JERUSALEM (Nov. 14)
Israeli-American friendship is important to the free world, Edward B. Lawson, new American Ambassador to Israel, told President Itzhak Ben Zvi this week-end as he came to President Ben Zvi’s residence in Jerusalem to present his credentials. It was the first time an American Ambassador has presented his credentials to the Israel Chief of State in this capital.
After handing his credentials to the President in a colorful ceremony, Mr. Lawson told Mr. Ben Zvi that before leaving for Israel, he had received a letter from President Eisenhower expressing the “earnest hope that my mission would strengthen the close ties already existing between our two countries. You may be sure that President Eisenhower will be foremost in my mind and will light my way in my stay in this country. “
Mr. Lawson pointed out that the date of his arrival here, November 2, coincided with the anniversary of the death of Israelis first President, Dr. Chaim Weizmann. Retold President Ben Zvi he had met Dr. Weizmann in South Africa about 25 years ago, and “he left an unforgettable impression on me. At that time, Israel was Only a dream., and I had no idea that some day I would represent my country in the nation that he, you and your dedicated compatriots, were to found.”
U. S.-ISRAEL FRIENDSHIP BASED ON COMMON VALUES, PRESIDENT SAYS
In welcoming Mr. Lawson, President Ben Zvi, flanked by Premier Moshe Sharett and Foreign Office director Walter Eytan, told the American Ambassador: “I deeply appreciate the message of friendship which your conveyed on behalf of President Eisenhower, and ask you to transmit to him my warm greetings and my best wishes for his well-being and welfare and for the prosperity of the people of the United States of America. Friendship between our nations, as you truly observed, rests on our common dedication to those spiritual values which are enshrined for all time in the pages of the Bible.
“The ideals of freedom, equality of man, and democratic government which inspired the Pilgrim fathers and the founders and defenders of the great American republic are the same as those that actuated the pioneers and fighters who built Israel.
“Successive American governments have evidenced an active interest in the restoration and revival of our national entity. These evidences represent a noble chapter in the records of international good will. In our relations with the nations of the world, we are guided by both the spiritual heritage of our past and by responsibilities devolving upon us at this hour,” the President concluded.
Mr. Lawson, who was accompanied by officials of the Embassy and the U.S. aid mission, said his view of Israel had already “impressed” him “with the obvious progress that Israel has made materially in the few short years since its foundation,” But what impressed him most, the Ambassador declared, “was the vitality and the spirit of Israel’s citizens, and the atmosphere of freedom and dedication wherein they live and work. I cannot but take pride,” he continued, “in the part my country has played in the building of yours. “
(From Cairo came word over the week-end that the Arab League states, angered over quasi-recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital by the Ambassadors of the United States, Great Britain and the Soviet Union, have suggested to Jordan that it designate the Old City of Jerusalem as a “second” capital. Jordan’s capital is in Amman, but some Arab League diehards advocate that Jordan move its Foreign Ministry to Jerusalem.)