WASHINGTON (Jun. 27)
The 150-member Democratic Platform Committee this morning overwhelmingly approved a minority foreign policy proposal representing the views of Alabama Gov. George C. Wallace which contains a plank on the Middle East that differs in many respects from the strongly pro-Israel plank incorporated into the Party’s 1972 platform last night. By a show of hands, the Platform Committee agreed that the Wallace proposals would be presented as a separate minority report to the Democratic Convention which meets in Miami Beach, Fla. July 10 to nominate the Party’s 1972 standard-bearer.
The Wallace Middle East plank differed most markedly from the majority plank in that it failed to mention the status of Jerusalem. The plank written into the platform, which must be approved by the convention in Miami Beach next month, specifically calls on the US to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and to transfer its Embassy to that city from Tel Aviv, The Wallace proposals also differed from the majority plank in that it made no mention of Soviet Jews while expressing concern for the “captive satellite nations” of Eastern Europe. Wallace’s supporters, however, did back a proposal by the 15-member platform drafting sub-committee calling for the US to utilize “diplomatic contacts” with the USSR to help Soviet Jews, At the insistence of the Wallace people, the Platform Committee inserted a clause urging such assistance for the “oppressed” in Eastern European countries and the “minorities” in the Soviet Union as well as Jews.
‘CONCILIATORY GESTURE’ SEEN
Approval of the Wallace foreign policy proposals as a minority report for consideration by the convention was seen here as a gesture of conciliation toward supporters of the Alabama governor who is in a Maryland hospital recovering from gunshot wounds inflicted by a would-be assassin last month. The proposals represent the first full presentation of Wallace’s foreign policy views, Regarding the Middle East, they state that “first and foremost is the need for sincere negotiations” between Israel and the Arab nations. Wallace also declares that “We must assure that no imbalance of force comes to exist in this area” because “nothing could more endanger the peace.”
The majority report incorporated into the platform was much stronger. It recommended that the US “be unequivocally committed to support Israel’s right to exist within secure and defensible boundaries” and called for “long term public commitment to provide Israel with aircraft and other military equipment” to “preserve her deterrent strength in face of Soviet arsenaling of Arab threats of renewed war.” The Wallace plank would commit the US to “strive in every way to merit and receive the friendship of all parties to this (Arab-Israeli) dispute and to earn the respect and good will of Israel and the Arab nations alike.”
Wallace spoke of taking the “initiative in seeking mutual cooperation between the adversaries in reaching agreement” which “will mean resolving and stabilizing boundaries and the free use of water and land routes throughout this area.” There was no amplification of that statement. The Platform Committee also voted today to allow supporters of Sen. Henry M. Jackson (D. Wash.) to present a minority report to the convention urging the strengthening of American military forces in the Eastern Mediterranean. W. Stull Holt, a history professor and member of the Washington state delegation to the Platform Committee failed to have the plank incorporated into the platform yesterday. It urges the US to “maintain a political commitment and military force in Europe and at sea in the Mediterranean ample to deter the Soviet Union from putting unbearable pressure on Israel.”