Making a further plea for renewed supplies of American Phantom fighter-bombers. Israeli Prime Minister Mrs.?
MV Golda Meir answering reporters SOF STARTS: "It's always been...." SOF ENDS: "... enough air material."
TRANSCRIPT: SEQ 1: MRS. MEIR: "It's always ben our policy never to discuss the delivery of Phantom planes or other war material in public. It becomes a public issue when the delivery is stopped. I've taken up this problem naturally with the Secretary and the President and I don't think I can say or should say exactly what they said."
INTERVIEWER: "Now that the delivery has stopped it has become a public issue?"
MRS. MEIR: "That's right".
INTERVIEWER: "Will the delivery start again?"
MRS. MEIR: "I hope."
INTERVIEWER: "You have assurances on that?"
MRS. MEIR: "That I can't say."
INTERVIEWER: "You have assurances on that"
MRS. MEIR: "That I can't say".
INTERVIEWER: "Do you think that the balance of power can be maintained in the Middle East without additional Phantoms being delivered to Israel?"
MRS. MEIR: "No, it cannot. When people speak about the balance of power I don't whether they're always conscious of what the balance of power really is. You don't have a situation where Egypt has X planes -- I'm not even speaking about all the Arab countries who, when there is war, they join in. But let us take Egypt alone. If Egypt has X planes, Israel has X planes, then is Egypt gets one more plane then the balance of power is upset and Israel should get one plane -- because all that is nonsense. We've never matched. We've never asked for that. There is a certain limit where, if that is upset with the much smaller number of planes and guns and tanks and manpower that we have... if that is upset, then is becomes dangerous and we feel hat since Egypt is being supplied constantly with arms -- more and better -- and having the delivery of planes stopped to us, well, then it becomes a dangerous situation."
INTERVIEWER: "Is it a dangerous situation now? Has that limit been reached?
MRS. MEIR: "We believe it has. I mean dangerous in what way? If for instance Sadat should do what he says he will and begin shooting there's no doubt in our minds that we can take care of that. But, if we are short of planes as we think we are, this will mean many more casualties than we would have if we had enough air material."
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Background: Making a further plea for renewed supplies of American Phantom fighter-bombers. Israeli Prime Minister Mrs. Golda Meir told a United States television audience that the balance of power in the Middle East had tilted dangerously away from Israel. Mrs. Meir, who had just had talks with President Nixon in Washington on the subject of further military aid, was speaking on N.B.C.'s"Meet the Press programme" on Sunday. She was asked first about the Phantom:"