NEW YORK (Nov. 28)
Simcha Dinitz and Ashraf Ghorbal, the Israeli and Egyptian Ambassadors to the United States, expressed hope here today that a peace treaty will soon be signed between their countries. The two envoys shared the platform at a luncheon given by the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith at which the ADL’s Hubert H. Humphrey Freedom Prize was awarded to three television news personalities– John Chancellor of NBC, Walter Cronkite of CBS and Barbara Walters of ABC.
Another speaker, former Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger, declared that he was “very confident” that a peace treaty will be signed between Israel and Egypt. “I proclaim that peace is at hand,” Kissinger said, drawing a roar of laughter from the 150 guests in the Plaza Hotel ballroom. A similar proclamation by Secretary of State Kissinger at a time when a peace treaty was pending between North and South Vietnam proved premature.
Ghorbal and Dinitz spoke briefly. Dinitz referred to Ghorbal as “my old friend” and recalled that it was Ms. Walters who had first introduced them. Ghorbal pledged that Egypt “will spare no effort to make the dream that started a year ago a reality,” an apparent reference to President Anwar Sadat’s visit to Jerusalem in November, 1977. He said “It is high time, and we feel it, that we will conclude the peace treaty between Israel and Egypt.”
Dinitz said that there is not any outstanding issue now between Israel and Egypt and therefore he hoped a peace treaty will be concluded soon. He characterized the treaty as a comprehensive part of a Middle East settlement. Ghorbal said he hoped the peace negotiations will extend to other parties in the Middle East.
The three television journalists were cited for conducting the first satellite interviews with Premier Menachem Begin of Israel and Sadat. The award was presented to them by Maxwell Greenberg, ADL’s national chairman, who announced the interviews “gave enormous impetus and thrust to the peace process between Israel and Egypt. They are outstanding examples of our free press and deserve recognition for their universal effects on public diplomacy.”
The recipients will share the $10,000 prize and each received a medallion. Cronkite announced that he and his two colleagues decided to donate the prize to the Reporters Committee for the Freedom of the Press.