JERUSALEM (Oct. 14)
Israel’s friendship with the U.S. is “the cornerstone of its foreign policy … in no circumstances will it allow that friendship to falter.” This pledge was voiced here by Deputy Foreign Minister Yehuda Ben-Meir of the National Religious Party to a group of top American business executives visiting Israel under the auspices of the Israel Bond Organization.
Ben-Meir’s remarks were plainly intended to contrast with statements critical of the U.S. recently voiced by Defense Minister Ariel Sharon. Ben-Meir said the U.S. played “a positive role” and made “a constructive contribution” to the pursuit of peace in the region and to the resolution of the Lebanese crisis.
Israel would do “everything in its power,” Ben-Meir continued, to maintain and develop its close relationship with the U.S. It knew that it had no better friend and ally than the U.S. — just as the U.S. should know it had no better friend and ally than Israel.
But Ben-Meir spoke out strongly against President Reagan’s peace proposals, saying they “do not bring peace nearer” and were totally at variance with the Camp David accords.