Senate Approves $500m Israel Aid Measure by Vote of 82-14

The Senate today adopted, by a vote of 82 to 14, legislation to provide Israel with additional military credit sales and guarantees of up to $500 million, half of which would cover sales of additional Phantom jets. The legislation, introduced by Sen. Henry M. Jackson (D., Wash.), was in the form of an amendment to the Defense Appropriations Act. In its overwhelming approval, the Senate overrode objections by three powerful Democrats–Majority Leader Mike Mansfield of Montana; J. William Fulbright of Arkansas, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, and Allen J. Ellender of Louisiana, chairman of the Appropriations Committee.

They had warned that passage of the amendment would bypass the jurisdiction of the committees, and contended that the funds approved were included in the pending foreign aid bill. Actually, that bill provides for up to $300 million in credits and guarantees plus $85 million in economic grants; the sum approved today would be in addition to these. Neither measure has been voted on yet by the House.

Prior to the voting, Jackson, a candidate for the Democratic nomination for President, urged the credits for Israel by means of an amendment to the defense appropriation bill. No legislation for authorization of the amendment is required since that element of the legislative process is part of the Congressional act of last Dec. when the first Jackson amendment for $500 million in credits for Israel’s use was adopted. The authorization in that act is valid until Sept. 1972.

In his speech on the Senate floor Jackson declared that surface-to-air missiles for use by the latest Soviet warplanes shipped to Egypt are already in that country and that the planes themselves en route to bases along the Nile deliberately over-flew the American Sixth Fleet in the Mediterranean. Jackson said that the arrival of up to 10 TU-16 Badger jets in Egypt constituted at least the beginnings of a Soviet capability of attack on American shipping. Jackson also warned the Senate that Egyptian President Anwar Sadat’s threats last weekend. “however flamboyant and irresponsible, carry with them the danger that loose talk of invasion and war can set in motion a chain of events only partially controlled with consequences that are tragic in the extreme.”

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