JUNE 28, 1956
NEW YORK—A very interesting study is being completed this summer by an archaeological expedition in the Negev area of Israel. This expedition is headed by Dr. Nelson Glueck, the world famous Biblical archaeologist. He has used the Bible to discover King Solomon's mines, to locate 1,000 buried cities in the Jordan, and to uncover King Solomon's port city on the Red Sea.
Last summer he uncovered a 150-mile route used by the ancient Israelites when they fled from Egypt and also found the sites of 300 hitherto unknown villages, some of them dating back to 4000 B.C. He is responsible for the hope and determination on the part of Israeli leaders to resettle the Negev and see it bloom again, for his explorations have shown that at one time the Negev was intensively settled and cultivated.
Dr. Glueck's studies have taken him to the Arab countries and to Israel and he probably knows more than anyone else about the history of Israel-Arab relations. In the past, he proved by his explorations and the Bible that the Negev was once, and can be again, a route on which the entire trade of the Middle East could hinge!
The men who are going on his expedition this summer must be accustomed to heat, for they will work under sun which is likely to bring 120-degree temperatures daily, and the area in which they will work has not only a hot climate but politically is perhaps one of the hottest spots in the world.
Dr. Glueck believes this area is vital to the state of Israel and actually to the West's control of this area of the world.
I was glad to see the statement by one of our eminent columnists that a united and clear policy on the part of Great Britain and the United States might be the one way of bringing peace to the Middle East.
I have long felt that the question of peace in this area of the world has been regarded too much as an Arab-Israel matter, of interest only to the Jewish communities of the world and not important to the free people.
As a matter of fact, if you follow the happenings in these Arab countries, you will remember the announcement not long ago that women would not be granted the privilege of education in Saudi Arabia, and just a few days ago, that all strikes were now barred in Saudi Arabia. These incidents help you realize that Israel is the only country that has a real concept of democracy and has succeeded in giving its people a sense of the importance of the individual and an understanding that government is primarily instituted for the benefit of the individual.
Therefore, we can hope that from this one little state alone ideas of freedom and justice will flow out to the communities around it. To encourage this development is of vital interest not only to the Jewish communities of the world but to the free world everywhere.