WASHINGTON (Sep. 30)
The Department of State is seeking to minimize the extent of the American response to Israel’s defense needs, and has informed the Arab states that the sale of Hawk missiles to Israel is a one-time transaction and not indicative of any continuing U. S. commitment to Israeli military requirements.
United States diplomats, it was learned from official sources, have told the Arabs that the decision to provide Hawks to Israel was not recommended by professional diplomats but was imposed by higher authority. In order to dispel what the State Department regards as a “misconception” of the Hawk transaction, diplomats are stressing that this is neither a change nor a reversal of long-standing policy.
In the view of these diplomats, the U.S.A. intends to continue to avoid becoming a supplier of sophisticated weapons to Israel. The Hawk deal was characterized as a single decision to meet a temporary and specific reed for an improved Israeli air defense.
It was in the meantime learned that the Hawk agreement so far only represents an expression of willingness to make such a sale. It is dependent on negotiation of terms yet to be worked out.
Meanwhile Senate Republican leader Everett Dirksen, of Illinois, and six other Republican Senators issued a statement calling on the Administration to follow up the sale of Hawk missiles to Israel with American support of the Brazzaville group at the United Nations, favoring U.N. initiative for Arab-Israel peace.
The Senators cited the continuing flow of Soviet Jets and rockets to the Arabs, and termed the Hawk decision an overdue recognition of a one-sided arms race. They said that recognition of a threat to Near Eastern peace made clear that the U. S. A. has a responsibility to use its influence at the United Nations for a resolution for direct Arab-Israel peace negotiations.
In addition to Sen. Dirksen, the Senators who issued the statement were Prescott Bush, Connecticut; Clifford Case, New Jersey; Jacob K. Javits, New York; Kenneth B. Keating, New York; Thomas H. Kachel, California; and Hugh Scott, Pennsylvania.