NEW YORK (Feb. 7)
The American Government’s support of the Arab embargo on ships calling at Israel ports was denounced today by a group of major Jewish organizations.
In a joint statement, six national Jewish bodies and 51 Jewish community relations councils in cities throughout the United States, all affiliated with the National Community Relations Advisory Council, said of the policies of the Navy, Agriculture Department and Commodity Credit Corporation that “this almost defies credulity.”
Copies of the statement, with letters urging action to bring about discontinuance of the policies, were sent to President Eisenhower, Secretary of the Navy Franke, Secretary of Agriculture Benson, Secretary of State Herter, Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Eliander, House Agriculture Committee Chairman Cooley, Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Russell, Housed Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Vinson, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Fulbright, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Morgan.
The major Jewish organizations which joined in the statement were: The American Jewish Congress, Jewish Labor Committee, Jewish War Veterans, Union of American Hebrew Congregations, Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America and United Synagogue of America.
“Every American’s pride in the dignity and stature of the United States Government must be shaken by the disclosure that not only the United States Navy, but the Department of Agriculture and the Commodity Credit Corporation as well, have bowed submissively to an Arab embargo on the freedom of United States flag merchant ships to touch at Israel ports,” the statement said.
“In doing so, these agencies of our government have made the United States a party to the imposition upon American businessmen of limitations on their freedom to transact legitimate business with their own government, purely because they do or have done business with persons or companies in a nation with which the United States maintains friendly and cordial relations. This almost defies credulity.
“This submission to the willful obduracy of Arab dictator Nasser can only contribute to his intransigence and feed his sense of power. It thus diminishes the prospects for stability and amity among nations in the Middle East. The policies of the United States Government agencies involved are humiliating to American pride and inconsistent with American prestige, American tradition and American vital interest. Our national dignity demands that they be discontinued,” the statement concluded.