NEW YORK (Oct. 30)
Calling Israel “the only realistic rapid deploment force” in the Middle East, Sen. Alfonse D’Amato (R. NY) said that military aid to Israel should be removed from the classification of foreign aid and “placed under the heading of the military budget.”
Appearing Sunday on International Dateline, produced by Americans for a Safe Israel for National Jewish Television, he also accused Egypt of “abrogating the Camp David accords.”
D’Amato told host David Bar-Illan that compared to the “160 billion dollars we spend on NATO,” assistance to Israel costs “practically no money,” and that aid to Israel “strengthens” America’s strategic position.
American economic and military aid to Israel will reach $2.6 billion in fiscal year 1985. If the military portion were made part of the U.S. budget as is the case with the NATO countries and Japan, much of the criticism of U.S. aid to Israel would be removed, D’Amato noted. Supporters of this move believe that it would more reliably reflect Israel’s value to the United States at a time when Western and Soviet arms sales to Arab countries and Israel’s economic difficulties have been eroding the balance of power in the Middle East.
D’Amato blamed much of Israel’s economic woes on “the 1.5 billion dollars a year” of oil reven ues which Israel sacrificed when it gave up Sinai to Egypt under the terms of the peace treaty.
The Senator urged the U.S. to “insure that Egypt and Jordan take responsible courses of action to bring about normalization of relations with Israel. “He said that the United States should be willing to provide assistance to quell internal unrest in Arab countries which normalize relations with Israel.
ISRAEL DEALT ‘BODAY BLOW’ TO TERRORISM
Also appearing on the program were Michael Ledeen, special advisor to former Secretary of State Alexander Haig, and Rafael Israeli, the compiler of the PLO documents uncovered in Lebanon in 1982.
Ledee, now a Senior Fellow at the Georgetown Center for Strategic and International Studies, said that Israel’s “invasion of Lebanon was a real body blow to international terrorism. ” In spite of recent terrorist successes around the world, Ledeen believed that the Israeli action “substantially reduced” the capaclty of international terrorism to function.
Israeli, a visiting scholar at Harvard’s Middle East Institute, said that if Israel is to be faulted in its Lebanese compaign, “it is that it did not go for enough or swiftly enough. Having gone through the documents and seeing for myself what the PLO was preparing for Israel in years to come, I feel it was a necessary strike that was long overdue.”
Intemational Dateline is televised every Sunday at 1 p.m. Eastern Time on National Jewish Television. The program is received in 110 cities in 27 states.