HAMBURG (Jul. 19)
Israel’s former Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Moshe Sharett is emerging as a central figure in the sixth session of the Socialist International Conference here and his participation in discussions of the situation in the Middle East is carrying weight among many leading delegations.
Mr. Sharett told the conference that Israel could be counted on to make good her obligations to contribute to compensation payments for abandoned Arab property and might re-admit additional numbers of refugees by extending the family reunion scheme now operating. He also outlined other aspects of the Arab-Israel conflict.
Mr. Sharett’s address was strongly applauded by European, African and Asian delegations, while Hugh Gaitskell, of the British Labor Party called the talk “an exemplary, illuminating analysis.” The former Israel Prime Minister, in a comprehensive survey of Middle East problems, asked the International to decide “neither for Israel nor for the Arab countries but for peace.”
Mr. Sharett asked that arms deliveries to the Middle East should be limited to those for defensive purposes and that freedom of international waterways should be unconditionally guaranteed. He called on the International to work out plans for constructive development in the area and asked for an active policy regarding the Arab refugee problem. Refugee suffering caused by the Arab states must be remedied by resettlement, reintegration and rehabilitation among the Arab countries, Mr. Sharett declared.
Aneurin Bevan, British Labor party leader, told the conference that the first objective in the Middle East for socialists was to prevent the area from becoming entangled in the rivalries of the Great Powers. He declared that the overwhelming danger in the Middle East was that one of the recurrent crises might trigger a third World War. Conflicts between the Arab states and Israel serve to aggravate the existing cold war and Arab hostility toward the West, Mr. Bevan declared.
The British Labor Party leader also told the conference that the troubled area was badly in need of economic development and the gradual amelioration of local disputes such as the Arab-Israel question. The creation of a fund, derived from increased royalties from the oil companies and from outside contributions, was suggested by Mr. Bevan for the development of the Middle East as a whole.