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March 19, 1976 - Image 22

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1976-03-19

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

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

22 Friday, March 19, 1976

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Egypt Ending Soviet Ties is Called a Ploy
to Get U.S. C-130s and Military Equipment

JERUSALEM (JTA)
President Anwar Sadat's
announcement that he was
abrogating the Soviet-Egyp-
tian friendship treaty of
1971, was seen by observers
in Israel as motivated, in
part at least, by his desire to
sway U.S. opinion in favor
of American-Egyptian arms
deals.
These observers pointed
out that the SOviet pact had
been, in effect, emptied of
much ofits meaningful con-
tent years ago. In 1972,
Sadat drove out the 20,000
Soviet advisors then sta-
tioned in Egypt and that
single act marked a sharp
deterioration in ties with
Russia which have pro-

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ceeded fitfully ever since.
The Egyptian President's
speech, therefore, had a
good deal of dramatic and
demonstrative significance,
but much less practical
meaning according to these
observers.
Similarly dramatic and'
exaggerated, the observers
said, was Sadat's assertion
that unless he received So-
viet spare parts his arms
would be "junk" within 18
months.
First, the observers
pointed out, Egypt is still
getting Soviet spare parts
and supplies, though ad-
mittedly not in the same
abundance as in past
years. Secondly, Sadat
and his aides are actively
shopping around for weap-
ons and Egypt is alto-
gether unlikely to remain
defenseless.
Foreign Minister Yigal
Allon said that there were
grounds for hope the U.S.
will sell no additional arms
to Egypt in the "foreseeable
future" beyond the six C-130
Hercules transport planes

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vantage in artillery and a
five-to-one disadvantage in
active manpower.
Kissinger's statement
about the sale not setting a
precedent seemed to be 'con-
tradicted earlier in the week
by State Department
spokesman Robert Funseth.
Funseth said the C-130s
were the only "specific"
military equipment cur-
rently being contemplated
for sale to Egypt.
He said, however, that the
Administration talked to
Congress and the Israelis
about the "general catego-
ries of kinds of military
equipment that might be
considered" for shipment to
Egypt in a "future military
relationship."
Funseth could not con-
firm recent press reports
that categories of equip-
ment under consideration
for Egypt included radar,
patrol boats, transport heli-
copters and communica-
tions equipment.
At the Friday press con-
ference Allon also referred
to the American initiative to
explore Arab attitudes to-
ward end-of-war or non-bel-
ligerence talks as the next
step in Middle East diplo-
macy. He said that as of his
meeting -with Kissinger,
Washington had received no
reply from the Arab states.
:`The ball is now in the Ar-
abs' court," Allon said.
Meanwhile, the likeli-
hood that Ford would visit
the Middle East in April
faded. Asked if the Presi-
dent planned a trip to that
region before the end of
1976, White House Press
Secretary Ron Nessen said
no such trip was being
planned at this moment.
He said a trip to the Mid-
dle East by the President
would "depend on diplo-
matic need" and such a de-
termination will not be
made before "at least a
month." It was reported at
the time of Israeli Premier
Yitzhak Rabin's visit to
Washington in January that
Ford was considering a trip
to the Middle East, most
probably in April.

