Lavi’s ‘moment of Truth’ at Hand, Says Rabin, in U.S. for Talks

Whether the Israeli government decides to produce the Lavi jet fighter appears to depend on what Defense Minister Yitzhak Rabin learned in his three days of talks here with officials of the Reagan Administration and members of Congress.

“A decision has not been made,” Rabin said in response to questions Thursday at a breakfast meeting sponsored by the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. But the “moment of truth” has arrived “and we have to make up our minds,” he said. Rabin said he was in the U.S. to seek answers posed by members of the Israeli Cabinet. He said most of the answers were positive, some questions were still unanswered and he received only one negative reply. He did not elaborate.

(Rabin will report on his discussions to Premier Yitzhak Shamir and Foreign Minister Shimon Peres immediately upon his return to Israel Friday night, the Israeli newspaper Davar reported Thursday.)

The Defense Minister, who met with Vice President George Bush, Secretary of State George Shultz and Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger, and members of the House and Senate, said he “found understanding” from the Administration and members of Congress and “readiness within certain limitations to assist us.”

NEXT STORY