State Department Reviews Stand on Israel; Impartiality Stressed
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State Department Reviews Stand on Israel; Impartiality Stressed

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The State Department today published a pamphlet on Israel tracing the history of the Jewish State and the development of American policy toward Israel. The pamphlet emphasizes that the United States considers Israel today a “political reality” and stresses the “impartial friendship” of the American Government to all countries in the Middle East.

“Our policy toward all countries in this vast region is substantially the same,” the State Department publication says. It points out that the aim of the United States is “to promote the political and economic stability of the entire region, with a course guarding the best interests of the United States and the free world.”

Declaring that Soviet attention is being shifted to the Middle East, the pamphlet says “The unfortunate part is that both Arab and Israeli are more afraid of what the other might do than they are of Communism. It is not so plain to them as it is to us that a Communist takeover would not only rob both Arab and Israeli of further. chance of economic self-development, but would also wipe out the rich heritage which they hold in common with one another and with the rest of the non-Communist world.”

The pamphlet claims that there are a number of indications that Soviet intentions are being focused to a new degree on the Middle East. “In the continued tension between Israel and the Arab states, the USSR has a readymade situation which serves its end on at least three counts,” it says.

“First, the present unrest can be exploited to keep the non-Communist world divided. So far there has been little need for Moscow to send in special agents or provocateurs. There is enough tension on both sides of the borders to fan the political fires.

“Secondly, a continuation of the economic difficulties and backwardness in the area–they could be partially overcome through a policy of cooperation–will pro-long the very conditions of poverty and unrest which invite Communist exploitation.

“Lastly, the constant. Israel-Arab fear of each other can overshadow the threat of danger to the area as a whole, thus preventing coordinated efforts for joint defense.

The Communist threat to Israel, the report establishes, is largely an external one. “While Communist Party strength within the country has remained fairly constant, the left-wing elements allied with the party have lost considerable ground. The Communists” hope of success lies in forming a united front of sufficient strength to enter the coalition, but recent political trends are away from this direction, “the pamphlet declares.


Recalling that Secretary of State John Foster Dulles spoke of the Arab’s fear of Israel territorial expansion, and of Israel’s fear that ultimately the Arabs may try to push her into the sea, the pamphlet says: “Our role in this situation is to allay the fears of both groups, being careful to avoid assisting one group at the expense of the other. Our main objective is the security of the region as a whole. To this end we have asked that:

1. The Arab nations accept the State of Israel as a member of the Middle East community. 2. Israel look upon herself in that context, mapping her future progress within the framework of the Middle East community.”

The United States Government, according to the pamphlet, has given “increasing attention” to ways of reducing tension along the frontier between Israel and the Arab states. “The most serious threat of this continued strife, from the free world point of view, is the danger it presents to the Middle East as a whole,” the publication says. “Seeking new directions for further Communist exploitation, the masters of the Kremlin already may be looking upon the troubled waters of Palestine as a good spot for launching their next dangerous activities.”


With regard to the U.S. stand on the status of Jerusalem, the State Department publication quotes Secretary Dulles as saying: “World religious community has claims in Jerusalem which take precedence over the political claims of any particular nation.” It describes the American protest against the movement of Israel Government offices from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and predicts that “a permanent solution for the Jerusalem area will doubtless rest with the disposition of other issues.”

The present status of the Arab refugee situation is depicted as one in which “the Arabs would like assurance from Israel that refugees have a right to return, even though both groups might readily acknowledge that it would be impractical for all or even a majority to do so.” The pamphlet adds that “observers believe, if given the choice, most Arab refugees would now prefer to remain on Arab land.”

On the prospect of Jordan River development, the report says the two problems which form the root of Israel’s economic troubles are the need for more arable land and for more electric power. “Both can be supplied,” it explains, “by the Jordan River and its tributary waters.” The report traces the missions of Presidential envoy Eric Johnston and quoted Ambassador Johnston as reflecting optimism that an early understanding is now a possibility.


The report flatly states that “Israel has been able to maintain herself financially only because millions of dollars in foreign capital have come into the country.” It lists principal sources of this aid as including approximately $101,000,000 in U.S. Government aid for economic cooperation and technical assistance since 1948; United Nations assistance, German reparations, Israel bonds and private contributions.

Israel’s “most valuable natural resources,” said the report, “lie in the ingenuity and strength of her people.” Israel is described as “the only nation to have built up a majority of its citizenry through a policy of deliberate immigration or ‘ingathering of the exiles.'”

The development of cultural interchange between America and Israel is reviewed. In the academic year of 1953-54, the pamphlet says there are to be found 859 Israel students enrolled in American colleges. A supplementary program, conducted by the State Department, has brought 48 Israelis to the United States and in 1950 sent 14 Americans to Israel.

The report was issued as a result of the huge volume of mail regarding American policy toward Israel that has been received by the government in recent months. Letters have come to the State Department from individuals throughout the nation and have been forwarded to the Department by Congressmen. These letters fall into the two large categories of reflecting pro-Israel and anti-Israel sentiments.

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