NEW YORK (Jan. 5)
More than 1, 000 Zionist and communal leaders attended the annual dinner of the Zionist Organization of America given tonight in tribute to Dr. Emanuel Neumanh. chairman of the American section of the Jewish Agency and president of the World Union of General Zionists, on the occasion of his 70th birthday.
The dinner, held at the New York Hilton Hotel, was originally scheduled to be held on November 26, 1963, commemorating the 16th anniversary of the United Nations resolution sanctioning the establishment of the Jewish State. It was postponed to tonight because of the tragic death of President Kennedy. Due to illness, Rabbi Max Nussbaum, president of the ZOA, was unable to preside. In his stead, the affair was presided over by Rabbi Irving Miller, chairman of the American Zionist Council.
Addresses of greetings were delivered by Israel Ambassador Avraham Harman, Dr. Walter C. Lowdermilk, Rabbi Daniel Jeremy Silver, son of the late Dr. Abba Hillel Silver, Mayor Robert F. Wagner, Abraham Goodman, chairman of the Neumann Jubilee Committee and Jack Lefkowitz, dinner chairman who opened the program. Dr. Neumann was presented with a citation in recognition of his “Life of service and dedication to Israel and Jewry exemplifying the romance of the Zionist ideal.”
Messages of warm tribute to Dr. Neumann lauding his more than half a century of public service and achievements in the creation of the State of Israel and for the welfare of the Jewish people were received from President Lyndon B. Johnson, Israel President Zalman Shazar, Israel Premier Levi Eshkol, David Ben-Gurion, leading members of both Houses of Congress, Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller, Moshe Sharett, former Israeli Premier and chairman of the Jewish Agency executive, Dr. Nahum Goldmann, president of the World Zionist Organization and Zionist and Jewish leaders from more than 20 countries.
DR. LOWDERMILK DEPLORES ARAB HOSTILITY OF JORDAN WATER PLAN
Dr. Lowdermilk, considered the father of the plan for the use of Jordan water to irrigate desert lands for the benefit of both Jews and Arabs. expressed his astonishment at the rejection by the Arab states of this project and the threats of was against Israel over the imminent opening of the Kinneret-Negev Water System.
Dr. Lowdermilk, in addressing the dinner to pay tribute to Dr. Neumann, asserted that “the protests of the Arab states and their threats of war against Israel over the imminent opening of the Kinneret Water System, have an ironic quality.
“The Arab lands are not lacking in water resources,” Dr. Lowdermilk said. “Syria, the most vociferous of the Arab states on this issue, has the Orontes and the Euphrates and additional rivers and streams. Syria and the other Arab countries could today be participating with Israel in a great regional program which would assure to all an equitable distribution of water resources; but Syria torpedoed such a program, The plan by the late Eric, Johnston was not implemented because–in Eric Johnston’s own words–’Syria objected to the project because it would benefit Israel as well as the Arab countries,’ “Dr. Lowdermilk stated.
Reviewing his association with the Jordan Valley Authority project, Dr. Lowdermilk stated that the project was originally conceived not only by himself but “also by Dr. Emanuel Neumann and his Zionist associates together with a distinguished group of engineers.” He said that the plan “was conceived as a great regional project to benefit the whole of Palestine, as well as Trans-Jordan, Syria and Lebanon.”
President Johnson, in his message of tribute, took note of the fact that the testimonial for Dr. Neumann was originally scheduled to be held on the day commemorating the 16th anniversary of the adoption of the United Nations resolution sanctioning the establishment of the Jewish State.” It is most appropriate,” the President said, that the commemoration and the testimonial to Dr. Neumann be joined together, for Dr. Neumann was one of those who presided at the birth of the new State,”
DR. NEUMANN LAUDS JOHNSON; APPEALS TO HIM ON MID-EAST POLICY
Dr. Neumann, in response to the addresses, lauded in warm terms President Lyndon B. Johnson recalling “with deep appreciation his long standing friendship toward the State of Israel and his concern for her welfare.” He addressed a strong plea to President Johnson to “take a fresh look at the Middle East scene and subject our current policies to a close and critical view.”
“If the Department of State insists on continuing to give the Egyptian dictator both our financial and political backing, then the least that can be done in the interest of peace is to establish and maintain a balance of power and defensive equilibrium between Israel and her avowed enemies bent on her destruction,” Dr. Neumann stated.
“I see no other alternative: Either the Arab States are led to give up and renounce their avowed aim to destroy Israel or the U.S. must take such concrete measures as will deter would-be aggressors and assure Israel’s integrity. President Nasser has just called for a ‘summit conference’ of Arab states. As tensions mount in the Middle East it is increasingly clear that the time for half-measures has definitely passed,” the World Zionist leader declared.