THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS
Friday, December 31, 1982 15
(Copyright 1982, JTA, Inc.)
1983 OUTLOOK: The new year will require utmost
attention on the part of American Jewish leaders to mat-
ters concerning American - Israel relations. It will be a year
during which critical decisions concerning Israel will be
made in the White House and Congress.
It is expected that the new Congress will face, among
its first issues, the presentation by President Reagan of his
intention to supply advanced fighter-bombers to Jordan. It
was indicated from the White House even prior to the
arrival of King Hussein of Jordan in Washington that
President is prepared to provide Jordan with the sophisti-
cated weaponry without any pre-conditions. He apparently
believes that this move will induce Hussein to join the
Camp David process for seeking peace in the Middle East.
In the light of Hussein's role as a cover for bringing the
PLO into negotiations — against the U.S. policy not to deal
with the PLO unless it recognizes Israel's right to exist —
giving sophisticated U.S. weaponry to Jordan without any
pre-condition would present serious danger to Israel's secu-
rity. It is pointed out in Jerusalem that the danger exists of
Jordan's possible joining under heavy pressure from
other Arab countries — in a coordinated "blitz" aitack on
Israel jointly with some of these countries, as King}lussein
did 15 years ago.
It would take only four minutes flying time from Jor-
dan by the advanced American jet bombers to reach the
narrow strip of Israel where some 90 percent of its popula-
tion resides and over 85 percent of its industrial infrastruc-
ture is located.
THE "DEAR COLLEAGUE" LETTER: The con-
tinuing problem of the U.S. providing advanced weaponry
to Arab countries — like the AWACS to Saudi Arabia —
has now prompted a bipartisan group of Congressmen to
circulate in the House a "Dear Colleague" letter stating
that "'any sale of advanced equipment to Jordan should be •
predicated upon Jordanian participation in the Camp
David peace process and in direct, unconditional negotia-
tions with Israel."
Similarly, a number of Senators are sponsoring a bi-
partisan resolution asking President Reagan to refrain
from submitting the Jordanian arms package if Jordan
does not join the Camp David process. Over 50 Senators are
expected to co-sponsor the resolution, indicating that a
majority of the Senate would likely disapprove- the con-
templated Jordanian sale if submitted.
Heated debates are anticipated on the subject in and
around the CongreSs, as was the case with the sale of
AWACS. President Reagan seems determined to provide
Jordan with arms.
THE AID TO ISRAEL ISSUE: Another major issue
which requires close watching by American Jewish leaders
during 1983-is that of U.S. aid to Israel, which has become
the subject of an intense, behind-the-scenes legislative
The Congress last year passed a two-year Foreign Aid
Authorization Bill for fiscal years 1982-1983. It was signed
into law by the President and should govern the allocations
for those two years. However, the Administration early this
year submitted a supplemental foreign aid bill that called
for an additional $300 million in military aid for Israel (as a
quid-pro-quo for the sale of AWACS to Saudi Arabia) but as
a loan, not a grant.
In addition — for the first time in the U.S.-Israel
relationship — the Administration sought to cut appro-
priations already written into law last year and convert
$260 million of economic aid and $50 million of military aid
from grants to loans, thus increasing greatly Israel's mas-
sive burden of foreign debts. The House Foreign Affairs
Committee and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee
have rejected the Administration proposal.
The Senate committee went even further. It converted
the entire $300 million supplemental military aid request
into a grant. It also added $125 million in economic grant
aid, so that the amount Israel receives in economic support
funds should not be less than the amount it owes to the U.S.
for repayment during the year of principal and interest on
the past loans. The Senate version was strongly criticized
by the State Department.
The 1983 budget of $2.5 billion for Israel will be one of
the first matters to be considered by the new Congress.
Debates are expected. There are now 80 new members in
the House and five in the Senate. Most of them 'know little
about Israel except what they read in the newspapers,
which have been misleading their readers about the war in
Lebanon. They are now *being flooded with anti-Israel
material prepared skillfully by high-paid American prop-
agandists working for the oil-rich Arab governments. Their
propaganda is now concentrated primarily in having
Congress cut economic and militarT aid to Israel.
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