50, 000 Acclaim Israel at New York Rally; Gen Dayan Hopeful on Arabs
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50, 000 Acclaim Israel at New York Rally; Gen Dayan Hopeful on Arabs

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Immediate assurance of Israel’s security, with Arab-Israel peace as the ultimate objective, was urged today by distinguished American leaders at a huge rally at the Polo Grounds, marking New York’s celebration of Israel’s tenth anniversary.

Despite a chilly drizzle, some 50, 000 persons attended the rally under the auspices of the American Committee for Israel’s Tenth Anniversary Celebration. Hours before the program started, crowds jammed the streets and avenues leading to the Polo Grounds. The keynote speaker was Senator Herbert H. Lehman, general chairman of the Committee. Israel was represented by Brigadier Moshe Dayan, former Chief of Staff of the Israel Defense Forces, and Israel’s Ambassador Abba Eban.

Gen. Dayan, who flew here from Jerusalem to address the Polo Grounds meeting, thanked the American people for the aid extended to Israel. Predicting a hard struggle for Israel in its next decade, Gen, Dayan also foresaw the possibility of more normal relations between Israel and the Arab States.

“I believe that Arab leaders are now coming to realize that in preventing the settlement of Arab refugees they are keeping alive a problem for themselves,” he said. “Further, I believe that the Arab people have come to understand that they cannot expect their continued hostile attitude toward Israel to be tolerated by us with patience. I hope that sooner or later they will sober up and understand not only the benefits that peace with Israel could bring to them, but also the consequences that they would have to face from hostile acts against us.”


Sen. Lehman, in his keynote address, said that the United States must advocate measures to insure the security of Israel, within her present borders, against the designs of other powers, whether they be Arab States, or the Soviet Union, “We must advocate generous economic programs, to help the people of Israel, and of the Arab States, too, to strengthen their national economies,” he continued. “We must advocate measures which will assist Israel to receive and absorb all immigrants desiring to escape tyranny and persecution, or the fear of tyranny and persecution.

“We must help and encourage the Arab States to resettle the Arab refugees in Arab lands, so that the pitiful plight of these refugees will no longer be a source of tension and danger to the peace of mankind,” Sen. Lehman stressed. “Our concern is not only for the people of Israel, but for all peoples who would live in peace. Our purpose is to urge that all the peoples of the Middle East live in peace–and work together to bring the fruits of life–and of peace–to all the inhabitants of this area.”

The hope that the Arab states would ultimately share with Israel a “future in peace” was expressed by Ambassador Eban. But the immediate objective of statesmanship, he declared, is not peace, but “the more modest ambition” of security. “Peaceful relations between Israel and her neighbors,” said the diplomat, “are more likely to evolve unobtrusively from a prolonged period of carefully nursed tranquility than to spring out of spectacular diplomacy or public debate.” Hinting broadly that Israel is confident it can survive even if attacked, Ambassador Eban told the audience of 50, 000; “The issue is no longer whether Israel will survive. The choice is between survival in peace, as we should prefer, or survival in stress and turmoil, which we shall accomplish if we must.”


George Meany, president of the American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations, paid high tribute to the achievements of not only the State of Israel, but, also, to the accomplishments of Israel’s Confederation of Labor, the Histadrut. He declared that the best answer to the recently expressed anti-Israel and anti-Semitic attacks by Russia’s Premier Nikita Khrushchev is “found in the existence of Israel as a State, in the deeds of its people, in the freedom which has been offered to all Jews everywhere who are seeking a haven and an opportunity to enjoy a life of dignity.”

“We of the American Labor movement,” said Mr. Meany, “hail the economic, social and democratic progress, of Israel. We realize fully that even greater achievements would have been possible had Israel not been confronted with the continuing problem of security.” Other speakers included: Governor Averell Harriman of New York, former Governor Thomas E. Dewey, Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt, George Meany, Dr. Israel Goldstein, chairman of the American Committee and Mrs. Samuel W. Halprin, acting chairman of the American Section of the Jewish Agency.

A proposal that an effort be made to clear up the “muddles” in the Middle East through “a high level conference” of Christian, Moslem and Jewish religious leaders was made at the rally by Dr. Edwin T. Dahlberg, president of the National Council of Churches of Christ in America, “miracle of mutual understanding” in the Middle East. The Very Reverend Monsignor Joseph A. Dunne. Vice Chancellor of the Military Ordinariate, presented a greeting in behaIf of Francis Cardinal Spellman.

The continued support of Israel from the organized Zionist movement was pledged at the rally by Mrs. Halprin, who stated: “The people of Israel realizes that the road ahead is not an easy one. But it knows that it will continue to receive the wholehearted support of the Jewish people and of the Zionist movement–the movement which was bold enough to assert that the age-old hopes and dreams of the Jewish people for a return to Zion could and would be realized. Israel is confident, too, that in its struggle for a secure peace and for economic independence it will have the support of the free world and especially of our own great country, the first to welcome Israel into the family of nations.”

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