MIAMI BEACH (Jul. 30)
A behind-the-scenes fight to prevent adoption of a vague plank covering military sales to Israel has developed in the platform committee at the Republican national convention. Friends of Israel have revealed that a tendency has developed to eliminate specific reference to the F-4 Phantom jet fighter-bombers sought by Israel or even to the word “supersonic” as descriptive of aircraft.
Witnesses have urged a strong and specific plank on sale of Phantoms to Israel with no public dissent from the chairman of the platform committee’s subcommittee on foreign policy and national defense, Rep. Glenard Lipscomb of California, or committee members.
Sen. Jacok K. Javits, New York Republican, a subcommittee member, expressed optimism however, about achievement of a strong pro-Israel plank. The opposition apparently arose from a desire to avoid an “entangling” commitment to Israel, a source said. It is known that the State Department has been in touch with a number of senior Republican senators on the issue.
Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey was assailed yesterday on his stand on supplying military aircraft to Israel. Bernard Katzen, consultant to the Republican National Committee, said during a platform hearing that Mr. Humphrey was a “captive candidate who cannot or will not contradict the President.”
Mr. Katzen testified that in a July 11 statement, Mr. Humphrey urged military assistance to Israel “but pointedly avoided reference to supersonic planes or Phantom jets.” Mr. Katzen suggested that the Vice President advocated only the continued supply of subsonic Skyhawk planes, which he contended were “sitting ducks” for Russian MIGs supplies to Egypt.
Mr. Humphrey was described as a “captive” when Rep. Lipscomb asked why the Vice President “remained quiet” in view of Congress’ amendment to the Foreign Aid bill last week asking for the sale of “supersonic” jets to Israel. The Phantoms are supersonic. President Johnson has not agreed to supply the 50 Phantoms sought by Israel.
AJCOMMITTEE URGES PLANKS ON POLISH, SOVIET JEWS AND INTERGROUP RELATIONS
Representatives of the American Jewish Committee urged the platform committee today to incorporate a pledge in the platform “to ask the Polish Government to facilitate the emigration of those Jews who indicate a desire to go to the U.S. or other countries.” The organization asked for a plank declaring that “Soviet Jewry must be established as an equal among equals within the spirit of Soviet law and ideology and in conformity with the Soviet Constitution.”
In a comprehensive series of recommendations on the domestic situation, the AJCommittee proposed a plank pledging the Federal Government to set up a national institute to coordinate all matters of intergroup and human relations problems in the country. Speaking for the AJCommittee, David Fleeman of Miami told the platform subcommittee on equal opportunity in an urban society that such an institute could minimize “misunderstanding and malfunctioning of American group life which leads to conflict.” The Committee also recommended expanded Federal support for higher education, expanding the rent and home ownership supplement programs for use in assisting housing, new Federal policies to encourage states to act as a supplement to national programs, increased Government support of programs to promote the community relations functions of urban police departments and establishment of a council of social advisors.