WASHINGTON (Mar. 9)
Sen. Carl Levin (D. Mich.) has charged that the Reagan Administration’s budget cuts for research in alternative energy sources will continue U.S. dependency on Arab oil and endanger Israel’s future.
“We will spend $9.7 billion on a Rapid Deployment Force designed to protect Arab oil interests,” Levin told a Jewish audience in Miami last week, “but in the same period of time, we may not spend even a billion dollars on efforts which reduce our reliance on that oil.”
Speaking to the Combined Jewish Appeal-Israel Emergency Fund of South Dode County, Levin warned that acceptance of the Reagan energy budget is acceptance of a situation which “once again put our foreign policy independence at the mercy of the Arab oil-producing states.”
He called the battle last year over the sale of AWACS radar planes and F-15 jet fighters to Saudi Arabia “skirmishes,” while “the Armageddon issue is energy.” He declared that “Israel’s future is threatened by America’s energy dependence as well as (Arab) military might.”
COUNCILS AGAINST ‘STRATEGY OF SILENCE’
As for the AWACS debate last year, Levin denounced what he said were efforts to make the issue not one of national security but whether Jews control foreign policy. “It seems very clear to me that acceptance of the AWACS decision is one thing, but acceptance of the tactics used to sell it is totally inappropriate and totally ineffective,” he said. Levin urged the Jewish community to reject advice that it should not speak out on foreign affairs.
“Our obligation, to our community, to our country, is to speak out: to defend our mutual interests and preserve our mutual freedom,” he said. “To accept the strategy of silence is to accept a second class status. To embrace the need for restraint is to be embraced by the charge of dual loyalty.
“To adopt a protective disguise of muffled dissent is to be colored by a course which con only lead to disaster and divorce from America.”
Levin also called on American Jews, Democrats or Republicans, to work together to ensure that the Administration’s cuts for social programs be made “less burdensome to those already burdened, less hurtful to those already hurt, less harmful to those who have been harmed far too much already.”
He said the American Jewish community has led the fight against social injustice for generations. “Even if you believe in the President’s economics, can anyone really believe that his theories have been implemented in a way which is consistent with the Jewish tradition?” Levin asked.