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Congress May Oppose Plan to Send U.S. Arms to Arab Countries

Secretary of State John Foster Dulles may face strong opposition in Congress to his reported plans to send American arms to Iraq and Saudi Arabia over protests on the part of Israel, it was indicated in well-informed circles today.

Israel’s concern over these plans was conveyed to Secretary Dulles by Israel Ambassador Abba Eban this week-end in the course of a 45-minute conversation in the State Department. Mr. Eban emphasized that Iraq and Saudi Arabia are technically still at war with the Jewish State and–unlike the other Arab states–have not even concluded an armistice agreement with Israel.

“It would be a most inopportune moment for any action designed to strengthen the military equipment of any member of the Arab League,” Mr. Eban was reported to have told Mr. Dulles. He drew the attention of the Secretary of State to the recent statement by the new King of Saudi Arabia suggesting that the Arab nations should sacrifice 10,000,000 of their people “to wipe out Israel.”

The Israel Ambassador indicated that Israel is alarmed over American plans to supply arms to the two Arab countries, because arms given to one of the members of the Arab League may be shared among all members under a security pact signed by all Arab countries. He also pointed out to Secretary Dulles that a grant of arms to the Arab states would be at variance with the tripartite declaration of the United States, Britain and France on May 25, 1950 according to which the Big Powers would seek to prevent an arms race among Israel and the Arab states.

(The New York Times today reported from Washington that American officials dealing with the requests for grants of military aid from Iraq and Saudi Arabia expect top level decisions this month. However, they admit that objections raised by other nations and the ensuing political complications make the future uncertain.)

A warning against giving American arms to Arab states was voiced this weekend by Dr. Abba Hillel Silver addressing 600 Zionist leaders in Boston at a dinner tendered in his honor. He stated that United States arms sent to the Arab nations would be used against Israel instead of defending democracy and fighting Communist aggression. “The Arab rulers would not fight the Soviet any more than they fought the Nazis,” he said.

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