Mcgovern Aide Says Candidate’s Pro-israel Record Goes Back to 1957

An aide to Sen. George McGovern today defended the Democratic Presidential candidate’s defense posture as It relates to Israel and cited the Senator’s support for Israel which he said dated back some 16 years when McGovern was a freshman member of the House.

Richard Cohen, staff director of the Jewish Affairs unit at McGovern-Shriver headquarters, was responding to a sharp critique of McGovern’s defense policies Issued yesterday by three Jewish academicians who stated that their study disproved the credibility of his pledges to support Israel’s security. The three–Profs. Arnold M. Soloway, Edwin Weiss and Gerald Kaplan–also alleged that McGovern became pro-Israel only when he started to campaign for the Presidency.

The critique, to be published and distributed by the Committee for the Re-Election of the President, was characterized by Cohen as “a piece of apologistic propaganda.” He noted that McGovern’s record of support for Israel goes back to 1957 when he spoke out on the House floor against the Eisenhower-Dulles Middle East doctrine for which then Vice President Nixon was the chief apologist.

Cohen said that in terms of Israel’s defense, McGovern’s defense posture calls not only for the continued presence of the two aircraft carriers now in the Mediterranean but also an Increase in the number of escort and attack submarines. He quoted Rear Adm. (Ret.) Gene LaRoque, a former commander of part of the US Sixth Fleet and now director of the Center for Defense Information here, that “the ability to respond effectively may actually be increased under the McGovern plan.”

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