Search JTA's historical archive dating back to 1923

Freshman N.Y. Congressman Pledges to Be Strong Pro-israel Advocate

February 17, 1981
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Rep. John LeBoutillier (R-C, NY) pledged here this weekend that as a new member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee “I’ll be the strongest pro-Israel advocate in the whole Congress.”

Appearing on nationally syndicated columnist Victor Riesel’s weekly interview show on WEVD radio, Le Boutillier, who at 27 is the youngest member of the House, said that as a non–Jew “my position will be more credible than if coming from someone who is Jewish.”

The freshman Congressman, who represents the Sixth District in Queens and Nassau County, said that what he most fears “is a subtle bit of pressure put on our new President to move him away from the really pro-Israel stance that he had during the campaign…to what they call one of those ‘even-handed’ approaches–which is not even-handed at all, which will be the first step toward the possible destruction of Israel.”

LeBoutillier said the United States cannot negotiate with the Palestine Liberation Organization. “We can’t talk or deal with them in any way,” he stressed.

But, LeBoutillier added, members of his own party on the Foreign Affairs Committee, such as Rep. Paul Findley (R.III.) do not share these views. He said Findley advocates recognition of the PLO, calling it “one of the most moderate forces in the Middle East.” Findley, LeBoutillier declared, “is obviously grossly ignorant of the facts if he calls the murdering of babies and peoples in schools and airports, moderate. I’d hate to see what he calls hardline. So I’m glad I am on the committee. At least’ I’ll cancel him out.”

Recommended from JTA