WASHINGTON (Feb. 19)
Israel’s new Ambassador to the United States, Gen. Yitzchak Rabin. arrived here at Dulles International Airport tonight to take up his new duties. To reporters who met him at the airfield, he said he was glad to have been appointed ambassador to this country and saw his new duties as “a heavy responsibility.”
The former chief of staff of the Israeli forces, said that no particular significance should be attached in connection with his appointment to the fact that he was a soldier. Almost every Israeli, he noted, had military experience. He said it was not necessary to stress the importance Israel attached to the “warm and friendly relations which now exist” between it and this country and promised that he would seek in Washington to make Israel stronger, not only militarily, but in all fields. He remarked that in his previous assignment – as chief of staff – his primary mission had been to prevent war, but when this could not be accomplished, his mission had been to win the war. He failed in the first, he said, but won in the second.
In response to questions, the envoy said that the statement by King Hussein on restraining terrorists using Jordan as a base of operations against Israel suggested that “we achieved something in the military action last week that resulted from Arab terrorism.”
The Ambassador declined to be drawn into discussion on the question of Israel’s request for license to buy F-4 Phantom jet fighters here. He noted, as a military man, that there was “always something better” in the field of weaponry. Asked to comment on the announcement last week that the United States would sell weapons and aircraft to Jordan and whether he was “disturbed” by the American decision, he replied: “Well, nobody can be very happy about it.”
The Ambassador was greeted at the airport by a delegation representing the staff of the Israel Embassy, headed by the charge d’affaires, Ephraim Evron. Also present to greet him were leaders of Jewish organizations.