WASHINGTON (Nov. 25)
A Senate-House conference committee is expected to take action next week on the $500 million in military credits and guarantees for Israel appropriated by the Senate Tuesday by a vote of 82-14 on a proposal by Sen. Henry M. Jackson (D., Wash.). The legislation was made part of the Defense Appropriation Act, which the Senate approved the same day. The House had previously adopted the appropriation for US defense but has not yet considered the Jackson amendment. Capitol Hill observers said the measure would not encounter difficulties in either the conference or the House.
Meanwhile, news reports said the US was thinking of selling Israel short-range Lance missiles instead of Phantom jets, if it sells any additional jets at all, as a way of reinforcing Israel’s security without angering Egypt to the point where a Suez Canal agreement is threatened. Israel’s request for Lances of several months ago was at first turned down, but the Pentagon is now reconsidering it, the reports said.
(In Jerusalem, political circles said today that the comment on Tuesday by President Nixon’s press secretary, Ronald L. Ziegler, that Nixon considers the Senate’s approval of the Jackson amendment permissive but not binding on the administration was merely an elucidation of the fact that there is a division of power in the US and nothing more. They added, however, that if Nixon does indeed consider himself not bound by the Senate vote, it would be “a slap in the face” to Israel on the eve of Premier Golda Meir’s Dec, 2 White House meeting. Officials added that they were satisfied with the support for Israel by the 82 Senators.)