WASHINGTON (Apr. 15)
Six Senators, addressing the United States Senate here this weekend, sharply criticized American Middle East policy, directing their fire particularly against the U.S. delegation’s stand at the United Nations in censuring Israel at the Security Council session dealing with Israel’s and Syria’s reciprocal charges of aggression.
The critics of the State Department policy vis-a-vis Arab-Israeli issues included Democratic Senators Wayne Morse of Oregon, Paul Douglas of Illinois and Hubert H. Humphrey of Minnesota; Republicans Jacob K. Javits and Kenneth Keating of New York; and Democrat Ernest Gruening of Alaska.
Mr. Morse told the Senate he was filing a formal request with the State Department, calling “for a briefing on the subject by appropriate officers of the Department” as well as by Adlai E. Stevenson, chairman of the U.S. delegation to the UN.
Senator Douglas labeled the Security Council resolution adopted last week, censuring Israel but mentioning nothing about the Syrian provocations against Israel, “a great mistake.” He declared outright that the resolution was “one-sided.”
Senator Humphrey expressed the hope that, from now on, United States policy in the Middle East “will be one of trying to prevent any provocation, encouraging regional economic development and mindful of the value of a trusted friend, such as Israel.”
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Senator Gruening read into the record the text of a letter he had sent to Ambassador Stevenson, criticizing what he called “excessive concern with being on the winning side in a United Nations vote, rather than in establishing basic principles for which the United States stands.”
Asserting that American foreign policy operates “on a double standard,” the Senator from Alaska asked Mr. Stevenson: “How do we reconcile condemning the only true democracy in the Middle East, Israel, economically boycotted and perpetually menaced with annihilation by its far more numerous, encircling and unremitting hostile neighbors, with our inaction with respect to India’s seizure of miniscule, unoffending and peaceful Goa, where there had been no provocation?”
Mr. Keating pointed out that Israel had reacted to Syrian provocations, when it acted militarily against Syria recently. If American fishermen in the Rio Grande were to be harassed by Mexican gunfire, as Israel’s fishermen had been on Lake Tiberias, Mr. Keating asked: “What would the United States do in such a case? I am certainly sure of what the people of Texas would do. They would undoubtedly send in a sufficient force to wipe out the snipers’ nest.”
Mr. Javits called for re-evaluation of American policy in the Middle East. “Our Government, ” he said, “must dispel the impression that it is now ready to blink its eyes at the action of the Arab states in endeavoring to make untenable the State of Israel as a state, while censuring Israel and holding it strictly accountable for every measure it may take in its own defense.”