WASHINGTON (Dec. 21)
Ambassador Mohammed Kabir Ludin of Afghanistan, presiding at a meeting here last night, sought to reject audience questions he considered biased against Israel. He chaired a meeting of the “American Friends of the Middle East” at which Dorothy Thompson, president of the organization, bitterly attacked Israel.
Miss Thompson told the audience, which consisted of government employes, Arab diplomats, and others, that Israel “simply robbed the Arabs of their properties” and that the evolution of Israel “was not compatible with what was humane or even democratic.”
Although Miss Thompson made no secret of her anti-Zionist views, Ambassador Ludin sought to check anti-Israel questions from the audience. In one instance, an Arab asked Miss Thompson a question that referred to “the expansionist nature of the Jewish State” and alleged that Israel has designs on Jordanian territory. Ambassador Lubin sought to dismiss the question, saying he felt it contained presumptions that would be ruled out in a court of law and that its spirit was “outside of the agenda of the evening.” A considerable portion of the audience applauded.
Miss Thompson, nevertheless, volunteered to define her attitude toward Israel. She said that before visiting Israel she “was a Zionist.” The reason for her attachment to Zionism, she said, was that she had been “touched by the tragedies” involving European Jewry under the Nazis. “Many years later,” she said, “I have very much changed my opinion because I had been misled on basic assumptions.”
Miss Thompson said that “unnatural partitions creating artificial states in hostile territory have a poor record of long life.” When she lauded Mohammedanism as in some respects a superior faith to Judaism and Christianity, a middle-aged man arose and said, “this is an insult to the public.” He walked out of the meeting.