NEW YORK (Sep. 26)
Foreign Minister Moshe Dayan of Israel warmly praised President Carter and his Administration last night, declaring that there never was an American President who worked as hard as Carter for peace in the Middle East.
“We never had a President, a government, that tried so hard,” to help reach a solution between Israel and the Arabs as President Carter did, “Dayan told an overflow audience of Jewish leaders at a meeting here sponsored by the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.
The Carter Administration is the first Administration that achieved concrete results from the peace negotiations, Dayan pointed out, noting that many attempts in the past at negotiations failed to achieve peace. “I feel very grateful to the American Administration about” Its effort and the agreement between Israel and Egypt, the Israeli Minister said.
SATISFIED WITH TALKS IN WASHINGTON
Dayan also expressed satisfaction over his just concluded talks in Washington and the agreement reached there for a peace keeping force in Sinai to monitor the withdrawal of the Israeli army and to implement the terms of the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty. According to the agreement the force will be made up of Egyptian and Israeli elements with U.S. civilians as a surveillance group to participate with them.
“I cannot imagine any better shield between us (Israel) and a potential enemy” than American civilian personnel “with first-class equipment” Dayan said. He said that the United States never failed to fulfill its promises or agreements with Israel, adding that the U.S. “volunteered” American civilian personnel for the Sinai and that is the “best thing” Israel could have.
“If you know any better party to rely on, mention it to me,” Dayan told his audience adding, “I do not know any better party.” Dayan stressed the importance of the arrangements to monitor Sinai because, he said, the role of the Sinai force is not one of mere “observers” but rather a force that will be able “to implement” the terms of the peace treaty between Egypt and Israel.
In an interview with the New York Times published today, Dayan reportedly said that the Carter Administration had done more for Israel than any previous Administration. “Carter has done more and gone farther than any former President in order to bring peace between us and the Arabs, not only involving himself at Camp David but also becoming a real partner, not only a mediator,” Dayan was quoted as saying.
“Carter is investing his own prestige and taking upon the United States many commitments in order to bring peace to the Mideast. We have great appreciation for the present Administration,” Dayan told the Times.
VIEWS ON JACKSON VISIT
During his meeting with Jewish leaders last night, Dayan was asked about the present Mideast visit of the Rev. Jesse Jackson and the refusal of Israeli leaders to meet with him. Dayan defended Premier Menachem Begin’s refusal to meet with the Black leader, maintaining that if Begin met with Jackson the meeting would have given him “the credentials” to negotiate between Begin and Palestine Liberation Organization chief Yasir Arafat.
“We do not want to negotiate directly or indirectly with Arafat, through Jackson or even Ted Mann, “Dayan said to the laughter of the audience. He was referring to Theodore Mann, chairman of the Presidents Conference, who sat next to him. He said that Israel is not interested in having anybody come to the Mideast, be it Black or white, to try to bring Israel and the PLO together. “We do not want to negotiate with a party that wants to destroy our country,” he said.
About the resignation of Ambassador Andrew Young, Dayan said he believed that Young resigned not because he met with the PLO representative to the UN, but because he “lied” to the State Department about the meeting. He claimed that Israel protested about Young’s meeting with Zehadi Labib Terzi after an official of the State Department formally told Israel about it.
“So we had no alternative but to protest, to keep a clean table so our people would know that we protested, “Dayan said, adding: “We never thought for a moment to ask for Young’s resignation.” Had Israel not protested, the United States would feel free to continue to talk with the PLO. This afternoon Dayan and Young were scheduled to meet at Dayan’s suite in the Regency Hotel. (See story P.3.)