NEW YORK (Apr. 6)
Despite public statements from President Carter that he would consult with Congress before making any decision about the sale of arms to Egypt and the reticence of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat on the specifics of his military requests, the Zionist Organization of America, quoting Congressional sources, charged the Administration with planning a serious departure from previous policy through the sale to Egypt of jet fighters and sophisticated electronic weapons. The Ford Administration got Congress to allow the sale of six C-130 military transport planes to Egypt last year but was blocked from more significant sales.
Rabbi Joseph P. Sternstein, president of the ZOA, urged Congress to object to the proposed sale and charged Sadat with ignoring the economic needs of his people and preparing for war with Israel.
“Only recently,” he said, “the Egyptians rioted over food prices and yet it seems that it is just a matter of time before Sadat will turn to war again. Egypt does not need these arms, as no one threatens her. She is obviously amassing arms for a new attack on Israel. This time, they would be using American arms to kill Israelis.” Sternstein dismissed claims that Sadat seeks peace with Israel. “As recently as last week,” he said. “Sadat rejected diplomatic relations and trade as a component of any settlement with Israel. His often stated desire for peace is clearly bogus.”
PROTEST AGAINST CARTER’S POLICY
In a related development, 75 members of Jewish Activists for Peace Through Strength, an umbrella group which a spokesman said includes the Jewish Defense League, Betar and Save Our Israel, demonstrated yesterday for two hours at the Egyptian Mission to the UN.
The demonstrators, who carried placards and chanted “No arms for Arab aggressors.” “Sadat go home,” and “Dump Carter before he dumps Israel,” said they were protesting against U.S. pressure on Israel “to retreat to the suicidal 1967 borders and against the Carter Administration’s anticipated sale of 200 fighter jets to Egypt.”
Bonnie Pechter, JDL national director, said the demonstration was “the first in a long series of protests against both Carter’s pro-Arab policies and the Jewish establishment’s deafening silence while Israel is threatened. While Israel is facing danger, the establishment groups continue with business-as-usual, holding luncheons. Sisterhood meetings and Sunday bazaars.”