It was the Cold War. Soviets were arming Syrians, Saddam, Libya and the rest of the nice boys of the ME. French were building Saddam a nuke reactor, US just got out of Vietnam, and Castro just decided to help Angola. The world was different back then and Israel was but a small and an insignificant part of it.
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Clashes between IDF and Palestinians in Joseph's Tomb after Jews pray at site; none hurt (Haaretz)
from the article: Israel denies offering nuclear weapons to Apartheid South Africa