Menu JTA Search

Foreign Aid Bill Gives the Arabs More Than Israel

SIGN UP FOR THE JTA DAILY BRIEFING

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s authorization bill for foreign aid for the year ending next June 30 provides more cash gifts to Arab countries than to Israel, a Jewish Telegraphic Agency study of the measure showed today.

Although the bill was reported as “loaded” with assistance to Israel, the grants allocated for Egypt and Jordan exceed the gifts to Israel. When other gifts to Arab lands are included, the Arab total far exceeds the amount allocated for Israel. The Senate committee had approved the bill by a 12-0 vote. Sen. J. William Fulbright (D.Ark.). the chairman, was not present for the vote. It is understood that the Administration approves it.

Under the bill’s provisions. Egypt is to receive a grant in economic aid of $250 million. Gifts to Jordan include $87 million in economic aid and $125 million in military assistance. In addition. $100 million is for other gifts earmarked for “the Middle East.” While no country is specified, it is understood that this fund is intended for Syria. These total $562 million.

Besides that, Lebanon and Saudi Arabia are to get grants of $150,000 and $220,000 respectively for military training. These figures also do not include the allowance of $89.5 million for Egypt in an agricultural appropriations bill that is pending. In recent weeks, the U.S. has pledged to provide Egypt with 300,000 tons of grain and Syria with 100,000. These gifts are not in the foreign aid measure. The grant for Syria is understood to induce Syria to accept extension of UNDOF for another six months.

TIME MAY BE RUNNING OUT

Israel’s grants total $439.5 million of which $89.5 million was added on the motion of Sen. Hubert H. Humphrey (D.Minn.) to balance the amount for Egypt in the agricultural bill. In addition, Israel is to receive military credits of $200 million. Jordan is to get $30 million in military credits and Lebanon $10 million.

Pending new legislation, foreign aid at present is under a continuing resolution that allows the Administration to provide assistance at levels mat prevailed in the 1973-74 program. This gave Israel $50 million in economic aid and $300 million in military credits. If new legislation is not provided by the Congress before it adjourns early in January, the Administration will be without funds to make new obligations. Some authorities on the program at the Capitol fear that the present Congress may not have sufficient time to adopt both the required authorization and appropriation measures in both Houses before adjournment time.

NEXT STORY