Hatfield Urges Elimination of Open-ended Commitment to Military Aid to Israel

Sen. Mark O. Hatfield of Oregon, who nominated Richard M. Nixon for President at the 1960 Republican Convention, urged today the elimination of the President’s open-ended commitment to military aid to Israel. The legislation, approved by Congress last year, authorizes the President to give Israel as much military aid as he feels necessary. In testimony today before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Hatfield asked that aid requests be handled individually to “see if each one is within our national interests.” He added, “Our one-sided support of Israel to the neglect of her neighbors has had an effect similar to our over arming ourselves to such an extent that other sectors of our economy and our relations with other countries have deteriorated.” Hatfield, who has been critical of Israeli policy in the past and favors the internationalization of Jerusalem, in his testimony today continued his support for Palestinian participation in direct Middle East peace talks by commenting: “Palestinians feel as though they have been severely wronged, and quite rightly. They live in virtually subhuman conditions in refugee camps and have little if any real expectations of regaining their homeland.” Hatfield did not affix specific blame for the Palestinians’ plight.

NEXT STORY