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January 16, 1970 - Image 48

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1970-01-16

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

'Betrayal' Seen in French Sale of Jets to Lihya

(Continued from Page 1)
it with French francs, govern-
ment sources said. They claimed
that Libyan oil costs France a
dollar less per barrel than its
main oil imports from Algeria.
But the left-wing daily Combat,
never a partisan of Israel, head-
lined the Libyan deal story, "A
Criminal Betrayal," The newspa-
per Figaro questioned the morality
of a government which "sells arms
to one side while refusing to sup-
ply the means of self-defense to
the other."
L'Aurore said President Pom-
pidou has outdone former Presi-
dent deGaulle in the one-sidedness
of his Middle East policy. The cen-
tral committee of the Socialist Par-
ty held a special meeting to dis-
cuss the Libyan deal. It issued a
communique deploring the arms
sale as a "tragic act."

French Foreign Minister Mau-
rice Schumann stated flatly Tues-
day that his government "will
not deliver a single Mirage to Is-
rael" and will do nothing "to en-
danger France's newly won pop-
ularity with the Arab countries."
Schumann's remarks, reported-
ly made at a closed door meet-
ing with the parliamentary group
of the governing Gaullist party,
was regarded here as the most
important and clearest statement
of French policy made in recent

The foreign minister was sum-
moned by the Gaullist deputies to
explain the government's Middle
East policy. Schumann reportedly
told the Gaullists that the govern-
ment's chief preoccupation was to
do nothing that could endanger
France's popularity in the Arab
world. He said France could not
consider the delivery of any arms
to Israel because that would jeo-
pardize this policy.
The French-Libyan arms deal
is said to involve 50 Mirage HI
fighter-bombers, the same num-
ber and the same type of aircraft
that France has withheld from
Israel under its arms embargo
although they were paid for in
full more than a year ago.
The Israel Cabinet's formal com-
munique on the issue referred
to the arms embargo as "moral
and legal injustice" on top of
which France "is now prepared
to sell 50 Mirages to Libya which
has announced its intention to
join in future war efforts against
Israel and which demonstrates
consistent and extremist activities
in the hostile campaign against

(In New York, informed sources
taming or flying the complex
sophisticated Mirages which, i n Saturday rejected as "fatuous"
any event, are not required b y and "frankly absurd" a French
official announcement that the Big
Libya for defensive purposes.
French sources have insisted Four powers have reached agree-
that a clause in the Libyan arms ment on a number of controversial
deal forbids the transfer of the issues about the Middle East.
(Other diplomatic sources said
planes to any third party. But
in the international arms traffic, the seven points put forward by
officials as settled in fact
such clauses are regarded as
meaningless because there is no reflected "French hopes and not
way to enforce them.

While France maintains its policy
of embargo against Israel, it
strengthens the war potential of
the Arab states that refuse to sign
a peace treaty with Israel, the Is-
rael Foreign Ministry spokesman



Defense Minister Moshe Dayan
lashed out at the French govern-
ment when he went to Lydda Air-
port to greet Admiral Mordechai
Limon, the chief of Israel's arms
purchasing mission in France. Ad-
miral Limon was recalled to Israel
at the demand of the French gov-
ernment for his alleged role in
last month's gunboat affair.
The French Defense Ministry ac-
cused him of signing false papers
to make possible the release of
five French-built gunboats with-
held from the Israel Navy by the
Gen. Dayan said he could find
no justification for Adimral Li-
mon's ouster. He said the gun-

boats' papers were in perfect
order when they left France and
that his ministry had nothing
to do with them. He said the
injustice of France's attitude
was never more apparent than
when it expelled Admiral Limon
because Israel legally took pos-
session of its property, while at
the same time France was nego-
tiating arms deals with Libya
and Iraq.

(The reported points of agree-
ment included U.S. recognition
that Israel must withdraw from
occupied territories, Soviet rec-
ognition that such withdrawal
would take place only after a
peace settlement and UN policing
of the occupied territories.)

The U.S. government is not nec-
essarily opposed to the French sale
of jets and other arms to Libya,
Washington officials said. They
also disclosed that the administra-
tion may have no real objection
to France taking over the Wheelus
base if leftist presures force the
United States out.
State Departemnt officials con-
tend Washington would prefer that
France arm and zssist Libya
rather than have the Soviet Union
enter the vacuum.
Three additional Soviet destroyer
escorts have been reported to have
entered the eastern Mediterranean
through the Bosphorus as part of
the growing Russian buildup in the
Middle East. Reports received in
Washington said that more than
40 Russian naval units are assem-

It was reported Tuesday that
the Soviet navy sent its big
helicopter-carrier Moskva into
the Mediterranean again to re-
join the Red fleet there. The
warship is equipped with missiles
and is capable of landing power-
fully armed airborne task forces.

