Platform Unit Recommendations Democratic Committee Urges Strong U.S. Support for Israel and for Aid
Menu JTA Search

Platform Unit Recommendations Democratic Committee Urges Strong U.S. Support for Israel and for Aid

Download PDF for this date

Platform writers for the Democratic party’s forthcoming presidential nominating convention recommended here today that the United States recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

The 15-member Democratic platform subcommittee made the recommendation in its draft of the proposed platform after working through most of the night. It also recommended that the United States “be unequivocally committed to support Israel’s right to exist within secure and defensible boundaries” and that the US government “mobilize world opinion” on behalf of Soviet Jews.

These and other subcommittee recommendations on domestic and international Issues take up 84 single-spaced typewritten pages slated for debate later by the full 150-member platform committee. The full committee is not expected to reach the foreign policy sections until possibly tomorrow. However, the feeling among the delegates was that the Israel and Soviet Jewry sections are not likely to be buffeted by disputes expected over other recommendations, particularly in domestic areas.


The subcommittee declared it welcomed “every improvement” between the US and the Soviet Union but added that “America cannot afford to be blind to the continued existence of serious differences between us.” In particular, the passage said, “the United States should, by diplomatic contacts, seek to mobilize world opinion to express concern at the denial to Soviet Jews of the right to practice their religion and culture and to leave the Soviet Union.”

Some observers suggested that the passage was deficient in that it made no specific mention that the US should take up the Soviet Jewish issue in bilateral activities planned or underway on such matters as trade and cultural exchanges. Some surprise was expressed that the section made no reference to other Soviet minorities.

In the Middle East section, the subcommittee recommended “a firm, long-term public commitment to provide Israel with aircraft and other military equipment,” to “preserve her deterrent strength in the face of Soviet arsenaling of Arab threats of renewed war.” Another recommendation called for efforts to bring “the parties into direct negotiations” for a “permanent political solution.” But the section did not mention Security Council Resolution 242 of 1967 which has been considered the basis for peace-making efforts since the Six-Day War. One specialist on the Middle East indicated he felt the omission was in effect urging the US to beyond the 242 Resolution’s provisions to safeguard Israel’s security.


The subcommittee also recommended that the US maintain “a political commitment and a military force” in the Middle East “amply sufficient to deter the Soviet Union from using military force in the area.” In the fifth and final point, the subcommittee said the US should “recognize the responsibility of the world community for a just solution of the problems of the Arab refugees.” Kenneth Gibson, Mayor of Newark and subcommittee chairman, represents, with other Black members, a fifth of the subcommittee’s membership. They were understood to have approved without dissent the language of the recommendations on Soviet Jewry and Israel. The other Blacks include the Rev. Walter Fauntroy, D.C. representative, and Mrs. Massey Eberhardt, also from New Jersey. The Rev. Fauntroy is a member of the Congressional Black Caucus which issued a strong pro-Israel statement after the Black National Political Convention adopted last March in Gary, Ind., a resolution which in effect called for dismantling of Israel. Rep. Bella Abzug (D.N.Y.), a member of the subcommittee. told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that the Israel and Soviet Jewry recommendations were “overwhelmingly” voted by the subcommittee. She said that perhaps “one or two” members were opposed but she did not name them.

Founding Funders

The digitization of the JTA Archive would not have been possible without the generous support of the following donors:
  • The Gottesman Fund
  • Righteous Persons Foundation
  • Charles H. Revson Foundation
  • Elisa Spungen Bildner and Robert Bildner, in honor of Norma Spungen
  • George S. Blumenthal
  • Grace and Scott Offen Charitable Fund