WASHINGTON (Jan. 5)
Sixty-three members of the House of Representatives yesterday signed a joint statement voicing concern lest the United Nations’ censure of Israel for its Dec. 28 attack on the Beirut Airport without a simultaneous condemnation of Arab terrorism and provocation “encourage the Arabs to intensify their terrorism.” The Congressmen said, “There are ominous signs that the Soviet Union will exploit the censure of Israel to whip up international opinion against Israel.”
“It is difficult to understand why the international community remains mute when Arab terrorists commit murder and finds its voice only when Israel undertakes to put an end to such atrocities,” the statement said. Signatories included members of both parties.
Senate Majority Leader Mike Mansfield, Montana Democrat, said today he did not think the United States had any real commitment to defend Israel, while stating the U.S. should seek a regional solution in cooperation with the Soviet Union.
Appearing on a television interview program, he said, “I don’t think we have a hard and fast commitment to go to the side of Israel or any other country in that area that is not a member of NATO.” He said he felt that the Arab-Israel situation was “getting worse” but indicated that he looked for a solution through American-Soviet diplomacy.