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Z.O.A. President Proposes Arab-israel Peace Talks in Washington

March 20, 1952
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

President Truman was called upon today ” to initiate an American move in the United Nations to call an Arab-Jewish peace conference in Washington under the chairmanship of Dr. Ralph Bunche, U.N. mediator in the Arab-Israeli war.”

The proposal for such a conference to be held in Washington was made by Benjamin G. Browdy, president of the Zionist Organization of America, in an address at a luncheon meeting held at the Hotel Biltmore here attended by Zionist leaders.

In his address, the Z.O.A. leader said that on his recent visit to Israel he “heard a great deal about a number of Arab statesmen and newspapermen, led by the Foreign Minister of Pakistan, Sir Mohammed Zafrullah Khan, urging peace between the Arab states and Israel.” Mr. Browdy asserted that on the basis of conversations with Israel high officials as well as foreign diplomats he has come to the conclusion that “there is a great deal of substance” to these Arab peace feelers.

“As far as Israel is concerned, ” he said, “I can say with authority, having spoken to the highest officials, including Prime Minister David Ben Gurion, that Israel would welcome peace negotiations with the Arabs.” He expressed the opinion that “once the representatives of the Arab states and Israel meet in Washington it should not be very difficult, under the guidance of the United Nations and the American government, to convert the armistice agreement between Israel and the Arab states into a peace treaty.”

Mr. Browdy, who returned from Jerusalem where he participated in the plenary session of the Jewish Agency executive, also discussed the problems dealt with by the Jerusalem session. He reported that a bill conferring special status on the Jewish Agency governing its work in Israel will be introduced in the Knesset shortly and that a draft of the bill is now being whipped into final shape. Mr. Browdy felt confident that inasmuch as the bill has the endorsement of the government parties, its passage in the Knesset is assured.

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