JERUSALEM (Aug. 3)
Israel has extended congratulations to the United States on Egyptian President Anwar Sadat’s ouster of Russian military advisors, it was disclosed here today. Israel’s view that a major factor in the ouster was the US Mideast policy of maintaining Israel’s deterrent strength while refusing to join with the Soviet Union in an imposed Middle East solution was conveyed yesterday by Foreign Minister Abba Eban at a meeting here with the US Charge d’Affaires Owen Zurhellen in the absence of US Ambassador Walworth Barbour, who is on leave.
Israel also feels that the US policy, coupled with Israel’s own steadfastness, brought about the feeling of frustration in Sadat’s government which led to the expulsion of the Russian advisors. Senior Foreign Ministry sources said after the Eban-Zurhellen meeting that the continued US silence on the Soviet ouster was a measure of the US satisfaction with the situation created by the ouster. The sources said US officials also “are not complaining.”
The sources said that Eban sought to demonstrate to the US official that the American policy of supporting Israel had “paid off” with the Soviet exodus and had not harmed US interests in the Mideast. Eban reportedly cited the “queue” of Arab states seeking to resume diplomatic links with the US after Yemen did so. Iraq, Algeria and reportedly Syria are believed to be seeking low-key diplomatic contacts with the US, though not necessarily full resumption of diplomatic ties.
Israel was reported to believe that with his war options effectively cut off by US military supplies to Israel and with his hopes for a super-power-imposed solution wrecked by the Nixon summit visit to Moscow, Sadat acted more out of anger and frustration than out of logic in ordering the departure of the Soviet advisors. Israeli analysts also reportedly believe that Sadat will bide his time until the US Presidential election when he is expected to check for any change in US Mideast views. Meanwhile, it is believed here, he will stress activities he considers advantageous to Egypt, specifically the resumption of Dr. Gunnar Jarring’s Mideast mission for which the Swedish diplomat returned last night to the UN.
High-ranking sources revealed here yesterday that the Israeli Cabinet rejected unanimously a suggestion from Yitzhak Rabin, Israel’s envoy to the US, that Israel should publicly ban the Jarring mission and reduce Israel’s representation at the United Nations because of the “Imbalance” toward Israel at the UN. The Israel government reportedly feels that no useful purpose would be served by so “tactless” a step as rebuffing Dr. Jarring publicly. While Israel shares the reported US view that little good will come from renewal of the Jarring mission, it also feels that Israel would suffer international unpopularity by disparaging the mission publicly. As for the UN itself, Israel still regards it as a useful forum, it was indicated.