Democratic Congressmen Seek Meeting with Dulles on Arms for Israel
Menu JTA Search

Democratic Congressmen Seek Meeting with Dulles on Arms for Israel

Download PDF for this date

Seventeen New York Democratic Congressmen asked Secretary of State Dulles to meet with them as soon as he returns to Washington in order to discuss “the alarming situation in the Middle East” and the failure of the United States to sell defensive arms to Israel.

The Congressmen said in a message to Mr. Dulles that “as long as Israel remains in the position where she cannot deter, because of lack of defensive arms, the threat of war in that region, the threat remains a real one.” They cited a report which told of the movement of $250,000,000 worth or additional Communist munitions to the Arabs.

Urging jet fighter planes for Israel, the Congressmen cautioned against an Arab air-blitz against Israel. In that case it was predicted the United Nations will face only a fait accompli.” The Congressmen said “commissions, demilitarized zones, United Nations discussion cannot be solely relied upon in these days of air warfare.”

“No further arms should be supplied to Arab states until the peace between the Arab states and Israel is assured,” the Congressmen requested. They suggested that after arms are provided Israel to deter Arab aggression, treaties be made with Israel and her neighbors to guarantee borders. The Congressmen were: Representatives Emanuel Celler, Victor L. Anfuso, Charles A. Buckley, Irwin D. Davidson, James J. Delaney, Isidore Dollinger, James G. Donovan, James G. Healey, Lester Holtzman, Edna F. Kelly, Eugene J. Keogh, Arthur G. Klein, Abraham J. Multer, Leo O’Brien, Adam C. Powell, Jr., John J. Rooney, and Herbert-Zelenko.


U. S. sale of arms to Israel as a deterrent to a Middle East war was also supported yesterday in the House by Congressmen Charles C. Diggs, Jr., (D., Mich.), Irwin D. Davidson (D., N. Y.) and Laurence Curtis (R., Mass.). They called to the attention of Congress the preponderance of Arab military power as an invitation to a Middle East war.

Rep. Diggs said that by failure to provide Israel with arms to offset Communist aid to the Arab states, “the U. S. leaves herself morally indefensible with respect to any future alliance against her between those we would like to consider friendly nations and the Communist world.” He described this as State Department “bunging.”

Rep. Davidson criticized the State Department’s emphasis on UN action in the Middle East in case of war. He cited the UN’s inaction in 1947 when the Arab states attacked Israel. “No member of the UN gave help to Israel or attempted to stay that attack even when Jerusalem was partly destroyed. The brave Israelis,” he said, “numbering less than 600,000, beat back the oncoming hordes, 40 million of them, with their bare hands.” He added that another danger of relying on the UN is that if the question of Israel’s security is left to the Security Council, the Russians would use the veto.

Urging arms for Israel, Rep, Davidson said: “President Eisenhower himself declared that every country has a right to get arms for legitimate self-defense. This means that Israel, too, has that right. Arms as a deterrent is the declared policy of the U. S.” Rep. Curtis of Massachusetts called to the attention of Congress a recent resolution adopted in the Massachusetts. House of Representatives. The resolution specifically requests additional arms for Israel and an immediate U. S.–Israel mutual security pact.

Founding Funders

The digitization of the JTA Archive would not have been possible without the generous support of the following donors:
  • The Gottesman Fund
  • Righteous Persons Foundation
  • Charles H. Revson Foundation
  • Elisa Spungen Bildner and Robert Bildner, in honor of Norma Spungen
  • George S. Blumenthal
  • Grace and Scott Offen Charitable Fund