TEL AVIV (Dec. 21)
Simcha Dinitz, Israel’s former Ambassador to the United States, described U.S. Secretary of State-designate Gen. Alexander Haig as a friend of Israel who had shown sympathy for Israel’s case in negotiations with the U.S. about the freeing of the Egyptian Third Amy when it was entrapped near the Suez Canal during the Yom Kippur War.
Speaking on an Israel Radio interview yesterday, Dinitz said that Haig’s intervention prevented a crisis in Israel-U.S. relations at that time. “Gen. Haig always showed a keen understanding of Israel security needs and posture … immediately after the was when the late Golda Meir (then Israeli Premier) came to Washington and had some very tough talks with the President and especially with Dr. Kissinger — the subject matter was the freeing of the Egyptian Third Army from Israeli forces then surrounding it — the conversation ended not in any very great accord. It was Gen. Haig who intervened at the very end of the talks with a view to improve the situation and showed a great understanding toward us, to prevent a crisis,” Dinitz said.
Haig was serving at the time as a deputy to Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.
Dinitz said Israel could expect President-elect Reagan to continue President Carter’s policies towards the Camp David accords and the autonomy negotiations at there is always a basic continuity of policy after changes in the U.S. Administration. But he warned Israelis not to be surprised if there were some changes in emphasis once the new Administration settles in.
“I must caution that while every succeeding Administration undertakes what the previous one has implemented, especially in foreign policy, we have to understand that within the same framework different policy and different emphasis can take place,” he said. Dinitz said the new Administration would, for the first time, seek a solution to the Palestinian question apart from the Palestine Liberation Organization.