NEW YORK (May. 16)
Moshe Arens, Israel’s Ambassador to the United States, called for increased U.S. aid to Israel in view of the “economic burden.” that Israel has assumed as a result of its final withdrawal from Sinai.
Addressing the American Jewish Committee’s 76th annual dinner, held at the Grand Hyatt Hotel last Thursday night. Arens said the withdrawal cost Israel about $21 billion. “So far, the U.S. government did not assume its fair share of this economic burden taken by Israel,” the envoy said. He added that the U.S. has an “obligation” to share Israel’s burden in view of the role it played in achieving the peace between Israel and Egypt.
Arens told the more than 1,200 guests at the dinner that Israel’s greatest concession in signing the Camp David agreement was not returning Sinai to Egypt but the agreement to grant an autonomy to the Palestinians in Judaea, Samaria and the Goza District.
“Although I do not believe that autonomy for the Palestinians would lead to the establishment of a Palestinian state, the risk is there,” Arens declared. “We took the risk for the sake of peace.” he said.
ISRAEL WILL NOT ‘WALK AWAY’ FROM WEST BANK, GOZA
The Israeli Ambassador said that despite the “difficult times” Israel is facing in the territories, the majority of the Israelis “do not want to walk away” from Judaea, Samaria and Gaza. He said that Israeli withdrawal from these areas would mean the establishment of a PLO state controlled by Moscow, “a Cuba in the Mideast.” He said that such a state would pose a mortal danger to Israel’s civilian population.
During the dinner, Dr. Emanuel Rackman, president of Bar Hon University in Israel, was presented with the AJC’s third annual Akibah Award, named after Akibah Ben Joseph, the great first century Jewish scholar. Rackman was given the award for his “service to the Jewish people,”