ST. LOUIS (Sep. 13)
Former President Harry S. Truman expressed his belief today in the “glorious future” awaiting Israel and said that when he first extended it recognition in 1948 “I was only expressing the sentiments of the people of the United States.”
In a filmed address to the opening session of the 45th national convention of Hadassah, attended by more than 2,500 delegates and guests, Mr. Truman urged that “we must strive abroad as well as at home to defend human rights and to expand the enjoyment of freedom.” He lashed out against hatred and bigotry and characterized as “our enemies” those who seek “to set group against group, faith against faith, to create prejudice and to spread hate and distrust among our people.”
Dr. Miriam K. Freund, national president of Hadassah, announced that a freedom bell to be erected atop the $25,000,000 Hadassah-Hebrew University Medical Center at Kiryat Hadassah will be named in honor of Mr. Truman.
President Eisenhower, in a special message to the convention, hailed Hadassah for “its programs of welfare service and education” which, he said, “reveal the vitality of its faithful membership.”
Premier David Ben Gurion, in a message to the convention, said that “great tasks still lie ahead” in the “rebuilding of our land and the refashioning of our people” which were made more difficult by the absence of peace and by the continued threat to Israel’s security.
Mr. Truman told the convention that among the nations of the world were two great free governments, the United States and Israel, that will continue the fight against totalitarian government. “These two governments stand for the belief that governments are organized for the benefit of the people whom they serve. The totalitarian governments or dictatorships stand for the belief that the people are to be exploited for the dictator. They believe that the dictator’s whim is all that counts.”
In discussing the State of Israel, Mr. Truman said that “it has never seemed to me that I deserved any special credit as an individual for what I did about Israel when I was President of the United States. In recognizing the new State of Israel and giving careful consideration to its needs and its problems after 1948, I believe that I was only expressing the sentiments of the people of the United States regardless of political party or religious belief.”
Mr. Truman said that “I had faith in Israel before it was established. I have faith in it now. I believe it has a glorious future before it not just as another sovereign nation, but as an embodiment of the great ideals of our civilization.”