DETROIT (Jul. 13)
Warnings to the Arab countries that an oil embargo would be “a hostile act” and to the Soviet Union that Jewish emigration is “a central issue” in Soviet-American relations are parts of the Republican platform that goes before the party’s convention Tuesday for ratification.
The voluminous platform report of the full-106 member committee on resolutions mode available yesterday will be finally discussed at the convention in the immense Cobo Hall at its first sessions tomorrow while opposition to some domestic proposals may arise, none is foreseen to the foreign policy section with its emphasis on challenging Soviet power under the slogans “a policy of peace through strength; weakness provokes aggression.” Israel is counted upon in the platform draft for cooperation with NATO and Egypt against Soviet domination in the Middle East.
Besides languages against an embargo, the platform draft also opposes the Arab boycott of American companies doing business with Israel and frowns on deliveries of weapons affecting regional stability. The latter element apparently stems from the bipartisan opposition in the Congress to Saudi Arabia’s request for enhancing the offensive capability of the 60 F-15 warplanes it has purchased from the U.S. for about $2.5 billion.
While Saudi Arabia has threatened to withdraw its purchase order it has not pledged it would not use the planes against Israel whose F-15s do not have the improvements the Saudis have asked for.
ELEMENTS IN THE MIDEAST PLANK
“Republicans recognize that the Carter Administration’s vacillations have left friend and foe alike unsure as to U.S. policies,” a section of the Mideast plank says.
“While re-emphasizing our commitment to Israel, a Republican Administration will pursue close ties and friendship with moderate Arab states. We will initiate the economic and military framework for assuring long-term stability both in the internal development of regional states and an orderly marketplace for the area’s resources. We will make clear that any re-imposition at an oil embargo would be viewed as a hostile act. We will oppose discriminatory practices, including boycotts, and will discourage arms sales which contribute to regional instability.”
Considering that officials of major oil companies, construction concerns and other American businesses with important commercial interests in the Middle East traditionally wield brood influence in the Republican Party, the platform’s language directed at the Arab states is seen by observers here as a high bid to friends of Israel for-support of Ronald Reagon’s Presidential candidacy.
Other aspects of the Mideast section, as previously reported by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency (Daily News Bulletin, July 10) when the platform subcommittee on the Middle East was writing the plank, appear unaltered in the final draft. On Jerusalem, it says: “Republicans believe that Jerusalem should remain an undivided city with continued free and unimpeded access to all holy places by people of all faiths.”
There is no mention of moving the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem or that the city should be under Israeli sovereignty as some on the platform committee has urged or that several leading Republican Congressmen had demanded in debates at the Capital over the past three weeks.
OPPOSES PLO IN PEACE SETTLEMENT
The final draft retains the segment against dealing with the Palestine Liberation Organization, saying “with respect to an ultimate peace settlement, Republicans reject any call for involvement of the PLO as not in keeping with the long-term interest of either Israel or the Palestinian Arabs.”
The draft also declares “we believe the establishment of a Palestinian state on the West Bank would be destabilizing and harmful to the peace process. Applauding “the vision and courage” of Egyptian President Anwar Sodat, it pledges “to build our relationship with Egypt in cultural affairs, economic development and military cooperation.”
Regarding Israel, the draft says as previously outlined: “The sovereignty, security and integrity of the State of Israel is a moral imperative and serves the strategic interests of the U.S. Republicans reaffirm our fundamental and enduring commitment to this principle. We will continue to honor our nation’s commitment through political, economic, diplomatic, and military aid. We fully recognize the strategic importance of Israel and the deterrent role of its armed forces in the Middle East and East-West military equations.”
SECTION ON U.S.-SOVIET RELATIONS
In its section on U.S.-Soviet relations, the draft says: “Republicans deplore growing anti-Semitism in the Soviet Union and the mistreatment of ‘refusniks’ by Soviet authorities. The decline in exit visas to Soviet Jews and others seeking religious freedom and the promulgation of evermore rigorous conditions inhibiting their migration is a fundamental effort to the human rights and the UN Charter.
Republicans will make the subject of emigration from the Soviet Union a central issue in Soviet-American relations. Human rights in the Soviet Union will not be ignored as it has been during the Carter Administration. As a party to the Helsinki conference Final Act, a Republican Administration will insist on full Soviet compliance with the humanitarian provisions of the agreement.”