40th Anniversary of Histadrut Celebrated in Washington; Meany Honored

George Meany, president of the American Federation of Labor–Congress of Industrial Organizations, tonight called on all new Afro-Asian nations to emulate Israel and learn from the Israeli experience as to how it is possible, “to combine democracy with socialized economy and utilize democracy for attaining speedy economic progress.”

The American labor leader spoke at a dinner in his honor given by the National Committee for Labor Israel at which he was presented with a gold medallion in recognition of his support of Israeli labor. The dinner also marked the 40th anniversary of the Histadrut, Israel’s Federation of Labor.

In accepting the “Histadrut Pioneering Award,” Mr. Meany predicted that “some day when there is peace between Israel and the Arab countries, when peace has come to the Middle East–as it must come one day–the experience of the workers of Israel in applying modern economic methods and political democracy will be of the greatest help to the workers and people of Iraq, Jordan, Syria, Egypt, and the other countries of the Middle East.”

Former Israeli Ambassador Eliahu Elath, now co-chairman of the Afro-Asian Institute of Labor Studies in Tel Aviv, told the 600 trade union leaders at the dinner that Israeli relations with new nations transcended “the mere formal or even practical aspects of her activities in the field of international relations. He termed the cooperation established within the last few years between Israel and some of the newly created states in Africa and Asia as among “the greatest achievements in the short history of our state and as giving expression to one of the basic tenets of the Jewish concept of universal brotherhood and peace.”

President Kennedy and former President Truman sent messages of greetings to Mr. Meany. Mr. Kennedy complimented the National Committee for Labor Israel for honoring the AFL-CIO leader. Mr. Truman commended Mr. Meany’ and lauded Israel’s achievements in building “a new society” and “in the stimulation of new ideals and new hopes of underdeveloped nations.” Mr. Truman added praise for Israeli workers and pioneers stating “it was my great privilege to be the first to recognize the state of Israel when it was established 13 years ago.” A message of greeting was also addressed to Mr. Meany by Israel’s Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion.

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