CHICAGO (Aug. 29)
Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey, who was selected last night as the Democratic nominee for President, has vigorously supported Israel’s cause throughout his career as a member of the Senate and as Vice-President.
Earlier this month, he reiterated his advocacy of continued United States military aid to Israel and said this should include the sale of Israel of “supersonic planes such as Phantom Jets” which Prime Minister Levi Eshkol asked of President Johnson when the Israeli leader visited the President last January.
Mr. Humphrey clarified his views on the Phantom Jet matter on August 4 in response to a telegram from the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee in Washington. The telegram asked clarification of the Vice President’s July 11 statement in which he said he favored continued military assistance to Israel, including Jet planes, but not specifying what kind of Jet planes. The United States has provided Israel with subsonic Skyhawk jet fighters.
The Vice President declared, in his reply to the telegram, that the cause of Middle East peace was not being served by Soviet supplies of weapons to the Arab states and that “until permanent peace is achieved and the arms race ended, continued United States military assistance to Israel is Justified. This assistance should include supersonic planes such as Phantom Jets, but the real answer lies in agreed disarmament. It is in the interests of all the people of the Middle East to engage actively in negotiated agreements among the nations of the region.”
In his July 11 statement, the Vice-President also said that the grounds for a permanent Middle East peace were the acceptance of Israel by its Arab neighbors, the transformation of truce lines into “agreed and secure boundaries,” Israeli navigational rights in the Suez Canal and the Gulf of Aqaba. an end to the arms race, and international assistance to help solve the Arab refugee problem.
AS SENATOR, HUMPHREY SUPPORTED AID TO ISRAEL, FOUGHT BOYCOTT
As a member of the Senate, starting in 1949, Mr. Humphrey sponsored legislation to aid Israel and to challenge boycotts and discriminatory practices against Israel. He was a co-sponsor of legislation appropriating a grant to Israel in 1951. In 1959, he opposed an Eisenhower Administration proposal to suspend aid to Israel. In 1954 and 1956, he criticized United States arms to Iraq and Saudi Arabia and urged the administration to provide balancing arms for Israel. In 1957, Sen. Humphrey criticized the Administration for threatening sanctions against Israel. He co-sponsored a resolution calling for United Nations action to prevent resumption of border raids and the closing of the Suez Canal. In 1960, he was co-sponsor of the Douglas-Keating amendment to oppose United States aid to countries involved in boycotts and blockades.
In addresses to State of Israel Bond rallies last March and May, Mr. Humphrey amplified his Middle East views. He declared that the greatest contribution “we can make to peace in the Middle East would be to reach agreement with the Soviet Union to curtail the arms race there.” But, he added, in the meantime. It should be made clear that “America Is not going to permit Israel to stand defenseless against any who would destroy her.” He reiterated President Johnson’s January pledge to Premier Eshkol that the United States would “keep Israel’s military defense capability under active and sympathetic examination and review in the light of all relevant factors, including the shipment of military equipment by others to the area.” The Vice President also commented on proposals that Israel withdraw unconditionally to the June 4, 1967 armistice lines, asserting that “a stable peace cannot be built in the Middle East simply by re-creating the situation that existed before hostilities began.”
The platform on which Mr. Humphrey will run, which was approved at the convention last night, includes a Middle East plank reflecting the nominee’s views. It Includes a call for United States provision of weapons to Israel, Including “the most advanced types of combat aircraft,” for maximum U.S. effort to prevent recurrence of war in the Middle East “powder keg;” a criticism of Soviet deployment of a large war fleet in the Mediterranean and heavy shipments of arms to Arab states; and the assertion that lasting Mideast peace depends on agreed frontiers, assured use to all of international water ways, “humane settlement” of the Arab refugees, as well as creation of a “non-provocative military balance.” The plank also called for efforts to end the Middle East arms race.