JERUSALEM (Nov. 8)
Premier Yitzhak Rabin met yesterday with 13 American Senators who came here to study the sale of two nuclear reactors to Israel, but the main subject of their visit was not discussed at all.
Instead, the Senators heard from the Premier once again that Israel would not be the first to introduce nuclear weapons in the area, and that the Arabs were engaged in economic and political pressures against the West, which they wanted to use as leverage against Israel.
Rabin dismissed the Arab signature on the treaty against nuclear proliferation as meaningless since it contained a clause that it did not apply to Israel. In any case, Rabin said the world today could do little against nuclear proliferation and offered as an example the French nuclear deal with Pakistan.
The sale of the nuclear reactors to Israel will be discussed at a later meeting. The Senators said they had not come to secure Israel’s signature on the nuclear non-proliferation treaty. They said they would merely express their own private view on the issue. Earlier in Vienna, Sen. Abraham Ribicoff (D.Conn.) said, however, that President-elect Jimmy Carter would take strong measures against further dissemination of nuclear weapons and for tighter control over existing nuclear facilities.
The delegation, led by Ribicoff and Howard H. Baker Jr. (R.Tenn.), includes Howard W. Cannon (D.Nev.), Thomas F. Eagleton (D.Mo.), John Glenn (D.Ohio), Wendell H. Ford (D.Ky.), John C. Culver (D.Iowa), Dale Bumpers (D.Ark,), Gary Hart (D.Col.), James B. Pearson (R.Kans.), Robert P. Griffin (R.Mich.), Henry Bellmon (R.Okla.) and Paul D. Laxalt (R.Nev.).