Aj Committee Calls on U.S. to Stand Firm in Commitment to Israel’s Security

The American Jewish Committee today called on the United States to stand firm in its commitment to Israel’s security by making clear that it will not tolerate “any tampering with the spirit or the letter of the cease-fire and standstill agreement” in the Middle East. In a statement, Philip E. Hoffman, President of the AJ Committee, declared that two “roadblocks to negotiations” had arisen in recent days. The first roadblock, he said, comes from the recent deployment of surface-to-air missiles by the United Arab Republic into the zone west of the Suez Canal, and their forward movement within this area. The second roadblock, he continued, comes from assurances given by the Soviet Union to the United Arab Republic “that it will continue its full-scale political and military support of Arab demands.” Pointing out that the Israeli government had agreed to “important concessions”-among them a limited cease-fire, indirect negotiations, and eventual withdrawal to secure, recognized and agreed boundaries-because of explicit pledges of United States support, Mr. Hoffman added: “Any weakening in this confidence in the United States will understandably cause Israel to look upon the impending negotiations not as a means of achieving a just and lasting peace but as an unacceptable prescription for surrender.” He observed that “United States firmness is the critical requisite, both to encourage the Israelis to move forward in the negotiations and to discourage the Arab states from assuming that if they wait long enough they can bring about the destruction of Israel.” Mr. Hoffman warned that the military actions by Egypt greatly increase the danger to Israel “in the unhappy eventuality of a resumption of fighting.” He added that such deployment “casts serious doubts on the good faith of the United Arab Republic” and “tends to confirm the suspicion that it views the current respite not as a prelude to peace but rather as a preparatory phase for eventual all-out war.”

NEXT STORY