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A Public Service Message from the American Income Life Insurance CompanyExecutive offices, Waco, TexasBernard Rapoport, Pres. On Maintaining the US Commitment to Israel A statement by the Honorable Robert Morgan, U.S. Senator from North Carolina, as published in the Congressional Record of April 23, 1975. The series of events that have unfolded in recent weeks in Indochina, in the Middle East, in the Mediterraneanall have brought the word “commitment” into extraordinary prominence at home and in many areas of the world. Closely associated with commitment is the prestige of the United States and the credibility of American foreign policy. In these troubled times, we face in the United States a sense of fear, scorn, or suspicion on the part of the many toward U.S. commitments abroad, and with it, a desire to withdraw from the world. Abroad, we face mistrust or doubt among our allies, and what appears to be increased determination on the part of our adversaries. The Director of the prestigious International Institute of Strategic Studies recently concluded that “the crumbling in Southeast Asia does not justify the view that the United States would give up commitments elsewhere that it considers vital to ‘ its interests. U.S. credibility depends less on Vietnam than on the problems within the United States to conduct a foreign policy.” This statement gives me cause for profound concern. I have noted a conspicuous trend of late, expressed by various spokesmen for both the executive and legislative branches of our Government, advocating a complete revision of our commitments abroad. I urge extreme caution in this matter, because there is a very grave potential for recklessness in hastily casting off commitments that may affect our vital interests. A commitment is not a diplomatic bandaid; it is a solemn undertaking. If we are not careful, we shall be left with one very permanent obligation: namely, eternal dishonor. I have a particular concern at this time for the Middle Eastan area in which the United States holds vital interests and where it is imperative that our Government maintain a clear and unambiguous position and policy. These interests include continued access by ourselves and our Allies to the region’s oil resources; use of the land, sea, and air routes, and transit facilities of the region; the strengthening of economic ties with Middle Eastern countries and access to their markets for U.S. trade and investment; the prevention of an external power establishing a predominant political and military presence in the region. The United States also has a long-standing commitment in the Middle. Eastthe survival of the State of Israel. I strongly believe it serves the best interests of the United States to provide Israel with the economic, military, and political support necessary to deter attack and to keep alive the search for a just and lasting peace in the area. The Israelis themselves possess the will to survive. And they have never asked that American troops be sent to defend their countrythey only have asked for the means for survival. From recent statements, I fear there are some people who are morally mortgaging themselves and who would deprive Israel of the power to defend itself. The search for peace in the Middle East will not be served by forsaking our commitment to Israel. Rather, I feel that any reductionlet alone cessationof U.S. aid to that country would be interpreted as a sign of American weakness and would encourage intransigent attitudes toward any settlement by the Arabs. Thirty years ago, American public opinion was appalled by the evidence uncovered by Allied forces of what had happened to the Jews in the Nazi death camps. Under Hitler, the Jews had been doomed not so much because there had been no escape, but because there had been no refuge. Jewish people everywhere looked for a homeland to which the refugees and the persecuted could go. For understandable historical and religious reasons, many Jews looked to Palestine. The American people overwhelmingly endorsed the concept that Palestine be established as a Jewish commonwealth, integrated in the structure of the new, postwar democratic world. When the State of Israel was formally proclaimed on May 14, 1948, it was immediately recognized by the United States. Israel, therefore, became the repository for all the unrealized hopes of the six million Jews who had perished at the hands of the Nazis. In reflecting upon this occasion, I cannot but feel certain that if we forget the unique lessons of the Holocaust, we will surely repeat the blunders of yesterday. It was when it appeared that the world didn’t care that the Nazis knew they had a free hand. Since 1948, Israel has been engaged in a fight for national survival. Commencing at the time of its inception, four full-scale wars have taken place between Israel and its Arab neighbors. Yet, possessing a unity of national purpose, this unique country remains one of the most democratic lands in the world and, among its citizens, there is a diversity of backgrounds, ideas and outlooks. Despite the ever-present sense of encircling danger, however, there is no confusion or despair. Nor is there any sense of panic in the face of the constantly voiced threat of annihilation by its neighbors. The American commitment to Israel’s survival has been affirmed by six Presidents and thirteen Congresses. The United States helped sustain the new State of Israel in its formative years. In 1950, the United States joined the United Kingdom and France in issuing a Tripartite Declaration, guaranteeing the territorial integrity of Middle Eastern countries.