NEW YORK (Jun. 15)
Avraham Sharir of Likud, the Knesset majority leader, called on President Carter last night “to take a positive role in helping to reconvene peace talks between Israel and Egypt by encouraging President Sadat to return to the direct negotiating process as quickly as possible.” Speaking at an Israel Bond dinner at the Waldorf-Astoria in honor of industrialist Benjamin Perlen, Sharir asserted that “peace can only be worked out by Israel and her neighbors and not through an imposed settlement from a third party.” The affair raised $1.5 million in Bond sales for Israel’s economic development.
The Israeli political leader spoke of the difficulties created by the recent U.S. decision to sell warplanes to Egypt and “especially to Saudi Arabia.” He said that, “if peace talks are not concluded in a positive way those planes are going to land in the hands of an enemy and be used against us.” Sharir, who is in the U.S. on a speaking tour for Israel Bonds, declared that, despite America’s decision to sell jet planes to the Arabs, he was confident that “any existing U.S. -Israel differences can and will be settled by both parties because of the long-standing friendship and close ties that exist between the two nations.”
He added that one of the expressions of unity with Israel has been the support of the Jewish community for Israel Bonds over the years which has stimulated Israel’s phenomenal economic growth. “A sound economy,” Sharir said, “could well be one of the factors that will aid Israel in its search for peace.” He said that the government of Premier Menachem Begin initiated far-reaching peace proposals which exceed those of any previous Israeli administration. “I am convinced,” he said, “that the only leader who can bring peace is Begin because he enjoys the wide support of the Israeli people and the Knesset. Begin is a strong leader who can make concessions that will be accepted by most of Israel’s citizens.”