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The Panama Canal Treaty, which President Carter just signed, is in the best interest of the United States and farsighted in terms of our relations with other nations.

The treaty assures the continued safety of the canal itself. As hostility to the arrangements provided by the 1903 treaty grows,

the canal becomes increasingly vulnerable to terrorist attack and sabotage. The Joint Chiefs of Staff agree that the canal is impossible to defend. The new treaty diffuses this problem, thus assuring its continued operation. This is in the best strategic and economic interests of the United States.

Equally important, the treaty demonstrates our understanding of the political aspirations and economic objectives of smaller nations. The importance placed on this treaty by so many of the nations of Latin America is signified by the participation of over 20 heads of state in the recent signing ceremonies. The new treaty is conducive to more productive and cooperative relations with the nations of Latin America.

The treaty also signifies the commitment of the United States to end forever the vestiges of colonialism. At a time when colonial empires have been dismantled, in no small measure in response to pressure from the United States, this country is called on to examine its continued possession of what some have regarded as a flagrant example of the 19th century colonialism. Treaty negotiator Sol Linowitz has stated:

** to a large part of humanity, whether we like it or not, the Panama Canal is a colonial enclave carried over from the early part of the century * * * that has caused bitter resentment * * * ratification of the treaty will assure that we are going to set an example for the way a large nation deals with a small nation.

That is the end of our official statement.

As I elaborate upon this statement, let me first acknowledge at the outset that we cannot talk with authority about the economic or security aspects of the treaty. We will have to leave that to the military and business spokesmen who will be appearing before this committee. We can speak about ths moral issues which we feel the treaty addresses.

QUESTION OF EQUALITY BETWEEN NATIONS

The first question which this treaty calls to mind is that of parityof equality between nations. The Jewish tradition has always valued the ideals of equality and fairness. At the head of its teaching is the "golden rule” of Rabbi Hillel : "What is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbor."

In our own land, in the midst of great passion, these same values were at the head of Lincoln's axiom:“Even as I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master.” Equity between nations demands that what one country would not wish for itself, it ought not to inflict upon another country. Our nation, which so cherishes its territorial integrity and its political independence, has for all these years found itself in the anomalous position of perpetuating a physical incursion into the sovereign soil of another nation and thereby diminishing its political autonomy.

The ideal of fairness would require that as we would not want another nation to control a strip of land down the center of our land,

so we cannot preserve our hold on such a strip of land through the territory of another.

QUESTION OF IDEAL OF COOPERATION AND INTERDEPENDENCE

The second question which calls itself to our attention is that of the ideal of cooperation and interdependence. The world in which the canal was built was one of autonomous nations, each asserting its influence and exercising its power to whatever extent it was able, constrained only by the limits of its own resources. The world of our day is a far different one. The truest picture of the world in which we live was one transmitted back from the spaceship Apollo 14: a tiny lifeboat afloat in the vast sea of creation. We are truly, in the words of Archibald MacLeish, "riders on the Earth, together."

The lives and resources of all human beings now are bound up in a common thread of mutual needs and common interests. What Benjamin Franklin once said of the American colonies now holds true for all the nations of the world: “We must all hang together or we will hang separately." Whatever the lot of earlier ages may have been, the time we live in is one in which our various countries have need of one another's good will and friendship. We have, all of us pray, moved out of the age of aggression and confrontation and into an age of mutuality. The model of colonialism and paternalism has been replaced by one of collegiality and fraternal cooperation.

The Jewish tradition has always valued the ideal of cooperation among individuals and nations. It has fostered the teaching by which people may live together in contentment and accord. So does it look to the time when the people of the Earth can find their way to sharing their resources and being attentive to one another's needs. By our actions we can bring that time closer.

QUESTION OF U.S. ABILITY TO RESPOND TO NEW REALITIES

Finally, Mr. Chairman, I believe that this treaty addressed a practical question: The ability of the United States to respond to the new realities of this age. We do not have the luxury of responding to today's questions with yesterday's answers. Many are still mesmerized by the vision of the world in which the canal was built. They would apply the rough and ready values of that time to this decision. But those answers will not work. The people of Panama will not be docile and submissive. With or without our cooperation it has been reported they will come into possession of the canal. How much better would it be for them, for us, and for the peace and stability of our part of the world if the transition of ownership could be done amicably and in the best interests of both peoples.

Our neighbors and the circle of nations beyond them may well regard our decision on this question as a test for the United States.

To hold to old ways here might be seen less as an indication of strength than of decline. The ability to acknowledge our new world and respond to it in its own terms will be seen as a sign of our readiness to be a part of that new world. It will be token of our commitment to the ideals of the equality and cooperation among nations. It will be

a token of our readiness to live with them in fraternity and interdependence. It will be token of a magnanimity of spirit which we hope will mark all the dealings between the nations of the Earth.

