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Influential Southern Newspaper Opposes Rogers Middle East Policy

Opposition to Secretary of State William Rogers’ proposal that a line should be drawn in the Sinai region prior to any meeting between Israeli and Arab leaders was expressed in an editorial of The Atlanta Constitution, one of the outstanding newspapers in the south.

The editorial Monday stated it was disturbed “by some aspects of the present U.S. posture on the continuing Israeli-Arab confrontation” and added that “we find it hard to believe” that if Israel returned Egypt’s Sinal desert and other Arab territory it occupied after the 1967 Six-Day War “Nasser and his friends tomorrow would immediately adopt a policy of sweet reason.”

Continuing, the editorial stated that it seems unlikely Nassar “and friends will swap a reasonable attitude for the return of the Sinai regions, and we don’t think they’ll adopt a half-way reasonable attitude for the return of half of those regions.”

There is, the editorial noted, only one way for the antagonists in the Middle East to resolve their differences. “It’s the old fashioned way of settling down and trying to iron out differences by discussion and mutual compromise.” The superpowers, America and Russia, may be able to offer suggestions but the “quarrel can only be settled by the parties involved,” the editorial concluded.

This editorial rebuking Rogers is the latest in a series of highly critical articles and editorials that have appeared in a number of influential southern newspapers. Rogers’ Middle East proposals appear to have stirred up a hornet’s nest in newspapers south of the Mason-Dixon line.

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