WASHINGTON (Sep. 8)
Vice-President Hubert Humphrey, addressing the triennial national convention of B’nai B’rith here, reiterated today his support of continued United States military aid to Israel and condemned anti-Semitism unleashed by the Soviet Union in connection with the occupation of Czechoslovakia. Richard M. Nixon, the Republican Presidential nominee, who was to address the convention tonight, was expected to amplify a weekend statement that he favored sale of United States military jets to Israel, according to advance information on his text, which was not available at JTA Bulletin presstime.
The Democratic Presidential nominee told the 1,200 delegates and guests he felt that the real answer in the Middle East was “arms control” but that Israel had a right to be strong enough to deter aggression and defend itself and that the United States had “a duty to respond favorably” to Israeli requests for defensive arms “on grounds of our own security interests.” He said also that “we should be particularly outraged by the shabbiest tactic, by the blatant appeal to anti-Semitism as justification” for the invasion of Czechoslovakia, which he declared dramatized “the cynicism and ruthlessness of the Soviet decision to occupy Czechoslovakia.” He said he was also “dismayed by the revival of anti-Semitism in Poland” but he asked that differentiation be made between the Polish regime and the Polish people. He added that the United States “has and will make clear its revulsion to such policies.”
In his weekend statement, made at a press conference aboard his private plane during a San Francisco-Houston flight, Mr. Nixon said also that “it would be a great threat to peace if Israel’s neighbors, bent on a war of revenge and smarting” from the Arab defeat in the Six-Day War, “are ever given the impression that they could launch a war with Israel and get away with it.” Declaring also that it was “vital” for Israel to maintain military “superiority” relative to its Arab neighbors. Mr. Nixon said that “if it takes Phantom jets, they should have Phantom jets.” He added that “right now it is essential for Israel to maintain a solid military advantage in the interest of peace.”
Speaking at an earlier session, Dr. William Wexler, president of B’nai B’rith advised Jews to have compassion for Negro aspirations, but said that at the same time they could not ignore “Black Power” chauvinistic discrimination against Jews. “There should be no challenge to the black community’s desire to remove the shackles and to share fully in the bounty of a society of freedom, equality and abundance,” Dr. Wexler said. On the other hand, he went on, “we cannot shrug off a practice of discrimination in reverse that ousts a Jewish school teacher or Jewish principal or Jewish school administrator from his job in a ghetto neighborhood to satisfy the new Black Power criteria for self segregation. We cannot shrug off the penalty of a gutted business to a victimized ghetto shop-keeper.” The B’nai B’rith head said that white America had failed to find an acceptable answer to the Negro problem. He called for “black answers” from the “silent majority” of the black community. “Perhaps what is needed is a militancy of the majority, a determination by this silent element to find its voice and make itself heard.”