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Muskie Assures Jewish Leaders

Secretary of State Edmund Muskie vowed last night that the United States will veto any resolution at the United Nations that called for sanctions against Israel or tried to change Security Council Resolution 242. The United States is determined to veto “any malicious, unfair” resolution against Israel at the Security Council, Muskie declared.

Addressing some 200 leaders of Jewish organizations and communities in the metropolitan area at a meeting of the Hilton Hotel here sponsored by the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York, Muskie reiterated the Carter Administration’s commitment to Israel, noting that under President Carter the U.S. provided Israel with over $10 billion in economic and military aid.

“Our commitment to Israel is not just a moral commitment,” the Secretary of State said. “It comes out of a clear sense of our national interest.” He said that Israel’s security is also essential to the U.S. because it is essential to the achievement of a comprehensive peace in the Mideast. He added that the Camp David process is the best way to achieve a comprehensive peace between Israel and its neighbors.

During the question-and-answer period at the meeting, Muskie was criticized for allegedly saying that Israel’s adoption of the law proclaiming united Jerusalem as its capital was destructive of the peace process. To that Muskie replied: “I did not use those words and although I am your guest I will not stand by and allow you to put my positions in those words. I did not use the word destructive. I said it could have, would have and did have the effect of disrupting and interrupting the Camp David process. Whether it is destructive, you have to make the judgement.”

LINOWITZ: PROGRESS ON AUTONOMY ISSUE

Another representative of the Carter Administration, Sol Linowitz, the special American envoy to the Mideast, claimed last night that substantial progress had been made concerning the issue of autonomy for the Palestinians in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. He said that it is time the Palestinians take a close look at what had been achieved.

Linowitz, who spoke at the Economic Club here, said the progress that had been made is giving the concept of full autonomy significant meaning and content. “I believe we are now at a point where the Palestinians should look long and hard at our process. And I hope they can be persuaded to do so.”

Linowitz said that he met with the leaders of Jordan; Saudi Arabia and Morocco, urging their support of the autonomy negotiations. “With all of them, I have discussed our objectives in the negotiations and the reasons why we believe our course holds out the promise of a better way of life for the Palestinians. I can tell you that they are watching our negotiations with great interest, as the only game in town.”

Linowitz expressed optimism over the autonomy negotiations also in an address last Sunday to the National Executive Council of the American Jewish Committee at the Bond Court Hotel in Cleveland. Expressing hope, Linowitz said that “during our recent negotiating session in Washington, the parties moved closer together.” He said that both Israel and Egypt “agree that Israel’s security must be fully preserved and protected, and that the dangers of attack, terrorism, and disorder must be carefully guarded against.”

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