Jackson: Pressure on Israel to Withdraw Can Undermine Mideast Stability

Sen. Henry M. Jackson (D. Wash.) warned tonight that the stability of the Middle East could be undermined by pressure on Israel to make further territorial concessions in the absence of genuine, negotiated progress toward peace. “in view of the unrelenting flow of sophisticated Soviet arms to Syria it is unreasonable to expect further Israeli withdrawals from the relatively favorable defensive positions they now hold,” Jackson said.

The Senator addressed the opening plenary session of Hadassah’s 60th annual national convention meeting at the Marriott Motor Hotel. About 2500 delegates are attending the four day convention which began today. Jackson reiterated his support for a Middle East settlement that would leave Israel with the kind of defensible borders that the Israel themselves, without American forces, can maintain and defend.

“The real need now is to shift the emphasis of American diplomacy away from its present focus on withdrawal toward an effort to define a future stable peace, “he said. “The urgent priority is to open a direct Arab-Israeli dialogue for peace.”

Jackson expressed “the gravest doubt” about the wisdom of supplying nuclear reactors to the Middle East. “There is no way adequate to safe-guard a 600-megawatt reactor against Egyptian expropriation.” he said, “The mere possession of such a quantity of plutonium would expose the United States to blackmail and coercion. We would have to evaluate every move in the Middle East in terms of whether the probable Egyptian reaction might be the abrogation of negotiated safeguards aimed at preventing Egyptian acquisition of nuclear weapons.” Noting that the promise of reactors to Israel and Egypt was made by President Nixon when he visited the Mideast in June, Jackson urged the Ford Administration to “at once reconsider “this move.

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