Watt's line

The White House promptly and wisely said that Interior Secretary Watt did not reflect US foreign or domestic policy in his letter to Israeli Ambassador Moshe Arens. Thank goodness. For Mr. Watt warned the ambassador that liberals of the Jewish community could weaken America's ability to be a good friend of Israel. How? By joining with other American liberals to oppose Mr. Watt's efforts to develop US energy and reduce dependence on imports.

Jewish liberals may or may not oppose such recent Watt efforts as leasing federal coal at a minute fraction of today's prices and offering virtually the whole coastline for oil leasing. They may or may not oppose the notion that the best management of the federal resources owned by all Americans is through the marketplace.

But their assent should not be solicited, as some American Jews vigorously noted, through the emissary of a foreign country. They do not need a Mr. Watt implying acceptance of an image of American Jews taking cues from Israel.

Better the White House approach of trying to make sure no one supposes that Mr. Watt takes his cues from the President.

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