ACCESSION NUMBER:223730 FILE ID:NN-106 DATE:04/13/92 TITLE:(FOLLOWING FS MATERIAL IS FOR DISTRIBUTION TO MISSION STAFF ONLY AND NOT FOR (04 TEXT:*92041306.NNX 4/13/wtimes/edit/israel/proliferation/rm *NNX106 04/13/92 * (FOLLOWING FS MATERIAL IS FOR DISTRIBUTION TO MISSION STAFF ONLY AND NOT FOR PUBLICATION) ISRAEL: REVENGE OF THE PROLIFERATION NERDS (4/13 WashTimes editorial) (630) THE FOLLOWING EDITORIAL APPEARED ON PAGE E2 OF THE APRIL 13 WASHINGTON TIMES UNDER THE ABOVE HEADLINE: (BEGIN TEXT) Israel recently enjoyed the experience of twisting slowly in the wind as a result of the leak of an unsubstantiated U.S. intelligence report (first reported in The Washington Times). Now, however, the U.S. State Department has announced that it found "no evidence that Israel had transferred a Patriot missile or Patriot missile technology (to China)." Throughout the turmoil, the highest officials of the Bush administration failed to say anything on Israel's behalf to counterbalance the feeding frenzy in the press that the leak set off. They now owe Israel an apology for allowing the erroneous report to further undermine relations between the two countries. The Patriot leak, it turns out, is not the only anti-Israel missive to have gone astray in recent weeks. A long take-out in the Wall Street Journal on alleged Israeli violations of U.S. procedures governing sales of American-based weaponry, apparently based on hype from State Department investigators, was also overplayed. The final report, released Wednesday, was deemed, in State Department parlance, "inconclusive," said State's spokeswoman Margaret Tutwiler: "The report was not written to draw conclusions." Miss Tutwiler went on to remark that "there is a big difference of opinion in certain interpretations" of the Arms Control Export Act, the law that sets limits on the transfer of U.S. weapons and technology after they are sold to allies . In other words, violations couldn't be proven. And the State Department itself, not Israel, bore the brunt of whatever criticism could be sustained by the evidence. Finally, there is the open warfare being waged by syndicated columnists Evans and Novak and New York Times columnist Abe Rosenthal. They are at odds over an Evans and Novak report that Israel is negotiating a sale to China of its Star missile, which the columnists asserted contained U.S. technology from Have Nap, which they said was a U.S. missile. Mr. Rosenthal maintained they're all wet, and the facts coming out back up his charge. A close reading of two subsequent columns by Evans and Novak shows that they have actually backed off their central contentions, despite their protestations to the contrary. For example, in a second column they reported that the Star was "Patterned on an Israeli model called Popeye." The Have Nap, they said, had "mixed though mostly Israeli parentage," and Israel and the U.S. co-produce it. Thus, both Star and Have Nap are upgraded Popeyes. The columnists also reported that the Have Nap was deployed in the Persian Gulf war. In the third column, Evans and Novak reshuffled their cards again and the idea that Star is somehow based on technology lifted from the Have Nap - the lead of the first column - is completely lost. And the Have Nap, they reported, was not in the Gulf after all. 1y now, a distinct pattern has emerged: leak, refutation, leak, refutation. The blame lies not with the press, which is reporting what it finds out, but with whomever is doing the leaking of spurious accusations. The leaker or leakers apparently believe that the current administration's posture toward Israel has presented them with a golden opportunity to advance their agenda at the expense of the longstanding military cooperation, indeed alliance, between the United States and Israel. The administration should show them that this tactic will not succeed by distancing itself from their campaign. (END TEXT) (PRECEDING FS MATERIAL IS FOR DISTRIBUTION TO MISSION STAFF ONLY AND NOT FOR PUBLICATION) NNNN .