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Has Congress Doomed Israel's Affair With South Africa?
[FINAL Edition]
The Washington Post (pre-1997 Fulltext) - Washington, D.C.
Author: Melman, Yossi||||||Raviv, Dan
Date: Feb 22, 1987
Start Page: c.01
Section: OUTLOOK

[John Vorster] also launched a program of South African investment in the Israeli arms industry. One of the first projects was the strengthening of the armor on the South African defense force's tanks and personnel carriers-work carried out by Iskoor, a company in Kiryat Gat, near Tel Aviv, set up as a partnership between Israel's Koor Industries and the South African steel corporation. Israeli scientists are said to have provided a formula for the toughest steel in military use anywhere. The steel is then made in South Africa and turned into armor in Israel.

Typically, military cooperation has rarely taken the form of direct provision of Israeli arms to South Africa, but instead a pooling of knowledge. Faced with arms embargos, both nations chose to manufacture their own. Israel has had a startling success in producing aircraft, military electronics, tanks and small arms, occasionally based on plans purchased or purloined abroad. Israel is also given credit for helping to make South Africa's weapons manufacturer, Armscor, a success.

Tension and fear in Israel's halls of power have produced a sharp conflict between rival officials, although everyone who truly counts seems to favor the preservation of the Jerusalem-Pretoria link. Some influential voices, however, have taken what they consider a moral stand-their detractors label it "moralistic"-calling for Israel to take a place at the forefront of Western nations fighting apartheid by imposing broad political, economic and military sanctions. The director-general of the foreign ministry, Yossi Beilin, leads the moralistic group and insists that Israel must not be the last Western nation to align itself against South Africa.

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