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State Department Offers Explanation for Anti-israel, Anti-american Demonstrations

State Department sources offered extenuations today for violent anti-Israel, anti-American demonstrations in front of the United States Embassy in Amman, Jordan, yesterday in which 12 windows were smashed and an American flag was torn down and ripped to shreds. The sources said it was necessary to understand Arab passions and that the attack had to be viewed against the background of Arab-Israeli tensions. They said that U.S. arms shipments to Jordan would continue. The demonstrations, and similar ones in Lebanon, Syria and other Arab states occurred on the 51st anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, the document issued in 1917 by the then British Foreign Secretary Lord Arthur Balfour, promising the creation of a Jewish National Home in Palestine. Reports from Amman said that Amman police were forced to discharge tear gas grenades and to fire over the heads of the rioters. There was an unconfirmed report of one death.

In New York, strong American and international endorsement of the Balfour Declaration was recalled today by Rabbi Israel Miller, chairman of the American Zionist Council, in a statement issued on the anniversary of the declaration. He noted that the Balfour Declaration issued on Nov. 2, 1917 by the then British Foreign Secretary Arthur J. Balfour “marked a turning point in the centuries-old aspirations of the Jewish people for the return to their own national homeland.