Gop Hammering out Mideast Plank

Republican platform writers in Detroit drafting their Middle East plank are basing its philosophy on U.S. aid for economic and military programs to all states in the region to offset Soviet inroads and radicalism in the area.

Reports reaching here on the work of the Mideast subcommittee, headed by Rep. Jack Kemp of New York, also indicate that it favors a ban on Palestine Liberation Organization involvement in the peace process and stresses that “the sovereignty, security and integrity of the State of Israel” are “of utmost importance to the U.S.”

“Republicans affirm our fundamental and enduring commitment to this principle,” the preliminary plank’s language about Israel says. “We will continue to honor our nation’s commitment through political, diplomatic, economic and military aid.”

FAVORS UNDIVIDED JERUSALEM

The plank states further, “We fully recognize the strategic importance of Israel and the deterrent role of its armed forces in the Middle East and

Recognizing the generalizations of support with respect to Israel but the absence of specifics, such as those on Jerusalem, friends of Israel in Detroit are understood to be seeking amendments to reinforce support of Israel. Among these, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency was informed, are inclusion of language stating that Jerusalem is under Israeli sovereignty, that Israel is entitled to “secure and defensible borders,” that United Nations Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338 continue to underpin the peace process and that previous U.S. commitments to Israel, such as the guarantee of oil supplies, will be continued.

Former New York State Supreme Court Justice Richard Rosenbaum of Rochester, a Republican National Committeeman and a member of the New York State Executive Committee supporting the nomination of Ronald Reagan, told the JTA that he is seeking to include such elements in the Mideast plank.

“We don’t want to make promises to kid the people,” he said. “At the same time, we do want to have clear language that says in detail insofar as possible, the principles to which the Republican Party is firmly committed that assure Israel – the Middle East’s only democracy – we stand with her unwaveringly.”

The temporary plan is subject to amendment by the full 106-member Platform Committee, headed by Sen. John Tower of Texas, before it is presented to the Republican convention in Detroit next Monday afternoon.

ELEMENTS IN THE DRAFT

The long draft says that the “first signs of Soviet success” in Moscow’s attempts to “gain decisive leverage” in the Middle East by taking advantage of “upheavals” there “are already evident in the recent proposals by European countries to include the PLO in the West Bank autonomy talks. Republicans believe that the restoration of order and stability to the region must be premised upon an understanding at the inter-relationship between Soviet and radical Palestinian goals.

“Our long and short term policies for the area must be developed in consultation with our NATO allies, Israel, Egypt and other friends in the area. With respect to the ultimate peace settlement, Republicans reject any call for the involvement of the PLO as not in keeping with the long term interests of either Israel of the Palestinian Arabs. The imputation of legitimacy to on organization not yet willing to acknowledge the fundamental right of existence of the State of Israel is wrong.

“Repeated indications, even when subsequently denied, of the Carter Administration’s involvement with the PLO, have done serious harm to the credibility at U.S. policy in the Middle East and have encouraged PLO’s position of intransigence.”

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