WASHINGTON (Jan. 7)
The United States Government has decided to dismiss Israel’s complaints against the supply of Western arms to the Arab states. This was learned today from government sources who revealed that the State Department has decided that it has no objection to a British plan to sell large quantities of jet aircraft to the Arabs.
The American view is that the projected sale of jets would not necessarily lead to a Middle East arms race nor would it jeopardize the truce between Israel and the Arab states. Earlier this week, Israel Ambassador Abba Eban asked Secretary of State Dean Acheson to consider that the Arab states claim a state of war to be in existence, refuse to negotiate peace, and maintain a blockade against Israel.
The State Department, after considering Mr. Eban’s views, found that it does not share Israel’s alarm and will do nothing to block the sale of arms. In fact, government sources said munitions shipments to the Arabs are viewed as desirable in order to advance Western relations with the Arabs to strengthen the Arab world against Communism.
The British Government has held informal discussions with the United States on the subject of Israel’s objections. This was done because N.A.T.O. obligations require mutual agreement before arms shipments may be sent out of the N.A.T.O. area.
Rep. Emanuel Celler today protested to Secretary Acheson that shipments of American arms to the Arabs might set off renewed aggression against Israel. Mr. Celler wrote Sec. Acheson that supporters of Israel have been informed that “the United States intends to ship arms and planes to Egypt and to other Arab states.” He warned the Secretary that “the evidence of Egypt’s hostility towards Israel is a danger spark which we cannot afford to overlook.”