Arms to Israel

To the Editors of the CRIMSON:

Your implied opposition, in your editorial of February 27, to the sale of arms to Israel is quite unsound. The argument that the sale of arms to Israel may precipitate an arms race ignores the fact that Israel does not seek to match the Arab quantitative arms superiority. All that Israel desires is to purchase arms which can compare qualitatively with the weapons which the Arabs are receiving from the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom and the United States.

The suggestion that Israel rely on the United Nations or tripartite protection is unrealistic. Neither the United Nations nor the great powers, in spite of their sincere efforts, were effective in preventing Arab aggression in 1948.

On the other hand, if Israel were in possession of modern weapons, comparable in combat performance to arms available to Arab nations, aggression would be deterred. The principle that sufficient power to deter aggression is instrumental for the maintenance of peace is commonly recognized, and had been put forward by Mr. Dulles himself. A weak Israel would serve as an invitation to aggression that would increase the general turmoil in the region, which is only playing into Russian hands. On the other hand, by providing arms to Israel and thus deterring aggression, the general stability in the area would be advanced.

While your editorial is critical of the lack of initiative on the part of the State Department, it advocates in effect the continuation of the "sit and do nothing policy" which is partly responsible for the present dangerous situation. Saadia Weltmann '57