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Kissinger Says Carter Administration is Not out to Risk Israel’s Security

Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger said here that while “the Carter Administration would not deliberately put Israel’s security at risk,” Israel must be left “strong enough to protect its future by its own efforts.” He declared that “Israel has never rejected a chance to make progress towards a settlement, or to run the risks for peace.” He added that “a just peace cannot be an imposed peace” and that “coordination of policies between Israel and the United States” is “imperative.”

These were the highlights of Kissinger’s address to 500 leaders of the American Jewish Congress at a dinner Sunday night at the Plaza Hotel where he presented the Stephen Wise Award of the AJCongress to former Israeli Premier Golda Meir. Another Stephen Wise medallion was awarded to Mayor Abraham Beame. Sen. Jacob Javits (R. NY) served as dinner chairman.

Referring to the proposed Geneva peace conference, Kissinger warned: “We must not give a veto to the most intransigent elements within the area. We must not permit outside powers to emerge as the advocates for a point of view that penalizes moderation.” He emphasized the “enormous complexity” of an “overall solution” among “parties with an unequal commitment to peace.”

In this regard, Kissinger declared: “A just peace must be a peace which the participants accept and feel a stake in preserving. And therefore the process by which peace is made is almost as important as the final outcome. At each stage the parties must feel that it was their decision and not somebody else’s that brought about the result.”

Kissinger asserted that “the intentions or purposes of the government of the United States cannot be at issue. No President would knowingly risk the future of Israel. Nor would he make a deal to undermine Israel’s future for some global consideration.”

ISRAEL CANNOT EXPERIMENT

He stated that his acquaintance with President Carter and Secretary of State Cyrus Vance and their senior advisors “convinces me that this Administration would not deliberately put Israel’s security at risk. But there is always the danger that actions undertaken in good faith may inadvertently produce unforeseen consequences. If such a miscalculation took place either Israel would become totally isolated or diplomacy would become abruptly deadlocked.” Therefore, he added, a coordination of policies between Israel and the U.S. is “imperative.”

The U.S., Kissinger observed, can survive trial-and-error diplomacy, “because we can always rectify mistakes by redoubling our efforts. But Israeli leaders cannot experiment; they have only one try. If they guess wrong they risk the survival of the nation.”

Kissinger also stated that a Palestinian state on the West Bank “is bound to be an element of instability both for Jordan and for Israel; it will compound the crisis not solve it.” He noted that “it cannot be an accident that no attempt to create such a state was ever made during the 20 years of Arab rule in that territory.”

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