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U.S. Urged to Withhold Approval of Trade Treaty with Soviet Union

January 30, 1973
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The Zionist Organization of America urged that approval be withheld of the pending U.S. Soviet trade treaty until the Soviet Union lifts its exhorbitant visa tax and cuts off assistance to Arab terrorists and others who sponsor or sanction their activities. A resolution adopted at the annual mid-winter, meeting yesterday of the ZOA’s National Executive Committee, called on the administration and Congress to make Soviet revocation of the visa tax and cessation of arms, training and financial aid to terrorists “conditions for passage and implementation of the treaty.”

The proposed agreement, which would give Moscow “most favored nation” status and other credit guarantees, is an issue in which the Soviets’ “immediate self-interest is at stake,” Herman L. Weisman, president of the ZOA, said. Only the “strongest measures” can halt their “brazen flouting” of human rights and free the “curbing, control and elimination of organized international terrorism from Soviet interference,” Weisman stated.

In another policy action, the ZOA called for a Congressional inquiry into reported assistance to and participation in terrorist activities by Arab nationals, supposedly in the United States on temporary or student visas, and other organizations and individuals. Such an inquiry, the ZOA said, would seek to determine whether appropriate legislation is needed regarding the condition of these Arabs’ entering into the country in order to insure public safety from terrorist threats.

The ZOA also recorded its “deep disappointment” over the United Nations’ “dilatory and inconclusive action” on the problem of terrorism and air piracy; expressed its confidence in President Nixon’s Middle East policies and in his assurances that the U.S. will continue its assistance to help Israel maintain its economic viability and defensive military capacity; and declared that Israel should hold to its position that a durable Middle East peace depends upon direct negotiations with the Arab countries.

Former ZOA president Jacques Torczyner warned that “enemies of Israel” may attempt to misconstrue the sense of relief over the Vietnam peace settlement by “spreading the rumor” that American support of Israel poses a danger of some new and unwanted “entanglement” in the Middle East. Torczyner, a member of the World Zionist Organization Executive, said the ZOA must work to counteract this potentially dangerous development, particularly with regard to new members of Congress who may not understand the distinction between support of a de facto ally and outright U.S. intervention in the area, which Israel neither expects nor needs.

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