Azf Head Says There Are Positive Elements for Israel in Recent Events in Egypt

Rabbi Israel Miller, president of the American Zionist Federation, said yesterday that there was “a positive element which we ought not disregard” in the recent political events in Egypt in which President Anwar Sadat quashed a challenge to his presidency. Rabbi Miller, addressing the spring conference of the Hapoel Hamizrachi Women’s Organization, stated that “It was Sadat who uttered the words which broke the Khartoum negatives. He took the first step toward the recognition of the sovereignty and the right to existence of Israel, and he emerged unscathed despite his use of the words ‘peace’ and ‘agreement’ with Israel. Given time, we hope he will find himself strong enough to take further steps in the direction of a real peace, and direct negotiations with Israel to achieve it.” Rabbi Miller warned that there was another development in the Egyptian power struggle which ought not be disregarded. “Dictators never sit easy on their seats of leadership,” he said. “A coup can instantaneously change the power structure and can cause an about-face in policies or agreements. Israel’s demand for adequate guarantees–such as an Egyptian-Israel joint commission at Suez to police violations of any concession to reopen the canal, or Israel’s rejection of any suggestion that it leave Sharm el-Sheikh, takes on added significance.” Miller added that “Our State Department would do well to ponder the lessons of recent days. They offer hope for peace, as well as caution against pressures upon Israel.”

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