Dole, Ford’s VP Running Mate is Staunch Supporter of Israel
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Dole, Ford’s VP Running Mate is Staunch Supporter of Israel

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Sen. Robert J. Dole of Kansas, chosen by President Ford today to be his running-mate in the election campaign, has a record of staunch support for Israel and Soviet Jewry in his 15 years as a U.S. Representative and Senator and has been honored by the government of Israel.

Although he is usually found backing Republican Administration policies, the conservative junior Senator from Kansas has on at least two critical occasions publicly recommended to the President that his Administration provide more adequate support to Israel.

In 1971, the year President Nixon named him as the Republican Party’s national chairman, Dole was among the first Senators to urge the White-House to supply Israel with Phantom jet planes, then a controversial subject in Washington.

In May, 1975, when the Ford Administration was engaged in its "reassessment" of its Middle East policy with pressures on Israel, Dole joined 75 other Senators in signing a letter to the President urging him to provide adequate military and economic aid to Israel. This letter followed a White House announcement of the Administration review of policy and the White House delay in submitting to Congress a request for aid to Israel.


Although not a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, agriculture being his chief legislative interest, Dole personally has an acute interest in Israel’s requirements for security. Firmly conservative on most fiscal issues, he nevertheless has been supportive of foreign aid requests for Israel.

Last year, he also voted for Sen. Henry M. Jackson’s amendment to the Defense Procurement Act, providing for the transfer of military equipment to Israel. He also backed the U.S. role in the Sinai accord between Egypt and Israel. In December, 1974, Dole signed a letter with 70 other Senators to President Ford, urging him that the U.S. be resolute in upholding Israel’s right to reply to the Palestine Liberation Organization in the United Nations General Assembly.

Dole also backed the Senate steps against UNESCO’s actions hostile to Israel. A consistent supporter of Soviet Jewry, he voted for the Jackson-Vanik amendment.


Dole, a Methodist, was honored at a Kansas City Jewish community dinner in December, 1971 after Israel conferred on him its Prime Minister’s Medal for his assistance to the Israel Bond Organization. The medal was presented to him by Yitzhak Rabin, Israel’s Premier, who was then Israel’s Ambassador to the United States.

The dinner chairman was Vrem Levans of Kansas City, president of an important grain company here, who is a long-time close friend of Dole. The Senator’s first visit to Israel was after the Six-Day War when he went there as a member of a Select Committee of the House. Saying that he has always been "impressed" by Dole’s abilities, Max Fisher, the Detroit industrialist who is here to assist Ford’s election campaign, said the Senator "has always been very, very friendly on issues of interest to Israel." (See related story P. 3.)

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