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Gerald Ford Administration: Statement on U.S. Aid to Israel

(May 3, 1976)


Q. Mr. President, I'm affiliated with a local magazine called Region, and I'm also representing the Jewish Monitor today. And they would like for me to ask you these two questions.

The first one, Mr. President, is: I would like to ask you about your stand concerning our continued support to the nation of Israel. Are you for continuing to send the amount that we pledged to send to Israel or are you for cutting it?

THE PRESIDENT. Let me answer it this way. For the current fiscal year, which ends July 1 or June 30, I recommended $2,200 million--$1,500 million in military assistance and the $700 million in economic assistance for Israel. For the next fiscal year, which begins October 1, I recommended a billion dollars in military assistance for Israel and $600 million for economic assistance. So for a 25-month period, because we have a transitional quarter in there, because we're going from one fiscal year to another, I recommended $4,300 million for military and economic assistance to Israel. That's the most any President has ever recommended for the State of Israel.

Now, the big controversy, the big controversy comes because some people allege that there was a pledge to give an additional $500 million for 3 months.

I never gave that pledge to anybody, and I'm the only one in a position who can give that in this Government at the present time.

I happen to think because every adviser that I have, whether they're military assistance advisers or economic advisers, they tell me that the amount that I have recommended, which does not include the $500 million for the transitional quarter, was fully adequate for the economic and military security and survival of Israel.

So, on the basis of the advice given me by experts, I think $4,300 million in a 25-month period is pretty good support for the State of Israel.

Sources: Public Papers of the President