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May 19, 1978 - Image 7

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1978-05-19

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

Friday, Aby,19, 1918

THE DETROIT JEWISH MEWS

Peace Pressures on Israel Are Fear

(Continued from Page 1)
them a "Jewish lobby"
since it included Jews and
non-Jews.
He said Israel could never
have received U.S. backing
if its supporters were only
Jews, a small minority in
this country. He said he was
particularly "outraged" by
the remarks of Sen. Mike
Gravel (D-Alaska) who said
the Senate vote would prove
to be "the watershed year of
Jewish influence in this
country."
Schindler maintained
that if Carter had submit-
ted the three sales sepa-
rately the outcome might
have been the same but
because he put the pro-
posal up as a "package"
there was a great deal of
"confusion," by those
who voted on both sides.
Asked about the support
for the package by Sen.
Abraham Ribicoff (D-
Conn.), Schindler said he
was "unhappy" with the
Senator's vote but
Ribicoff was not elected
as a representative of the
Jewish people but of the
people of Connecticut
and had a right to "vote
his conscience."
The Presidents Confer-
ence chairman was espe-
cially critical of the Ad-
ministration for what he
called a lack of long-range
"geo-politics" planning in
providing the F-15s to Saudi'
Arabia. He pointed to the
instability of the area and
noted there was no guaran-
tee that the present Saudi
regime would remain in
power.
He maintained that the
sale to the Saudis was not
based on defense needs as
the Administration has
claimed, but for economic
reasons — oil prices, protec-
tionof the dollar, and the
redistribution of petrodol-
lars.
In Israel, Premier
Menahem Begin found
himself on the defensive
in the Knesset Wednes-
day, trying to ward off at-
tacks by the opposition
Labor Alignment which
holds his government re-
sponsible for an "all time
low" in Israeli-American
relations.
Begin sought to reassure
Israelis that the differences
with Washington were only
temporary while at the
same time communicating
to Israel's friends overseas,
especially American Jews,
that Israel was angry and
alarmed by the plane sales
package.
The Alignment's conten-
tion is that Begin's govern-
ment had allowed relations
with the U.S. to deteriorate
to a point where Israel was
unable to prevent the un-
precedented linkage of ad-
vanced combat aircraft to
Arab states with the supply
of planes to Israel. Begin re-
torted by claiming that
arms sales to Israel were
linked with sales to Arab
countries in the past, imply-
ing that the same had oc-
cured when Labor govern-
ments were in office. "The
difference between the

Labor and Likud govern-
ments was that Labor never
made a public issue of the
sales," Begin said.
He promised to disclose
the details of those earlier
deals to the Knesset
Foreign Affairs and
Security Committee. He
said that in the past the U.S.
sold more than 100 planes to
Saudi Arabia and about 70
to Jordan. Labor MK Haim
Barley, a former Chief of
Staff, indicated that the
Premier was confusing the
issue. He said that previous
arms sales to the Arabs
never included "the last
word in American technol-

Begin reiterated that
the Americans had re-
neged on commitments
made to Israel more than
two years ago to provide
it with advanced aircraft
independent of any deals
with the Arab countries.
But, he said, these dif-
ferences can be cleared
up, the situation with
Washington is not hope-
less and the opposition
should not try to create
that impression.
Shimon Peres, leader of
the Labor Alignment, said
"It's a sad day in Israel-U.S.
relations." He noted, "It was
the Senate, not the Ad-
ministration that voted
against us," implying that
Israel's traditional strong
support in that body was
seriously eroded. "The Se-
nate voted on a security
issue that will have serious
implications for the balance
of power in the Middle
East," he said. "The Ameri-
can weaponry changes the
whole situation."
The consequences of
the struggle between the
Carter Administration
and supporters of Israel
are seen as encouraging
the "White House" to
take further initiatives
that will create "new
realities" bearing on is-
sues such as Israel's
withdrawal from occu-
pied Arab territories and
the creation of a. Palesti-
nian "entity" for "a just
peace."
News reports from
Jerusalem indicate that Is-
raelis feel a sense of bet-
rayal over the Carter
warplanes package and
some contend that both the
Begin government and the
American Jewish commu-
nity have been deficient in
promulgating Israel's pro-
gram for peace.

"We have put the Israelis
in doubt as to a 30-year-old
commitment," Sen. Jacob
K. Javits (R-NY) told repor-
ters after the Senate voted.
"I am going to look for evi-
dence now that the result
will be a hardening of the
Arab line. It will be more
difficult to bring aboout a
peace settlement," he said.
Sen. Clifford Case (R-NJ)
denounced the vote outcome
as devastating to Israel's
morale and called the Ad-
ministration's action "one of
the worst mistakes our gov-
ernment has made in a long
time."

Sen. Joseph Biden
(D-Md.) who introduced
the resolution disapprov-
ing the planes sales in the
Senate Foreign Relations
Committee last week,
said the vote represented
a "defeat for a sound pol-
icy, a setback for a
negotiated settlement in
the near future. I don't
know why Israel would
move toward construc-
tive negotiations," he ob-
served.
Sensing the bitterness
induced by the stunning de-
feat for Israel's backers, the
White House modified its
initial statement that the
President was "delighted"
by the vote in a longer, for-
mal statement issued later.
The statement said that
President Carter was "de-
eply gratified by the Se-
nate's decision" and prom-
ised to "intensify our effort
to help the parties narrow
their differences" in the
Middle East. The statement
pledged that Israel "will
continue to have the un-
wavering support of this
Administration and the
American people."
The President also noted
that the Senate "vote
strengthens our ties with
moderate Arab nations who
share our goal of peace and
stability in the region."
International observers
and some Senators spoke of
the vote as a "watershed" in
Israeli-American relations
and suggested that the
President may now take a
tougher position toward Is-
rael to obtain what he re-
gards as a "just settlement"

in Aftermath of Jet Sale

in the Middle East. "He will
now believe he has the sup-
port of Congress to speak
out on points necessary for a
settlement," -Vie source
said.
Another commentator
observed that the Senate
vote went beyond the sale of
planes to issues of U.S. ties
to Israel and to "Arab mod-
erates." Still another re-
ferred to "oil and the 'new
realities' " and noted that
three years ago 76 Senators
had signed a letter to
President Ford attacking
his reassessment of Middle
East policy while Monday
"for the first time in many
years, Israel lost a high
priority, high visibility test
on the floor of Congress."

favor of the sale.
The Carter Administra-
tion was aided by intensive
lobbying efforts by former
Secretary of State Henry

With more than two-
thirds of the Senate's Re-
publicans voting for the
sale, the Republican Na-
tional Committee issued
a statement blaming
President Carter for
"forcing" a Senate vote
on "an artificial legisla-
tive choice."
In the voting, 28 Demo-
crats and 26 Republicans
voted for the sale, and 33
Democrats and 11 Republi-
cans voted against the sale.
Michigan's Sen. Donald
Riegle voted against, while
Sen. Robert Griffin voted in

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