NEW YORK (Mar. 23)
A Republican Senator assailed the Reagan Administration for “acting in such a way as to put Israel in jeopardy.” Lowell Weicker of Connecticut told some 1,300 persons at the 71st anniversary banquet of the international Young Israel movement here that Israel is America’s “only stable ally” in the Middle East and “we must never act in such a way that would jeopardize her future.”
The event, attended by Israel’s Ashkenazic Chief Rabbi Shlomo Goren who delivered the benediction, Mayor Edward Koch of New York, and Lt. Gov. Alfred Del Bello, honored a number of local community, civic and religious leaders. Weicker, the main speaker, called on the Reagan Administration to release the 75 F-16 jet fighter planes ordered by Israel which have been embargoed since last June.
He urged Congress at the same time to “draw the line” at AWACS and disapprove any further arms sales to Jordan or Saudi Arabia until they agree to participate in the Camp David peace process.
Weicker also urged the U.S. and Israel to make every effort to achieve the withdrawal of all foreign forces from Lebanon — Israeli, Syrian, Palestinian and the multinational force of American, French and Italian troops — so that Lebanon can become once more a viable nation. He said a stable Lebanon would stabilize not only Israel’s northern border but the entire region.
Weicker, who chairs the Senate Energy Policy Committee, warned that the temporary respite in the OPEC price hike should not induce a sense of complacency. He stressed the need for the U.S. to reinforce its energy conservation efforts to end its dependence on foreign oil.