NEW YORK (Jul. 12)
New York State Assemblyman Perry Duryea told a group of Jewish journalists that his recent five-day visit to Israel left him "extremely impressed" with Israel and the Israeli people. "It was really a revelation to me," he told a news conference at the Roosevelt Hotel. This was his first trip to Israel.
Duryea, Minority Leader of the Assembly and Republican Party candidate for Governor, who returned Monday from Israel, met with government leaders and other dignitaries, including Premier Menachem Begin, Labor Party leader Shimon Peres, Defense Minister Ezer Weizman and Health Minister Eliezer Shostak.
Duryea made the trip in response to invitations from Dr. Hezkel Eliahou, president of the Israel Nephrology Society, and Dr. David M. Maeir, director-general of Shaare Zedek Medical Center Hospital. Both men presented Duryea with awards for his involvement with the problems of health research and the delivery of health services.
He was particularly honored for his role in the creation of the New York State Kidney Disease Institute which has assisted in the training of many Israeli specialists. Duryea explained that these invitations had been extended some time ago, but that he had been compelled to postpone his trip until now due to the New York City fiscal crisis.
SYMPATHETIC TO SECURITY CONCERNS
Having taken an aerial tour of the country, Duryea noted that he was very sympathetic to Israel’s security concerns. "I would say that to return to the pre-1967 borders would be foolish," he said. And he added, "Anyone who thinks of dividing Jerusalem again is out of his mind."
In response to questions concerning the present state of Israeli-American relations, Duryea said that Israeli leaders are very much disappointed in the Carter Administration and by the initial reluctance of Vice President Walter Mondale to visit East Jerusalem on his recent visit. "There is a sense, "Duryea concluded, "that the United States has not lived up to the commitment made years ago, when Harry Truman was President, and I must say that I agree with them."
Upon his return from Israel Monday, Duryea sent a telegram to Secretary of State Cyrus Vance urging him to cancel his meeting with Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko in protest against the trials of Anatoly Shcharansky and Alexander Ginzberg. The telegram read, in part: "This action is needed to support the dissidents within the Soviet Union who are dedicated to the universal course of human rights and liberty."