WASHINGTON (Oct. 28)
National president Philip M. Klutznick of B’nai B’rith told a Protestant forum audience in President Eisenhower’s church that Israel and the Arab states could work out a “genuine peace” if major world powers would stop imposing “their own ground rules for peace in the Middle East.”
Mr. Klutznick said it was the responsibility of the major powers “to forego intervention and backstairs diplomacy and to set up the conference table.” He was introduced by the Rev. Edward L.R. Elson, pastor of the National Presbyterian Church, who is widely known as the President’s pastor. Rev. Elson is also noted for his leadership in the anti-Zionist group “Americans Friends of the Middle East.”
The B’nai B’rith leader said the Arab refugee problem “cries out for prompt and just solution,” but that it “will not be solved by cynical, politically-motivated demands for total repatriation–no more so than any of the countless refugee problems of history have been solved that way.”
Mr. Klutznick said he was “confounded by those critics who denounced Israel’s right to exist by interpreting her independence as a kind of treacherous achievement of power politics at the expense of other Middle Eastern groups.” He pointed out that it was only recently that Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, and Egypt had achieved their independence.
Referring to the refugee problem in the Middle East, Mr. Klutznick said “we tend to forget that of the 750,000 refugees who found a homeland in Israel during the first three years of her statehood, half of these were refugees from Arab lands, uprooted by the same Arab war on Israel that uprooted so many Palestinian Arabs.”