NEW YORK (Oct. 20)
Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger said here last night that the step-by-step diplomacy he has pursued in the Middle East has “brought us to a point where comprehensive approaches are the logical next step….The decision before us now is not whether but how the next phase of negotiations should be launched” toward a peace settlement in that region.
Addressing the 50th anniversary dinner of the Synagogue Council of America, the umbrella organization of Reform, Conservative and Orthodox Jewry, Kissinger hailed Israel’s interim agreements with Syria and Egypt achieved last year. “Deep suspicions remain but the first important steps have been taken. The beginnings of mutual trust–never before in evidence–are emerging. Some Arab states for the first time are openly speaking of peace and ending a generation of conflict.” Kissinger said.
He added that “the capacity of outside countries to exacerbate tensions has been reduced.” But he did not name any of the countries, Arab or non-Arab to which he alluded.
Kissinger said, however, that “Peace progress and justice will not be securely won for America or Israel unless they are embedded in a peaceful, progressive and just international order.” He warned that while American foreign policy must have moral purpose “we must learn to distinguish morality from moralizing.”
DEFENDS QUIET DIPLOMACY ON SOVIET JEWRY
Referring to the issue of Soviet Jewry, Kissinger said that “moral ends are often not enough in themselves. The means used also have a moral quality and moral consequences.” In that context he sharply assailed by implication the Jackson-Vanik and Stevenson amendments to the 1975 Trade Reform Act which made U.S. economic benefits to the Soviet Union contingent on liberalization of its emigration policies.
Kissinger credited the “quiet diplomacy” of the U.S. in the early 1970s with the “quantum leap” in emigration from the USSR from 400 in 1968 to 35,000 in 1973. He claimed that “hundreds of hardship cases were dealt with in quiet personal discussions by the President and his senior officials.” However, he said. “When even greater advances were sought by confrontation and legislation, the result was tragic. Today Jewish emigration from the Soviet Union has dropped to approximately 10,000 a year.”
As Kissinger began his speech, a group in the rear of the hall began shouting “Israel must live Kissinger must go. No Israeli retreats. No arms to Arab murderers.” The group. identified as members of Save Our Israel, was forcibly removed by guards and security officials but not before they had overturned several tables.