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September 25, 1981 - Image 70

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1981-09-25

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

10 Friday, September 5, 1981

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

Mahy U.S. Interests Push for Saudi AWACS Deal

By REV. FRANKLIN
LITT'ELL
National Institute
on the Holocaust


PHILADELPHIA
Members of the Senate and
the House of Representa-

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tives are going to be subject
to an extraordinary cam-

paign to approve the arms
package for the rulers of
Saudi Arabia. The arms
package comprises the
largest munitions sale in
history, totalling $14 billion
when added to its predeces-
sor sale.
The pressure on Con-
gressmen will come openly
from the White House and
covertly from the munitions
firms that stand to gain
most profits from the sale.

Since a sufficient number
have already joined in dec-

larations which can block

the Administration's ac-

tion, the pressures will be
aimed at producing major
defections from the opposi-
tion.
Israel, whose very exist-
ence is threatened by this
largest of all arms deals,
will be blamed for whatever
opposition stays resolute.

The so-called "peace" organ-
izations, which are tradi-

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tionally blind to threats to

Jewish survival, will not do

enough to move the spot-
light from what its enemies
call "the Jewish lobby" or
"Zionist lobby." They
should, of course, if truly for



-.-
FRANKLIN LITTELL

peace and disarmament,
fight with vigor against this
largest of all munitions
deals.
But there is something
about Israel's existence as a
stone of offense to the self-
righteous and triumphalist
spirits, something that tra-
ditionally silences many
Christian or gentile voices
when Israel's survival is in
the docket.

Nor are the leaders of
the Jewish community in-
nocent of fault. At a time
of unmatched danger,
when everything honorable

••
&
Z'

411




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should be done by Israeli
leaders to unite the people
against outside enemies,
sectarian extremists have
chosen to put their own fi-
nancial and political advan-
tages ahead of the common
good.
The polarization of the
public opinion and the na-
tion has thus been exacer-
bated needlessly by self-
seeking and selfish inter-
ests, and foreign govern-
ments and outside interests
have been encouraged to
probe for weakness.
What does the new arms
package include? Five air-
craft with the sophisticated
AWACS systems; 1,177
Sidewinder missiles; six
aerial refueling tankers;
101 pairs of fuel pods for
F-15s; and 22 ground radar
intercept stations.
The average civilian has
no knowledge of the costs
and technical capacities of
such equipment, nor even of
how it is used. With the ex-
ception of the ground radar
stations, the other equip-
ment has offensive capacity;
the refueling tankers and
fuel pods have only offen-
sive significance.
Offensive capacity in the
Saudi tribal world means
one thing: the elimination
of Israel from the map of the
Near East, the elimination
of this scandalous Jewish is-
land in the midst of the sea
of Islam.
The Saudis have said
what they mean repeatedly.
They have indicated it by
heavy financing of PLO ter-
rorism and by trying to de-
stroy the Camp David
peacemaking process be-
tween Egypt and Israel.
There are, of course, "well-
informed sources in the
State Department" who
"may be quoted if anonym-
ity is respected" who assure
us the Saudis are "moder-
ates" and really accept Is-
rael's right to exist, "im-
plicitly if not explicity."
Such anonymous sources
are either liars or knaves, or
both.
The notion that Saudi
Arabia, with less tharlfour
million population — al-
most all of whom are illiter-
ate — can provide a bul-
wark against Soviet expan-
sion is absurd on the face of
it. The Shah of Iran but re-
cently ruled a far larger
population, with a higher
number of illiterate and
technically competent per-
sons. On him and his for-
tunes the Pentagon and CIA
built a house of cards.
As Prime Minister Begin
said of Saudi Arabia, "It's
not really a country, it's a
family: 4,000 princes and
princesses getting billions:
of dollars and not knowing
what to do with them."
Now, with the help of our
arms merchants, they have
something to do with a
small fraction of the oil
revenue annually flooding
Saudi coffers: they can be
spent mounting a vast mili-
tary machine, far beyond
anything the country needs
or can use.
Under these technologi-
cal and military circus-
stances, the pushers of arthis

are of the same moral sta-
ture as the pushers of drugs
to high school students.
The practical probability
is that, like the Pentagon-
CIA game in Iran, sophisti-
cated arms to Saudi Arabia
will weaken our allies and
strengthen the Russian
hand. In the name of both
morality and common sense
the Saudi game must be
called off.

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