grave consequences of his action
in contributing heavily toward an
arms imbalance in the Middle East
and thus playing into the hands of
Soviet Russia by adding fuel to the
fires stoked by the Kremlin in this
strategic part of the world."
Time magazine claimed Monday
that U.S. "concern" over France's
massive arms deal with Libya is
"prompted not solely by the pos-
sible impact of the sale on the
Middle East arms race, but also
by some purely commercial con-
siderations. Both the U.S. and the
British hope to make arms deals
of their own with the Libyans."
According to Time, the French
action may now cause the U.S.
to reconsider a request by Premier
Meir for more U.S. Phantom and
Skyhawk jets and ground-to-air
missiles. Time said the French
government "deliberately misled"
the U.S. on its sale of 50 Mirages
to the Libyans.
Indeed President Nixon will
sooner or later authorize the sale
of additional Phantom jet fighter-
bombers and other arms to Israel
despite diplomatic differences over
peace proposals, congressional
sources predicted Thursday.
U.S. policy makers are convinced
that a continuing U.S. arms sup-
ply to Israel would not only deter
Arab aggression but also inhibit
Israel from a pre-emptive war. An
American-Soviet nuclear confronta-
tion in the Middle East may be
avoided if Israeli power is kept
at a carefully balanced level, ac-
cording to high officials.

Consideration of the arms list
submitted by Israeli Premier
Golda Meir last year Is under
active review without direct link-
age to current differences on
other matters. But the financial
aid she asked now appears less
likely than the arms quest. In-
formed sources said that a new
commitment will be made for
sale of Phantoms to be delivered
after the 50 ordered last year
are shipped. Delivery of the 50
is scheduled for completion by
the end of 1970.


a nuclear option." The study con-
tended that if either the Arabs or
Israel were tempted to full-scale
war by a presumed imbalance, the
United States would be put in dan-
ger of a confrontation with the
Soviet Union.
(The Israeli freighter Tamara
of the Zim Lines, reported sailed
from the Belgian port of Zee-
brugge Tuesday with a cargo of
U.S.-made World War II artillery
and military vehicles passed off
by the French armed forces. The
Zim Lines agents in Belgium said
the equipment had been sold as
scrap by American authorities in
West Germany. They said it had
been loaned to by the U.S. to
France under the Marshall Plan
and eventually was returned when
the French replaced it with new

Storm Brewing in British
Political Circles Over
Sale of Missiles to Qater
LONDON (JTA)—Something of a

storm appeared to be brewing in
British political circles with dis-
closures that the British govern-
ment had apparently authorized
the sale of hundreds of ground-to-
air missiles and their launchers to
the oil-rich Arab sheikdom of Qater.
According to reports, the Arab
sheikdom will spend 1,000,000
pounds ($2,400,000) on the British
Tiger Cat missile and launchers
to defend its airfields against "ag-
Members of Parliament ex-

pressed themselves as not so
much concerned over the rela.
tively small size of the transac-
tion but over the inequities of
British policy on arms in such
a danger area as the Middle
East. A number of them were
expected to press Prime Minister
Harold Wilson for a policy state-

