NEW YORK (Mar. 11)
Rep. Richard L. Ottinger of New York, a United States Senate candidate, charged yesterday that this year “the United States is training nearly 600 Arab officers at a cost of two million dollars,” and that this “insidious” policy is “a clear example of the (Nixon) Administration’s Arab strategy – a strategy which gives higher priority to U.S. oil interests than to our moral commitment to Israel.” Speaking at a press conference at Chase Manhattan Plaza, he noted that “Not a single Israeli officer is receiving that training” this year, and added that over the past decade, the U.S. “gave more than a billion dollars’ worth of arms, materiel and training to Arab nations,” while “our military aid to Israel totalled well under one hundred million, and Israel paid for all of that.” Mr. Ottinger named, as Arab recipients of U.S. aid in the 1960s, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Syria and Saudi Arabia.
(A spokesman for the Israeli Embassy in Washington told the JTA that the Congressman’s allegation was not new and, considering the reference to Iran, which has diplomatic relations with Israel, not particularly shocking in light of consistent American aid to Arab nations over the past 20 years. He stated that in the last decade U.S. military aid to Arabs has gone only to “pro-Western” Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Jordan and Kuwait, and pointed out that the U.S. has not had relations with Syria for several years. The Embassy spokesman added, Israeli pilots received American training at the time of the 1968 Phantom jet sale.)