DETROIT (Jul. 16)
Prominent Jewish Republicans from coast to coast enthusiastically pledged support to Ronald Reagan’s Presidential candidacy and voiced satisfaction with the Republican Party’s platform planks related to his support for Israel and Soviet Jewry.
They expressed their views to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency in an interview yesterday at a special gathering as two of the party’s top foreign affairs strategists reemphasized the Reagan outlook towards Israel as a strategic asset against the Soviet thrusts toward the Middle East’s oil fields and communication lanes.
In his address to the convention in the Joe Louis Arena here last night, former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger alluded to Soviet diplomatic and military support to the Palestine Liberation Organization. Warning against Soviet expansionism in the Middle East, Kissinger observed that “terrorists are financed and trained by the Soviet bloc” and warned the West would not survive if this is permitted to continue.
In his news conference with some 400 reporters yesterday morning he had stressed opposition to a Palestinian state and to the European Economic Community’s suggestion of associating the PLO with the peace process.
EXPLAINS GOP PLANK ON JERUSALEM
Between Kissinger’s address and his news conference, Richard Allen, Reagan’s chief foreign affairs advisor who served in President Nixon’s National Security Council, told foreign correspondents covering the convention that the Europeans’ initiative in “the Declaration of Venice” was “not helpful” towards settling Arab-Israeli differences. He stressed American recognition of Israel as a valuable component in the strategy of off-setting Soviet leverage in association with radical Arab organizations.
In line with the Republican platform, Allen spoke of U.S. cooperation with “moderate” Arab states as a Reagan principle. He said the platform does not say Jerusalem should be under Israeli sovereignty since that would be prejudging the issue that, he said, should be decided by negotiation between the parties.
PLATFORM ATTACKED BY ARAB AMERICAN GROUP
The Republican platform was attacked by the National Association of Arab Americans (NAAA) yesterday at the convention site at a sparsely attended news conference. In a long statement presented by Minor George of Cleveland, a member of the Ohio delegation to the convention and a former NAAA president, the NAAA argued that without dealing with the PLO, as the Republicans have asserted, “the U.S. cannot expect to effect a comprehensive peace in the area.”
“The fact that virtually every Palestinian acknowledges the PLO as his sole legitimate representative makes this part of the plank patently absurd,” it added. The statement quoted former U.S. Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, James Akins, that “the only Soviet claim to influence in the Middle East is its support of the Arabs against Israeli expansionism.”
The NAAA statement that was mainly devoted to Israel policy on the West Bank/Gaza issues came against a background of continuing threats by PLO leaders in Beirut, Damascus and at the United Nations in New York and by the West Bank mayors campaigning in America that “the Zionist entity” will be wiped out.
While the NAAA statement was being made available to about 13 persons attending the NAAA news conference — nine of them Jews — dispatches from Copenhagen reported Leila Khaled, a PLO exponent of terror who was involved in two PLO hijackings 10 years ago, telling the world conference of the United Nations Decade for Women in Copenhagen: “We speak to the world with words, but to the Israelis we speak only with weapons.”
PROMINENT JEWISH REPUBLICANS
Kissinger was among the guests as leading Republicans here for the convention and delegates to the convention and advisors to party leaders gathered at a private reception at the Detroit Plaza Hotel given by the National Coalition for Reagan. The Coalition’s leaders are Theodore Cummings of Los Angeles, a long-time political and social intimate of Reagan, and Max Fisher, of Detroit, a close friend of former President Ford. They are its honorary chairmen.
The honorary co-chairmen are Albert Spiegel and Fred Gottfurcht, of Los Angeles; Eli Jacobs, Maxwell Roab, Rita Hauser and Sen. Jacob Javits and Robert Gintel, of New York; Bud Hockenberg, of Des Moines; Irwin Levy, of Palm Beach; Norman Braman, of Miami; Gordon Zacks of Columbus, Ohio; A. Alfred Taubman, of Detroit; Barney Bamett of Louisville; and Sen. Rudy Boschwitz, of Minnesota.
Cummings, who had backed Reagan in 1976, epitomized the views of virtually all those interviewed when he said “I have all the confidence in the world” in Reagan sticking to his promises as set forth in the Republican platform. Fisher had previously made it clear that he was fully supportive of Reagan’s candidacy.
Houser, who had been in the inner circle of former Texas Governor John Connolly who was swiftly rejected by Jewish community leaders, said that Connolly, a member of the Texas delegation, did not take part in the drafting of the party’s platform and that, as far as she knew, has not commented on its Middle East planks.