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Message From Vice President Richard Nixon to the Annual Convention of the Zionist Organization of America, New York, NY

August 27, 1960

I believe it is most fortunate that both candidates for the Presidency agree that the United States is committed to the preservation of the independence of Israel, the prevention of armed aggression in the Near East, and the use of our best offices to bring about a stable peace between Israel and the Arab States. Our whole policy has demonstrated this bipartisan effort.

It was indeed most eloquently and clearly expressed by President Eisenhower in April 1956, when he said:

The United States, in accordance with its responsibilities under the Charter of the United Nations, will observe its commitments within constitutional means to oppose any aggression in the area.

The United States is likewise determined to support and assist any nation which might be subjected to such aggression. The United States is confident that other nations will act similarly in the cause of peace.

I am confident that no matter who occupies the White House during the coming administration this firm national policy will remain unchanged.

But we must recognize that there are those who hope to profit by fanning enmities in the Near East. For example, stability in the area which is a necessary precondition to a just settlement of the tragic Arab-Israel conflict has been seriously prejudiced by the irresponsibility of Soviet sales of arms and by the Kremlin's continued meddling in the internal affairs of Arab countries for its own Communist purposes.

The Soviets have moreover refused to contribute any support whatever to the United Nations Emergency Force which has been the major stabilizing influence in the Middle East.

In addition to our own efforts, the role of the United Nations must be emphasized. It should continue to receive the greatest support we can provide. We have had an encouraging demonstration of what it can do in the way Ambassador Lodge successfully brought about a formula to settle the sharp difficulties between Israel and the Argentine over the Adolf Eichmann case.

As long as the Arab boycott and blockade continue notwithstanding our strong disapproval and repeated protests, as long as Americans are barred from certain countries because of their religious faith, as long as Arab refugees are confined to camps and their unhappiness continues - as long as these conditions exist, the Middle East will be a source of world tension and a continuing threat to international peace.

These are the policies I believe we should follow to meet these problems:

1. Strong and unceasing efforts to establish freedom of passage through tile Suez Canal and to put an end to discriminatory practices through the area.

2. Encouraging and supporting measures making it possible for the Arab States to develop their material resources, raise living standards and thereby increase opportunities for growth and for the resettlement of Arab refugees where their labor and skills can be employed to full advantage.

3. Continued and increased support of the courageous and successful efforts of the people of Israel to make the desert bloom and to turn their country into a new land of promise.

Israel has dramatically demonstrated to the world the effectiveness of free institutions and the democratic way by these efforts and by the technical aid it has extended to the newly independent and underdeveloped nations in Africa and Asia.

4. Above all, continued and tireless search for practical means to achieve a solid and lasting peace in the Middle East.

This means the avoidance of glib promises, the futility of which has been proven many times over, and concentration on persistent negotiations through every diplomatic channel available to us.

The time has come when we should try to bring about an overall settlement of the Palestine question in all its aspects. I refer to the status of the Arab refugees, the development of the waters of the Jordan, and other relationships between Israel and its neighbors.

Finding a settlement of these problems with justice and fairness to all is important, not only to Israel and its neighbors, but to the peace and security of the United States and the world.

For that reason, I intend, if elected President, to give this problem the highest priority by assigning primary responsibility for directing negotiations in this field to a man who has so magnificently demonstrated at the United Nations that he is one of the most skilled diplomats of our times - my running mate, Henry Cabot Lodge.

There will, of course, have to be consideration by each side of the problems of the other side. The United States should be willing to contribute generously toward bringing about such a settlement. It will not be easy, and I promise no miracles but it is so imperative to the Nation's interest that a solution be found that we must devote our best efforts to that end.

As I conclude this message, I am reminded of the words of the late John Foster Dulles, which express so well my own attitude toward United States-Israel relations. Those words are:

The preservation of the State of Israel is what I regard as one of the essential goals of U.S. foreign policy.

Richard Nixon, Message From Vice President Richard Nixon to the Annual Convention of the Zionist Organization of America, New York, NY Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project