JULY 13, 1957
HYDE PARK—It was dismaying to learn that fighting had broken out between the Arabs and Israelis in the Lake Hula area on the Israel-Syria border, threatening the hard-won peace brought about by the United Nations police force.
The fighting stopped after several appeals by the United Nations, but the shooting later broke out again. As one would expect, each side blames the other, but official reports said the initial shooting came from a ridge looking down on the Hula Valley, where an Israel border patrol was situated. To anyone who knows anything about the lay of the land in that area, it would look as though the Syrian army would have had to begin the attack.
This entire incident certainly is most unfortunate.
New York City is facing a hard fight on its local bill to stop discrimination in private housing.
Those who wish to prevent this step toward integration are trying the obvious thing—pressing for an amendment to exempt cooperatives in the Sharkey-Brown-Isaacs bill, which would bar bias in private housing.
This would provide a loophole in the law for use by those not wanting to operate under the same non-discrimination rules that apply to public housing. If allowed to pass, it would work against any minority group. Jews, Puerto Ricans—anyone picked out for discrimination—would find themselves barred at will from any cooperative building. This is so obvious that I was glad to see it met with immediate opposition.
Integration in housing is the one step that must be taken before we can hope to bring about integration in our big city schools. So no matter where this fight goes on, it is important to all of us.
I want to mention two bills on which hearings recently have been held by Congressional committees, for they are important to those who care about our national resources. One is known as the wilderness bill and the other as the recreation resources review bill.
Those of us in the East are often more familiar with the state-owned lands operated for purely conservation and recreational purposes. But in the West there are large areas important to all of us under the supervision of the National Park Service, the U.S. Forest Service, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Bureau of Land Management.
All of these bureaus manage this land, but title to it remains with the people of our nation, together with the privilege of expressing their will to Congress on the land's use.
Therefore, it is important that the people become interested in any proposed changes of policy or operation and that they know the purpose of these changes and how they would be carried out.
Efforts are being made by private interests to encroach on the public lands, so any bill coming up in Congress that affects our national resources should be well understood by the people.