New York – The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has written to President George W. Bush strongly opposing the sale of new satellite-guided Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) bombs to Saudi Arabia, a country which lavishes funds on Islamist institutions disseminating hatred of Jews and other non-Muslims and rewards suicide bombers who murder Israelis. In the letter, signed by National President Morton A. Klein, Chairman of the Board Dr. Michael Goldblatt, Chairman of the Executive Committee Dr. Alan Mazurek and Treasurer Henry Schwartz, the ZOA stated that “selling sophisticated high-tech weaponry to Saudi Arabia will seriously reduce Israel’s qualitative military superiority over Arab states that do not accept her existence, which the United States is pledged to uphold and is therefore inconsistent with both American and Israeli interests.” The news of this intended sale was announced by Defense Secretary Robert Gates during his recent visit to Israel. A recent discussion in Washington raised the possibility that Jerusalem would ask the US not to sell the satellite-guided smart bombs to the Saudis, but it was decided to reject this request (Haaretz, April 20).
Saudi Arabia recently threatened Israel with war if it failed to agree to the terms of the 2002 so-called Arab Peace Initiative. The Saudi Foreign Minister, Saud al-Faisal, said last month that “It has never been proven that reaching out to Israel achieves anything … [If Israel does not agree to the offer, it will be placing its future] in the hands of the lords of war” ( Washington Times, March 29).
Israeli Defense Minister Amir Peretz expressed Israel’s opposition to the sale of the weapons to Saudi Arabia and other Persian Gulf states during his visit to the US a few weeks ago. Peretz said Israel was concerned that the weapons might fall into terrorist hands as well as undermine the regional balance of power. The JDAM bombs possess a special tail kit that allows a target’s location to be fed to the system by satellite, which can also be done by computer during flight. The computer determines the best moment for the pilot to release the bomb. Pilots and other experts say this type of bomb “can be aimed through a window” ( Haaretz, April 20).
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, “Saudi Arabia’s record in funding and disseminating Islamist hate ideology worldwide and its support for terrorist groups that murder Israelis is something for which it has never been held to account. At a bare minimum, therefore, it is incumbent upon the United States to withhold advanced technology that would affect the military balance between Israel and the Arab states. Saudi Arabia has not behaved like a US ally that deserves this level of support and friendship from the United States. Moreover, no-one has suggested that Saudi Arabia is likely to be attacked by Iran or needs it for its legitimate self-defense. That being the case, why are we selling these weapons to Riyadh?
“To proceed with this sale in effect simply tells the Saudis that we believe that their policies and conduct are satisfactory and that they need make no move towards fulfilling their commitments to America as an ally. In this context, it is worth noting that Saudi Arabia lied in November 2005 to the US in promising to drop its economic boycott of Israel, something which it has actually admitted to have continued since that date. Proceeding with this sale essentially tells the Saudis that they will not be held accountable for their words and deeds and also decreases Israeli security, which both the Bush Administration and the Congress have pledged to uphold.”