NEW YORK (Nov. 26)
Leaders of major Jewish organizations expressed concern tonight that United Nations failure to endorse direct peace negotiations between Israel and the Arab states will heighten the crisis in the Middle East. They warned that the absence of unity and joint action among the major Western allies invited farther penetration into the area by the Soviet Union.
Four presidents of major organizations addressed the opening session of a two-day special meeting called by the Presidents Conference, a consultative group embracing the leaders of 17 national Jewish groups. The speakers were Dr. Nahum Goldmann of the Jewish Agency, Philip M. Klutznick of B’nai B’rith Dr. Israel Goldstein of the American Jewish Congress and Dr. Macrice Eisendrath of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations. More than 250 delegates from 27 states are attending the sessions at the Hotel Delmonico.
Criticizing the UN armistice solution as a “demonstrably untenable” basis for Arab-Israel relations. Dr. Goldmann urged that the United States “invest its enormous eight and prestige” to bring about peace between Israel and the Arab states. A stable peace, he declared, “would enable not only Israel, but Jews the world over to enter into an inspiring partnership with the great Arab peoples for the purpose of restoring their common civilization that has gone to waste through exile and conquest, and of reclaiming the Middle East from stupor and apathy.”
Dr. Goldmann said it was the duty of the United Nations, if it wishes to avoid a global conflict, to provide the incentive for a definitive Arab-Israel peace. “To achieve this aim, the big powers and the United Nations must impress on the Arab countries that their relationship with the world community must be based on reciprocity, that they cannot hope to enlist the United Nations when it suits their purpose and to ignore it when it does not, ” he declared.
If the present crisis “produces nothing better than an uneasy armistice,” Dr. Goldmann added, “there will be no security for Israel, for the Arabs or for the world community. A return to the status quo-ante would encourage extreme Arab nationalism and produce new conflicts which may be far more difficult to check than the present crisis.” The Jewish Agency president said that the failure of “armistice solutions” had diverted the energies of Israel and the Arab states from constructive efforts to pre-occupation with defense and security. It has also preserved tensions at high pitch and has further acerbated the bitterness between Israel and the Arab states.”
SAYS EISENHOWER HOLDS KEY TO NORMAL ARAB-ISRAEL RELATIONS
Dr. Goldmann expressed the opinion that “the key to normal relations between Israel and the Arab countries, and to the future stability of the Middle East, seems to have been placed by destiny in the hands of the American Government and President Eisnhower,” He emphasized that the leaders of the United States Government now face what is perhaps the greatest challenge that has ever confronted an American administration.
“History,” he stated, “will judge the United Nations, the United States and President Eisenhower personally by what emerges from this crisis. They will be blamed if this crisis produces a tenuous status quo ante. The credit will be theirs should this crisis resolve in real stabilization, normal relations between Israel and the Arabs the removal of the danger to world peace, and the initiation of an era of creative cooperation among all the peoples of the Middle East.”
Dr. Goldmann said that the primary purpose of the two-day conference is to urge the U. S. Government and the American people who, as free citizens of a great democracy, help determine their government’s policy to face up to the responsibility of leadership with calmness wisdom and firmness, and with the energy and daring of the American tradition.”
“From this rostrum tonight we pledge American Jewry’s continued support of Israel in her anguish and her triumph; we call on the Arab world to abandon its irrational obsession with Israel’s destruction and to again demonstrate its historic capacity for affirmative action, and we appeal to America to exercise the leadership bestowed upon her so that from the crucible of agony that is the Middle East, a condition of grace may come for Israel, the Arabs, and all mankind,” Dr. Goldmann stated.
Mr. Klutznick emphasized that the dispute between Israel and her Arab antagonists has outgrown its early province and is now overshadowed by the global conflict between the Soviet bloc and the free world. “The Great of Soviet belligerency, “he said,” is not that the Communists will smother Israel. The threat is how fast and how far the Communists will move into an area of such political and economic significance to the free world that, should the Communists take over the Middle East, they take over the balance of world power with it.”
Distinguishing “the myths from the realities” of Western unity. Mr. Klutznick said that while the United States and her two major allies were united in the objective of stabilizing peace in the Middle East, “the interests of each of the nations have been separate, distinct, and more often than not, in opposition to each other,” he said. “Inevitably, this contributes to a lack of unanimity in tactics.”