NEW YORK (Aug. 23)
House Majority leader Jim Wright (D. Tex.) said here that the pending foreign aid package for Israel is not simply a Jewish concern, but rather is part of an overall American foreign policy which seeks “to support democracy where it is supported.”
At a meeting with Jewish communal leaders sponsored by the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York, Wright asserted his continuing strong commitment to aiding Israel economically and militarily. The foreign aid package for Israel in fiscal year 1985 is $2.6 billion.
The Texas Congressman said the United States relationship with Israel has improved during the past few years, but it is “not as good as it needs to be, not as good as we would want it to be and as it must be.”
Recalling the 1979 Arab-oil embargo, Wright noted that energy sufficiency is “an inseparable part of our commitment to uphold our responsibilities in the world.” He noted that many Congressional members were elected after the embargo and do not remember how seriously it affected the U.S.
“We have to remind them,” he said, adding, “Only if we are free from the shameful dependence on foreign oil, which is sapping our economic strength by about $60 billion this year, will we be able to maintain those commitments, secure in the knowledge that we are not vulnerable to blackmail by any sources.”
STATUS OF LEGISLATION ON EMBASSY MOVE
Asked about the status of the Congressional resolution calling for the U.S. to move its Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, Wright said the legislation probably will not be brought to a vote during this session of Congress because of the State Department’s “insistence that this issue not be politicized.”
But he added, “I should look forward eagerly to the opportunity to vote for this legislation which I have co-sponsored. It seems clear to me that every country has the right to determine what its capital is, no less so in the State of Israel.”
Wright expressed his admiration for the citizens of Israel, saying: “I have stood along the Golan Heights, that magnificently reclaimed upper Galilee valley. I have seen growing out of the desert the works of peace and I marvel at the ability of a people to hold together in the midst of unremitting hostilities surrounded by a sea of anger and bitterness.”