NEW YORK (Sep. 30)
Ivan Novick president of the Zionist Organization of America, said the war between Iraq and Iran “demonstrates the errors of the United States and the European countries in their Middle East policies” and clearly demonstrates “that the basic problems in the Middle East are the inherent conflicts among the Arab states themselves which have little to do with Israel or the alleged Palestinian problem.
Novick made these remarks in an address Sunday to 150 delegates at the Westchester (NY) region convention of the ZOA which was held at Beth-El Synagogue in New Rochelle.
He observed that the U.S. and its European allies “assume that the basic problem in the Middle East is the Arab-Israeli conflict and the question of the Palestinians. They incorrectly believe that appeasing the Arab states at the expense of Israel would stabilize the Middle East and solidify it to secure the free flow of oil and keep the area out of the Soviet orbit.”
Novick stressed that to keep peace in the Mideast and secure its role as a supplier of oil to the U.S. and its allies, “Israel must be recognized as the stabilizing factor in the area” and as serving “as an effective base for U.S. strategic interests.”
VARIOUS ISSUES STRESSED
At a press conference earlier, members of Congress and Congressional candidates stressed the need for the U.S. to aid its allies, specifically Israel, denounced recent United Nations resolutions which condemned Israel’s proclamation that undivided Jerusalem is its capital and condemned the U.S. for abstaining on these resolutions.
New York Democratic Representatives Peter Peyser and Richard Ottinger both vowed to do oil to their power to defeat any Arab resolution in the UN calling for Israel’s expulsion from the world body. Ottinger said he would call for cutting off U.S. funds to the UN if such a resolution has passed and eventually for the U.S. to with-draw from the UN altogether.
Republican Andrew Albanese, Peyser’s opponent in the election campaign, said there should be no recognition of the PLO. Republican Joseph Christians, Ottinger’s opponent, said the U.S. “needs a strong defense to do for Israel what he would like to do for Israel.” Peyser said that it be were an Israeli he would never give up the Golan Heights, otherwise the Israelis would find themselves in an intolerable situation.”
Dr. John Lowe, former dean at the City College of New York and a Non-Governmental Organization representative at the UN, who was elected president of the ZOA’s Westchester region for 1980-82, told the convention: “The latest eruption (between Iran and Iraq) must remonstrate to our country and our leaders the regality of our reliance on one after another crumbling column of Arab Persian Gulf support — Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia. It is now more than ever apparent that the one island of strength and stability in the area is the State of Israel.”