Israelis blast US arms for Arabs

Israeli officials over the weekend responded to recent US arms sales proposals to Arab countries.

Prime Minister Menachem Begin, in his weekly Cabinet session, accused Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger of paying lip-service to Israel's security while endangering it by a reported statement favoring the sale of sophisticated air defense systems to Jordan. Mr. Begin said Jordan wanted US arms for use against Israel and not to defend itself from threats by other Arab countries.

Meanwhile, Israeli Defense Minister Ariel Sharon, speaking to a United Jewish Appeal conference in Washington, urged American Jewish leaders to lobby against any new US arms deliveries to the Arab countries. Mr. Sharon said he is concerned about arms purchases by Middle East nations such as Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria, Iraq, and Egypt. He said Arab nations have outspent Israel nearly 6-to-1 on military equipment since the 1973 Mideast war.

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