WASHINGTON (Dec. 3)
Vice-President designate Nelson A. Rockefeller will be asked, at his next appearance before the House Judiciary Committee confirmation hearings Thursday, to clarify a statement he made earlier about Israel and the Middle East. During his appearance before the committee Nov. 21, the former Governor of New York said that “these people (the Palestinians) were on their land and they (the Israelis) took the land.”
Rabbi Israel Miller, chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, has reportedly suggested that Rockefeller include a statement of his views on the Middle East in the Judiciary Committee record. Rabbi Miller is also said to want further clarification and a retraction by Rockefeller of his remark that the Israelis took the Palestinians’ land.
Rockefeller issued a statement over the weekend in which he expressed support of the U.S. government’s policy upholding Israel’s right to exist. But Rep. Joshua Eilberg (D.Pa.) who questioned the Vice-Presidential nominee on Nov. 21. was not satisfied with it. Eilberg is understood to want Rockefeller to explain all of his views more explicitly than during the previous questioning. Although the Israeli government has stated flatly that it will not negotiate with the Palestine Liberation Organization. Rockefeller responded “not yet” concerning Israel’s position. (By Joseph Polakoff)