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December 20, 1968 - Image 13

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1968-12-20

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

EshkolHolding Johnson to Promise
of Phantoms; No Change Expected
replied as well as I

Minister Levi Eshkol said in a ra-
dio interview Sunday night that
he was fully confident that Israel
would receive its supersonic F-4
Phantom jet fighter-bombers from
the United States in 1970, if not
Eshkol said, "On this matter I
rely on the promise of the U.S.
President—he is still President—
and what he told me at our last
meeting, which was that deliveries
would begin in 1970."
Eshkol was referring to his
meeting with President Johnson
at the latter's ranch in Texas last
January. He said, "The assump-
tion is—and I want to be careful
—that it (the deliveries) will be
concluded then, and there is a
chance, or a hope, that it might be
The prime minister referred to
delivery of the Phantoms in his
Kol Israel interview in order to
allay fears rising from a state-
ment by William W. Scranton,
President-elect Nixon's fact-finding
envoy to the Middle East, that the
1,800-mph war planes would not
reach Israel before 1971.

Scranton reportedly made that
prediction when he was here
last week. Negotiations for
Israel's purchase of a reported
58 Phantoms costing about
$5,900,000 apiece, are presently
going on in Washington. Govern-






trlilan Winortos..Detroit, Michi,

meat sources said the negotla-
tions are in the final stages, and
all that remains to be worked out
are financing and credit ar-

(Gov. Scranton appeared on the
NBC's "Today" show Sunday and
called for American efforts to im-
prove relations with the Arab coun-
tries. The controversial special fact
finder for President-elect Nixon
said there were three compelling
reasons why the United States
should better its relations with the
Arabs. First, be said, there were
the American economic interests.
Secondly, an increased American
influence in the Arab countries
could strengthen the pressures for
peace between the Arabs and
Israel. Thirdly, he said, the United
States must avoid "a complete
polarization" in which the Arabs
would be lined up with the Soviet
Union and the Israelis with the
United States.)
Eshkol reported to the Cabinet
on the status of the Phantom
negotiations and on Defense Min-
ister Dayan's meeting in New York
Saturday with Nixon. The prime
minister also briefed cabinet mem-
bers on his talks with Scranton. He
said that Nixon's emissary stressed
that he came to the Middle East
"to listen" and report back to the
President-elect. He said he car-
ried no messages from Nixon and
that he did not know what Nixon's
Middle East policy would be.
Defense Minister Dayan return-
ed Monday from his three-day visit
to the United States and told news-
men at the airport that he sensed
no change in America's attitude td-
ward Israel in his brief meeting
in New York Saturday with Pres-
ident-elect Nixon. He described it
as "a pleasant courtesy visit" and
said, " in any case, the talk was
in general terms. He asked ques-

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tions and I
Gen. Dayan met with Prime
Minister Eshkol immediately after
his arrival, presumably to give him
a fuller report on his visit to the
U.S. He declined to comment for
newsmen on the question of the
Phantom jets.
Foreign Minister Abba Eban as-
sured worried members of the
Knesset Wednesday that the
United States is not likely to alter
its basic policy of support for
Israel now or when the Nixon
administration takes office next
month. He said, however, that it
was too early to guess the details
of Nixon's Middle East policy, add
ing that "In the meantime we are
maintaining as close contact as
possible with the men of the new
Eban spoke in reply to ques-
tions by Avraham Werdiger, of
the Poalei Agudat Israel faction,
and Daniel Lev, of the National

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Dr. Katsh said approximately

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Eban said that Gov. Scranton's
views were not shared by Nixon
or by President Johnson. He said
that Israel accepted the state-
ments made by Nixon during the
Presidential campaign, which sup-
ported Israel's stand for a nego-
tiated peace with the Arabs and
promised to maintain a margin
of military superiority for Israel
in order to deter aggression. Eban
said also that "It is our impres-
sion that the present administra-
tion has not changed its policies
since Election Day."
He said that President Johnson,
President-elect Nixon and British
Prime Minister Harold Wilson all
support the view of a Middle East
peace attained through negotia-
tions between the parties concerned
and oppose a solution imposed
from outside the region.
Israel's two evening newspapers
— Maariv and Yediot Ahronot —
were the first to comment on
Nixon's choice of a cabinet. Both
papers agreed with a large seg-
ment of the American press which
said that in the area of foreign
affairs, the selection of William
P. Rogers as secretary of state-
designate indicated that the Pres-
ident himself will conduct foreign
Both papers called on Israel to
augment its diplomatic efforts by
a drive to promote Israel's view-
point throughout the world. The
papers contrasted Israel's com-
parative silence with the Soviet,
Arab and French campaigns di-
rected against Israel and intended
to impose a solution to the Middle
East deadlock from the outside.
Maariv commented that judging by
Nixon's past statements, he was not
likely to agree to such a course.
"We are sure that Mr. Scranton
will correctly report the position
of Israel and her government, but
a further clarification of it cannot
hurt," Maariv said.
(The Washington Star, in a
front-page analysis of the political
thinking of new cabinet members,
reported that Rogers is "pro-
NATO, pro-Israel, and pro-foreign
aid." But asking what effects his
beliefs will have in practice, it
simply said: "Who knows?")

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The London Guardian report-
ed from Tel Aviv that Israelis
realize that with a Republican
in the White House "much of
what could be taken for granted
with Democratic politicians or
officials will have to be started
afresh" and Israel will have to
renew its efforts to explain its
position to the new administra-
tion and the new personalities
in the State Department and the
foreign service.

The paper said that Israelis were
wary of Scranton, but believed that
he may have absorbed the fact that
Middle East crisis cannot be
judged from the viewpoint of the
Arab leaders alone. The Guardian
believed that "Some months may
elapse before the new American
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Religious Party. They and other
MRS expressed concern over
Scranton's remarks.



Friday, December 20, 1968-13


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