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Rabin Says Sadat’s Attack on Zionism is Characteristic of Arab Hostility Toward Israel

Premier Yitzhak Rabin said today that Egyptian President Anwar Sadat’s attacks on Zionism during his current visit to the United States “have proved once more that a sharp transition to a state of peace between Israel and the Arabs was not possible.”

Rabin, addressing Hebrew University students here, said he was not surprised by Sadat’s allegations that Zionism brought “violence and hatred” to the Middle East and that Jews had controlled Egypt’s economy since 1952 and took orders from Zionists because they were “characteristic of the Arab position which is hostile to the State of Israel and its existence.”

He said Sadat’s remarks “are indicative of the deep anti-Jewish feelings prevalent among Arab leaders and countries and have proved once more that a sharp transition to a state of peace between Israel and the Arabs was not possible.” He said he believed Sadat made a tactical error “in not presenting himself in the United States as a moderate, peace-seeking leader.”


Israeli government officials expressed “deep disappointment” yesterday over Sadat’s statements condemning Zionism. “We certainly did not expect him to embrace Zionism, but neither did we expect him to spout those anti-Semitic lies,” the officials said. “This only proves our contention that for the Arabs at least, Zionism and anti-Semitism are the same thing,” they added.

They said Sadat’s “anti-Jewish and pro-Nazi beliefs were a matter of historical record contained in his writings” and “it was therefore a mistake to expect any change in him. But many of us were hoping that a new chapter in Israeli-Egyptian relations might begin with the American visit and implementation of our interim agreement,” the officials added.

Yesterday, a Knesset, coalition persuaded the presidium not to grant urgency to a Likud motion to call a debate on Sadat’s remarks in the U.S. Likud MK Haim Landau, who presented the motion claimed it was essential for Israel to react while Sadat is still in the U.S. But other MKs took the government’s view that Sadat was destroying his own image as a moderate and believed that Israel should maintain a low profile on the issue.