Sisco Says Main Threat to Israel is Erosion of U.s., European Support

Former U.S. Under-secretary of State Joseph Sisco, now an a mission in the region on behalf of the U.S. information Agency, said last Thursday that the military balance in the area has changed as a result of the Israeli-Egyptian peace agreement and should President Anwar Sadat of Egypt keep the agreement, Israel will have one front less in case of war. However, the main threat to Israel is a political one — the deep erosion in the attitude toward Israel in Europe and the U.S.

Speaking in the American Embassy auditorium here, Sisco, who came in 30 minutes late because of a meeting he had in Jerusalem with Premier Menachem Begin, said that something has to be done to check this erosion lest it weaken the Israeli-American partnership.

Sisco said he was not happy about the lack of coordination between Israeli and American positions which was customary when he was in office. “Even if we did not see eye to eye, at least we knew what our disagreements were,” he said. Sisco assumed responsibility for what was known as the Rogers Plan which, Sisco said, was his brain child. He said he did not believe American policy would change greatly whether a Republican or a Democratic President occupies the White House. Policy, Sisco said, is always based on American national interests. Nevertheless, he observed, America is deeply committed to the existence of Israel.

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