NEW YORK (Dec. 22)
Sen. Birch Bayh (D.Ind.) declared last night that the United States “must maintain the military strength of Israel and assist in her economic development,” because “a strong Israel is still the best deterrent to aggression and the best hope for a lasting peace agreement.”
Addressing a dinner of Hapoel Hamizrachi Women’s Organization at the Hilton Hotel, Bayh, a candidate for the Democratic nomination for the Presidency, warned, however, that the Ford Administration “has failed to recognize the emerging arms imbalance in the Middle East, an imbalance that threatens to grow more unequal in the next five years.”
He charged that the Ford Administration counts only the weapons in the hands of the confrontation states. Bayh said that “the Arab countries beyond Egypt and Syria are not disinterested bystanders in the arena of conflict.” He said that the U.S. by shipping arms to any Arab country, contributes to the disparity of forces between Israel and its enemies.
Bayh also assailed the Arab boycott practices against Israel and Jews in the United States, criticizing the U.S. government for its refusal to disclose the efforts of the Arabs “to blackmail American companies into compliance with their Arab blacklist.” He added: “It is the internal affairs of the United States that are being compromised by this official intolerance, and this practice of meekly submitting to Arab dictates on the rights of our citizens must be halted.”