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U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Lauds Israel’s Farming Progress

Secretary of Agriculture Ezra Benson tonight lauded Israel’s achievements, especially in the field of agriculture. He spoke at a dinner arranged by the America-Israel Society in honor of Israel’s 10th anniversary. Gov. Theodore R. McKeldin, of Maryland, presided at the dinner.

Mr. Benson, who visited Israel recently, told the guests that “Israeli farmers with the wise help of their government are accomplishing great things with modern methods and techniques in that old world setting.” He said: “It is abundantly evident that Israel is making outstanding progress in developing the country and lifting the living standards of its people through vigorous and imaginative development of its agricultural and industrial potentials through the democratic processes.”

“Through determination and unrelenting labor, and under some great difficulties, the people of Israel are accomplishing big things,” he continued. Pointing out the obstacle created by the lack of plentiful water resources to both agricultural and industrial development, he told of Israeli efforts to overcome this obstacle.

Mr. Benson told of U.S. aid to Israel under Public Law 480 since the beginning of that program in 1955, stating that the U.S. sold Israel, for Israel pounds, agricultural commodities with an export value of over $87, 000, 000. Since 1953 the United States donated a total of 52, 500, 000 pounds of food valued at $24, 400, 000 to voluntary agencies for distribution to the needy in Israel, he stated.

EBAN SAYS LONG PERIOD OF TRANQUILITY CAN BRING ARAB-ISRAEL PEACE

Israel Ambassador Abba Eban told the audience that “as Israel grows more vigorous in her economy, more deeply rooted in her soil and resources, more universal in her international links, the Arab world will increasingly awaken to the futility of prolonged conflict and tension.”

The Ambassador pointed out that the Arabs may not yet be “emotionally ripe” for peace with Israel. “In these conditions I doubt the wisdom of an obtrusive constant probing search for what is called a ‘peace settlement,'” said Mr. Eban. He pointed out that “peace cannot be imposed from outside. It is a positive impulse of the human will. It can only spring from a voluntary emotion. The objective of statesmanship in the early future is, therefore, not peace, but the more modest ambition of security.”

He stressed that “the need is for greater precision and clarity in existing international commitments to oppose any changes of the status quo by force.” He said that “peaceful relations between Israel and her neighbors are more likely to evolve unobtrusively from a prolonged period of carefully nursed tranquility than to spring out of spectacular diplomacy or public debate.”

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