Sharett Hopes U.S. Government Will Satisfy Israel’s Request for Arms
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Sharett Hopes U.S. Government Will Satisfy Israel’s Request for Arms

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Israel Foreign Minister Moshe Sharett, in his first address in the United States since his arrival in this country, warned that peace in the Middle East would not be achieved by suggestions for territorial concessions from Israel. Such proposals, he said, would only encourage Arab intransigeance.

Addressing more than 2,300 persons who assembled here last night at a $1,000-plate dinner for State of Israel bonds, Mr. Sharett declared: “to urge territorial concessions by Israel in order to satisfy the appetite of the Arab states wholly or in part, is to delay a peace settlement by putting a premium on intransigeance.” He added that Israel has no other choice but to arm itself in self-defense against Egypt which is now receiving huge quantities of arms from Communist countries.

Expressing hope that the United States will respond to Israel’s request for arms, the Israel Foreign Minister stated: “To decry an ‘arms race’ as an excuse for not supplying arms to redress the balance so dangerously upset, means to favor the would be aggressor and leave the would-be victim of aggression in the lurch.”

Declaring that he “fell certain the President of the United States could not have intended to advocate such a course,” Mr. Sharett added: “On the contrary, he expressly recognized the legitimacy of the supply of arms indispensable for defensive purposes. Our request for arms addressed to the U.S. Government aims at precisely the same end, and we, therefore, hope that our call will be heeded.”


Mr. Sharett pointed out that it is not up to American Jews to help Israelis acquire the arms which they consider so absolutely necessary. “This we must do by our own efforts and at our own expense,” he said. He appealed to American Jewry for continued support for the Israel bond drive which is strengthening the sinews of Israel’s economy through agricultural and industrial development. “There is no task more urgent than the Israel bond campaign today when we must do everything to assure the soundness and progress of the economic life of Israel, “he stressed.

Senator Estes Kefauver, addressing the audience, said that the United States must give Israel the opportunity of obtaining defensive arms. “We cannot afford to let Israel down,” he said. “Neither can we continue to deal with this explosive situation by double-talk. Israel finds her enemies being provided with arms by the satellites of Soviet Russia. She finds most of the doors to an equality in defensive weapons closed to her,” he added.

Adlai Stevenson, who is expected to announce Tuesday that he is a candidate for the 1956 Presidential nomination, addressing himself to Mr. Sharett at the dinner, said: “I believe it will be the policy of our government that no change in the status quo shall take place by force. The United States does not choose sides when it chooses peace.” He told Mr. Sharett that he “hopes and prays that your dreams will come true, and I am sure it will with patience and perseverance. Our dream is your dream,” he said.

In an address this weekend before a University of Virginia audience, Mr. Stevenson proposed that the United Nations mount guard on the Arab-Israel borders in order to avoid war in the Middle East. He did not indicate how the United Nations troops would be raised, but he left the clear implication he would be willing to support an American contribution of men toward the necessary guards which, he said, might prevent the development of “all out war.”

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