NEW YORK (Mar. 11)
The possibility of new fighting between the United Arab Republic and Israel is seen in the diplomatic circles in Washington, according to a report published in the Wall Street Journal today.
The report, emanating from Washington, warned against the belief that “anything even approaching real stability” had been achieved in the Middle East and noted that “Arab-Israel feuding continues as bitterly as ever, if not as violently.” The report added “diplomats fear new fighting could break out once Col. Nasser managed to cope with internal dissention within the Syrian portion” of his United Arab Republic.
The report said that the United States had quietly adopted a new policy toward the Arab countries of the Middle East which called for “not only tolerating but, in many instances, actually encouraging Arab neutralism. The State Department is seeking a neutralism that “doesn’t appease Russia” in contrast to its “old, largely unsuccessful policy” which prodded the Middle East nations “to stand up and be counted on the West’s side in the cold war,” the paper reported.
Diplomats have come around to the realization, it explained, that it is “hardly realistic” to seek formal alliances in the Middle East in view of the danger of starting “the drums of Arab nationalism.” Therefore, it added, “the State Department has consciously decided on a quieter, softer courtship of the Middle East, figuring to win friends more surely in that way than with a hearty embrace.”
The new policy, the paper said, was part of a “basic change in U.S. diplomatic thinking, which affects the entire so-called under-developed portions of the free world.” It asserted that American officials had “decided to accept neutralism as an almost inevitable fact of life in the Middle East, India and Africa, and to be duly thankful if the neutralists resist any shift toward Communism.”
American economic aid offers to the Middle East are being “soft-pedalled,” the paper said. “Middle East governments–notably that of the United Arab Republic’s President Nasser are told that help is available but the Arabs have to come after it.” Private Western businessmen, particularly from West Germany and Italy who are supposedly safe from charges of colonialism, “are being encouraged to build economic ties with Arab nations as a substitute or supplement for government moves.”