MIAMI BEACH (Jul. 11)
The already strong pro-Israel plank probably will be strengthened when the Democratic Party convention considers its voluminous platform late tonight or early tomorrow. Virtually no opposition is heard to the five-point section on the Middle East, a Jewish Telegraphic Agency survey found among key elements here. Nor is any voice heard against the recommendation that the next President, if he is a Democrat, pursue a diplomatic road towards inducing the Soviet Union to relieve the plight of all its “oppressed” including Jews.
“Everybody knows Israel has the right to defend itself,” a top spokesman for Alabama Gov. George C. Wallace said to JTA. “We want all oppressed peoples in the Soviet Union to be able to leave, including Jews,” he added.
Since the convention’s Black Caucus did not discuss either matter at its two meetings yesterday. Mayor Richard Hatcher of Gary, Ind., its chairman, told JTA the significance of no discussion was that “by implication the Caucus favored them.”
“The Caucus took action only on the things it opposed,” he said. Hatcher described these as the Wallace platform concepts on busing of school children, the $6500 annual income for every family of four members, and the application of economic sanctions against Rhodesia and South Africa.
Gov. Wallace himself indicated to the press yesterday that the main concerns of the wing of the party he leads are busing and national defense.
SOME BLACKS HOLD OPPOSITION IN ABEYANCE
Absence of discussion of the Middle East and Soviet Jewry issues at the Caucus was not accepted by observers here as meaning the opposition to Israel by some powerful Black leaders has vanished. Rather, they felt, their opposition has been set aside to avoid embarrassing Sen. George McGovern whom most of them favor and who has in recent weeks vigorously made plain his complete support of the defense of Israel.
The Middle East plank as adopted by the Platform Committee in Washington two weeks ago declared that a Democratic administration “should” make and carry out a “public” commitment to provide Israel with the military equipment she seeks to “preserve her deterrent strength”; bring the parties into “direct negotiation” towards a permanent political situation”; 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”; recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and move the American Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, and “recognize the responsibility of the world community for a just solution to the problems of the Arab and Jewish refugees.”
To the third point, friends of Sen. Henry M. Jackson of Washington would extend the American commitment of forces in Europe and in the Mediterranean “ample to deter the Soviet Union from putting unbearable pressure on Israel.” This stronger language was expected to incur little if any dissent.
JACKSON SEES SELF AS MIDEAST SPOKESMAN
Sen. Jackson declared today that he was a candidate for the Democratic nomination for President “to the bitter end.” He listed a need for an American “spokesman” on issues including the Middle East as among his reasons for remaining in the race for the Presidency.
When a reporter suggested he was closer to President Nixon’s foreign policy than Sen. McGovern’s, Jackson pointed to the records of Presidents Harry S. Truman, John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson on Israel. Jackson himself has sponsored legislation for aid to Israel. Including a successful measure giving Israel $500 million in credits to purchase defense equipment.