JERUSALEM (Jun. 15)
Vice President Walter Mondale, who will visit Israel at the end of June, was first invited several months ago. The invitation was extended by Leon Dulzin, chairman of the World Zionist Organization, in his capacity as chairman of the Israel-U.S. Friendship Association, it was disclosed today.
The invitation was conveyed to Mondale by U.S. Ambassador Samuel Lewis. Dulzin reportedly indicated at the time that the visit could combine events marking Israel’s 30th anniversary with celebrations of the Fourth of July. An affirmative answer was returned to Dulzin and the Foreign Ministry last week. At that point, an official invitation was sent to the Vice President by Premier Menachem Begin and Knesset Speaker Yitzhak Shamir.
The genesis of the invitation was of interest in view of charges in some circles that Mondale was coming to Israel at this time as a means of influencing the Cabinet to formulate a positive reply to questions posed by the U.S. on the future of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Mondale will leave the U.S. on June 29 and return on July 3.