* *

Jewish Leaders to Meet With Ford
on Proposed Plane Sale to Egypt

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about the C-130s.
"We have no plans beyond
the C-130s in U.S.' arrange-
ments for sales of military
equipment to Egypt," Kis-
singer said. The decision to
provide those aircraft
"won't imply any prece-
dent," he stressed, and
"does not imply an obliga-
tion" by Congress "to vote
on anything else."
When he was asked di-
rectly if the arrangement
would be a commercial one,
Kissinger replied "no." He
then added that the foreign
military sales route "cer-
tainly has the most feasibil-
ity."
Under present law, trans-
fer of equipment to a for-
eign power designated as
military and costing over.
$25 million is subject to
Congressional veto. A com-
mercial sale of military
equipment is not yet within
Congressional authority.
Legislation to that effect is
pending.
The three Senators felt
that a confrontation be-
tween Congress and the
Administration would be
avoided and Egypt would
still get its aircraft, if the
deal were commercial
through the Lockheed Air-
craft Co. which manufac-
tures them and therefore
not subject to scrutiny by
Congress under present
legislation. As a military
sale, Congress has a veto
power.
Rep. Morris Udall -(D-
Ariz.) "denounced" as
"senseless and unnecessary"
the projected sale of mili-
tary equipment to Egypt.
Udall, a candidate for the
Democratic nomination for
President, said in a state-
inent Friday that "the real
issue" is not the transfer of
six C-130 transport planes
but whether "this action
opens the door to the sale of
other weapons" to Egypt.
"There is no military
threat to Egypt," he said,
adding", "The greatest threat
of peremptory military ac-
tion is the threat to Israel."
He noted that Israel already
faces a three-to-one disad-

*

PLUS



announced by the Ford Ad-
ministration.
Allon expressed that view
to reporters at Ben-Gurion
Airport when he returned
from his official visits to
Mexico and Central Amer-
ica and a one-day stop-over
in Washington Friday
where he conferred with
Secretary of State Henry A.
Kissinger.
Allon and Kissinger
claimed Friday after a two-
hour meeting at the State
Department that there are
"No specific" or "urgent"
problems between their two
governments.
Allon strongly denied in
Israel however, that his
country had in any way
agreed or acquiesced to
the sale of the C-130s to
Cairo. He said they estab-
lished a dangerous prece-
dent for Israel.
Premier Yitzhak Rabin
told the Knesset last week
that his government would
do its utmost to convince
Washington to reconsider
the C-130 deal. The Premier
said, however, that Israel
was less concerned with the
specific item than with the
precedent it established for
a future arms relationship
between the U.S. and
Egypt.
But, at the same Wash-
ington press conference,
Kissinger rejected a com-
promise proposal advanced
earlier in the week by three
U.S. Senators regarding the
sale of the six C-130 trans-
port planes to Egypt.
He said the C-130s will be
provided to Egypt as a
"foreign military sale" and
not as a commercial ar-
rangement as suggested to
him by Sens. Jacob K. Javits
(R-NJ), all members of the
Senate Foreign Relations
Committee.
Kissinger's disclosure of
- the Administration's deci-
sion came while he was
standing alongside Israeli
Foreign Minister Yigal
Allon in the State Depart-
ment lobby responding to
questions about their
meeting. Allon was not
asked and had no comment

,•

•,:,

,NEW YORK (JTA) — The
Conference of Presidents of
Major American Jewish
Organizations has asked for
a meeting with President
Ford to personally present
its opposition to the sale of
six C-130 transport planes
to Egypt.
Rabbi Alexander M.
Schindler, chairman of the
Presidents Conference, in
disclosing the request at a
press conference today said
the meeting will probably
be held at the White House
within the next 10 days.
Schindler said the mem-
ber- organizations in the
Presidents Conference have
already been in touch with
members of Congress,

church and -labor leaders,
black spokesmen, veterans
organizations and others to
mobilize- opposition to the
sale. He said all of the can-
didates for the Presidency
have been asked to state
their views.
The proposed sale of the
C-130s to Egypt is not the
issue, Schindler stressed.
He said the issue is that
this would establish the
principle of the U.S. sell-
ing arms to Egypt.
Schindler said the Presi-
dents Conference will not
compromise on this issue.
Asked about the proposal by
Sens. Jacob K. Javits (R-
NY), Clifford P. Case (R-NJ)
and Hubert H. Humphrey

(D.-Minn.) to sell the six
transports to Egypt on a ci-
vilian rather than a military
basis, Schindler said he
could speak only for himseli
but said he considered the
proposal subterfuge and .
would rather meet the issue
head on.
Schindler said the Presi f
-
dents Conference takes ex- -
ception to reports in the Is-
raeli and American press
after the Conference sent a
telegram to President Ford
this week that they were
following Israel's example
in opposing the sale of the
C-130s. He said the Presi-
dents Conference sent a let-
ter to Ford on Feb. 12 oppos-
(Continued on Page 23)

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