Haig: Israel’s Military Power Serves to Deter Soviet Aggression

Gen. Alexander Haig, former supreme commander of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) told an international leadership conference of Zionists here last night that Israel is the strongest military power in the Middle East whose “very existence” serves to deter Soviet aggression. He added that a strong viable Israel assists American interests and “bolsters our friends in the region and elsewhere.”

Haig spoke at the closing banquet of the five-day conference jointly sponsored by the Zionist Organization of America, the Zionist Organization of Canada and the Latin American Confederation of General Zionists.

In his comments, Haig said attempts to draw the Palestine Liberation Organization into the negotiations between Israel and Egypt “without agreement on the goals of the process” undermines both Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Israeli Premier Menachem Begin. He called the peace treaty between Israel and Egypt “a deterrent to war” and said that without the treaty U.S. interests cannot be realized. Haig described linkage between Arab-Israeli settlements and oil prices as “tenuous” and denied any connection between U.S. relations with the PLO and American ties to Saudi Arabia.

Also last night, Yehuda Blum, Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations told the 600 people at the banquet that he recognized a parallel between the systematic program of the Germans which sought to isolate the Jews of Europe from the general population and the current worldwide effort to “delegitimize the State of Israel.”

At an earlier session yesterday, Sen. Daniel P. Moynihan (D.N.Y.) charged there was “a history of avoidance” and silence by U.S. political institutions in responding to the Soviet-sponsored “Zionist-racism lie.” Declaring that silence was in Itself an eloquent statement, Moynihan said the recent declaration of nonaligned nations in Havana which called Zionism “a crime against humanity” came close to declaring that it is a crime to be a lew.

CONCERNED ABOUT BLACK LEADERS, CONNALLY

Theodore Mann, chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, who spoke Friday night, expressed his concern that the position of Black leaders and Republican Presidential candidate John Connally will eventually win many adherents and that “around March, when there are new oil shortages, it is possible the President will adopt the Connally position.” Mann was referring to the controversial Connally position paper linking Israeli concessions to the supply of Arab oil.

Mann also told the conference that he was concerned by Moshe Dayan’s resignation as Israel’s Foreign Minister. “The State Department and the President know Dayan has a big constituency in the United States,” Mann explained. “Thus they may feel they can lean on Israel. I am also concerned about the lack of a counter to General Arik Sharon,” Israel’s Agriculture Minister who favors massive Jewish settlements on the West Bank.

Mann said he believed that as a result of Connally and the Black leaders, a connection is being created between Israel and oil and that, as a result, the current victories of the Jewish community on these issues “may be pyrrhic.”

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