President Kennedy Asked to Clarify U.S. Stand on Israel’s Security

President Kennedy was asked today to clarify the Administration’s policy regarding Israel’s security, in view of the new situation in the Middle East precipitated by open threats against Israel voiced in the declaration of the new tripartite United Arab Republic, composed of Egypt, Iraq and Syria.

The request was made by Rep. Leonard Farbstein, New York Democrat, in a letter addressed to the President. The New York Congressman expressed in the letter his dissatisfaction with a statement made earlier by W. Averell Harriman, Under Secretary of State, regarding the employment of German scientists in Egypt for the development of rockets which, Mr. Farbstein had stated, “could lead to war.”

Terming Mr. Harriman’s attitude a “hands-off” policy, Mr. Farbstein told the President that Mr. Harriman’s expressed “deep and continuing interest in the security of Israel” is canceled “by the apparent negative position taken by him.” He also pointed out to the President that the April 17 announcement in Cairo, for the formation of the Arab Federation, formally pledged the new Federation to “liberate Palestine.”

“I am concerned,” the Congressman told the President, “lest the hands off approach of Mr. Harriman lend encouragement to Nasser or be interpreted to mean tacit approval of the hiring of German scientists and the development of offensive weapons. I urge you, therefore, to clarify our country’s policy regarding the security of Israel.”

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