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Pepper Urges U.S. Support of Israel

Rep. Claude Pepper (D.Fla.) last night declared that “the only way we can prevent war in the Middle East is to let the world know that the United States is not going to permit Israel to become vulnerable to attack by the Arab states.” Pepper, addressing the annual meeting of B’nai B’riths commission on community volunteer services here, deplored statements by President Ford indicating White House impatience over Israel’s refusal to concede territory to Egypt during the recent Kissinger shuttle talks. Such statements, Pepper said, only encourage Arab intransigence.

Israel was right in refusing to give up any terrain in the face of Egypt’s refusal to make corresponding political concessions,” Pepper declared. He added that he agreed with Israel’s generals on the importance of the Golan Heights to that nation’s defense against Syria, Israel, he said, must have defensible borders and the United Nations formally recognizes it in Resolution 242. “I hope the American people will demand that the government declare its firm support of Israel,” Pepper said.