WASHINGTON (Sep. 19)
Democratic Presidential candidate Jimmy Carter chatted for about 10 minutes before television cameras with Israeli Gen. Ariel Sharon, a founder of Likud and the Yom Kippur War hero, and Israeli author journalist Uri Dan in a meeting that produced much speculation but little information. The meeting took place last Thursday afternoon in Carter’s suite at the Washington Hilton Hotel where he and Democratic Vice-Presidential candidate Walter Mondale were to address an Italian American gathering at the hotel.
Afterwards, Sharon told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that he sought the meeting with Carter but that he has not asked and does not plan to ask for a meeting with President Ford. In the U.S. to address the 79th annual national convention of the Zionist Organization of America last weekend, the former military advisor to Israeli Premier Yitzhak Rabin told the JTA that he had telephoned Carter’s headquarters in Atlanta, Ga., and the meeting with Carter was arranged. He said he wanted the meeting because “I think it is important to know new leaders.” He added that he is “very much impressed with Carter.”
Asked about his political future, Sharon said “I hope to take part in politics,” adding smilingly. “We have an election next year.” He did not smile, however, when he was asked if he favored Carter for President. “Israelis don’t interfere in the American elections,” he declared. “It is entirely an American thing. But, of course, we are watching.” The Israeli Embassy had no comment on the meeting. An aide noted the Embassy had nothing to do with arranging it.
WILL OPPOSE NUCLEAR PROLIFERATION
When a reporter asked Carter whether he would send nuclear equipment to Egypt, Carter replied he thought it was a “mistake” for former President Nixon to have promised Egypt nuclear materials. The Democratic standard bearer said he would try to restrain the proliferation of nuclear capability throughout the world. The Ford Administration has initialed identical agreements with Egypt and Israel to supply them with nuclear plants. Congress must approve the accords before they can be implemented. Nixon had also promised Israel nuclear materials.
Dan presented Carter with an English edition of “Bridgehead,” the report of the crossing of the Suez Canal by the Israelis during the Yom Kippur War, a feat that established Sharon as a hero of that war. Dan also gave Carter English and Hebrew copies of “90 Minutes at Entebbe.” Carter responded by noting that the Entebbe operation was a “demonstration of courage,” adding that it was the duty of a nation “to protect one’s people.”
Recalling that he had visited Israel three years ago and met with Israeli leaders, including Golda Meir and Rabin, Carter said “I thoroughly enjoyed the close kinship with the people of Israel.” Sharon responded, “You have many friends in Israel.”