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Mcgovern Urges Administration to Recognize Jerusalem As Israel’s Capital

May 30, 1972
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

In his strongest pro-Israel statement yet, Sen. George McGovern (D. S.D.) last night called on the Nixon administration to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel “and move our embassy there.” The Democratic presidential aspirant addressed the Valley Jewish Community Center and Temple here, a Conservative synagogue. “The cornerstone of our policy in the Middle East should be the survival of an Israel that is militarily secure, politically democratic and economically sound,” he told the 1800 persons who jammed the synagogue. Another 500 heard the address over loud speakers in the synagogue’s parking lot.

McGovern said the US should “furnish Israel the advanced aircraft and other equipment necessary to prevent attack.” Such arms delivery, he said, “should not be made contingent upon Israeli agreement to American diplomatic demands, but should rather be an ongoing commitment based solely upon military requirements.” On Jerusalem, he rejected any idea of international control and said the city should remain unified under Israeli administration provided only that full and free access to the holy places of all faiths be continued.


McGovern criticized the US action last September in joining the Soviet Union at the UN in voting to censure Israel on the issue of Jerusalem, adding. “In the last twenty centuries Jerusalem has never seen better rule than it sees today under the Israeli administration of Mayor Teddy Kollek.” He also criticized the Nixon administration for having attempted “to impose a settlement in the Middle East through a concert of outside power.” He asserted that “the only kind of negotiations which can bring peace are direct negotiations without preconditions between the nations of the Middle East themselves.”

On the issue of borders, McGovern said, “The cornerstone of any peace settlement must be a mutual agreement upon defensible and recognized national boundaries capable of deterring any future aggression. He presented a four-point US Middle East program including: military supplies for Israel to deter Arab attack; substantial economic assistance; diplomatic support in the UN and other arenas of diplomacy in support of Israel’s basic peace proposals and present peace policies; and help in restraining Soviet activity in the Middle East.

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