. Suspend the sending of military aid to the Arab states pending a declaration of their readiness to join, definitely and without ambiguity, in the defense of the Free World Against Communist aggression; 2. Utilize the maximum defense potential of Israel, the one present stable democracy in the region, in the planning of the defenses in the Middle East; and, 3. Use its good offices to persuade the Arab states to cease their boycotts and blockades of Israel, particularly the blockade by Egypt of passage through the Suez Canal to ships carrying goods to and from Israel.”

Principal speakers at the meeting were: Louis Lipsky, chairman of the American Zionist Committee for Public Affairs; Rabbi Mordecai Kirshblum, president of the Mizrachi Organization of America; Rabbi Irving Miller, chairman of the American Zionist Council; Dr. Emanuel Neumann, chairman of the national executive committee of the Zionist Organization of America; Mrs. Herman Shulman, president of Hadassah; and Baruch Zuckerman, leader of the Labor Zionist movement.

At the labor protest meeting, presided over by Adolph Held, chairman of the Jewish Labor Committee, a resolution was proposed by David Dubinsky, president of the International Ladies Garment Workers Union, calling upon the U.S. Government “to do everything within its power to bring about negotiations for a peace treaty between Israel and the Arab States.” The resolution also urged the U.S. Government “not to give military aid of any kind to those countries in the Middle East area which refuse to negotiate peace with their neighbors and which fail to demonstrate an earnest desire to live at peace with them. The present policy of granting arms to Arab States can only have the effect of encouraging intransigence and providing aid and comfort to those who plot armed hostilities against Israel,” the resolution stated.

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