WASHINGTON (Feb. 6)
President Anwar Sadat of Egypt met for more than an hour today with seven prominent American Jews who he had invited to Blair House as individuals rather than as representatives of any organization or groups. The Americans told reporters afterwards that they had engaged in friendly conversation with Sadat and three of his top aides on Middle East problems, dealt with apparently on the most general terms.
The Jewish Telegraphic Agency was informed that Sadat assured his visitors that his mission to the United States was not to try to split the American Jewish community from Israel or its government or from the U.S. government.
The Egyptian leader said that he would not try to create divisions even if he wanted to, if he knew he could not succeed. “I am not that foolish,” the JTA was told Sadat said. The JTA was also told that the visitors made it clear to Sadat that the American Jewish community was united.
The American group consisted of Philip Klutznick, president of the World Jewish Congress; Lester Crown of Chicago; Max Kampelman of Washington, a former aide to the late Sen. Hubert H. Humphrey; Dr. Martin Myerson, president of the University of Pennsylvania; Robert R. Nation, Washington economist, Dr. Avraham Udovich, of Princeton University; Max Karl of Milwaukee; and Dr. Guido Goldman of Harvard. Two others who had been invited, Morris L. Levinson and Edgar Bronfman, both of New York, were unable to attend because a snow storm grounded their flight.
Sadat was accompanied by Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohammed Kaamel, Egypt’s Ambassador to the U.S. Ashraf Ghorbal and Said Marei, Speaker of the Egyptian Parliament.
Klutznick, who spoke to reporters outside of Blair House, disclosed that he had met privately with Sadat for a half hour before the general meeting but stressed that nothing in the private talk was contradictory to what was said at the general meeting.
AVOIDED DETAILS OF NEGOTIATIONS
He said that Sadat explained his program and mission and why he went to Jerusalem last November. The Jewish group told him “you will never regret it” and that “this mission is one of the important diplomatic events in modern history.” Klutznick said that both the Americans and Egyptians avoided details of negotiations since these must be conducted only between the governments involved. He said there was no question about that from the beginning of the conversations.
Klutznick said Sadat wanted the Americans to know the depth of his sincerity in seeking peace in the Middle East. At various times in the course of the conversations, in which all present had something to say, the Americans, almost unanimously, noted that there are many problems in the Middle East and they cannot be handled over night, Klutznick said. Sadat was quoted as saying that if it takes patience, he would have patience because he does not want future generations of Arabs and Jews to have to go through what he had to go through for half of his lifetime.
DENOUNCES ISRAEL FOR LAWLESSNESS
Later in the afternoon, Sadat, in a speech to the National Press Club, denounced Israel for embarking on what he termed a course that encouraged aggression, anarchy and lawlessness. He accused Israel of “sheer defiance and escalation” in creating new civilian settlements and expanding existing settlements in occupied territory.
The Israeli government cannot hide behind fanatic groups which are beating the drums of war in their feverish campaign to build these settlements,” he said. “It is the task and responsibility of every government to curb the excesses of all individuals and groups. In fact, the government is leading the unholy march of the law-breakers. They should all realize that the establishment of an ultramodern and foreign-financed ghetto around every Arab town is not a way to co-exist.”
Sadat also said it was a fallacy to claim, as Israel had done, that the creation of a Palestinian entity meant the destruction of the Jewish State. “A Palestinian state, linked with Jordan, will be a positive force for stability and normalcy in the area,” he declared. “Without it the structure of peace will remain vulnerable.”
The Egyptian President appealed to Americans to support his demands for an Israeli withdrawal from all occupied territories and for the creation of a Palestinian state. He said that despite the obstacles Israel was placing in the way of peace he would give peace “every possible chance, until I reach the conclusion that enough time has elapsed without achieving any tangible progress.” He did not indicate what his next move would be if his hopes for substantive changes in Israeli policy were not forthcoming.