NEW YORK (Sep. 25)
Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger paid tribute to Moshe Dayan as "a principal architect" of the Camp David accords in a memorial observance held last week at the headquarters of the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith.
Speaking in connection with the second anniversary of Dayan’s death, Kissinger said the Israeli soldier and statesman had conducted preliminary negotiations in Morocco which gave Egyptian President Anwar Sadat the courage to risk his journey to Jerusalem after which Dayan went on to become a "major framer of the Camp David accords."
But Kissinger lamented the fact that Dayan did not live to see the achievement of peace between Israelis and Arabs on the West Bank. "None of us will forget this graceful, brave and dedicated statesman," Kissinger told an audience of Jewish community leaders, Israelis and other friends and admirers of the Israeli leader. "When peace comes at last, it will be inspired in equal parts by his courage and his magnanimity."
SAYS ISRAEL DESIRES PEACE
Kissinger declared that Dayan was leader of a nation "unrecognized by its neighbors, assaulted in international forums and squeezed by economic boycotts." He stressed that Israel desires peace and security but that its "margin for survival is so narrow that it can risk no experiments."
Dayan, he went on, never forgot the importance of close cooperation with the United States "based on a real meeting of minds." adding: "It is a lesson we must not forget at this moment when our two countries are neither quarreling no really understanding each other."
Attending the ceremony, which was presided over by ADL national chairman Kenneth Bialkin, was Rachel Dayan, widow of the Israeli leader who presented Kissinger with an album titled "Masada."
Nathan Perlmutter, ADL’s national director, in his tribute described Dayan as a rare, authentic hero in an era when "the anti-hero seems to throw a longer shadow than do the heroes."
"Unlike the anti-hero," he said, "Dayan as a paradigm challenges us to grow, to live with the land, to live with books, even to live with our enemies."
Also paying tribute to Dayan was Naphtali Lavie, Israeli Consul General in New York and former aide to the general, who praised him as a "great son and hero of Israel, " who "remains a symbol of the history of Israel’s struggle for existence and creation."
The "Masada" album which was presented to Kissinger contains Dayan’s final literary expression, "The Victory of the Vanquished," describing the heroic defense of the desert fortress Masada in the year 73 by heavily outnumbered Jewish defenders who took their own lives rather than be captured by the Romans.
The album is composed of 27 original lithographs, depicting the Masada epic by the noted French painter Raymond Moretti, which were on display at the ceremony. Georges Israel, editor and publisher of the album, and Israeli Gen. Uzi Narkiss, Dayan’s comrade in arms during the Six-Day War, were among the participants.