Sen. Capehart, in Senate Debate, Attacks U.S. Groups Supporting Israel

Senator Homer E. Capehart, Indiana Republican, today injected an attack on Israel and “pressure groups pushing U.S. foreign policies in special interest directions” into a Senate debate on foreign policy.

While the issue before the Senate was relations with Cuba and the “Tractors For Freedom Committee,” Senator Capehart denounced “private individuals” who “take it upon themselves to speak for our Government.” Senator Capehart said that Chairman J.W. Fulbright of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee “aptly summed this up last year in discussing the role of some of the Israelis in the Suez Canal dispute.”

Senator Capehart quoted from an attack by Senator Fulbright on Americans who backed Israel in the Arab boycott and blockade controversy, especially the picketing of the Egyptian ship “Cleopatra” in New York harbor. (The ship was picketed by an American seamen’s union because the Arabs discriminated against American vessels that visited Israeli ports.)

Senator Capehart quoted Senator Fulbright on application of the Logan Act to jail or imprison Americans who carry on “any correspondence or intercourse with any foreign government” in relation to international controversies. He inserted into the Congressional Record, in connection with anti-Nasser activities in America, remarks by Senator Fulbright on “the questionable operation of individuals and groups in this area of foreign relations.”

Referring to supporters of Israel, Senator Capehart quoted the Fulbright allegation that “despite the official actions of the United States, we find private groups proceeding by coercive devices of their own to interfere with the official activities of our Government in the field of foreign policy.” Under the Logan Act cited, convicted persons may be fined “not more than $5,000 or imprisoned not more three years, or both.”

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