WASHINGTON (Dec. 10)
Seventy-one Senators urged President Ford today to reaffirm the U.S. commitment to the survival and integrity of Israel and to mobilize the allies of the United States toward returning the United Nations to the principles of its charter, In a letter to the President disclosed at a news conference here, the bi-partisan bloc representing 42 states and almost three-quarters of the Senate, declared that the Senators were “deeply disturbed by the UN vote to give recognition to the Palestine Liberation Organization and by the spectacle of Western cynicism, apathy and disunity.”
They also said that the UNESCO decision to withhold assistance to Israel is a “shameful example of the transformation of the international humanitarian organization into a political weapon.” The letter said “these recent events dramatized the need for the United States to take the lead in organizing our friends and allies to resist political and economic blackmail in the future.”
At the news conference of nine of the Senators Sen. Jacob K. Javits (R.NY), a leader in the movement for the Senate action, disclosed that Secretary of state Henry A. Kissinger had told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Dec. 4 that “we have never suggested to Israel that it negotiate with the PLO as long as the PLO has not accepted the legitimacy to the existence of Israel,”
Javits disclosed this statement when was asked what the Administration’s position was thus far towards the. PLO and the UN’s recognition of it. Sen. Hubert H. Humphrey (D.Minn.) another prime mover of the letter, told the news conference that he and his colleagues were not recommending that the United States withdraw from the UN but that they did not want the UN to the way of the League of Nations in the 1930s –“powerless and useless.”
TEST OF DETENTE IS IN DEEDS
Humphrey said that the United States should speak out to its allies and friends that the UN relate to member sovereign states and not to political movements such as the PLO, Humphrey pointed out as did Sen. Henry M. Jackson (D. Wash.) that the Soviet Union is a key to peace in the Middle East. Humphrey said that the “test of detente is not in words” but in “the reduction and stoppage” of the Soviet flow of arms to the Middle East.
Sen. Abraham A. Ribicoff (D.Conn.) said that the Soviet Union should be notified that it must not make “political hay” with the PLO and make UNESCO the “catspaw” for its activities in the Middle East. Jackson, like Ribicoff, Humphrey and others, praised the U.S. Ambassador to the UN, John Scali for his warning last Friday to the United Nations against the “tyranny” of the small nations in its voting. But, as Humphrey said, the Senators were calling on Ford and Kissinger to “take a strong stand in the United Nations for maintenance of the principles of its charter.”
In attacking the UN’s support of the PLO that advocates terrorism, Sen, Richard Schweiker (R. Pa.) emphasized that “our effort here is to save the United Nations and achieve peace and stability in the Middle East.” Sen. Clifford Case (R, NJ) pointed out that the “chief significance” of the request to the President was that “the American people across the board are in favor of a strong American policy and will not be divided.”
Case authorized the withdrawal of the annual contribution of $16 million by the U.S. to UNESCO, which the Senate had adopted along with a reduction from $195 million to $175 million in its funding to the UN as a whole.
Sen. Howard Metzenbaum (D.Ohio) said that he had just returned from Egypt and Israel and that he found that the people in the Arab world want a peaceful solution to the Mideast conflict but, he said, this can be achieved “only when (PLO chief Yasir) Arafat is brought down to an appropriate size.”
According to a Jewish Telegraphic Agency survey. Senators from eight states were not represented among the 71 Senators. These states were: Arizona, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Utah and Virginia.