Columnist Dorothy Thompson and Boston attorney Faris Malouf questioned the legitimacy of Israel at the Law Forum last night. The topic for the evening was "Can Israel Survive?"
A highly partisan audience of 150 laughed several times and booed once as Miss Thompson charged that Palestine was created by force, and not by United Nations mediation. She was opposed by Bartley Crum, lawyer and author of "Behind the Silken Curtain," who said Israel is potentially the greatest friend the Arabs ever had.
"Israel and everyone of its supporters do not come to court with clean hands," Malouf said. "It is a country supported by a prosperity of the American dollar" and born of the Balfour agreement, "the most double-faced document ever issued by anyone."
The Rev. Carl Baehr, Executive Secretary of the American Christian Palestine Committee, defended United States and U.N. policy towards Israel, saying that "The Middle East defense makes sense only if there is integration in the area." He accused the Arab states of trying to force the collapse of Israel through an economic blockade.
Malouf took issue with Baehr when he said that the only people on the face of the earth who never persecuted the Jews were the Arabs--until the Balfour agreement. He and Miss Thompson teamed up to charge Israel with mistreating the thousands of Arab refugees in Palestine. Miss Thompson added that "The Arabs in Israel are second-rate citizens. How would you like it if you were treated like that here?," she asked the audience.