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Bi-partisan Group of 12 Senators Pressing Administration to Reverse Current Approach to Mideast Prob

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A bi-partisan group of 12 Senators is pressing the Nixon administration to reverse its current approach to the Middle East problem which Israel regards as an erosion of the previous American position. The group will introduce a two-point resolution in the Senate, probably tomorrow, urging the administration to ship more Phantom aircraft to Israel to maintain the Mideast power balance and to “reaffirm the importance of secure and defensible borders” in the region, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency learned today. The 12 Senators have also sent a letter to the Senate’s membership inviting their cosponsorship of the resolution.

The signers of the letter represent the liberal and conservative wings of the Democratic and Republican parties and all sections of the country. The JTA learned that they are Democrats Stuart Symington of Missouri; Henry M. Jackson of Washington; Herman E. Talmadge of Georgia; Gale V. McGee of Wyoming; Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts and Abraham Ribicoff of Connecticut. The Republicans are Hugh Scott of Pennsylvania, the Minority Leader; Jacob K. Javits of New York; Edward W. Brooke of Massachusetts; Charles H. Percy of Illinois; Bob Dole of Kansas, Republican National Committee chairman and Edward J. Gurney of Florida.

Their letter stated; “Continuing Soviet shipments of advanced weaponry and the presence in Egypt of some 20,000 Soviet personnel, including combat pilots, underscore the immediate need for supplying Israel the means with which to deter Soviet and Arab miscalculation leading to renewed hostilities.” The letter observed that “Serious negotiations leading to a durable peace settlement are highly unlikely as long as the Arab states hope eventually to defeat Israel militarily.” It recalled that on May 28, 1970, 76 Senators wrote Secretary of State Rogers on this subject and that 73 Senators, in a letter to President Nixon on July 30, 1970, expressed “their concern over the shift in the balance of power.”

The draft resolution notes that US policy “as expressed by the President and Congress” is “to maintain the arms balance in the region.” It asks the Senate to resolve that, “1) The United States, without further delay, should take affirmative action on Israel’s pending request for F-4 Phantom aircraft, and provide such supporting equipment and assistance as are essential to maintain Israel’s deterrent capability,” and “2) the United States government should oppose any attempts of the United Nations to alter the meaning and effect of Security Council Resolution 242 of Nov. 22, 1967 and should reaffirm the importance of secure and defensible borders as a vital element in a peace settlement to be negotiated by the parties themselves.”

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