WASHINGTON (Dec. 3)
Sen. George McGovern (D.SD) today described the Israeli air raids on “Palestinian camps” in Lebanon yesterday as “savage bombing attacks by Israeli pilots flying American planes.” The Senator, who is chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s subcommittee on the Near East, declared that “neither Lebanon nor the Palestinian camps within its borders need any more punishing air raids from Israel or anywhere else. Yet these attacks over the years destroyed large numbers of innocent people, especially in southern Lebanon.”
McGovern recalled that he has previously deplored terrorist attacks against civilians in Israel. However, he did not mention in his statement in the Senate today, the recent murder of three Israeli students by Arab terrorists at Ramat Magshimim on the Golan Heights or last month’s terrorist bombing in downtown Jerusalem that claimed seven lives. There is no record of his having spoken out against those terrorist assaults at the time they occurred.
McGovern characterized Israel’s air raids on Lebanon yesterday as “a temper tantrum designed to punish the Palestinians because they were invited by the UN Security Council to participate in the UN debate (on the Middle East) next January.”
McGovern, who was the 1972 Democratic Presidential nominee, added that “If peace is to come” in the Middle East “the Palestinians and Israelis must each accept the other’s independent existence. Such acceptance will not come either through Palestinian terrorism or Israeli terrorism. It will come only at the conference table.” He observed that the lessons of needless killings in Vietnam must be applied to the Mideast. (By Joseph Polakoff)