Mr. Chairman, I thank you for hearing my testimony and inviting us to present it today.

[Mr. Levinson's prepared statement follows:]

PREPARED STATEMENT OF MORRIS LEVINSON

Mr. Chairman: I am Morris Levinson, Vice President of the Synagogue Council of America and Chairman of its Committee on International Affairs. With me is Rabbi Daniel Polish, Associate Director of the Synagogue Council. The Synagogue Council is the national representative body of the three branches of American Judaism-Conservative, Orthodox and Reform. Its constituent organizations, both rabbinical and congregational are: Central Conference of American Rabbis, Rabbinical Assembly, Rabbinical Council of America, Union of American Hebrew Congregations, Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, and United Synagogue of America. These organizations represent more than 4 million American Jews.

I would like to begin my testimony by presenting the official policy statement of the Synagogue Council about the proposed treaty:

The Panama Canal Treaty, which President Carter just signed, is in the best interest of the United States and far-sighted in terms of our relations with other nations.

The treaty assures the continued safety of the canal itself. As hostility to the arrangements provided by the 1903 treaty grows, the canal becomes increasingly vulnerable to terrorist attack and sabotage. The Joint Chiefs of Staff agree that the canal is impossible to defend. The new treaty diffuses this problem, thus assuring its continued operation. This is in the best strategic and economic interests of the United States.

Equally important, the treaty demonstrates our understanding of the political aspirations and economic objectives of smaller nations. The importance placed on this treaty by so many of the nations of Latin America is signified by the participation of over 20 heads of state in the recent signing ceremonies. The new treaty is conducive to more productive and cooperative relations with the nations of Latin America.

The treaty also signifies the commitment of the United States to end for. ever the vestiges of colonialism. At a time when colonial empires have been dismantled, in no small measure in response to pressure from the United States, this country is called on to examine its continued possessions of what some have regarded as a flagrant example of 19th century colonialism. Treaty negotiator Sol Linowitz has stated :

"To a large part of humanity, whether we like it or not, the Panama Canal is a colonial enclave carried over from the early part of the century ... [that] has caused bitter resentment ... [ratification of the treaty will] assure that we're going to set an example for the way a large nation deals with a small nation."

When the canal was opened 63 years ago it was the source of great pride for the United States. It demonstrated to the world the technical and managerial genius which this country possessed. Today this country's re. sponse to the new treaty can also be a source of pride. It can demonstrate the United States' generosity and self-confidence, and its flexibility in facing new realities. Ratification of this treaty offers the United States a chance to demonstrate its vision of a cooperative world, and a chance, once again, to be

of benefit to our neighbors. As I elaborate upon this statement, let me first acknowledge at the outset that we cannot talk with authority about the economic or security aspects of the treaty. We will have to leave that to the military and business spokesmen who will be appearing before this committee. We can speak about the moral issues which we feel the treaty addresses.

The first question which this treaty calls to mind is that of parity-of equality between nations. The Jewish tradition has always valued the ideals of equality and fairness. At the heart of its teaching is the “golden rule” of Rabbi Hillel : "What is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbor.” In our own land, in the

midst of great passion, these same values were at the heart of Lincoln's axiom, "Even as I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master.” Equity between nations demands that what one country would not wish for itself, it ought not inflict upon another country. Onr nation, which so cherishes its territorial integrity and its political independence, has for all these years found itself in the anomalous position of perpetuating a physical incursion into the sovereign soil of another nation, and thereby diminishing its political autonomy.

The ideal of fairness would require that as we would not want another nation to control a strip of land down the center of our land, so we cannot preserve our hold on such a strip of land through the territory of another.

The second question which calls itself to our attention is that of the ideal of cooperation and interdependence. The world in which the canal was built was one of autonomous nations, each asserting its influence and exercising its power to whatever extent it was able, constrained only by the limits of its own resources. The world of our day is a far different one. The truest picture of the world in which we live was the one transmitted back from the spaceship Apollo 14: a tiny lifeboat afloat in the vast sea of creation. We are truly, in the words of Archibald MacLeish, "riders on the earth, together."

The lives and resources of all human beings now are bound up in a common thread of mutual needs and common interests. What Benjamin Franklin once said of the American colonies now holds true for all the nations of the world: “We must all hang together, or we will hang separately." Whatever the lot of earlier ages may have been, the time we live in is one in which our various countries have need of one another's goodwill and friendship. We have, all of us pray, moved out of the age of aggression and confrontation and into an age of mutuality. The model of colonialism and paternalism has been replaced by one of collegiality and fraternal cooperation.

