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Lindsay: Israel’s Existence is Non-negotiable

January 11, 1972
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New York’s Mayor John V. Lindsay charged last night that American involvement in Southeast Asia was largely responsible for the administration’s hesitation in answering Israel’s requests for Phantom Jet aircraft. “Our obsession with that senseless war (In Vietnam) turned our attention away from commitments this nation should never question,” Lindsay told a meeting of the Zionist Organization of America’s Miami Beach District. “As we sank in the mire of Southeast Asia, we sapped our strength to guarantee peace on Israel’s borders.”

Lindsay declared that the Soviet Union’s buildup of Egyptian arms and training of Egyptian military personnel are “new realities” which “threaten Israel’s survival. Yet our government weighs this threat and hesitates to act” by providing the 80 jets Israel has requested “as safeguards for her freedom,” he said. Lindsay added that “the only guarantee of peace east of Suez is maintenance of Israel’s strength” and “that above all else, Israel’s existence is non-negotiable.” The Mayor assailed politicians who still claim it is inconsistent to oppose the Vietnam War on the one hand and to “fight for Israel’s freedom” on the other, despite what he called the “record of shame in Vietnam” and “the history of brotherhood with Israel.”

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