GROSSINGERS, N.Y. (Dec. 11)
Senator Eugene J. McCarthy, of Minnesota, who is challenging President Johnson in the coming primary elections, called Sunday night for U.S. support of “the border adjustments necessary to assure to Israel the security to which that nation has the right.” Sen. McCarthy also asked that the U.S. give assurance and stability “to those Arab nations that have shown an interest in peace and order.”
He addressed the 42nd annual national convention of the Mizrachi Women’s Organization of America, which presented him with the 1967 “America-Israel Friendship Award” voted to him last June by the 81-women national board of the organization.
The Senator’s proposal was part of a five-point program recommended by him in his first major speech on the Middle East since announcing his candidacy. He pointed out that “the problem of an enduring peace in the Middle East can be solved only in the context of a positive United States foreign policy that aims at the reduction of tensions with the Soviet Union.” He described the present U.S. policy in the Middle East as “a grave risk, not only to Israel, but to American security.”
The Senator’s five-point program called for recognition of Israel and its right to exist; affirmation of the international character of the Gulf of Akaba and the Strait of Tiran and the right of all nations to use the Suez Canal; a moratorium or limitation of arms for the Middle East; new vigor in solution of the Arab refugee problem, and international cooperation and guarantees of borders to both Israel and the Arab states.
House Republican Leader Gerald R. Ford, in a message to the convention, said that he was “discouraged by the grudging and very slow movement of the Administration to ship promised and vitally-required arms, especially jet planes, to Israel, to balance the massive resupply by the Communists of some Arab nations.”
The Michigan Republican charged that “this vague and weak response to Israel’s life-or-death needs can only encourage Arab truculence and further Communist penetration. More than the fate of Israel is at stake. The national security interests of our United States are directly involved.”