WASHINGTON (Oct. 27)
Accusations and counter-accusations of solicitation of Israel’s support to influence the voting Nov. 2 are being traded by partizans of both President Ford and Democratic Presidential candidate Jimmy Carter.
The accusations reflect the degree of intensity with which both camps are pursuing Jewish voters who are regarded as crucial in some states with major bearing on the election’s outcome.
Carter people have pointed out that Ford is being shown in a photo with Israeli Premier Yitzhak Rabin in advertisements in the Jewish news media. The photo is captioned “As Good A Friend As Israel’s Had”–which appears to be attributed to Rabin.
The advertisements on Ford’s behalf also quote from statements by Rabin to the Rabbinical Council of America, lauding the President’s record in Congress and saying “The consensus on Ford’s character” is that of “an honest man who has always spoken frankly and who is unlikely to yield to political and diplomatic convenience.”
The President has often referred in his campaigning to Rabin’s statement that U.S.-Israeli relations have been at their highest levels during the past two years–Ford’s incumbency at the White House.
RABIN EXPRESSES DISMAY
The advertisement has been reported in Israel and drawn a statement from Rabin that he is not taking sides in the U.S. election and has not authorized the publication of the photo, Rabin was accused in the 1972 election, when he was Israel’s ambassador in Washington, of supporting President Nixon for re-election. Rabin was reported in Jerusalem to have expressed dismay by the advertisements and that he had no prior knowledge of the ads.
The Ford people in turn have pointed out that Carter is shown with Israeli Ambassador Simcha Dinitz in advertisements in Jewish-American papers and the caption reads “Jimmy Carter Received the Coveted Eleanor Roosevelt-Israel Humanities Award in 1973” from Dinitz.
Carter also was photographed with former Israeli General Ariel Sharon, a hero of the Yom Kippur War. They met briefly in Washington last month. Sharon said he asked to meet Carter and the meeting was speedily arranged.
Questioned about the Carter camp charges, Ford partisans have made reports such as these: “What is there to complain about? What’s the big tsimmes? They have pictures, too. If they had one of Carter and Rabin together, the Carter publicity people would use it, too. There is no endorsement by Rabin of Ford or Dinitz for Carter, as there should not be. They appear in advertisements. So what?”
Carter partisans have implied that showing Ford and Rabin in political advertisements are inimical to the spirit of non-solicitation of foreign support and accuse the President’s people of crossing the line in that respect.