WASHINGTON (Aug. 10)
Rep. James Roosevelt, California Democrat, today warned in a House speech that, while America is preoccupied with Viet Nam, the Arab-Israel conflict is escalating with a growing danger that Egypt may launch war against Israel to divert attention from Egyptian economic difficulties and to rally the Arabs behind Nasser’s waning leadership.
Rep. Roosevelt, a son of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, charged that the main reason there is no Arab-Israel peace after 17 years of friction is that “we have never been willing to commit our influence and prestige completely to challenge the warlike declarations of the Arab leaders and the plans which they continue to make to put these declarations into effect.” He cited renewed threats by Egyptian President Nasser to destroy Israel while the Administration authorizes and contemplates new aid programs benefiting Egypt.
“We have failed to use our influence to produce a settlement, “he said. “We have condoned violations by the Arabs of the United Nations Charter.” Such failures, he charged, encouraged Arab violence and could lead to “new disaster.” He stressed that “appeasement of Nasser does not gain Arab friendship but only loses Arab respect.”
DATA CITED ON SOVIET SHIPMENTS OF MODERN ARMS TO EGYPT
Giving the House facts of continued heavy shipments of ultra-modern Soviet arms to Egypt, Rep. Roosevelt said that Egypt now has Soviet T-10 tanks, more powerful than any Israeli armored vehicles. He gave statistics showing that Egypt has more than twice as many and superior tanks to the Israeli armored force.
Rep. Roosevelt also stressed the danger of new Soviet jet fighters more advanced than the MIG-21 now delivered to Egypt. He told of Egyptian acquisition of Soviet air-to air missiles, comparable to the American “sidewinder” missile. He said Egyptian Atoll-equipped MIG’s are nearly impossible to knock out with conventional fighters.
He stressed that Egypt has ground-to-ground missiles designed to blast Israel while Israel has no comparable weapons. He referred to reports of a so-called “Operation Cleopatra” to develop Hiroshima-type atomic bombs and “Operation Ibis” to develop radioactive rubbish devices to devastate areas of Israel.
TERMINATION OF U. S. AID TO EGYPT DEMANDED BY TWO CONGRESSMEN
He charged that the Administration has ignored the mounting Egyptian preparations and given aid despite the obvious preparations for war costing Egypt this year $508,200,000 equal to the entire Egyptian budget of 1952. He demanded termination of U. S. aid to Egypt until she limits her military preparations. At the same time he urged the bolstering of Israel’s arsenal by selling arms to Israel “at a discount price, if necessary.” He also suggested impressing the Arabs with the proximity and power of the U. S. Sixth Fleet.
Rep. Seymour Halpern, New York Republican, similarly urged today in a House speech that the United States should cease consideration of further aid to Egypt until that country ceases its heavy acquisitions of Soviet arms, aggressive preparations, and intervention in the affairs of neighboring states.