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Boschwitz Says Palestinian State Will Not Lead to Mideast Peace

December 15, 1980
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Sen. Rudy Boschwitz (R. Minn.), the newly appointed chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Middle East Subcommittee, declared here last night that Israel “is indeed a strategic asset to the United States” and asserted that “peace in the Middle East is not going to come by establishing a Palestinian state.”

Boschwitz, a Berlin-born Jew whose parents fled Nazi Germany and come to America when he was three years old, told some 200 Zionist Organization of America leaders attending a two day national executive committee meeting here that any proposal for a Palestinian state is “unsettling.”

He said that if Sen. Charles Percy (R. III.), who reportedly told Soviet leaders last month that he favored a Palestinian state headed by Palestine Liberation Organization chief Yasir Arafat, feels that creating a PLO state would end tensions in the Mideast; Percy should look to the conflicts today among the Arab states themselves. Percy is due to head the Senate Foreign Relations Committee under the next administration.

Boschwitz emphasized that “over and over again, Israel has tried to achieve peace in the Middle East.” He said that since the beginning of this century; ” Jews have sought peace with the Arabs and yet have been frustrated in every desire for peaceful coexistence with the Arabs.”


Ivan Novick, president of the ZOA, said he “looked with anticipation to the possibility that the new Administration will examine the State Department and decide, once and for all, that the long entrenched pro-Arabists no longer will determine policy. We will carefully observe what action is taken as an indicator of the direction the Reagan Administration will take.”

Novick said he believes “we can accept of face value the firm declarations made by both President-elect Reagan and Vice President elect Bush that Jerusalem belongs to Israel and to the Jewish people. I believe that the incoming administration means what is has said in its rejection of the PLO — that it will not deal with it or recognize it, Mr. Percy not with standing.” The ZOA leader also said he looks forward to the new administration addressing itself “forth-rightly and expeditiously” on urgent international and domestic issues.

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