OTTAWA (Jul. 19)
The Canadian Government did not slam the door on Israel’s request for the sale of jet fighter planes when it refused to supply the planes without support from other Western sources, political observers here pointed out today.
These observers note that Canada has contacted a number of European countries, including Britain, France and Italy, to jointly supply Israel with arms, among which would be Canadian-built Sabrejets. A decision on such a project may be available in two weeks.
It is believed that sharp protests by Canadian Jews and non-Jews friendly to Israel caused the government to take this latest move. The protests took on an additional edge after the Canadian Government announced that it would ship planes to Germany.
The Zionist Council of Canada, in a public statement, said that a refusal by the Canadian Government to grant Israel’s request for Sabre jets will greatly aggravate the situation in the Middle East. The statement asserted that Canada, with “no selfish interests in the Middle East,” has a special opportunity and responsibility “to give a much-needed lead to the Western powers” by granting Israel’s request.