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Jewish Leaders Share U.S. Concern over Soviet-egyptian Arms Deal

The presidents of seventeen major American Jewish organizations declared in a joint statement today that they share Secretary of State John Foster Dulles’ concern over Egypt’s arms agreement with a Communist state and warned that it “can only prejudice peace in the Middle East and have adverse effects on the security of the free world.” The statement called on the United States Government to impress “on the Cairo Government and on any other government of like disposition anywhere in the world, that we shall not succumb to pressure on matters of conscience and higher self-interest.”


“The profound concern of Secretary Dulles over the Egyptian agreement for the purchase, from Communist sources, of arms vastly in excess of her normal requirements is shared by all Americans. Its implications for the interests of democracy in the Middle East are obvious. This offer of arms to Egypt by a Communist state is particularly shocking to Americans, coming as it does at a time when, with the active leadership of our government, supported by the entire American people, an arms limitation program is given serious consideration by the Big Powers.

“As presidents of major Jewish organizations, we speak for a segment of our citizenry that has followed most closely events in the Middle East and has been continually concerned over the effect of these events on the interests of our people and country, and on the fate of Israel which has carried democracy into a region of the world that can benefit immeasurably from a true application of the principles of freedom and equality of man.


“The Egyptian Government’s hostile intent with regard to Israel has never been concealed by Cairo’s rulers, and it is clear, therefore, that her arms agreement with a Communist government can only prejudice peace in the Middle East and have adverse effects on the security interests of the free world.

“It is our belief and conviction that the Government of the United States, acting courageously and with dispatch, will succeed in impressing on the Cairo Government, and on any other government of like disposition anywhere in the world, that we shall not succumb to pressures on matters of conscience and higher self-interest. As Americans, we pledge our utmost support in the pursuance of such policy to its successful consummation.

“Motivated by these principles, and by our profound kinship as Jews with a people with whom we share a common faith and culture, we have consistently supported the progress and development of Israel. We shall continue this fruitful cooperation so that Israel, whose democratic devotion is organic not to be bartered or traded, shall ultimately be able to play its role, to the optimum of its ability, in preserving the ideals it shares with our country, our people, and all free nations.”

The statement was signed by the following presidents of major Jewish organizations: Joseph S. Barr. Jewish War Veterans of the U.S.; Rabbi Philip Bernstein, American Zionist Committee for Public Affairs; Joseph Breslaw, American Trade Union Council for Labor Israel; Dr. Maurice N. Eisendrath, Union of American Hebrew Congregations: Moses I. Feuerstein, Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations; Dr. Nahum Goldmann, Jewish Agency for Palestine: Dr. Israel Goldstein, American Jewish Congress; Adolph Held, Jewish Labor Committee; Mrs. Moise Kahn, National Council of Jewish Women: Rabbi Max Kirshblum, Mizrachi Organization of America; Philip Klutznick, B’nai B’rith; Mortimer May. Zionist Organization of America; Rabbi Irving Miller, American Zionist Council; Charles Rosengarten, United Synagogue of America; Dr. Herman Seidel, Central Committee, Labor Zionist Organization of America; Mrs. Rebecca Shulman, Hadassah; Bernard H. Trager, National Community Relations Advisory Council.