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British Labor Party Convention Pledges Guarantee Israel Frontiers

A plea for a fresh approach toward a peace settlement by negotiation between Israel and the Arab states was voiced in a policy statement on the Middle East adopted by the British Labor Party at its annual national conference at Scarborough.

Among the points urged by the Laborites in the approach to a negotiated settlement is Arab recognition of Israel and an end to the anti-Israel blockade and boycott. It also asked resettlement of the Arab refugees with outside assistance and compensation for those who have lost their land.

Additionally, the Labor Party statement called on the Big Powers to remove the Middle East from the arena of the cold war and that they make an attempt to institute a balanced disarmament program in the region. The great powers, operating through the United Nations should guarantee the existing borders of the states in the Middle East, including Israel, the statement said, and that any adjustment must be by mutual consent.

“I want to give a pledge to this conference that we stand by our policy to demand of the Great Powers a guarantee of the Arab-Israel frontiers.” Hugh Gaitskell, Labor Party leader, declared in winding up the foreign affairs debate at the conference.

In a reply to a speech by Dr. S.A. Miller, Poale Zion delegate, Mr. Gaitskell said that settlement of the Middle East problem could help lead to a solution of the problem of general world disarmament. “Our constructive policy on the Middle East presented by Aneurin Bevin in the House of Commons last April made a deep impact on world opinion. It was well received throughout the world,” he stated.

“While the Labor Party believes that the desire of the Arab people for greater unification must be recognized, we tender our view that there should be no aggression across the frontiers, ” Mr. Gaitskell declared. “We gave our pledges about Israel’s frontiers and we stand by them. Our foreign policy statement, including the section on the Middle East, is an excellent basis for the foreign policy of a future Labor Government.”

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