The Jewish tradition has always valued the ideal of cooperation among indi. viduals and nations. It has fostered the teaching by which people may live together in contentment and concord. So does it look to the time when the people of the earth can find their way to sharing their resources and being attentive to one another's needs. By our actions we can bring that time closer.

This treaty allows the United States the opportunity to demonstrate that it is endowed with breadth of vision and reservoirs of goodwill. Ours is a land blessed with resources of material and of skill. Yet it is not a selfish land. We can reach out our hand to our neighbors and share with them. We can give them of what is ours so that we may better their lot and add to their happiness. Our ethical teachings do call on us to share.

Some may deride this value as "soft-heartedness" or denounce it as perpetrating "hand-outs." We have been taught to view it as a virtue, making the world more habitable by benefitting one another. Even as we would practice this ideal within our own land, so do we believe it can be practiced among nations. Because the welfare of each nation now rests on the happiness and contentment of its neighhors, we ensure our own welfare by contributing to the welfare of the people of Panama.

Finally, Mr. Chairman, I believe that this treaty addresses a practical question: The ability of the United States to respond to the new realities of this age. We do not have the luxury of responding to today's questions with yesterday's answers. Many are still mesmerized by the vision of the world in which the canal was built. They would apply the rough and ready values of that time to this decision. But those answers will not work. The people of Panama will not be docile and submisive. With or without our cooperation, it has been reported, they will come into possession of the canal. How much better would it be, for them, for us, and for the peace and stability of our part of the world, if the transition of ownership could be done amicably and in the best interests of both peoples.

The reality of this moment is one that will acknowledge that all power does not inhere in our nation, nor all right.

The reality of this moment is one that recognizes that we cannot go it alone, that we have real need of the assistance and goodwill of our neighbor states.

And so we may respond to the realities of this moment or seek to flee from them. The counsel that we "tough it out” and hold to the understandings of an earlier time is beguiling but false. Such devotion to outworn visions is not the mark of a creative and powerful people but of an enfeebled and declining one. The ability to adapt to new demands and respond creatively to new realities is not the mark of a diminished nation, but of a vital and energetic one.

Our neighbors and the circle of nations beyond them may well regard our deci. sion on this question as a test for the United States. To hold to old ways here might be seen less as an indication of strength than of decline. The ability to acknowledge our new world and respond to it in its own terms will be seen as a sign of our readiness to be a part of that new world. It will be token of our commitment to the ideals of the equality and cooperation among nations. It will be token of our readiness to live with them in fraternity and interdependence. It will be token of a magnanimity of spirit which we hope will mark all the dealings between the nations of the earth.

Mr. Chairman, I thank you for hearing my testimony and inviting us to present it today.

The Chairman. Thank you.

U.S PUBLIC OPINION IN VIEW OF TRADITIONAL RELIGIOUS VALUES

How do you reconcile the traditional American religious values you discussed with the apparent U.S. public opinion against the treaties?

Mr. LEVINSON. Well, the public opinion, I do not know whether it is informed enough at this stage to say there is a public opinion. I can understand, and I have in my own self felt, some kind of schizophrenia, a chauvinism. We built this canal—it is ours--why should we give it up? I think this is what is in the minds of many Americans today. We have not really thought about the problem, have not really thought about whether it is defendable, whether it is needed, how many ships can go through it, the size of the ships, how much of the land in Panama we hold in our hands and do not allow the city of Panama to expand. The economic development of that country is in our hands. I do not think the American public has yet had a chance to learn about this. I feel confident that when they do, they will understand what I think is presented by our group.

FAIRNESS OF U.S. PANAMA DEALINGS

The CHAIRMAN. Generally speaking, do you think that we, in our relations with Panama, have been fair to Panama and that Panama has been fair to us? In other words, have we had good dealings with each other, fair and honest?

Mr. LEVINSON. We have kept our commercial arrangements and have increased our contribution to the Panama economy. I can only say to you, is it fair to pay $200,000 to Panama, raised to $1.9 million, now $2.3 million, for 500-some square miles of land when we pay annually to Spain $20 million for 3 air bases?

The CHAIRMAN. Senator Percy!
Senator Percy. Yes.

I am most interested in your testimony, Mr. Levinson. I hope it was not too much of an inconvenience to you to be held over until this afternoon.

HOW PANAMANIANS FEEL ABOUT TREATIES, POSSIBILITY OF FREE ELECTIONS

Several witnesses have stated that people in Panama really do not support these treaties. A group of four Canal Zone residents testified and said that, in their judgment, the plebiscite would carry favorably for the treaties, but they knew the people of Panama were against them, and if they had a free election, they would be able to vote against it.

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