Menu JTA Search

Shamir Says Arms to Jordan is a Greater Danger to Israel Than the Awacs to Saudi Arabia

Foreign Minister Yitzhak Shamir told the Knesset today that Israel could not sit by idly while Jordan increased its capacity to harm Israel’s populated centers. He was speaking in a Knesset debate on American plans to supply Jordan with sophisticated military equipment.

Both Labor Alignment opposition and government spokesmen joined in opposing the arms supply plans hinted at by Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger in statements this week.

Shamir said the supply of sophisticated equipment to Jordan represented an even greater threat to Israel than the supply of AWACS planes to Saudi Arabia, because of the proximity of the Jordanian bases to Israel’s populated centers and military bases in the Negev.

Such arms to Jordan would only be an incentive to Jordan to join in any new Arab war against Israel, Shamir said. He said that the United States was wrong in describing Jordan as a peace-loving state, as it had already fought several wars against Israel. There has been no basic change in Jordanian policy and Jordan has still not accepted the Camp David accords, the Foreign Minister said.