WASHINGTON (Dec. 14)
Former Vice-President Hubert Humphrey criticized the Middle East policy position outlined by Secretary of State William P. Rogers last week as constituting a sacrifice of Israel’s interests in the hope of gaining accord with the Soviet Union. In a statement issued by his office here, Mr. Humphrey said it was “unrealistic” to expect Israel to withdraw to the borders existing before the Six-Day War in return for what Mr. Rogers called a “binding agreement” from the Arab nations.
“It was just such an assurance that the Israelis relied on in 1956–by an Administration of which the President was a part–when they withdrew,” Mr. Humphrey said, in a reference to President Eisenhower’s effort to force Israeli withdrawal from the Sinai Peninsula occupied in the 1956 war when Mr. Nixon was Vice President. “The result,” Mr. Humphrey added, was “continued aggression against Israel and eventually the war of 1967.” He declared that “any equitable American proposal must offer Israel real assurances of security, with defensible borders and unrestricted access to international waterways.”
He added that “we all know that the Israelis cannot maintain–nor do they wish to maintain–the present occupied territories.” He said the development of areas of cordiality between the U.S. and the Soviet Union was of vital importance for world peace “but we cannot achieve this at the expense of our Israeli friends.”