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U.S. Official Addresses Anti-zionist Group; Blames Israel

February 8, 1955
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Concessions by Israel to the Arabs were urged today as a step toward Middle Eastern peace by Mrs. Hiram Houghton, Assistant Director of the U. S. Foreign Operations Administration.

Mrs. Houghton, who returned last month from an inspection of the Arab refugee camps, indicated to a luncheon of the “American Friends of the Middle East” that the brunt of responsibility for resolving regional tension and the Arab refugee problem rests with Israel. She said the attitude of the Arabs would change only when Israel makes “gestures of goodwill and peace.”

Among these “gestures” she listed the reconsideration of Israel’s territorial boundaries, return of those Arab refugees who wish to go back to Israel, compensation to Arab refugees for property, and the internationalization of Jerusalem.

Hope was expressed by Mrs. Houghton that after Israel gave in on these points the Arab governments would lift their embargoes and “co-existence” would ensue with a lessening of tension. She said the border incidents were caused when Arabs see their own fields and seek to recover personal property.

The words “resettlement” and “integration” were “despised” by the refugees, Mrs. Houghton asserted. She said it was “sad” that Arab refugee children were being taught in a spirit of hate to prepare to return Israel “even if it means declaration of war.” She stressed that much hate existed not only against Israel but also the United States. It was “sad,” too, she said, that Lebanon has given refugees neither the right to work nor citizenship and to various degrees other Arab states denied refugees such rights.

Syrian Ambassador Farid Zeineddine introduced Mrs. Houghton and lauded her for her work. Her address was recorded by the U. S. Information Agency for broadcast by the Voice of America to the Near East. The audience included mainly Arab diplomats, State Department and government officials, and supporters of the Arab cause.

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