JERUSALEM (Apr. 22)
Premier Shimon Peres said today that he personally was “unequivocally in favor” of a positive response to the Reagan Administration’s invitation to Israel to participate in research for the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI), popularly known as “Star Wars.”
Peres told the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Security Committee that the SDI program signified a scientific revolution and it was clearly in Israel’s interest to be involved in the technology from the outset.
Peres’ remarks to the Knesset committee did not constitute a formal reply to the invitation U.S. Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger extended to Defense Minister Yitzhak Rabin in Washington last month. The formal response is still being drafted by Israeli experts and must be approved by the Cabinet before it is conveyed to Washington.
But given the enthusiasm of Peres and Rabin for the project, there seems little doubt here that Israel will accept the invitation. It was also extended to America’s NATO allies, Japan and Australia.