WASHINGTON (Sep. 28)
Vice-President Nelson A. Rockefeller and Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger, speaking last night at a reception at the Kennedy Center following the touring Israel Philharmonic Orchestra’s 26th concert over the past month, renewed pledges of never-ending U.S. support to Israel.
“The music of the Philharmonic is the voice of Israel and that voice must never be stilled,” Rockefeller said. “Americans pledge to you that it never will be.” Kissinger affirmed, “Whatever President, whatever party is in power the future of Israel will always be in the hearts of Americans. Those who believe in the importance of faith and the importance of freedom must see to it that the survival and progress of Israel is always maintained.” He added that “no country in the world represents so much the power of faith” as Israel.
Kissinger preceded these remarks by noting the Presidential campaign, saying, “This is the season when expressions of devotion to Israel multiply wonderfully.” But, he added, “seriously,” Israel “matters to us.” Earlier, in a mood of levity, the Secretary said, “Israel is the only country in the world where an ambassador gets into difficulty for being friendly with the Secretary of State.”
He chided Israeli Ambassador Simcha Dinitz, the host for the reception, for greeting the guests as “members of the Administration and friends.” Kissinger remarked, “I thought the Israelis got out of politics after 1972.” This was an allusion to the charge that the-then Israeli Ambassador, Yitzhak Rabin, had spoken out in this country on behalf of President Nixon’s reelection that year.
ISRAEL PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA HAILED
Dinitz, praising the orchestra’s brilliant performance to a capacity audience of 2739 at the Kennedy Center’s Concert Hall under music advisor and conductor, Zubin Mehta, said the ensemble of 120 musicians meant “Fiddler on the Roof has come home” to Israel. Taking up a political theme in a humorous way, Mehta recalled that at a dinner with Premier Rabin, the Israeli leader said “Kissinger is the greatest foreign minister America ever had or probably will ever have.” As the audience broke out in laughter, Mehta added; “There was no member of the press present there–only a few musicians.”
John Warner, head of the American Bicentennial Administration, thanked the Israel Philharmonic for joining the celebration with its series of concerts in a dozen American cities since they began in Los Angeles Aug. 25. He awarded “the people of Israel” with the national Bicentennial medal. The orchestra will give its 27th concert tonight in the Kennedy Center under the baton of Leonard Bernstein and conclude its tour tomorrow night at Carnegie Hall in New York with Bernstein again conducting.