WASHINGTON (Jul. 20)
Sen. George S. McGovern, the South Dakota Democrat who was one of the 76 Senators who last month urged Secretary of State William P. Rogers to sell Israel 125 more Jets, recommended today that American planes not be used by Israel for “forays over Arab territory.” American aircraft is intended to provide “sufficient airpower to make It clear that Israel could repel any attack that might be launched against it,” he advised the Senate, “(but) armed incursions across the battle lines…should be halted. The United States should express clearly its wish that the aircraft sold to Israel not be used for such incursions,” Such a directive, he said, “would signal to the Arab leaders the American Intention to seek directly some restraint on the part of Israel.” The Senator, who opposes American military aid to South Vietnam, described the two situations as “sharply different.”
Sen. McGovern, who was an aspirant for his party’s 1968 Presidential nomination and is considered a possible candidate in 1972, called for “a Middle East peace which can be sustained without direct American military intervention.” He recommended that Israel establish “an escrow account” for compensation of Palestinian refugees; that the Arab states “accept the responsibility for acts of aggression” by terrorists from their soil, and that both parties “negotiate in any way feasible–directly, through intermediaries, in the open or in secret (and) at the earliest possible date.” Sen. John Tower, Republican of Texas and a leading conservative, called today for a Mideast peace enforced by the U.S. and the Soviet Union, not by the United Nations. “There seems to be,” he said In a radio interview, “more of a disposition on the part of the Soviets to engage in some kind of useful talks about the resolution of the problems in the Middle East.” Sen. Henry Bellmon, Democrat of Oklahoma and former governor of that state, today rejected the Senate letter to Secretary Rogers as “the same sort of indiscretion that got us involved in Southeast Asia.” He said in a television interview that such a plea should not have been issued without full Senate debate.