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30 Congressmen Seek Meeting with Muskie to Discuss the United States Policy Toward Israel

August 28, 1980
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Angered by the Carter Administration abstention on the United Nations Security Council resolution censuring Israel a week ago for its Jerusalem law, 30 Congressmen have asked Secretary of State Edmund Muskie to meet with them and discuss U.S. policy toward Israel.

Rep. Sidney Yates (D.III.), dean of the Jewish members of the House, has asked for the meeting on behalf of his colleagues to include Rep. Dante Pascell (D. Fla.), Jonathan Bingham (D. NY) and James Blanchard (D Mich.) This development followed additional statements from top-level Republicans and Sen. Carl Levin (D.- Mich.) denouncing the U.S. abstention.

Former Tennessee Senator Bill Brock, chairman of the Republican national committee, described the Security Council censure as “another step” in the “vicious campaign which by its nature, is as much anti-American as anti-Israel.”

Brock said that the “Palestine Liberation Organization, in concert with the Soviet Union and radical governments, have for months mode clear and public their intent to expel Israel from the United Nations and to destroy the Egyptian-Israel peace treaty.”

Brock said the Carter Administration’s “failure to veto the resolution represented an abandonment of our commitment to the peace process, a contribution to the isolation of a democratic ally and friend — Israel, and a violation of the trust of the American people by a government elected to represent the best interests of our nation.” He added: “The Administration’s abstentions are repugnant; you cannot speak against a resolution and then refuse to vote against it. The action belies the words.”


Earlier, in another condemnation of the U.S. abstention, Sen. Jacob Javits (R. NY), said “I appreciate the problems with other countries, but we have vetoed before. The abstention leaves the resolution as a valid Security Council resolution and that’s the difference between day and night.”

Levin told the Senate that the Administration’s abstention was “a terrible mistake” and added: “The point that must be mode — and mode clearly — is that it does not serve our national interests to participate in and sanction a process which seeks to focus exclusive attention on the behavior of only one of the parties involved in this complex and sensitive situation. And it does not serve the interests of peace to participate in or sanction such a process.”

Prior to the vote 18 members of the House Telegraphed Muskie, urging him to veto the resolution. This message, signed by both Democrats and Republicans, was drafted by Rep. Benjamin. Gilman (R. NY).


Rep. Benjamin Rosenthal, deputy majority leader in the House, who was one of the signers, sent a message to Muskie, following his address to the Security Council. In it, Rosenthal’s office told Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Rosenthal wrote Muskie that he had listened to his remarks before the Council.

“I thought your statement,” Rosenthal wrote to Muskie, “was as effective a presentation of American goals and strategy in mediating the Arab-Israeli conflict as any I have heard in the past 20 years. I would have preferred that the United States vote against the resolution but with-in the context of the constraints operating upon our foreign policy, I understand the decision to abstain.”


Israeli Ambassador Ephraim Evron delivered a note yesterday from the Israeli government to Muskie, protesting the U.S. abstention Muskie reiterated to Evron the U.S. position that Jerusalem’s status should be negotiated in the final stage of a comprehensive settlement The Israeli note reportedly was strongly worded and expressed “the various serious views in Israel” about the effects of the resolution.

The State Department holds the Security Council resolution as “not binding” in view of the abstention. But others note that some governments with embassies in Jerusalem are removing them because they do consider the resolution binding. The Netherlands government, in announcing it was moving its embassy to Tel Aviv, spoke of massive Arab pressure upon it and declared that ultimatums are unacceptable, but that nevertheless, it has resolved to make the move in line with its policy of implementing UN Security Council resolutions.

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