WASHINGTON (Nov. 19)
Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger told a Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee today that “If Israel collapses because of the armaments supplied (to the Arabs) by the Soviet Union, it would have the profoundest consequences for democracy in the U.S. and other parts of the world; it would strengthen radical forces in the area (Middle East) and would have profound consequences for our economy and our security and the industrialized nations of Europe and Japan.”
Kissinger made that statement in the course of his third appearance in two weeks before a committee of Congress to defend the Administration’s $4.7 billion Middle East aid program. His strong emphasis on the essentiality of Israel’s continued existence to the U.S. and its allies was stated after the Secretary was pressed by Sen. Jacob K. Javits (R.NY) to tell the subcommittee on security assistance exactly why aid to Israel is important.
Javits had expressed dissatisfaction with Kissinger’s initial reply to that question which was only a reaffirmation of America’s historic ties, with Israel, Javits declined the Secretary’s offer to submit an answer in writing.
Kissinger stated, in the course of his testimony today that “a well reasoned and carefully monitored policy is a fundamental tool of our foreign policy in every major area.” Speaking of Israel’s military requirements, for which the Administration seeks $1.5 billion, Kissinger said the recommendation “is based on Israeli thinking about its military requirements, over the next several years and our analysis of Israel’s force modernization plans.”
FORD SET UP NEW AID RATIO
Kissinger disclosed that originally the U.S. was prepared to provide Israel with grant aid equivalent to 2/3 of the total sum and 1/3 in loans. But President Ford, taking into account U.S. necessities, set up a ratio of about 50-50, the Secretary said. As the aid package now stands, Israel would receive 55 percent in grants and 45 percent in loans. The government can forgive up to $750 million of the $1.5 billion recommended military aid, Kissinger said.
He told the subcommittee that “Our new friendship with Egypt does not in any way undermine our traditional commitment to the security and survival of Israel.” However, Kissinger implied that Egypt’s case for U.S. aid is “equal” to that of Israel. He said that Egypt “has courageously embarked on the road to peace and moved from confrontation to negotiation as a means to resolve the Arab-Israel dispute.”
Kissinger disclosed, in reply to a question by Sen. Hubert H. Humphrey (D. Minn), that the OPEC countries this year are providing Egypt, Syria and Jordan with $3.938 billion compared to $1,033 billion by the U.S. According to Kissinger, Egypt is receiving $2.7 billion from the oil producing countries; Syria; $1,132 billion; and Jordan, $126 million.