TEL AVIV (Aug. 20)
Finance Minister Yigal Hurwitz met today with U.S. Ambassador Samuel Lewis and formally submitted Israel’s request for $2.9 billion in aid for the 1982 fiscal year, $1.8 billion in military aid and $1.1 billion in economic aid. Hurwitz told reporters after the meeting. “I would have been much happier if we could have made it without this aid, but our economic needs and the defense budget are more than Israel can shoulder alone.” Lewis said the U.S. would do its best to meet that request despite its own economic difficulties. He added, however, “It is too early to judge now as to what the decision would be concerning Israel’s request for aid.”
Hurwitz also presented Lewis with documents indicating some of the major reasons Israel is asking for the aid: the evacuation of bases from the Sinai and their redeployment to the Negev is costing more than the total aid request; the return of the Suez oil fields has placed an enormous burden on Israel’s oil and energy needs; the continued infusion of new military equipment into the armies of the Arab states requires Israel to update its own military needs.
(In Washington, Israeli Ambassador Ephraim Evron today presented Deputy Secretary of State Warren Christopher with Israel’s aid request. He told reporters afterwards, “We hope that as the years go by we will be able to reach a point where we will not request anything. We are trying to cut down as much as possible. We hope this trend will continue in the future.”)