NEW YORK (Dec. 21)
Rep. Philip Crane (R.III.), the first Republican to announce his candidacy for the Presidency in 1980, said today that he is concerned about what he sees as anti-Israeli bias in the Carter Administration coupled with a worry that the United States will be seen as an untrustworthy ally by small countries.
In a meeting with reporters in his New York hotel room, Crane said the Administration’s decision to abrogate the U.S. defense treaty with Taiwan as part of the price for diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China puts in question “the credibility of the American government.” He said it makes it appear that when the U.S. has “to make a choice between a small power and a big power, it will sacrifice its friends.”
Crane said he found this “worrisome,” especially since President Carter’s announcement about China came right after the Administration “took sides with Egypt against Israel” in the Middle East peace negotiations. He said the new demands made by Egypt would endanger Israel.
Noting that the American people were not well informed about the Mideast situation, Crane said that is why it is good for congressmen to be able to travel. He said it is only when he went to Israel in 1970 that he realized how small the country is and how vulnerable it is to attacks from its large Arab neighbors.
U.S. URGED TO END COERCION UPON ISRAEL
Meanwhile, another legislator, Sen. Howard Baker (R. Tenn.), the Senate’s ranking Republican, called for an end to U.S. “coercion” upon Israel and Egypt to conclude peace negotiations. Speaking at the annual Americanism Award dinner of the Anti-Defamation League Appeal Tuesday night, the Senate minority leader underscored his belief that rather than pressing demands on one side or the other, the U.S. should acknowledge “that the conflict is between Egypt and Israel and that the settlement must therefore be reached by the parties themselves.”
He questioned the Administration’s handling of Egyptian-Israeli differences, suggesting that it creates the appearance “that this settlement is more important to us than to the parties involved.” The Senator was the Keynote speaker at a tribute to Nicholas T. Carmicia, chairman of the board of the Pittston Company, at the New York Hilton. Several hundred business leaders saluted Carmicia as he accepted ADL’s Americanism Award. (By David Friedman)