Jackson, Fulbright, in Sharp Clash over Amendment to Withhold Mfn Fulbright Charges Cold War Renewal
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Jackson, Fulbright, in Sharp Clash over Amendment to Withhold Mfn Fulbright Charges Cold War Renewal

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Sen. Henry M. Jackson (D. Wash.) replied sharply last night to a blistering attack by his Arkansan as fellow Democrat, Sen. J. William Fulbright who contended in a speech here yesterday that the Jackson Amendment aimed at a renewal of the cold war.

Fulbright, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told a meeting of the American Bankers Association that the Jackson Amendment, which would withhold most-favored-nation trade status from the Soviet Union unless the latter permitted free emigration for its Jewish and other citizens, amounted to interference in Russia’s internal affairs and sought “the redress of only one of many injustices of the Soviet system.”

Jackson, appearing on an ABC television interview, called Fulbright’s presentation “sheer nonsense.” He declared that the purpose of his amendment which has 77 sponsors in the U.S. Senate, “is just to bring about a tiny bit of freedom for Jew and Gentile” in the USSR.

He charged that Fulbright, along with Soviet Communist Party Secretary Leonid I. Brezhnev, is “an advocate of one-way deals with Russia–we give and they take.” Jackson said, “I want to see genuine cooperation, not fine sounding words Genuine cooperation must be based on easing the tensions of the cold war by permitting free movement of people and ideas between East and West.”


Fulbright, among the minority of Senators who oppose the Jackson Amendment, has attacked it on past occasions but not in such scathing terms as those he used yesterday. “Learning to live together in peace is the most important issue for the Soviet Union and the United States, too important to be compromised by meddling–even idealistic meddling–in each other’s affairs,” Fulbright said.

He implied that Jackson’s idealism itself is flawed by being selective. Referring to the Washington lawmaker’s frequent invocation of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights as a basis for his amendment, Fulbright noted that the Universal Declaration establishes not only the right to leave a country but the right of return.

“The latter right is invoked by the displaced Palestinians who are denied repatriation to their former homes within the territory of Israel. Is the right of the Palestinians to return to their homes from which they were expelled any less fundamental than the right of Soviet Jews to make new homes in a new land?” Fulbright asked.

He added, however, that even though he opposes the Jackson Amendment and would continue to oppose it even if it were broadened “to redress a wider range of the world’s injustices,” pressure could be applied even to big countries like the Soviet Union to change their domestic policies.


“If the Russians want our trade badly enough, they will bend to the Jackson Amendment: they largely have already,” Fulbright said referring to the fact that Jews are leaving the USSR at the rate of 30,000 a year compared to only 1000 permitted to leave in 1970. But, Fulbright said, “At most it is a victory for the rights of a small fraction of the millions of persecuted people upon the earth, and they by no means the worst persecuted.”

The Jackson-Fulbright exchange came on the eve of hearings by the Senate permanent subcommittee on investigations, chaired by Jackson, which is taking up “negotiations and statecraft” in connection with the European Security Conference, strategic weapons talks and other U.S. and Western discussions with the Soviet Union.

The subcommittee heard only one witness today, Prof. Leopold Labedz, a Polish-born British Jew who is editor of Survey, a journal of East-West studies published by Oxford University Press. Labedz, who has been a visiting professor at Stanford University since 1971, attacked Fulbright and others who have called the Jackson Amendment an anachronism of the cold war.

Prof. Labedz said that one of the “few Western successes” in the history of negotiations with the Soviet Union is the current reluctant Soviet permission given to some of the Jewish citizens to emigrate to Israel. “It has demonstrated that persistence pays when the Soviet leaders need something and an appropriate pressure is applied,” Labedz said.

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