NEW YORK (Apr. 5)
American Zionist leaders, at a special emergency meeting on the Middle East, called here today by the American Zionist Committee for Public Affairs, issued the following statement:
“The statements by Secretary of State Dulles this week on the Middle East situation and on Israel’s request for arms for defense are unrealistic and disappointing. Our country falls short of its responsibilities of leadership to the free world if we continue to put off Israel’s request and permit our Western allies to shoulder this responsibility alone. Like every other people, the Israelis have a right to defend themselves, and like every other democratic people menaced by Communist weapons, they have a right to appeal to the family of free nations. We sit at the head of that family.
“Mr. Dulles’ policy threatens the unity of the forces of freedom and must discourage and dishearten every other democratic people who may be exposed to danger. There refusal of the State Department to sell Israel arms is aggravated by the failure of the Administration to ask Congress to put teeth into the Tripartite Declaration of 1950 and to empower the Administration to take decisive steps to prevent or stop an outbreak of war.
“Mr. Dulles is risking the entire position of the West when he chooses to ignore the brazen anti-Western actions of Colonel Nasser and the growing ramified ties between Egypt and the Soviet Union. In view of the mounting belligerency of the Egyptian press and radio, and of Colonel Nasser’s open dependence on the Soviet Union to arm and train Egyptian forces for war against Israel, Mr. Dulles’ continuing efforts to woo Colonel Nasser endanger the security of America and the free world.
“American foreign policy should be based on principle. In the Middle East, however, our actions seem to be dictated by a complex of conflicting interests. ‘We have refused to sell defensive weapons to the only democracy in the Middle East but have committed ourselves to the defense of an absolute monarchy that still practices slavery. We have preached impartial friendship, but our actions and statements–and lack of action–have demonstrated a pro-Arab bias. We have declaimed against an arms race and continued to give arms to Iraq and Saudi Arabia.
“It is time that our Administration recognizes that the Middle East crisis is not merely an Arab-Israel dispute. It never was. A realistic appraisal of the facts and forces at work in that area calls for immediate emergency action if war is to be averted. And the first step in such emergency action is to provide Israel with enough arms for defense to deter aggression by Egypt and her Communist allies. War in the Middle East cannot be localized. America must speak out and say – and do – all that must be done to stop the Cairo Kremlin axis in the Near East. All the world awaits “Word from Washington.”