Anderson Delights Israeli Hosts by Denouncing PLO and Criticizing American Pressure on Israel

Independent Presidential candidate John Anderson delighted his Israeli hosts last night when he denounced the Palestine Liberation Organization and declared that U.S. pressure on Israel was no way to achieve peace. Earlier, the Republican Congressman from Illinois, who is on a four-day visit to Israel, told reporters that the U.S. should ban arms sales to Arab countries which refuse to cooperate in the peace process.

Anderson was the guest of honor at a dinner given by Justice Minister Shmuel Tamir on behalf of the government at the King David Hotel. In the course of his speech he called on those who believe that the PLO has moderated its position to provide proof of that. “After what happened at Misgav Am and Hebron, and following El Fatah’s reaffirmation of its charter calling for the dissolution of the State of Israel, the burden of proof becomes even more difficult,” he said.

He took exception to statements by American politicians – an apparent reference to the likely GOP Presidential nominee, Ronald Reagan – that Israel is an “asset” to the U.S. This, he claimed, was offensive because “an asset was an object to be manipulated, to be used, to be handled for the convenience of others.” Anderson preferred the term “valued strategic partner” for the U.S. and to safeguard Western interests.

SWIPES CARTER ADMINISTRATION

He also took an indirect swipe at the Carter Administration when he said peace in the Middle East could not be achieved either by exerting pressure on Israel or creating tension between the U.S. and Israel. He reaffirmed his support for the Camp David accords, deplored those who belittled the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty and stressed “the immense regard America has for President (Anwar)

Following meetings with Israeli Leaders yesterday, Anderson told reporters that the U.S. is “giving away a card if we engage in unrestricted sales of arms to Arab countries without getting some concessions first, such as that they will cooperate in an effort to achieve Middle East peace and indicate a willingness to join the U.S., Egyptian, Israeli (autonomy) discussions now under way.”

CASTIGATES WEST EUROPEAN NATIONS

He also castigated the West European nations for saying at their summit conference in Venice last month that the PLO should become a party to the Mideast peace talks. After meeting with Foreign Minister Yitzhak Shamir, Anderson said he was “now more confident than ever that Israel is dedicated to seeing a successful conclusion to the Palestinian autonomy negotiations.”

Today, Anderson toured the West Bank and visited the Jewish settlement of Moale Adumim. Meanwhile, Mayor Elias Freij of Bethlehem declared that he would not meet the American Presidential hopeful because he supports Israeli policies of settlement and annexation and is ignorant of Palestinian rights. Freij said he had been approached by Anderson aides to try to arrange a meeting. Anderson got a similar snub from King Hussein of Jordan.

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