APRIL 9, 1956
NEW YORK—I paid a visit the other day to the Israeli exhibition set up here by Mrs. Dayan, wife of the Chief of Staff of Israel, Maj. Gen. Moshe Dayan. This is an exhibition of Maskit products ready for export. Its main purpose was to find stores and outlets in this country for the work Mrs. Dayan has founded and which is a government-sponsored agency for marketing village arts and crafts of Israel. It includes textiles, jewelry, home furnishings and clothes from Israel. Buyers from many stores have ordered them and you will soon find them in our stores.
Mrs. Dayan and her husband lived on a farm in Galilee before they undertook their present occupations. She was a volunteer agricultural worker helping to teach those refugees in Israel who had not before worked on the land how to become good Israeli farmers. But she felt that since they must learn to be farmers they should at the same time be using skills they already knew. Men and women both were weavers. They knew how to embroider and to make intricate designs in metal.
I have several of their rugs which I bought when in Israel, and they are a joy in color and design. I love many of the clothes which were on exhibition, and some of the textiles will make beautiful furniture coverings. The desert coat which Mrs. Dayan says has been bought by a number of New York stores is one of their most popular articles of clothing, and I thought it perfectly charming also.
It was a joy to see Mrs. Dayan herself and to feel her enthusiasm and interest in this work which she has created. When you realize how much work there is to be done and how ready people are to do creative work, you grieve at the news in the papers of renewed incidents along the Gaza border. If only Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjold's mission can be successful, we may have peace in this area and allow people to develop their skills.
Unless the three great powers make up their minds to state clearly that the state of Israel is here to stay, however, I am afraid we will continue to have trouble. The United States is of course a neutral nation, and we wish to be friends with both the Arab states and Israel. But if we want peace, I believe we will have to say that we will not tolerate aggression along the present borders or any change in those borders; and that members of the U.N. who are peace-loving nations must try to get along together and accept what was a majority decision and was reinforced by the fortunes of war a number of years. Only the clear statement of these things will bring strength to back Dr. Hammarskjold's mission.