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Congresswoman Says U.S. Policy in Mideast May Harm Israel

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Rep. Elizabeth Holtzman (D.NY) charged today that the Nixon-Kissinger “shooting from the hip” diplomacy in the Middle East “might have placed Israel in a more vulnerable position than before” the Yom Kippur War. Addressing the 9th biennial convention of the Americans for Progressive Israel-Hashomer Hatz air at the Statler Hilton Hotel, Rep. Holtzman observed that when the Egyptian Third Army was encircled by Israeli forces, Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger flew to Moscow to negotiate a ceasefire but failed to bargain for an end to the Arab oil boycott.

“The U.S., by its failure to bargain at that point allowed Israel to become isolated in the whole world with every country an enemy except the U.S..” she said. Rep. Holtzman said she was also disturbed by rumors that the U.S. will try to pressure Israel to give up defensible borders and part of Jerusalem in exchange for a peace settlement. We must be realistic about American intentions, she said, alleging that the Nixon Middle East policy was based on political expediency.

She said the Administration’s $2.2 billion military aid bill for Israel is expected to be passed next week but observed that the Administration did not push very hard for it as Administration spokesmen were “very unprepared” when they appeared before Congress to discuss the bill. The Congress-woman who represents Brooklyn’s 16th District, said that she and other Jewish members of Congress have received “hate mail” in recent weeks. She warned that unless the public is educated to the real causes of the current energy shortage there was danger of an uprising of anti-Semitism in this country.

Rep. Holtzman also assailed the Nixon Administration for its alleged willingness to sacrifice Soviet Jews for the sake of “so-called detente” with the USSR. She referred to the Administration’s efforts to kill the Mills-Vanik legislation in the House. She said that an Administration that would “sell out” Soviet Jews cannot be trusted to maintain the integrity of the State of Israel.

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