NEW YORK (Jan. 13)
Ephraim Evron, Israel’s Ambassador to the United States, called today for the beginning of a “dialogue” between the U.S. and Israeli governments to bring an end “to the friction between the two countries.”
Evron made his remarks at a farewell luncheon given in his honor by the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations at the Hyatt Hotel here. Evron returns to Israel this month after nearly five years of duty in Washington. He will be replaced by Moshe Arens, a leader of Likud.
Evron said that the friendship between Israel and the U.S. is “one of the most vital elements of Israel’s security and future” and therefore it “behooves both countries to do everything to maintain this friendship.” He said the U.S. should be loyal to its commitments and agreements with Israel, an oblique reference to the U.S. suspension of the strategic cooperation agreement signed recently by the two countries.
Evron said, however, that he is certain that the U.S. “will never turn its back on Israel”, noting that Israel is America’s only friend and strategic ally in the Middle East.
SOME 500 GUESTS BID FAREWELL TO EVRON
More than 500 guests representing the American Jewish leadership and American and Israeli officials came to bid farewell to the Israeli envoy. Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger lauded Evron’s ability as an Ambassador, declaring that he had earned “the respect and admiration” of the Administration because of his “honesty” and “effectiveness.”
He said that Evron completes his service in Washington “as an enormous success.” Weinberger’s speech was noted for its lack of any political references, especially to relations between the U.S. and Israel.
Also bidding farewell to Evron were two former Secretaries of State, Cyrus Vance who served in the Carter Administration, and Henry Kissinger who served in the Nixon and Ford Administrations. Vance said that when the time comes to disclose Evron’s role in bringing about the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty, it will be revealed what a “pivotal role” he played in the negotiations. Vance praised Evron’s “superb abilities” as a diplomat in Washington.
Kissinger said that Israel should be kept strong because only a strong Israel can create moderation among the Arabs, meaning that the Arab countries do not have the military option available. Kissinger also said that the next few years would be crucial to relations between Israel and the U.S. claiming that the U.S. must show that it stands by its friends and allies.
Also present at the luncheon were Jeane Kirkpatrick, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, and Israel’s Ambassador to the UN, Yehuda Blum. Howard Squadron, chairman of the Presidents Conference, paid tribute to the departing envoy. The Conference presented Evron with an original statue by Chaim Gross titled “Isaiah.”