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Israel's gains

There will be many losers, and winners, on Tuesday next, but the government of Israel has no worries. It has tucked away during the United States election campaign a veritable bonanza of offers, promises, and commitments of US aid.

The result is that Israel, which would be a financial bankrupt without help, emerges from the US campaign with its credit backed by the US Treasury and its standard of living propped up by a Congress in which the two main American parties have competed to see which can do the most for Israel.

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Here is a list of major contributions to Israel's welfare which the pro-Israel lobby in Washington has harvested since the US election campaign got under way.

1. Congress gave Israel outright the entire foreign aid appropriation of $2.6 billion for the current fiscal year which began Oct. 1. In previous years aid to Israel has been divided between loans and gifts. The figure for the last fiscal year was also $2.6 billion, of which $850 million was in loans.

2. Congress passed a resolution Oct. 9 asserting that the annual US contribution to the Economic Support Fund for Israel shall not be less than what Israel owes the US in interest and amortization payments each year on its current debt to the US of $9 billion.

3. Congress passed on the same day by a margin of 386 to 1 a bill authorizing the President to negotiate a free-trade zone with Israel. This is unprecedented in US trade relations. It will give Israel duty free access to the American market. The President ordered the new arrangement completed within 30 days.

4. On Oct. 17, US Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger withdrew his previous opposition to US support for the new Israeli jet fighter aircraft known as the Lavi. He authorized release to Israel of ''the Lavi Phase 3 composite production technology,'' which Israel Prime Minister Shimon Peres said ''is essential to the new fighter aircraft.''

Israel has been lobbying Washington for two years for US financial and technical support for the Lavi. The Pentagon refused authorization until the election campaign partly to avoid dissemination of valuable special technologies and partly because the Lavi as designed will compete with the American-built Northrop F-20 fighter.

The Israeli government wants permission to sell the new Lavi to other countries. It also hopes for sales to the US. It will be in competition in both US and other markets with the Northrop F-20. Congress has authorized $500 million in US support for the Lavi. The Northrop F-20 has no US subsidy support.

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Northrop is concerned that the US-subsidized Lavi will drive the unsubsidized Northrop F-20 out of the market.

It is unusual, to say the least, for a government to subsidize foreign competition for one of its own manufacturers.

5. There is much discussion in Washington of how much increased financial aid will go to Israel in the next foreign aid budget. The standard level of $2.6 billion will be raised by an amount still under negotiation. Israel was at one time reported wanting the new figure to be $5 billion. The current talk is of $4 billion. There is little doubt that it will go at least that high. The question is how much austerity the Israeli government will accept at home in return for the higher level of US aid.

The Israeli government and its friends in the US support the above extra and unprecedented generosity toward Israel on the argument that Israel ''serves US interests in the region.''

Israel's mounting debt and its current 400 percent inflation were spurred by the invasion of Lebanon, which was launched against the strongest American protestations and was considered in Washington to be highly damaging to US interests in the Middle East.

Israel's supporters contend that Israel is the main bulwark against Soviet penetration into the Middle East. In fact, Arab governments usually turn to Moscow for help only when they feel threatened by Israel's military power and are unable to get the weapons they want from the US for their own protection.

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