Eisenhower Presents Middle East Plan to U.n.; Omits Mention of Israel
Menu JTA Search

Eisenhower Presents Middle East Plan to U.n.; Omits Mention of Israel

Download PDF for this date

President Eisenhower proposed today before the emergency session of the United Nations General Assembly a six-point program aimed at settlement of the present Middle East crisis. He called for establishment of a UN peace force, proposed an international development project exclusively for the Arab states and, without mentioning Israel by name, proposed a UN study body to examine individually “with the nations involved in the 1948 hostilities” the possibility of controlling the flow of arms.

The President summarized his six points as follows: “First, UN concern for Lebanon; second, UN measures to preserve peace in Jordan; third, an end to the fomenting from without of civil strife; fourth, a UN peace force; fifth, a regional economic development plan to assist and accelerate improvement in the living standards of the people in these A arb nations; sixth, steps to avoid a new arms spiral in the area.”

He told the Assembly that the countries of the Middle East should be “freed from arms pressure and Infiltration coming across their borders.” He said when such interference threatened, the countries should be able to get prompt and effective help from the United Nations “to help safeguard their independence.” He therefore called on the Assembly to take action leading to creation of a standby UN peace force. The President also proposed Assembly action to monitor radio broadcasts and to examine complaints from nations which consider their national security jeopardized by external propaganda.


Although President Eisenhower’s speech concentrated on the immediate problems of the Arab States rather than of Israel, there were at least three points of direct interest to the Jewish State, according to Israeli sources here.

These sources pointed out that the mentioning of radio broadcasts by Mr. Eisenhower would certainly help focus world-wide attention on the hate propaganda disseminated for many years by the Arab States. As for the President’s plan for economic aid, to the Arab States, Israeli sources pointed out:

“Israel did not seek any change in the procedures of her own international aid program. It Is noted that the President makes provision for national programs to continue with American aid. Accordingly, it is not necessary for Israel to comment on the practicability of the proposed economic agency. In general, Israel has long advocated greater attention to economic development in the Arab world,”

Israeli sources saw President Eisenhower’s reference to heavy armaments in the area as a new point in the U.S. policy. “The idea of the Arab States and Israel seeking a United Nations study of a heavy armaments flow in the Middle East must await further elucidation,” Israeli sources noted. However, they pointed out that in the present state of the Middle East situation, “and for much time ahead” Israel’s need for constant strengthening of its defenses continues.” They added that Israel did not plan to approach the UN at this point with a request for a UN study of heavy armaments.

In the opinion of Israeli sources, all small nations are affected by Mr. Eisenhower’s “firm declaration” that the United States reserved the right to come to the aid of any nation seeking help against aggression. While the Israeli sources did not say so specifically, it was obvious they felt that Israel was included in that pledge.

Israelis were also quick to point out that Mr. Eisenhower’s expressed belief that Arab nationalism, like other nationalisms, should seek their goals by peaceful means “contrasts with the vehement militance of Arab nationalist propaganda In recent years and months.”


The failure of President Eisenhower to mention the possibility of international guarantees for the security and independence of all nations in the Middle East was noted by some non-Israeli diplomatic observers here as the outstanding omission.

As recently as yesterday, it was generally understood that such guarantees would be demanded by the United States in its opening presentation to the Assembly. The fact that Israel was not mentioned once by name, in the Presidents speech, was interpreted by some pro-Israel observers here as indicating a desire by the President to keep the current debate on an Arab rather than a Middle East level.

There was speculation here as to whether the establishment of a United Nations peace force, which was one of the six points proposed by the President, would serve the purpose of sealing off Israel from the danger of Arab aggression.

Founding Funders

The digitization of the JTA Archive would not have been possible without the generous support of the following donors:
  • The Gottesman Fund
  • Righteous Persons Foundation
  • Charles H. Revson Foundation
  • Elisa Spungen Bildner and Robert Bildner, in honor of Norma Spungen
  • George S. Blumenthal
  • Grace and Scott Offen Charitable Fund