WASHINGTON (Jul. 15)
Senate Republican leader Everett M. Dirksen warned today that the tense truce now existing between Israel and the Arab states was jeopardized because the United States Government has failed to approve the sale of Phantom jets to Israel. He said in a statement issued here that the Administration should act now to provide Israel with the jets it needs.
He said, “the surest way to bring about another disruption of the all-too-slender truce which presently exists in that area is to permit an imbalance of power to develop,” adding, “we should not only give assurance to Israel on this matter but proceed to deliver the weaponry which she requires.”
Mr. Dirksen said that a joint statement issued by Prime Minister Levi Eshkol and President Johnson last January at the LBJ Ranch about “sympathetic” U.S. examination of Israel’s military needs was inadequate.
Sen. Dirksen said an “explosive situation” was developing in the Middle East following the Soviet military build-up of the radical Arab states, the French jet sale to Iraq and the U.S. supply of jets to Jordan. He also noted the massive Russian naval power developing in the Mediterranean. The Dirksen statement now puts the Republican leadership of both Senate and House clearly on record favoring immediate sale of Phantoms to Israel.