Stevenson Advocates U.S. Arms for Israel; Attacks Eisenhower Policy
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Stevenson Advocates U.S. Arms for Israel; Attacks Eisenhower Policy

Severe criticism of the United States policy on Israel and the Arab countries was voiced here last night by Adlai Stevenson, at a press conference. He charged the Eisenhower Administration with encouraging Arab rearmament and urged that Israel be given American arms to balance the arms which Arab countries are receiving from Communist lands. Mr. Stevenson stated:

“It is now apparent that our government has no firm policy in the Middle East. The Eisenhower Administration has not unequivocally reaffirmed the three-point declaration of 1950 with Britain and France. The Eisenhower Administration has not made it clear that the State of Israel is here to stay and that we will not allow it to be erased. The Eisenhower Administration has not made it clear that it will not tolerate the use of force by Israel or the Arabs in violation of the UN Charter or the armistice agreements.

“The Eisenhower Administration has done little to strengthen the authority of the United Nations armistice agency. The Eisenhower Administration has failed to devise measures to prevent border clashes which endanger the peace. The Eisenhower Administration has encouraged military alliances and Arab rearmament in disregard of tensions and animosities, thereby opening the area to Communist penetration.

“Ever since Secretary Dulles presented General Naguib with a revolver three years ago, the situation has constantly deteriorated. And now Russia, with an eye on the oil of the Middle East, is cynically fishing in these troubled waters, and war threatens. War must be prevented not only to save the life of Israel, but because it would certainly spread.

“In my judgment we should emphatically reassert our fundamental friendship for both Israel and the Arab states and our desire to help them develop economically even as Israel is now developing. As I have repeatedly said, steps should be taken to make it unequivocally clear:

“1. That Israel is here to stay; 2. that we will not tolerate arms aggression by either side; 3. that an equitable balance of arms strength should be preserved between Israel and her neighbors. And Israel should not be deprived of the necessary means of defense, and weapons and training should be promptly supplied to restore that balance.

“It is said that to strengthen Israel would be to start an arms race and would further alienate the Arab states. That would be a clear misfortune for us and the Arabs as well. But the Russians have already started an arms race and once the balance of power is roughly restored I think the United Nations should call on Russia and everyone else, including ourselves, to establish an embargo on the shipment of arms to that area.”