NEW YORK (Aug. 26)
Sen. Walter F. Mondale, the Democratic candidate for Vice-President, said today that both the Democratic and Republican Parties should make clear their support of Israel so that her adversaries can see that “this is not a political position but an American position.”
Speaking at the American Jewish Committee, Monday stressed that the United States must both support Israel and seek peace in the Middle East. But in seeking peace, he said, the U.S. must not tie its aid to Israel to any blueprint or timetable. About 60 persons attended the AJ Committee meeting, including representatives of other Jewish organizations.
Mondale, responding to a question about the Palestinians, said “Israel should decide with whom she will negotiate. I don’t think Israel can be criticized for refusing to negotiate with an entity that is not a state” and that calls for Israel’s destruction, he said. The Minnesota Democrat noted that Israel has said that it will make concessions for peace and he said the U.S. must not “crowd” or “push” Israel but allow the Jewish State to make its own decisions.
SUPPORT ANTI-BOYCOTT BILLS
On the question of the Arab boycott, Mondale said he and Presidential candidate Jimmy Carter support bills before Congress banning tax credits for American companies that comply with the boycott and ban tertiary boycott compliance. He said many American companies have refused to comply with the boycott and have found it has not aversely affected them.
In response to a question from Jerry Goodman, executive director of the National Conference on Soviet Jewry, Mondale said that Carter has pledged to make the question of freer emigration for Soviet Jewry a “priority position” in his dealings with the USSR. He accused the Ford Administration of refusing to stand up for issues of “human liberty and decency.”
SCHOOL AID ISSUE DISCUSSED
When Rabbi Bernard Goldenberg, an official of Torah Umesorah, the National Society for Hebrew Day Schools, asked what a Carter-Mondale Administration would do about federal aid to children in parochial schools. Mondale said he had always supported providing social service funds to children in private and religious schools. He said the best solution would be a proposed tax credit for dependents which would allow parents to have extra money to be used for private and religious schools or any other purpose they might wish.
At the outset of his talk, Mondale noted that he had always enjoyed a “close, warm and personal relationship with the Jewish community and praised the Jewish community for its “lack of parochialism” in regard to public issues.
Peter J. Strauss, president of the AJ Commit tee’s New York Chapter, said Mondale’s Republican opponent, Sen. Robert Dole of Kansas, and, Carter and President Ford will also be invited to speak before the group. At the same time, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency was informed by a spokesman for the Carter campaign staff in Atlanta that 80 prominent American Jews will be in Atlanta Monday for an all-day briefing by Carter’s campaign staff. Carter himself will address the group and answer questions.