Union Leader, Honored for Work in Israel, Says Israel Shows Way to Progress

Eight hundred and fifty trade union, civic, communal and political leaders witnessed the presentation of the 1971 Histadrut Humanitarian Award to Floyd E. Smith, president of the international Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers and vice-president of the AFL-CIO, at a dinner held last night at the Fairmont Hotel. Proceeds of the gala affair will go toward a new Histadrut cultural center at Kibbutz Netzer Sereni in Israel. The presentation was made by Leon H. Keyserling, president of the National Committee for Labor Israel, which sponsored the testimonial to Smith in cooperation with the American Trade Union Council for Histadrut. The award cited Smith’s “outstanding efforts in fostering sympathetic understanding between the people of the United States and the people of Israel; and his warm encouragement to the cause of Histadrut.” Lane Kirkland, secretary-treasurer of the AFL-CIO, stated that the “American workers are profoundly aware that on the fortunes of that little nation of workers (Israel) and her success in bearing up under the constant shadow of unreasoning hate and the threat of destruction at the hands of her neighbors hang the hopes of peace, progress and brotherhood of all men.” In response, Smith said: “The Israelis started out with one of the poorest lands in the world and have built a thriving, progressive nation. In a time when we are being torn apart by so many enemy challenges, Israel has reaffirmed our faith in the democratic processes. Israel is living proof that a nation can maintain its ideals despite the severest of challenges.”

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