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Senator Urges More U.S. Economic Political, Arms Support for Israel

March 24, 1981
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

— Sen. Gary Hart (D. Colo.) called on the United States to offer increased military, economic and political support for Israel “not only because it is morally right” but also because it is “in the best interests of our own national security.”

Speaking before more than 1,400 retailing industry leaders at the Waldorf-Astoria at an Israel Bond dinner honoring M. Ronald Ruskin, chairman and chief executive officer of Gimbels New York, Hart criticized the Administration’s proposal to enhance the power and range of Saudi Arabia’s F-15 fighter planes, “which we pledged would never be so equipped.”

“I opposed the original sale of the F-15’s to Saudi Arabia in 1978,” he said. “The Saudis’ best intentions are no guarantee these planes will not fly against Israel in the future. No one can guarantee who will command the Saudi arsenal tomorrow or the next day. And we must never be willing to hazard the guess.”

Hart, a member of the Senate’s Armed Services Committee, warned that such a flow of new equipment to Saudi Arabia would intensify the arms race in the Middle East, and would further burden Israel’s economy with even greater requirements for arms. “The Administration’s quid pro quo of extending additional credit to Israel for the purchase of more military hardware is hardly the solution for a nation already overwhelmed by defense costs.” he said.

Charles Ballon, MC and dinner chairman, announced that more than $4 million in Israel Bonds and other financial instruments were purchased in honor of Ruskin, “making this the most successful Bond dinner ever held by the retailing industry.

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