National Conference of the United Jewish Appeal
Introduction by Ambassador Abba Eban
New York 14/12/1957
The family of American Jewish leaders is gathered this night to celebrate its reunion with an eminent and beloved friend. The links which join you to him are many and strong. They lie beyond need of reinforcement by any words from me. The incomparable journey which Israel and American Jewry have accomplished together in the past two decades has been enriched by many encounters between you and him. This journey has taken our people, in many sharp transitions, through deep valleys of grief and high peaks of exaltation. And you and he have walked together between the valleys and the peaks.
The communion and intimacy born of such a journey create a silent trust, beyond any need of articulation. This trust prevails in full strength and reciprocity between Moshe Sharett and the strong steadfast army of American Jews represented here tonight.
In these conditions I can do nothing this evening but invite you to see your guest not only in his personal stature, but also in his dimension of history - as the pre-eminent messenger of Israel's tidings of salvation to the ears of the world.
Everything about Israel's right to statehood, to security, to peace, to the sympathy of nations appears simple to us whose intuitions react and vibrate in the particular terms of Jewish history. But there has been nothing simple about any of these things in the eyes of the world, or even in the eyes of multitudes amongst our own people alienated by time and distance from the original sources of their union.
See how exotic and intricate our cause must have appeared to those whom we summoned to its endorsement! The land was distant, the people scattered, its national identity blurred by dispersion and variety of tongues, its resources meager, its tragedy vast, its weakness profound, its adversaries potent - and the concept that this land was the rightful legacy of this people had an incongruous ring in the ears of the world. But nothing could be accomplished unless this strange, complex ambition became simple or, at least, comprehensible - first to the House of Israel itself, then to friendly peoples, and, finally, to the decisive tribunals of international judgment.
Since everything in our situation was peculiar to us, and nothing was held in common with the experience of other nations, Israel's cause was not something to be instinctively seized. It had to be taught. It needed an advocacy more persistent and tenacious, more original and varied, more flexible and far-flung than any cause ever revolved by the opinion of mankind. Our guest of honor is the architect and exponent of this unique and triumphant advocacy.
Across the world Israel has many faithful advocates. Those amongst them who labor -in