NEW YORK (Feb. 14)
The need for disarmament in the Middle East, and the desire on the part of the United States Government to “bring Arabs and Israelis together in peace,” was stressed here this evening by Rep. Carl Albert, majority leader of the House of Representative. Addressing the 57th annual dinner of the Bnai Zion, American fraternal order, the Oklahoma Democrat said: “All of us in Washington are aware of Israel’s continuing danger, and I know that all of us would give much if we could take effective action which would end the Arabs’ war against Israel.”
Recalling that it was the late President Kennedy’s desire to sponsor a White House peace conference between Israel and the Arabs, Rep, Albert noted that “the Arab leaders rebuffed his call for a peace conference, and the Egyptian government persisted in acquiring new weapons from the Soviet Union, including heavy bombers which offered a grave threat to Israel’s defenses.” Stressing the need for disarmament in the Middle East, he declared: “We would like to see an end to the destructive and criminal arms race which diverts the energies and resources of all the people in the region and which increases the danger of a new war.”
In a message read at the dinner by Rep. Abraham J. Multer, President Lyndon B. Johnson hailed the fact that the dinner was dedicated to the Kennedy Peace Forest in Israel and the Evaluation Center for Mentally Retarded Children in Jerusalem. The President declared in the message that “these projects are constant reminders of the friendly relations and understanding that exists between our country and Israel and represent additional illustrations of the dedication of Bnai Zion to humanitarian causes and to advancing the universal principle that freedom with justice guarantees prosperity with security.”
Other speakers at the dinner included Congressman Emanual Celler, Israel Minister Mordechai Gazit and Edward Shart, president of Bnai Zion.