WASHINGTON (Nov. 8)
Little if any practical changes were seen today in the consideration of US relations with Israel and the treatment of Soviet Jewry by the foreign relations and appropriations committees of the House and Senate as a result of yesterday’s national elections. With the Democratic Party retaining control of both chambers, the overall positions of the key committees on these issues seemingly will continue in the 93rd Congress.
Both Israel and the problems of Soviet Jews received favorable attention by the majority during the 92nd Congress which provided more than $750 billion for Israel, the bulk of it in the form of loans. The chairmanship of the two major committees will continue unchanged barring major shake-up. But the membership will be altered somewhat to fill vacancies caused by retirement and by the failure of some members to win re-election. In addition, some members may shift to other committees.
Sen. J. William Fulbright (D. Ark.) will continue as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. However, Sen. William B. Spong, a moderate Democrat from Virginia who generally backed Jewish issues, and Sen. John Sherman Cooper (R. Ky.) who retired, will not return. Spong lost his seat to Rep. William Scott, a Conservative-Republican Congressman whose name is not listed on any pro-Israel or Soviet Jewry resolutions or actions since he entered the House in 1967.
Four other members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee who were up for re-election all won. They were Republicans Charles Percy of Illinois and J.B. Pearson of Kansas, and Democrats Claiborne Pell of Rhode Island and John Sparkman of Alabama. The Senate Appropriations Committee will continue to be headed by the veteran Sen. John L. McClellan (D.Ark.) who was re-elected.
SOME FRIENDS OF ISRAEL DEFEATED
However, Sen. J. Caleb Boggs (R. Del.) who was very friendly to Jewish causes lost his re-election bid and will not return to the committee. Neither, it appeared today, will Sen. Gordon Allott (R. Colo.) who similarly was a friend of Israel and Soviet Jewry. His office here said today that he was trailing by about 15,000 votes. Allott is chairman of the Senate Republican Policy Committee. Boggs lost to Joseph R. Piden, – 29-year-old lawyer and Democratic member of the Newcastle County (Wilmington) Council. He was described as “very positive” in his responses on Jewish concerns to a questionnaire circulated by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.
The 39-member House Foreign Affairs Committee will be led, as in the past, by Dr. Thomas Morgan (D. Pa.) who has a strong pro-Israel record. Two members who will not return are John S. Monagan (D. Conn.) who strongly backs Israel, and J. Irving Whalley (R. Pa.). Both lost their attempts at re-election.
Rep. James Abourezk (D.S.D.), who was catapulted to the Senate yesterday after serving only one term in the House, was described as a native South Dakotan of Lebanese parentage. Knowledgeable sources said that his only opposition to Israel was his criticism of Israeli attacks on terrorist camps in southern Lebanon in Sept. in retaliation for the massacre of 11 Israeli Olympic athletes at Munich.