WASHINGTON (Sep. 28)
The Soviet bloc has provided through loans or grants, up to last March 31, a total of almost a half-billion dollars in arms to the United Arab Republic. This was disclosed in testimony released today by a Congressional committee at which Colonel H. F. Nichols of the Department of Defense, testified. Colonel Nichols said Egypt got $315,000,000 in Soviet arms while Syria received $128,000,000 worth.
It was meanwhile revealed that an estimated 5,000 technicians from the Sino-Soviet bloc are active in the Middle East including military technicians aiding the UAR training programs. The UAR was the recipient of $157,300,000 in U.S. aid in the fiscal year 1961, according to other information provided to Congress.
Rep. John Rooney, New York Democrat, has told Secretary of State Dean Rusk he was unable to understand “why our government did not grant military aid to Israel–especially since we have not hesitated to provide military assistance to countries which have been at war with her.” The Congressman made known his views in a letter to the Secretary of State.
Rep. Rooney said that “any other country menaced by Soviet weapons has been granted our military aid, without question and without delay. And many of these countries have not shared Israel’s dedication to freedom and her commitment to contribute to the defense of the free world.”
Secretary Rusk, in his reply, failed to offer an explanation of the continued refusal of the United States to give Israel military assistance. The reply pertained mainly to the Arab refugee situation which “deserves our earnest study at this time.” Mr. Rusk said: “The United States continues to support some reasonable implementation of paragraph 11 of the United Nations resolution 194 (III) which provides for the refugees the option of repatriation as law abiding citizens of Israel or of compensation for those who do not wish to return.”
Rep. Rooney pointed out that Israel is “surrounded by hostile countries, some of whom–the UAR and Iraq–have been receiving weapons from the Soviet Union, and some of whom–Jordann and Saudi Arabia–have been receiving military aid from the U.S.”
“As a consequence of our attitude, lacking military aid and denied membership in any collective security system, Israel has been compelled to buy weapons from European countries and to divert a large part of her resources to defense,” Rep. Rooney said. “On top of this, Israel’s economy has been further burdened because of the Arab boycott and blockade which has continued largely because it has not been effectively challenged by Western governments and the United Nations.”