WASHINGTON (Jul. 21)
Rep. Barry Goldwater Jr. of California, son of the Arizona Republican Senator Barry Goldwater, today attacked Sen. George S. McGovern’s Middle East proposals of yesterday as “short-sighted,” “unrealistic” and “restrictive.” The first-term Republican, who was elected in April, 1969, criticized the South Dakota Democrat’s recommended prohibition of Israeli use of American jets for “forays over Arab territory.” In his statement, Rep. Goldwater asserted: “Such an unrealistic requirement would reduce Israeli air supremacy in the Suez Canal area, thereby intensifying Egyptian Infiltration. Restrictions on the use of Israeli aircraft would increase the possibility of an Egyptian-Soviet-launched invasion across the canal. In short, Sen. McGovern’s proposal could tie the hands of the Israeli Air Force in contending with Soviet military assistance in the Middle East, and could escalate the conflict.” The proposal, he said, “is short-sighted because it does not consider the total picture. Rep. Goldwater likened Israeli military strength to that of the American-South Vietnamese alliance in the Far East. “We are still heavily involved in Vietnam today.” he said, “because some politicians have been able to cripple the execution of essential ground, air and naval action. It would appear that Sen. McGovern, as the author of an amendment restricting United States action in Vietnam, is not content with trying to lie the hands of his own country in dealing with Communist aggression, but is now trying to tie the hands of Israel in dealing with Communist-backed aggression in the Middle East.”
The younger Goldwater recently returned from the Mideast, where he was one of only a handful of American politicians permitted to visit secret Israeli Air Force facilities. He also met with Foreign Minister Abba Eban and visited the Golan Heights, Lebanon and other areas. On July 2, the day after President Nixon’s televised “conversation.” Rep. Goldwater agreed that the Mideast is “truly more potentially dangerous than the Indochina conflict.” In April, following a 10-day visit to the Mideast, he stated that American refusal to sell Israel its 125 requested jets would “increase rather than decrease” the crisis. Sen. Goldwater was a co-signer of last month’s letter to Secretary of State William P. Rogers from 76 Senators urging approval of the jet request. Rep. Goldwater has said that he is basically not “pro-Israel” or “pro-Arab” but “pro-freedom.” In his Senate speech yesterday. Mr. McGovern also suggested a “unilateral” Israeli-allocated “escrow account” for compensation of Palestinian refugees as possibly “the greatest single step toward peace”; Arab governmental responsibility for terrorist aggression from Arab soil; Israeli and Arab acceptance of United Nations forces on their land; and Palestinian participation in peace negotiations if the Arab governments request it.