18,000 Crowd Madison Square Garden to Mark Israel Anniversary; Silver Hits State Dept.
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18,000 Crowd Madison Square Garden to Mark Israel Anniversary; Silver Hits State Dept.

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Sharp criticism of the State Department for with-holding a reply to Israel’s request for the acquisition of arms in the United States was voiced here tonight by Dr. Abba Hillel Silver at a meeting at Madison Square Garden attended by more than 18,000 people. The meeting was arranged by the Zionist Organization of America to mark the second anniversary of the Jewish state and the first anniversary of its admission to the United Nations.

Rabbi Silver also attacked British Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin, charging him with “blunderingly helping to prepare the next war against Israel,” by shipping military aircraft, gunboats, tanks and other supplies to the Arab countries and refusing to supply arms to Israel. “The majority of the Arab state,” Dr. Silver said, “have not yet reconciled themselves to the existence of the state of Israel.”

Pointing out that the State Department, by preventing Israel from acquiring arms in the United States, is helping to keep the Jewish state weak in the face of the mounting threat of rearmament by the surrounding Arab countries, Dr. Silver stated: “There are forces in the State Department which have not yet accepted the Jewish state as an existing fact. It was these same forces which were responsible for the outstanding reversal of our government in March, 1948, when after having voted for the partition resolution of the United Nations, it suddenly announced that it was no longer prepared to go along with it and demanded a special session of the U.N. to nullify that resolution.”


The Zionist leader expressed the conviction that it was in the best interests of the United States to see that Israel remained “an outpost of freedom and democracy” instead of being “weakened and endangered.” He called upon the American Government to bring about immediate cessation of arms shipments to the Arab states. He was presented with a plaque by Benjamin G. Browdy, president of the Z.O.A., in recognition of his activities on behalf of the state of Israel.

Mr. Browdy, addressing the mass meeting, placed sharp emphasis on the fact that Israel wants peace with its Arab neighbors. “The people of Israel made ploughshares from their guns and swords following their successful war with the Arab states,” he said. However, he added, they are determined “never again to be pushed into the sea and, if necessary, will again turn these ploughshares into cannons.”

Messages from President Chaim Weizmann of Israel and Foreign Minister Moshe Sharett paying tribute to the contributions of American Zionism to the cause of Israel were read to the mass meeting. Governor Thomas E. Dewey of New York, addressing the audience, said that “Israel must be armed so that it can defend its frontiers against aggression.” A weak Israel, he stated, is only an invitation to aggression. “It is clear that making Israel strong is the surest guarantee to peace in the Near East.”

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