Sen. Henry Jackson (D.Wash.), whose support of Israel has been unquestioned in his long political career, has indicated annoyance with published speculation that he did not mention Israel in his address to the B’nai B’rith International convention because be is “angry” with Premier Menachem Begin.
Under headlines such as “Why Senator Jackson Was Mum on Israel” and “Some Hear Thunder in Jackson’s Silence,” sections of the American Jewish press carried the report from their own Washington correspondent that began “How angry is” Jackson with Begin? The report noted he had spoken about U.S.-Soviet relations Soviet Jewish emigration, Afghanistan, the strikes in Poland, and the energy crisis but “nothing about Israel.”
Jackson’s office dismissed the report as “an invention” and as “utterly ridiculous.” Dorothy Fosdick, a principal assistant to Jackson, said she told the report’s author that “You’re inventing the whole thing. You don’t have History there.”
Jackson, Fosdick said, “is very close and very loyal to Begin” and that “personally, Scoop is a good friend of Begin.” Jackson’s nickname is “Scoop.”
SAYS ALLEGATION IS ‘RIDICULOUS’
Asked for a comment on the allegation the is angry with Begin, Fosdick replied it’s utterly ridiculous. He doesn’t have to answer stuff like that.”
Independent observers noted that while Jackson did not mention Israel in his address. neither did Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser whose credentials in support of Israel’s government are similarly unquestioned. Fraser, whose address preceded Jackson’s, also stressed the Soviet component in world affairs and human rights.
Jackson received standing ovations before and after his speech to the B’nai B’rith, Fosdick noted. He discussed the elements about which he is the Senate’s foremost expert — Soviet Jewish emigration and the problems stemming from U.S. dependence on Middle East oil.
In an interview with The Washington Star two months ago, Jackson criticized the “timing” of Israel’s establishment of new settlements on the West Bank but in the same interview he said “the settlements are not illegal, ” which is contrary to the Carter Administration’s position.
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.