JERUSALEM (Nov. 22)
Premier Yitzhak Rabin reacted to the Egyptian peace offensive last last night by making a personal appeal to President Anwar Sadat of Egypt to enter into direct peace talks with Israel. Addressing a closed dinner of the World Union for Progressive Judaism Jubilee Conference at the Knesset, Rabin said: “We are listening to them (the Arabs) very carefully. We noted that the word ‘peace’ is mentioned quite a lot. This in itself is encouraging. What is not encouraging is that the word is never addressed to us.”
Directing his remarks to Sadat, the Premier said: “I have heard what you have had to say to others Now what do you have to say to me? You have explained your willingness to make peace with American Senators, Congressmen and other visitors. You have talked about peace with NBC, CBS and ABC. If you are serious about peace let us negotiate. Please let us hear from you.”
Rabin warned that no peace formula devised outside of the Middle East could take the place of a formula that must be devised inside the region. “On the contrary,” he said, “outside initiative of this kind could prove fatal to the peace process itself.” He said that Israel was willing to participate in a renewed Geneva peace conference for an overall settlement.
The Premier praised the Reform Movement for establishing its first kibbutz, Yahel in the Arava region. Rabbi Alexander Schindler, president of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations urged equal rights and recognition of Reform Jews and Reform rabbis in Israel.