WASHINGTON (Aug. 21)
Improved chances of early supply of Phantom Jet fighter-bombers to Israel and a tougher United States stand against Soviet-Arab collusion were seen here in the wake of the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia. It appeared that advocates of detente were undermined by the Russian reversion to the overt use of force.
State Department elements had been saying that sale of Phantoms to Israel might upset the Soviet Union whose role in the Middle East it had minimized, reports JTA correspondent Milton Friedman. The Eastern Europe events place Israel and those Presidential candidates taking a strong line against aggression in a good position. It shatters the stand of those who saw support of Israel as a threat to American-Soviet relations, he reports.
Observers have meanwhile expressed concern lest the Soviet reversion to a Stalinist heavy-handed policy affect the present good relations between Rumania and Israel. Rumania was the only Eastern European Communist regime to retain relations with Israel after the Six-Day War. There had also been indications that Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia, which severed ties, were recently considering their stands on Israel. Now new fears have emerged that Moscow will accelerate the anti-Jewish and anti-Israel drives launched in June, 1967.