NEW YORK (Nov. 24)
President Johnson lauded last night “the epic accomplishment” of the United Jewish Appeal of “rescuing more than 1,500,000 men, women and children and helping them to begin new lives in Israel and other free lands.”
The President’s praise was contained in a message to the annual Night of Stars at Madison Square Garden sponsored by the UJA of New York. His message, read to the capacity audience by his daughter, Luci Baines Johnson, said that “anyone acquainted with the history of the last few years” was aware of the “great humanitarian achievements” of the UJA.
“The continued existence and growth of the State of Israel are matters of legitimate concern to the people and to the Government of the United States,” the President added. “We share with Israel an unshakable devotion to democracy.” He noted that the United States and Israel were collaborating on research projects, “such as the desalting of sea water, which will benefit all of mankind. In addition, Israel’s growth and development have been an inspiring example–especially to other small countries of what planning, intelligence and hard work can do.”
He also stated that over the years, the United States “has welcomed millions of newcomers, many of them brought here and helped to become self-reliant citizens by agencies of the United Jewish Appeal. Their coming is in the American tradition but it is not to our credit that the present laws contain discrimination on a basis other than the sheer merit of the applicant.”