NEW YORK (Nov. 19)
Rep. Wilbur Mills (D. Ark.) cautioned Jewish leaders here to keep a close watch on President Nixon to make sure he doesn’t abandon support for Israel in order to improve his working relationships with the Soviet Union. Mills, who is chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, addressed a luncheon Friday of the B’nai B’rith Anti-Defamation League attended by the 200 national commissioners who make up the ADL’s Board of Governors.
“Failure by the President to recognize the importance of Israel in the Middle East could be disastrous to the future of that great democracy,” he said. He asserted Nixon must recognize that it was not a matter of which nation was more important–Israel or the USSR–but simply that “we must maintain our support of Israel.” Mills said the “American people will not countenance such a move by President Nixon and I am calling on the President now to make his position clear.”
Asked what specifically prompted him to raise a warning of a possible Presidential reversal of policy toward Israel, Mills replied, “I am a little suspicious because of the background of Mr. Nixon.” He added that “Nixon should be watched over the concessions that have been made and those which will be reached in the future between Washington and Moscow.”