WASHINGTON (Feb. 24)
Sen. Philip A. Hart (D.,Mich.) repudiated today a newspaper advertisement condemning aid to Israel in which he was mentioned as an opponent of Phantom Jet sales to that country. Assuming that the reference was to a Nov. 23 floor amendment to authorize $500 million more in military credits for Israel, half of it to cover Phantoms–it passed by 82-14–Hart said:
“I voted against that amendment because I felt it was not necessary. Congress had already approved new assistance for Israel. I supported the allocation of these earlier funds, and since they had not been spent I saw no need to authorize more immediately.”
But, Hart asserted, “I am for American support to Israel although the ad allows the reader to think that I am not. I was in favor of the recent sale of Phantoms, although the ad implies that I was not.” The 59-year-old legislator, a Senator since 1958, said the group that placed the full-page ad, New York-based Middle East Perspective, had not contacted his office before running it in Tuesday’s New York Times.
The ad, headed “Israel; our next Vietnam?,” was placed by Alfred M. Lilienthal, a Jewish anti-Zionist who is chairman of Middle East Perspective, a monthly newsletter. In a box at the bottom of the ad were listed the 14 Senators, including Hart, who “showed courage and foresight” by voting against the Phantom amendment. The Times’ advertising acceptability manager, John T. Furey, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency yesterday that the Senators’ names were not misused, in his opinion, because they were not indicated as “signatories to the ad.”
ISRAEL NEVER ASKED FOR TROOPS
Lilienthal charged, in part: “Israel is permitted all the benefits, without any of the responsibilities, of a favored 51st State, while Washington exercises no controls over this State’s political or military actions. Since we have no voice in determining Israeli conduct, why should there be a commitment for Israeli security?”
Hart retorted: “This is nutty. The last thing we should seek is direct control over another country’s political and military policy. That would be the best way to repeat the mistake of Vietnam.” The Senator added that “in fairness, the ad should have mentioned that Israel has never asked for military advisors or troops.” He will continue, he said, to support all aid necessary to prevent a Mideast war.
In the ad, Lilienthal charged that “Thanks to the most powerful lobby in Washington and to a vote-conscious Congress, Israel continues to be accorded a unique, special status.” He went on: “This naturally raises the issue of dual loyalties. And, as the crisis intensifies, people will increasingly ask: ‘Are these Americans or are they Israelis? Where do their loyalties lie–in Washington or in Tel Aviv?’ “