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Faisal’s Anti-jewish Remarks Evoke Criticism in U.S. Congress

June 24, 1966
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The anti-Jewish remarks made here yesterday by King Faisal of Saudi Arabia evoked many protests in both houses of Congress today. However, some members of the Senate, including J.W. Fulbright, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, expressed regret over the fact that New York’s Mayor John V. Lindsay had canceled the city’s scheduled dinner in honor of the Arab monarch.

That cancelation was lauded in a speech on the Senate floor by New York’s senior member, Sen. Jacob K. Javits, a Republican. He said that Mayor Lindsay’s action was “the only feasible reaction to the king’s intemperate remarks. ” He added, however, that he hoped the Saudi Arabian king would avail himself, before he leaves U.S. soil, “of the opportunity to call for peace in the Middle East.”

In a speech on the floor of the House of Representatives, Rep. Seymour Halpern, New York Republican, called the king’s remarks a “deplorable breach” of United States hospitality. He pointed out that American Jews were barred by the king from visiting Saudi Arabia and added that, now, King Faisal “should know that he will be unwelcome in New York City because New York City takes pride in respecting the race, color and religious faith of all of its citizens.”

Rep. Leonard Farbstein, New York Democrat, informed the House that he had sent a telegram to Mayor Lindsay, requesting cancelation of the Faisal dinner. He quoted his wire as having stated, among other things that “Jewish taxpayers’ funds should not be used for a feast for their declared enemy.”

The comments objecting to Mayor Lindsay’s cancelation action came here after Sen. Bourke B, Hickenlooper, Iowa Republican, who is the ranking minority member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, had given a luncheon in honor of King Faisal. At that event, he paid tribute to the Saudi Arabian monarch. After the luncheon, he stated that he was “very distressed” by the fact that New York was “most inhospitable” to the king Mr. Fulbright expressed his disagreement with Mayor Lindsay, while Sen. Gale McGee, Wyoming Democrat, said: “I think the Mayor should have set world politics ahead of the politics of his own city.”

Dr. Mohammed Mehdi, a leader of the anti-Israel “Action Committee on Arab-American Relations, ” announced that his group had asked King Faisal to cancel his planned flight to New York’s La Guardia Field, calling New York “this Tel Aviv of the Atlantic.” He said he had suggested that King Faisal fly, instead, to the airport at Newark, N.J., taking a helicopter from that point directly to the United Nations grounds. The Arabian ruler is being tendered a luncheon tomorrow by U.N. Secretary-General U Thant.

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