Menu JTA Search

Dinitz: U.s.-israel Relations Based on Mutual Interests; Warns Problems Between Two Could Arise in T

SIGN UP FOR THE JTA DAILY BRIEFING

Simha Dinitz the diplomat who will shortly take up the duties of Israel’s Ambassador to Washington, said today that the good relations between the United States and Israel are based on mutual interests. He expressed hope that this partnership of interests would continue to prevail, but warned that Israel could face important and difficult trials in its relations with the U.S. in the future.

Israel’s Ambassador-designate to the U.S. who accompanied Premier Golda Meir on her recent trip to Washington, addressed a B’nai B’rith Board of Governors meeting here and replied to questions by board members. Dinitz said there was a basic understanding by the American Administration of the principles that govern Israel’s foreign and defense policies. He said American policy was to strengthen Israel to the extent that the option of war becomes less practical to the Arabs and the peace option more sound.

Dinitz said that policy was not only good for Israel but for the U.S. as well. He said it had brought about American moves to renew relations with the Arab countries, brought about the visit to Washington of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat’s personal envoy, Hafez Ismail, and may also have contributed to the departure of Soviet advisors and military personnel from Egypt.

NO COMPLETE IDENTITY OF INTERESTS

Dinitz said, however, that one cannot expect complete identity of interests and opinions in Israel-American relations. He said that while there existed a mutuality of interests between one of the great super-powers and one of the smallest nations in the world, Israel must be constantly alert to see that its interests are preserved.

Elaborating on this in reply to questions, Dinitz said Israel must watch American contacts with the Middle East countries and with the Soviet Union to make sure that efforts by the great powers to create an “ideal world” are not achieved at the expense of Israel’s peace, security and independence.

Referring to Israel’s relations with the Arab states, Dinitz said that even if peace is reached with one or more of its neighbors, the nature of the countries that surround Israel is such that Israel will not be able to feel secure unless it has secure, defensible borders as a deterrent factor. He mentioned in that connection the Golan Heights, Sharm el-Shelkh and the West Bank territory opposite Nathanya which, before the Six-Day War, almost cut Israel in half.

NEXT STORY