NEW YORK (Dec. 19)
Thirty-three of the 36 American Jewish intellectuals who last spring sent a cable of support to Israel’s Peace Now Movement, today wired President Carter denouncing the United States’ endorsement of the changes demanded by Egypt in the proposed Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty.
The signers stressed that while they have been willing to criticize the policies of the government of Israeli Premier Menachem Begin in the past, they “believe that Israel’s current objections to the proposed Egyptian revisions are reasonable.” They said the achievement of Camp David has now been endangered “by the unfortunate pasture of the American government.” The telegram, which was sent to the White House read:
“Last spring, the signers of this telegram sent a cable of support to the Peace Now Movement in Israel. In that telegram, we specifically criticized several aspects of the Begin government peace policy. In light of that, we think it important that you be made aware that we find the position of the United States re the present status of negotiations between Israel and Egypt unacceptable. In our view, it does serious damage to the prospects of peace.
“The proposed Egyptian changes in the current draft amount to a serious departure from the Camp David accord. It is dangerous in the extreme for the United States to endorse them, whether in the mistaken belief that any agreement, no matter how cosmetic, is better than no agreement, or in response to other factors in international politics. Such an endorsement creates the impression now made explicit by U.S. government officials, that only Israel is to be held responsible for the current impasse.
“We, who have not been unwilling to voice our criticism of Israel’s policy in the past, believe that Israel’s current objections to the proposed Egyptian revisions are reasonable. We regret that the brilliant achievement of Camp David has now been seriously endangered not only by the Egyptian proposals but also by the unfortunate posture of the American government.
Among the signers are Saul Bellow, the Nobel Prize winning novelist; Kenneth Arrow, a Nobel Laureate in economics; Daniel Bell, of Cambridge, Mass.; Leonard Fein, of Boston; Walter Laqueur and Martin Peretz, both of Washington, D.C.; Seymour Martin Lipset, of Palo Alto, Calif.; Marie Syrkin, of Santa Monica, Calif.; and Rabbi Wolfe Kelman and Albert Vorspan, both of New York. Two of the original singers of the cable to Israel were out of the country. A third declined to sign today’s wire.