Washington (Dec. 15)
Rep. Paul McCloskey (R. Calif.) condemned Israel’s annexation of the Golan Heights as an “aggressive and imperialistic action” and urged Congress to reject the $2.2 billion in foreign aid Israel is due to receive in 1982-83 unless the action is rescinded.
“Until Congress is willing to stand up to Israel, every time that we step back and deliver them F-16s, or accept the bombing of downtown Beirut, we will accept whatever they want to do,” McCloskey said today at a press conference at his office here.
Calling the Israeli action a “mockery of Camp David,” the Congressman compared various actions by Israel to Vietnam where, he said, step by step, the U.S. was led into war. He said he feared that Israel’s annexation of the Golan Heights was another step which could eventually drag the U.S. into a nuclear war.
McCloskey said he had expected to vote for the $11.4 billion foreign aid bill approved by a Senate-House conference committee last night. But now, he said, he has written to every member of the conference committee urging them not to sign the bill, and if that fails, as is expected, he will press for rejection of the foreign aid bill on the House floor.
DIFFERENTIATES BETWEEN BEGIN AND ISRAEL
McCloskey differentiated support of Israel from support of the government of Premier Menachem Begin who, he said, since his re-election last June, has been pressing for annexation of the West Bank. If that happens, Camp David would be dead, McCloskey said.
The Congressman stressed that it is “entirely appropriate” for Begin to say Israel’s foreign policy will not be dictated by the U.S. But it is also appropriate for the U.S. to say that if Israel violates UN Security Council Resolution 242, it cannot receive American funds. McCloskey said Resolution 242 calls for Israel to return the Golan Heights to Syria once it has been assured of its security.
McCloskey, who is seeking the Republican nomination for Senator next year, came under heavy fire from the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith last July for publicly charging that American Jews “control the actions of Congress” with respect to the Middle East. He made that remark in a speech to retired naval officers in San Diego. He said today, however, that he did not believe his position on the Golan annexation would harm him with the Jewish community since he believes most American Jews oppose the annexation. However, he said, it is even more important to prevent a move that could lead to nuclear war.