WASHINGTON (Jul. 28)
A Middle East expert told the House Foreign Affairs Committee today that the United States interest in the Middle East is to limit the Soviet influence, and that unmitigated support of Israel is the only way to achieve this. Marver H. Bernstein, dean of the Woodrow Wilson Graduate School of Princeton University, in testimony before the Middle East Subcommittee of the House Foreign Affairs Committee said: “Settlement of the refugee issue or establishment of the sovereignty of the Palestinian Arabs will not resolve the crisis over Soviet control of the Eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East generally…therefore the United States interest lies in maintaining a balance of power that maintains Israel’s strength vis-a-vis its neighbors.” Mr. Bernstein said that the Soviet strategy is no longer to continue hostilities to assure the Arab need for their help, but warned that if hostilities do continue “the next stop is probably (Soviet) participation in full scale combat.”
Alvin J. Cottrell, a staff member of the Center for Strategic and International Studies at Georgetown University, agreed with Mr. Bernstein that “the problem is no longer a local or regional conflict.” Mr. Cottrell added, “Stability may be imposed over the area. The question is who will impose the stability.” Mr. Bernstein gave a nine point program for peace: a United States policy of unequivocal strength; military and economic assistance to Israel; convincing the Western nations to stop supplying the Arabs with arms; deploying additional Polaris units to the Sixth Fleet; no troop reductions in Europe as long as there are Soviet troops in Egypt; reaffirming the United States intent to maintain the balance of power; warning the Soviets that their presence at the Suez Canal is unacceptable; insistence that a firm, secure peace is the only answer; and support of Israel once peace is made.