WASHINGTON (Jul. 21)
Ambassador Simcha Dinitz said today that basically the United States and Israel saw “eye-to-eye” on Israel’s latest proposals for an interim settlement with Egypt in Sinai, but wouldn’t say that the U.S. has given those proposals its blessings. “I wouldn’t want to call it blessings in the name of somebody else but…I would say that conceptually we see eye-to-eye on the basic elements of such a proposal.” the Israeli envoy said in the course of an interview with Barbara Walters on the NBC-TV “Today” show this morning.
During the long exchange of questions and answers, Dinitz indicated that the Israeli proposals agreed to at a Cabinet meeting in Jerusalem last night and dispatched to Washington along with a detailed map for conveyance to Egypt, represented a departure from the Israeli position last March when the “shuttle” talks conducted by Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger were suspended.
“I can only say that on the eve of the departure of President Ford to Salzburg (in June) we indicated that we are prepared to re-examine some of our provisions of March, if Egypt will do the same, and we have done just that,” Dinitz said. “This proposal of ours is different geographically than the proposals of March, it is built on a different concept as far as the political, economic, duration element, the monitoring element, it is a different proposal, and we hope that it will be accepted by Egypt and we can move things off dead center.”
NOT THE SAME AS VIETNAM
The Israeli Ambassador acknowledged that the Israeli proposals envision an American presence in Sinai in a surveillance role which he indicated would be an expansion of the present American surveillance of the disengagement agreements by aerial reconnaissance.
Asked by Ms. Walters if that “will not remind some people of our initiation into Vietnam if we begin to send technical advisors in and civilians.” Dinitz said he hoped not “because we are not talking about soldiers or about people in any way involving combat and we are talking, if at all. about a situation in which we will receive the blessing and the agreement of all the parties concerned, it is to say of Egypt, of Israel and the U.S.” Dinitz stressed that “the idea is that the role of surveillance will be enhanced in whatever form will have to be decided….Never soldiers, because the defense of Israel will continue to be in the hands of Israeli soldiers.”
ISRAEL CAN LIVE WITH EXPULSION, UN CAN’T
Asked if he believed the movement by the Moslem states and their Third World allies to expel Israel from the UN would materialize. Dinitz said “If it happens, I think it would be a situation Israel will be able to live with, but I doubt whether the UN will be able to live with it. After all, if we destroy the very core, the very moral core of the organization, I believe that was made clear by the United States, by many European countries….that would be a translation of the tyranny of the majority in a manner which I doubt whether the rest of the democratic world will be able to live with.” He added, however, that he believed “in the last moment, those who contemplate this outrageous act will have second thoughts.”
Asked if he thought that the “shuttle” diplomacy in the Middle East would be resumed if Israel and Egypt were to reach an agreement this week, Dinitz said “I think that if the Egyptian response, as I hope, will be positive, then there will have to be some working of details before a charter will take place….We are very careful not to subject the Secretary of State of the United States, or for that matter, American prestige, especially since Presidential prestige is involved in it as well, before we are completely prepared with the basics of an agreement. So I don’t foresees, if all is going well, a shuttle before around the middle of August.”