WASHINGTON (Oct. 6)
The proposal for an additional $300 million in grant money for Israel, turned down late Thursday by the Senate-House Conference through Administration maneuvering on the foreign aid legislation, is unlikely to be put back when the two branches of Congress consider continuation of the aid program at its 1973-74 levels.
The Conference-approved legislation that extends funding for Israel at the annual rate of $50 million in economic aid and $300 million in military sales credit is expected to be approved when the House considers the measure, probably tomorrow and by the Senate shortly afterwards.
Both branches are hastening to conclude their activities before they go into the election recess and are not expected to brook further debate in the controversy that ended in a victory for the Administration forces. Administration lobbyists under instructions from President Ford and Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger were reported to have told key conference committee members that additional funds for Israel without the same treatment for Egypt and Syria would hamper Kissinger’s efforts to make progress in his negotiations when he returns to the Middle East again Oct. 9-13.
KISSINGER MIDEAST TALKS A FACTOR
If Israel receives more help and the Arab countries do not. the Administration contention ran, then Kissinger will be unable to obtain concessions from Cairo, Damascus and Amman. Under the Senate-approved authorization bill for fiscal year 1975 that ends next June 30, Israel would have received as a grant $250 million in economic aid and $100 million in military aid along with $200 million in military sales credits.
Egypt would also have received a grant of $250 million in economic aid, and $100 million would have been earmarked for Syria, while Jordan’s program would be more than double the $55 million she is programmed to get in the continuing resolution. But this legislation was still pending in the House Foreign Affairs Committee when the congressional storm blew up over continued assistance to Chile and especially to Turkey.
The new program was set aside and congressional efforts were concentrated, at Administration insistence because of complicated governmental fiscal matters, on the continuation of the program that technically had ended last June 30, with Turkey included.
NOT SEEN AS ANTI-ISRAEL MOVE
Seeing that the postponement of a new aid program perhaps into the new year would deprive Israel for months of money “urgently needed” by her government, Sen. Walter Mon-dale (D.Minn.) offered an amendment to the resolution continuing the 1973-74 program that would give Israel the Senate-approved funding. The Senate backed Mondale, 65-25. In conference, however, only Senators Edward W. Brook (R.Mass.), Clifford R. Case (R.NJ) and Thomas F. Eagleton (D.Mo.) supported the Mondale amendment. The Conference Committee comprised 14 Senators and 10 Representatives led by the chairmen of the appropriation committees of both Houses.
Capitol Hill sources told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that the Conference decision was not symptomatic of anti-Israel sentiment at all but meant that they did not wish to prolong the legislative proceedings and threat of a Presidential veto with time running short before election. Israel, these sources said, doubtlessly will be voted the additional funds in the new bill for fiscal 1975 whenever it is legislated.
Nevertheless, to reassure Israel, the Conference specifically wrote into its report on the legislation that “the current rate of operations in the continuing resolution would permit $50 million in supporting assistance and $300 million in military credit sales for Israel.” The Conference report does not mention any other country by name. Jordan, which is programmed for $65 million by the Administration under the continuing resolution is not mentioned in the report and there is no money for Egypt or Syria under the continuing resolution.