NEW YORK (May. 9)
Former President Harry S. Truman tonight called for “a firm” United States policy “to use its influence” to bring about a settlement of the conflict between the Arab states and Israel. At the same meeting addressed by Mr. Truman, Rabbi Irving Miller, chairman of the American Zionist Council coordinating body of all Zionist organizations in the country, criticized the State Department’s policy toward Israel “as revealed in the American support of the recent United Nations Security Council resolution condemning Israel, and in the contemplated loan to Egypt’s Colonel Nasser, who continues to bar Israel’s shipping from the Suez Canal.”
Mr. Truman and Rabbi Miller spoke at an American Jewish National Fund rally at the Hunter College auditorium, here. The function had a threefold purpose: It honored Mr. Truman as the first world statesman to recognize Israel, when the Jewish State was reborn 14 years ago; celebrated Israel’s Independence Day; and marked the 60th anniversary of the organization that sponsored the event, the JNF. A feature of the evening was a violin recital by Mischa Elman.
In his address, Mr. Truman took note of American aid to the Arab states, and said: “Since World War II, we have supplied the Arab states with technical assistance and economic aid. We strongly believe that they should grow in strength and stability, and we have shown that we are willing to help them to do it. I am glad that people of our country are continuin to assist the Jewish Homeland and to help the victims of persecution to settle there.” He continued:
“I recall that, a few days after I took office as President, in April 1945, Rabbi Stephen Wise came to see me in the White House to talk about the plight of the Jews in Europe and about the work that was then going forward to save them and the need of a Jewish Homeland in which they might be sheltered. I was for a Jewish Homeland then and I am for it now. I could foresee difficulties in the way of establishing that Homeland, but no difficulty was as great as the moral disgrace of failing to establish it.”
“Our nation,” said the former President, “has a duty, an obligation, to use its influence to bring about a settlement of this conflict” between the Arab states and Israel. “I hope that our policy will be firm on this point.”
Rabbi Miller referred to Mr. Truman’s recognition of Israel, and stated: “However, this manifestation of friendship to Israel has not been at the expense of one or all of the Arab states. On the contrary, United States economic assistance to the Arab states has been increasing from year to year in the form of loans, grants and technical assistance. Indeed, at this very moment, we are receiving reports of massive aid now being offered by our country to the United Arab Republic. We have always favored such assistance to the Middle East, in order to raise the standard of living of all the people and promote stability and peace within that area.
MILLER POINTS TO ARAB BLOCKADE, SUEZ CANAL; BEN-ZVI, BEN-GURION EXTOL J. N. F.
“Under the circumstances we find it difficult to understand why our Government finds itself under the necessity from time to time of muting its voice against the continued economic blockade and boycott of Israel, against the failure of the UAR to open the Suez Canal to free navigation, and, above all, against the insistence by the Arab states that a state of belligerency still obtains between them and Israel. The recent action of our Government in the Security Council illustrates this tendency to seek the goodwill of the Arab countries even at the expense of the undeserved censure of Israel.”
Dr. Harris J. Levine, honorary president of the JNF, presented to Mr. Truman a silver receptacle engraved with his historic White House message, recognizing Israel in 1948. Messages were read from Israel’s President Izhak Ben-Zvi and Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion, lauding Mr. Truman and extolling the high value of the JNF’s land reclamation and afforestation work in Israel.
The message from the Israeli leader had been addressed to Albert Schiff, JNF president. An address in the same vein was delivered by Michael S. Comay, Israel’s permanent representative at the United Nations. Abraham Feinberg, as chairman of the evening, paid tribute to both Mr. Truman and Mr. Ben-Gurion as “the two outstanding men of our time.” He affirmed that “Jewish history will enshrine both of them as the greatest benefactors of the Jewish people and humanity.”
At a separate Israel Independence Day celebration this afternoon, the American Zionist Council held a reception at the Jewish Agency building, attended by prominent Zionist leaders. Among them were:
Dr. Miriam Freund, chairman of the Executive Committee of the American Zionist Council, who presided at the meeting; Mrs. Siegfried Kramarsky, president of Hadassah, women’s Zionist organization of America; Mrs. Dorothy Bernstein, president of Hapoel Hamizrachi Women; Mrs. Clara Leff, president, Pioneer Women; Mrs. Moses Dyckman, president of Mizrachi Women, and Mrs. Charlotte Jacobson, former member of the Executive Committee of the American Zionist Council. Greetings were also extended by Bernard Kabak, president of the Student Zionist Organization.