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May 13, 1977 - Image 15

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1977-05-13

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



American Arms Pressure on Israel Feared

(Continued from Page 1)

President Ford's corn-
mitment to sell Israel clus-
ter bombs and the FLIR.
night vision system and its
refusal—after prolonged
delays—of Israel's request
to produce part of the 250
F-16 jet fighters it intends
to buy from the U.S. The re-
fusal of the cluster bombs
was, in fact, the first time
a new Administration re-
- versed a pledge by a for-
mer Administration and
had the effect of narrowing
'el's military potential.
me sources have ex-
pressed fear that the U.S. is
tightening the reins on mili-
tary supplies in order to
- soften Israeli opposition to
an American-imposed
Middle East peace settle-
ment. Despite repeated as-
surances from President
Carter, Secretary of State
Cyrus Vance and other
American officials that the
U.S. has no intention of
trying to impose a solution
of the Middle East conflict,
there is a gnawing suspi-
cion here that an American
I -' plan does exist and will be
unveiled sooner or later.
The sources say that all
Israel can do now is lessen
its dependence on Ameri-
can military equipment by
expanding its own weapons
producing capability. Is.-
rael's largest manufacturer
of weapons systems, Israel
Aircraft Industries, is pre-
paring to produce a mili-
tary helicopter within the
next four years and has de-
veloped blueprints for a
new, sophisticated combat
jet. a second generation
Kfir. The air force has not
yet approved the plans but
if the present American atti-
tude persists it will have no
choice, the sources said.
Last week's State Depart-
ment statement was dis-



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cussed in Washington by Is-
raeli Ambassador Simha
Dinitz and U.S. Under-
secretary of State Alfred
Israeli Defense Minister
Shimon Peres, acting as
premier, and Foreign Min-
ister Yigal Allon both com-
mented on the statement at
Sunday's Israeli Cabinet
Peres said Israel would
act through all possible
channels to preserve its spe-
cial military supply relation-
ship with the U.S., which
was essential to keeping
peace in the Middle East
and to peace negotiations.
Peres also modified some-
what his earlier favorable
reaction to Secretary of.
State Cyrus Vance's state-
ment at a Washington press
conference last week that
the U.S. would have "sug-
gestions" to offer for a
Mideast settlement though
it would not attempt to im-
pose a settlement.
Peres said experience
showed that whenever the
U.S. floated its own settle-
ment suggestions it created
a confrontation with at
least one of the parties to
the conflict.
It would be better, there-
fore, if Washington confined
itself to offering its good of-
fices to the parties for nego-
tiations and refrained from
suggesting plans, Peres
He claimed that if the
U.S. ever tried to impose a
settlement, the imposition
would fall on Israel alone
since America could not im-
pose a settlement on the
Arab states.
Peres rejected a sugges-
tion by Prof. Shlomo Avi-
neri, director general of the
Foreign Ministry, that the
next Israeli government
should draw a peace map
of its own. Peres said that
for the time being, the gov-
ernment will adhere to its
old policy of no maps until
the negotiating process
Foreign Minister Yigal
Allon told the Cabinet that
Israel has already ex-
pressed "deep concern"
over the arms supply issue
and said he would raise it
when he met Vance in Lon-
don Wednesday.
In London, Vance de-
clared that the U.S. would
adhere to "our special rela-
tionship" with Israel and de-
nied that Washington would
impose a Middle East settle-
ment or alter its arms sup-
ply policies to Israel's detri-
He was speaking in the
presence of Allon, after a
lengthy luncheon meeting
at the U.S. Embassy. Allon
told reporters that he re-
garded the Secretary's
statement as "a very posi-
tive definition of the United
States role."
Referring to what he
termed "speculation in
some newspapers," Vance
said that President Carter
and he , himself had said
that a settlement "must be
determined by the parties
to the conflict in dis-
cussions among them=
selves." The U.S. would

work with the parties to
that end.
He also discounted "spec-
ulation" about Arab plans
for a Palestinian West Bank
state in exchange for Is-
raeli recognition of the
PLO. Vance said "No specif-
ic proposals have been
made by either side at this
time," although he hoped .
that at. a later date there
would be specific proposals.
Nor did the United States
intend to come out with a
plan of its own, but was in-
tent on using its good of-
fices to help promote a set-
tlement, he , said.
On reports that Israel
would cease to receive
"preferential" treatment on
arms supplies, Vance said
the Pspecial relationship"
with the Jewish state would
continue, since the Carter
Administration was "com-
mitted to the security of Is-
rael." The U.S. would make
sure Israel received the de-
fense articles she required,
including advanced tech-
nology items, he said.
The Conference of Presi-
dents of Major American
Jewish Organizations said
that it was "profoundly dis-
turbed by reports that our
country might now limit
preferred nations status in
arms exports to countries
which have formal security
treaties with the U.S., a pol-
icy that would deprive Is-
rael of "such preferred na- .
tions status in the fu-
Rabbi Alexander Schind-
ler, chairman of the Presi-
dents Conference, urged

that this policy "should be
abandoned." He character-
ized it as an "example of
the 'carrot and stick' ap-
proach to Israel which Jim-
my Carter rightfully de-
nounced when he was a can-
didate for the Presidency"
after 'expressions by the
previous Administration
which placed the American
commitment to Israel's sur-
vival in doubt."
The U.S. Senate sub-
committee on foreign assist-
ance last week approved an
amendment to the Foreign
Aid Bill that urged Presi-
dent Carter to sympa-
thetically consider U.S.-Is-
rael co-production agree-
ments. The bill was spon-
sored by Clifford Case (R-
NJ ) and Hubert Humphrey

Yesterday, Sens. Jacob
Javits (R-NY) and Frank
Church (D-Idaho) were ex-
pected to introduce an
amendment before the full
Foreign Relations Com-
mittee urging maintenance
of Israel's defensive
strength and asking that re-v -
straint in U.S. arms trans-
fers not impair the military
balance in the Middle East.
Michigan Sen. Robert
Griffin is a member of that
It was also reported by
the Zionist Information
News Service that a U.S.-
Israel Joint Commission
has been formed to study Is-
rael's requests to sell the
U.S.-powered Kfir jet, and
Israel's new tank, the U.S.-
powered Merkava.

Friday, May 13, 1977 15





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