Z.O.A. Convention Opens with Appeals to U.S. on Israel’s Security

The 60th annual convention of the Zionist Organization of America opened here tonight with appeals to the United States Government to prevent possible aggression against Israel by making it clear to the world that Israel will be defended if attacked by neighboring Arab countries.

Governor Averill A. Harriman, one of the principal speakers at the opening session, urged the State Department to effect a new approach to the Middle East that “will arrest the spiral of crisis” and that “will attack the major ills that oppress the people of the Middle East.” Such an approach, he declared, “might well attract support and create a climate favorable for finding a basis for a rapprochement between the Arab countries and Israel” and thus “greatly lessen the opportunities for Soviet trouble-making in the Middle East.”

At the same time, he strongly affirmed his position that “the road toward sanity and security in the Middle East lies, and has always lain, in making it clear beyond doubt, to all concerned–including the Arab leaders aid the Kremlin–that Israel is here to stay, and that it will be defended, if necessary, with overwhelming outside help.”

Gov. Harriman accused the Eisenhower Administration of “letting doubts grow, if indeed it did not sow them, about its readiness to live up to the pledge our government had made in the Tripartite Declaration of 1950. “Out of these grave doubts,” he said, “grew fears, mounting border hostilities and increasing tension. And these, in turn, invited, inevitably, Soviet intrusion in cynical support of unjust and dangerous Arab purposes.”

DR. NEUMANN URGES WASHINGTON TO ISSUE “RINGING OF DECLARATION”

Dr. Emanuel Neumann, president of the Zionist Organization of America, in his presidential address, blamed the Eisenhower Administration’s “disastrous policy of appeasement and vacillation” for the dangerous situation in the Middle East. He termed the Eisenhower Doctrine “a half-measure, which is inoperative where no immediate military aggression is contemplated, and may prove to be an exercise in futility unless it is expanded and reinforced.”

He asserted that the Syrian crisis “might have been a far more serious and immediate threat to American security, if Israel had not launched its Sinai Campaign eleven months ago–a campaign criticized and condemned in Washington and in the United Nations at that time, but which, today, in retrospect, is seen as a brilliant stroke in defense of the free world.” He urged the government to issue a “ringing declaration, in language which Moscow will understand, that we will not tolerate even the threat of aggression against any country in the Middle East, with specific mention of Israel, the most obvious target.”

Judge Simon E. Sobeloff of the United States Court of Appeals, another of the principal speakers at the opening session, declared that “despite momentary divergencies, the fundamental bonds of friendship and kinship between America and Israel remain unbroken and are destined to endure.”

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