June 7, 1957 Arab Refugees


June 7, 1957 Arab Refugees

Notice was served by the United States Senate Foreign Relations Committee that it would not continue indefinitely to provide relief for refugees in the Foreign Aid Bill which said:

“In determining whether or not to continue furnishing assistance for Palestine refugees in the Near East, the President shall take into account whether Israel and the Arab host governments are taking steps toward the resettlement and repatriation of such refugees.”

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee made clear its intention to re-examine the question in 1958 and its willingness to support large scale economic developments to help resolve the problem.  Said the Committee:

“This new statement reflects the committee’s views that the United States is not going to continue indefinitely to contribute to relief with no concrete evidence on the part of states directly concerned that they are willing to take steps for the resolution of the problem.  The Committee intends to reexamine this situation very carefully next year to ascertain whether continuation of this assistance is justified.”

“… Ever since 1949 various efforts have been make to provide for their permanent settlement, either in one of the Arab states or through repatriation to Israel.  All of these efforts have been unsuccessful.  The committee is not now interested in trying to fix responsibility for this tragic state of affairs.  The committee is interested in a solution to the problem.  Besides the political problems involved such a solution is almost certain to require economic development projects of considerable magnitude.  Although, as indicated above, the committee feels that the United States would not be justified in continuing relief assistance indefinitely, the committee would be willing, if a settlement were reached, to give the most sympathetic consideration to proposals for United States assistance in the form of capital investment to implement the settlement.”

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