NEW YORK (Jun. 27)
“The monumental new forces at work in the Middle East offer hope that Israel can benefit very materially from the reconstitution of alliances and states in terms of peace and well-being which is now taking place,” Sen. Jacob K. Javits (R.NY) said in a speech prepared for delivery tonight at the opening session here of the 77th annual convention of the Zionist Organization of America.
He said that “for the first time in 20 years, the United States has a positive Mideast policy–and it appears to be working.” Israel should be helped by the new U.S. policy, he said, adding that Israel’s economic situation has “never been more precarious and never before has Israel been so dependent on another government–in this case the United States–for the military equipment needed for its security.” Sen. Javits said the dream of Israel’s economic and military self-sufficiency. “which seemed close at hand just year ago, has been cruelly snatched away as a result of tumultuous events which began with the Yom Kippur War.”
He said the next five years were likely to place the American Zionist movement into an even more crucial and sensitive role than at any time since 1948-49. For at least a decade, he added, Israel’s fate will be “very intimately and inextricably intertwined in U.S. Mideast policy.” The Senator said Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger’s diplomacy “has brought greater hope for peace,” adding “we are well rid of the old impasse between Israel and Egypt and Syria because of the disengagement of forces.”
He said he welcomed the opportunity–“even with its awesome challenges and dangers”–for “a whole new alignment in the Mideast.” He said oil revenues meant that Israel’s Arab neighbors no longer need to see themselves condemned to an inferior standard of living “and will start changing the way they look upon themselves,” in a way “bound to bring about a change in the way they see their neighbor, Israel.”
Herman L. Weisman, ZOA president, urged President Nixon and the Congress not to provide military or economic aid to any country which supports “the policy of terrorism across Israeli borders.” In an address scheduled for delivery at the opening convention session, he said “These repetitive incidents of Arab terrorism on Israeli settlements, schools and apartments, admittedly sponsored by Palestinian terror groups and openly Justified and supported by neighboring Arab countries, make a travesty of those recent Arab declarations favoring peaceful settlement of the Israel-Arab conflict, particularly by Egypt and Syria, which induced President Nixon to offer American military and economic aid.” Weisman urged Nixon and Kissinger to obtain explicit denunciations by Egypt and Syria “of terrorist attacks across Israel’s frontiers and equally explicit declarations of the desire of the Arab countries to negotiate in good faith for a political settlement.”