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Jackson Against U.s., USSR Troops in Mideast or U.S. Military Guarantees

Sen. Henry M. Jackson (D. Wash.) voiced strong opposition to the presence of either Soviet or American troops in the Middle East or a U.S. military guarantee to Israel that would convert it into “an American dependency.” Jackson, who was scheduled to make his remarks at an American Jewish Committee dinner honoring AFL-CIO president George Meany for his long standing support of Israel, had to remain in Washington because of the vote on the $2.2 billion aid to Israel bill. Theodore Kheel, the labor mediator, read Jackson’s speech to some 200 persons attending the event at the Waldorft Astoria.

In his speech Jackson said Soviet and American can forces in the Mideast would constitute “a formula that carries with it the very great danger of dragging the superpowers into a military confrontation.” U.S. military guarantees, he continued, would mean that the United States would “pour itself into that cauldron of instability along with the Russians and assorted other forces” that would “invite a multitude of mischief makers to try their hand at stirring the pot.” He urged instead that the U.S. give Israelis “the tools they need to provide for their own defense” and “defensible borders.”

In a review of Soviet-Arab “illegal” activities that led to the “Arab war of aggression against Israel” on Oct. 6, Sen. Jackson several times criticized Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger. He noted in this connection “We stood by and watched while the Soviet Union supplied the means” by which the war was initiated and fought and “we continued to stand by for a week after Oct. 6 before deciding to resupply Israel with essential weapons in adequate numbers.”

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