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Roosevelt Reiterates Link of German Payments to Arab Refugee Issue

Rep. James Roosevelt, Ambassador-designate to the United Nations economic and social council, said today that, while in his remarks in the House of Representatives yesterday he did not intend to link Jewish claims against Germany with Arab claims against Israel, he could “only repeat that, because Israel has collected substantial reparations for German injuries to Jewish people, it is fitting and Just, as Israel herself has constantly recognized, that there be a Just settlement of claims of Arab refugees.” Mr. Roosevelt explained, in answer to criticism voiced by Rep. Seymour Halpern, New York Republican, that “I merely urge stronger initiative in order to commence the dialogue necessary to achieve peace in the Middle East.” Rep. Roosevelt, the eldest son of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, voiced “regret” that Rep. Halpern charged him with equating, in effect, the Nazi genocide against Jews with the situation of the Palestinian Arab refugees.

The Baltimore Sun said today, under a headline reading “Roosevelt Reneges on Arab Stand,” that Rep. Roosevelt is abandoning what some considered a partisan stand on the Arab-Israel issue “as he continued preparations here today to become one of the five United States’ Ambassadors to the United Nations.”

Paul W. Ward, Washington correspondent of the Sun, pointed out that Rep. Roosevelt has now stated that the pro-Israel views he previously voiced “cannot be binding upon me in the new duties which I shall assume.” Ward emphasized that Roosevelt added: “I pray that, in my new assignment, I may be the friend of all the representatives of the people of the Near East.”

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