NEW YORK (Nov. 11)
Premier Menachem Begin of Israel told Jewish leaders here last night that he doubts whether a planned summit conference with Egyptian President Anwar Sadat would take place while President Carter was still in the White House. The Israeli head of state expressed his doubt at a meeting of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. His statement to the meeting, which was closed to the press, was reported afterwards by Howard Squadron, chairman of the Presidents Conference.
Begin’s address to the Jewish leaders came on the second day of his 10-day visit to the United States. Earlier yesterday Begin met with Gov. Hugh Carey and Mayor Edward Koch who came to his suite at the Waldorf-Astoria to greet him and extended a welcome at the start of his tour. Also present at the meeting were several influential Jewish leaders, including George Klein, a real estate developer who was part of the Coalition for Reagan-Bush which worked in support of Republican Party candidates during the election campaign.
BEGIN GETS THEODOR HERZL AWARD FROM ZOA
Last night Begin was presented with the Theodor Herzl Award by the Zionist Organization of America and called it the “greatest honor I could have had.” Calling Herzl “our pride, our love, our prince,” Begin said his heroes were first Herzl, then Ze’ev Jabotinsky, and thirdly, Guiseppe Garibaldi, whom he described as a “fighter for freedom.”
Ivan Novick, president of the ZOA, mode the presentation of the gold medallion to Begin at the Waldorf-Astoria and declared that the Premier “has served his nation, his people, and the cause of Jewish integrity with courage and pride.” Novick described Begin as a “Jewish patriot, Jewish statesman and Jewish peacemaker.”
The medallion presented by Novick read, “To Menachem Begin, fighter for Israel’s rebirth, statesman and peacemaker.”
In an address to more than 100 ZOA leaders, Israeli officials and distinguished leaders of American Jewish organizations, Begin said, “Herzl lives within us.” He also pledged “to continue our struggle to give our people peace,” and added that while all nations have had periods of peace, “we in Israel haven’t had peace for one day.”
Novick said “Theodor Herzl would be very proud of us today. American Zionists with a dream and the chief executive of the free and independent state of Israel who dared to dream. In the immortal words of Theodor Herzl: ‘If you will it, it is no dream’.” Novick cited the peace treaty between Israel and Egypt.