According to the London Daily
(The French Defense Ministry
Russell Kerr, a Labor MP, said
and the Iraqi Embassy in Paris de- Mail Tuesday, Moskva's reappear-
that "the Middle East is a powder-
may have been a move to
nied Tuesday that negotiations are
already and our best efforts
going on over the sale to Iraq of bolster Arab morale after recent
ought to be directed toward easing
the newest model of France's su- Israeli military successes. But the
tension rather than trying to make
paper said it could also suggest
personic Mirage jet, the F-1.
money out of it." The Sun, the
that Russia is losing patience with
(The ministry said that no talks the Arabs as a result of the loss
Australian-owned tabloid, said ed-
with Iraq are going on at the mo- to Israel of such top secret Soviet
A new order would be delivered itorially that when the Tiger Cats
ment. Observers here noted how- equipment as the radar unit which in carefuly controlled monthly are delivered to Qater, the case for
ever that France had persistently Israeli commandos snatched from driblets to retain leverage on selling arms to Israel will be
denied for weeks that it was nego- an Egyptian base.
Israeli policies. But shipments may stronger than ever. It asked: "Why
tiating the sale of Mirages to
be expediated or slowed depending don't we stop the whole bloody
Libya, a deal that was confirmed President Nixon Urged to Ask
upon Israeli losses and the extent trade or stop kidding?" -
last week.
and quality of Soviet arms pro-
The British government has re-
vided to the Arabs.
(The Mirage F-1 is not sched- Sale of Arms to Libya
fused for many months to permit
NEW YORK (JTA)—The pres-
uled to go into production until
The limited sale of additional Israel to buy the British-built
next year. King Faisal of Saudi ident of the United Synagogue of arms to Israel also was indicated Chieftain tank here. Israel declares
Arabia who is here on a private America urged President Nixon in a policy analysis published in it needs the British heavy tank to
visit, was received by President Monday to intervene with Presi- the latest issue of the authoritive offset heavy tanks supplied to
Georges Pompidou Tuesday. He dent Georges Pompidou, of France weapons to Israel and outlined Egypt by the Soviet Union.
said later that their talk covered to halt the flow of offensive wea- "why it would be unwise to deny
(The semi-official Cairo newspa-
The cabinet statement went general matters pertaining to the pons to Libya "in behalf of Middle Israel further suplies in the hope
on to say, "It is safe to assume Middle East situation but no "pre- East peace." Jacob Stein said the that such restaint would enhance per Al Ahram reported that the
of British Centurion tanks to
that these (French) arms will cise subjects." He said he was United Synagogue, the congrega- the prospects of a multilateral
be used against Israel." The "very optimistic" about commer- tional branch of Conservative political settlement betwen the Israel would be discussed at a
meeting of Arab ambassadors to
cabinet expressed the hope that cial relations between his country Judaism in the United States, various parties to the conflict."
open in London shortly. The paper
"The French government will and France.)
was appalled by France's an-
Foreign Affairs argued in favor said that Egyptian leaders have
restore its policy of friendship
The French have insisted all nounced sale of modern weapons, of helping Israel remain "the already brought up the matter
and decency toward Israel to the
along that their arms sales to Iraq including 50 Mirage supersonic jet dominant local airpower in the Mid- with British officials visting Cairo.
satisfaction of both nations."
and Libya did not violat e the Mi d fighter-bombers, to Libya.
dle East." If America denied es- Britain reportedly agreed to sell
The deal was confirmed Friday East arms embargo imposed by
He noted that President Pompi- sential arms, Israel would "re- Centurion tanks to Israel but is still
by Agence France Press, which former President deGaulle during dou is scheduled to visit the U.S.
double its attempt to build up its hedging on Israel's request to pur-
quoted sources understood to be the Six-Day War. According to next month and asked President
arms industry and would al- chase the newer, more powerful
in the French Foreign Ministry. France, neither of those countries Nixon to "impress upon him the own
most certainly move further toward Chieftain tanks).
The news agency is frequently used were belligerents, although Iraq
as an outlet for announcements sent fighting men to Jordan at the
the government is unwillig to make time and now maintains over
10,000 troops on Jordanian soil.
The French originally denied
The French seek to justify their
JERUSALEM (JTA)—The for- of the World Jewish Congress Biafran civil war with Nigeria
that any arms deal was being arms deal with Libya on grounds
negotiated with Libya. Last week that it is better for a Western eign ministry reported Tuesday urged Jewish communities the appeared to be nearing its end.
Hoffman expressed the hope that
Paris admited that 10-15 Mirage nation to supply arms to that that it received telephone calls world over to join in national and
jets were involved in such a deal. country than to have it rely on from scores of persons following a international efforts to provide the Nigerian government, "as a
of the United Nations
Last Friday's report confirmed t he Soviet Union.
broadcast appeal for volunteers war.
Declaration on Human Rights,"
earlier rumors that Libya would
for relief missions to Biafra.
receive 50 of the high performance
Meanwhile, the American Jewish would "safeguard the lives and
said France will use the Libyan
The ministry has approached
warplanes, among the speediest,
Committee voiced concern for the human rights of all the people
most efficient jet fighters in the
safety and welfare of the civilian who inhabit the territory of Ni-
world. The figure of 10-15 was said t Britian must abandon this year is negotiating with Nigerian au- population in embattled Biafra and geria and Biafra."
Hoffman noted that throughout
to represent the initial deliveries.
50 Mirage jets.
the famine area following the said it was working with other the civil war, the AJCommittee
organizations on an interfaith basis
Israel's alarm and concern was
These informants said France surrender of Nigeria's secessionist to muster the relief
cooperated with other religious
materials that
heightened by the fear that most would thus effectively control the eastern province.
will be desperately nec led in the and humanitarian groups, through
if not all of the Mirages would Wheelus base near Tripoli through
the Joint Church Aid, in sending
Israel dispatched a shipment weeks ahead.
eventually find their way to the t he presence of its officers, tech- of food and drugs consigned to
food and medical supplies to
Egyptian and probably the Syrian ' n icians and ground personnel. The the Red Cross, which would. dis-
The statement by AJCommittee Biafra. He said his organization
air forces to supplement Soviet- United States has agreed to leave tribute it in areas of need. Israel President- Philip E. Hoffman still "stands ready to offer assist-
supplied aircraft.
Wheelus by the middle of this year.
has sent food, medical supplies echoed the alarm expressed by the ance in bringing whatever humani-
and other humanitarian aid to Vatican and other sources that a tarian aid is called for in this
Military experts in France and
The sources said only the most
bloodbath would ensue as the present difficult situation."
other countries say Libya's min- basic instruction of Libyan pilots Biafra in the past.
ute air force is incapable of main- would take place in France.
Dr. Nahum Goldmann, president Friday, January 16, 1970

Israel Sends Aid to Starving Biafrans


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