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Halpern Seeks Free U.S. Arms to Israel to Counter China Aid to PLO

The House of Representatives heard today a proposal that the United States furnish free arms to Israel, instead of the present dollar sales arrangement, in view of Communist Chinese weapons shipments to the so-called “Palestine Liberation Army.”

The recommendation for legislative and executive initiatives to provide Israel with cost-free military equipment was made by Rep. Seymour Halpern, New York Republican. He said in a speech on the House floor: “American soldiers are dying in Viet Nam, partly as a result of calculated designs of Peking. It seems to me absurd that we do not immediately authorize the granting of all necessary arms to Israel to deter Peking’s Near Eastern plot.”

(In Paris, informed French sources said today it had been known for some time here that Communist China was sending weapons to the “Palestine Liberation Organization” army They said that the shipments included rifles, bazookas and machineguns, but that the quantity of such shipments was negligible.)

Rep. Halpern stated; “Israel, menaced simultaneously by Soviet and Chinese weapons, in the midst of pro-Communist neighbors, is forced to devote enormous amounts of her own strained resources to pay for defensive arms. The Israelis are paying more for defense per capita than even the citizens of the United States. The Israeli defense bill is proportionately higher. Thousands of workers in Israel have recently lost their jobs on development projects that have been deferred.”

CALLS FOR BID TO ISRAELI SOLDIERS TO TRAIN AS GUERRILLAS IN USA

He stressed that “the Israeli soldier would be as valuable to the national security interests of the United States, in this new situation, as our military deployments in the Far East, ” He said America depends on Israel to defend its territorial integrity against Communist-backed “liberation war” attacks.

Rep. Halpern told Congress that “the time has come to invite Israeli soldiers to Fort Benning and other installations in the United States for training in the counter-guerrilla techniques we learned, at such great cost, in Viet Nam.”

He noted that Syria and Egypt backed Hanoi and the Viet Cong, while Palestinian “liberation” extremists were training in China and Viet Nam “to gain experience for the unleashing of a similar guerrilla war in the Near East.” He said; “We should make every effort to assist a free state such as Israel against the threatened onslaught of Communist-backed subversion.” He termed Israel “the new target of Red China’s fanaticism, ” In the opinion of the Congressman: “Peking would like to foment a Chinese-style ‘war of liberation’ by the Arabs against Israel as a diversion in the Near East from the United States efforts in Viet Nam and Southeast Asia, Peking extremists also see this as a means of undermining Soviet influence in the Near East and penetrating that volatile region in the chaos that an Arab ‘liberation’ war would create.”

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