President Carter plans to meet with congressional supporters of Israel this morning in an effort to head off a fight over Israeli coproduction of U.S. arms.
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee is scheduled to consider this afternoon an amendment by Sen. Hubert H. Humphrey (D-Minn.) and Clifford P. Case (R-N.J.) that says Israeli coproduction is in the U.S. national interest.
The amendment would commit the United States to more extensive transfers of U.S. arms technology to Israel than the Carter administration favors, according to administration sources.
However, a related problem is that Carter has not completed work on Presidential Review Memorandum 12, which will establish administration polcy guidelines on arms transfers.
Some administration officials argue that the Humphrey-Case amendment forecloses thePresident's options in establishing arms policy.
The amendment and the intense efforts to promote it and to block it that have swelled in recent days were sparked by an appearance by Secretary of State Cyrus R. Vance before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee two weeks ago.
Vance briefed the senators in closed session and Presidential Review Memorandum 12 and a number of the senators were shocked by what they caonsidered insufficient consideration of Israel's role and weapons needs.
Israeli Ambassador Simcha Dinitz and American Jewish orgnizations have contacted Foreign Relations Committee members in support of the Humphrey-Case amendment.
In the absence of Carter, Vance and many of the other senior State Department officials who were in Europe, Under Secretary of State Lucy Wilson Benson lobbied several committee members in opposition to the amendment.
The White House meeting was hastily arranged late yesterday to explore possible compromises.