Menu JTA Search

Kennedy Warns Against Imposing an Arab-israeli Settlement

Warning against “one-sided public pressures which undermine the Middle East peace process.” Sen. Edward Kennedy (D. Mass.), told Jewish leaders here today that “This is no time for the U.S. to relinquish its role as a fair mediator. no time to impose an Arab-Israeli settlement.”

In an address to the Board of Directors of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Philadelphia, Kennedy, who is challenging President Carter in next Tuesday’s Presidential primary in Pennsylvania, declared:

“The autonomy arrangement envisaged by the Camp David accords must not lead to a Palestinian state dedicated to the destruction of Israel. The U.S. must not destabilize the peace process. Instead, It must assure that it is implemented on a step-by-step basis and use its good offices by doing everything possible to facilitate the private process of negotiations and accommodation of differences.”

While conceding the importance of the Palestinian issue, Kennedy declared: “The real obstacle to peace is the refusal of the Arab world — aside from Egypt — to recognize Israel’s rightful place in the Middle East.”

In a comment on the visits to Washington of President Anwar Sadat of Egypt and Premier Menachem Begin of Israel, Kennedy said that “a new and critical phase of the peace negotiations has begun.” But he cautioned against any effort by the Administration to “complicate the current negotiations on the West Bank and Gaza by applying one-sided public pressures which undermine the Mideast peace process.”

NEXT STORY