MIAMI (Mar. 27)
Simcha Dinitz, Israel’s Ambassador to Washington, said that no Middle East peace negotiations will take place “as long as Arab leaders are led to believe the United States can produce concessions for them from Israel.” In an address to the American Jewish Congress national biennial convention at the Doral Country Club, Dinitz criticized Egypt for breaking off the peace talks Jan. 18 after a day and a half of negotiations.
“It is a sad commentary on the situation that the President of the United States has spent more time seeking a solution to the Middle East conflict than the President of Egypt,” he said. “Sixty vears of Arab-Jewish conflict since the Balfour Declaration deserve more than 36 hours of negotiations from President (Anwar) Sadat,” Dinitz told 500 convention delegates from throughout the country.
He said news reports of Premier Menachem Begin’s visit to Washington had “tended to create an inaccurate impression about Israeli positions on a number of key points. For the sake of truth and fairness,” he said, “these positions should be stated with clarity and frankness. Israel has taken grave risks for peace in offering a comprehensive peace plan…”
Dinitz said that “Israel has not gone back on her acceptance of Security Council Resolution 242. Indeed. Prime Minister Begin made clear during his visit in Washington that Israel accepts all the principles of 242 as a basis for negotiations with the Arab states concerned.
“This is all that Israel is required to accept–and this is precisely what Israel has accepted. Israel is not required by Resolution 242 to make any prior commitments in advance of the negotiations. Israel has agreed to negotiate in good faith any proposal offered within the framework of Resolution 242. We are still waiting for such a proposal.”
U.S. MUST STAY OUT OF ISRAEL’S POLITIES
Sen. Paul Sarbanes (D.Md.) warned against any American involvement in the Israeli political scene. “The United States must do or say nothing to interfere in the domestic affairs of Israel.” he said. “The decisions about Israel’s political leadership can be made only through the free and legitimate governmental processes of Israel, not by any outside power.”
On efforts of American friends of Israel to influence U.S. policy in the Mideast. Sarbanes declared “the most fundamental thing to realize is that those American Jews and non-Jews who are concerned for Israel’s security constitute not an Israeli lobby but an American lobby. As a member of this group I owe no apology for and have no regrets about asserting those powerful ties of friendship, mutual commitment to democratic values and mutual concern for peace that underly American-Israel relations.”
A resolution adopted at the end of the four-day convention, which ended yesterday, charged that the Carter Administration was “seeking to become an arbitrator rather than a mediator.” It assailed any U.S. effort to “impose its own Middle East solution” instead of bringing the parties together to work out their own agreement and stated that the Administration had “apparently failed to grasp the flexibility and degree of compromise inherent in the new Israeli positions.”
The resolution also criticized Carter’s proposal to sell war planes to Saudi Arabia and Egypt and to link the sale of such “lethal and offensive weapons” with the previously committed sale of U.S. planes to Israel.