WASHINGTON (Oct. 27)
Israeli Ambassador Meir Rosenne indicated support last night for the United States’ invasion of Grenada, although he did not specifically mention the military operation which began Tuesday. (See related story for reaction from Israel.)
“I would like to congratulate the United States of America for the courage and the determination with which this country fights against subversion, against Communism,” Rosenne said to several hundred persons attending a reception in his honor sponsored by the Republican National Committee at the Sheraton-Carlton Hotel.
“I think by doing that you render a service not only to this part of the world but the world at large.”
Frank Fahrenkopf, chairman of the National Republican Committee, in introducing Rosenne, said Israel was “one of the closest allies that exists anywhere in the world of the United States of America.”
U.S., ISRAEL ‘UNITED MORE THAN EVER’
Rosenne stressed that while there were “some differences of opinion” between the U.S. and Israel and there are some who would like to turn these differences into “rifts,” this would not happen. “We are united more than ever,” he declared.
Offering Israel’s condolences for the heavy loss of life in the terrorist bombing of the marine corp headquarters in Beirut, Rosenne said, “We are with you in the days of joy and we are with you in the days of mourning.”
Rosenne stressed that Israel hopes “Lebanon will be able to regain its independence.” But he noted, “It’s not a problem that concerns the region only, it’s a world problem.”
BLAMES SYRIA FOR PREVENTING PEACE IN LEBANON
The Israeli envoy blamed Syria for preventing Lebanese national reconciliation, saying Syria has never wanted an independent Lebanon. He accused Syria of being behind the marine corp headquarters bombing, the bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Beirut last April and other terrorist acts in Lebanon.
“Syria’s attitude is nothing new to us,” he said. “For 20 years they used to shell our kibbutzim in the northern part of the country.” He said the question now is “whether in 1983, after eight years of civil war, 100,000 people killed, whether the world will remain silent about Syria and the Syrian government” occupation in Lebanon.
He noted that the United Nations Security Council has not taken up Syria’s refusal to leave Lebanon, let alone pass resolutions condemning it as it has against Israel, and that the West Europeans have not imposed sanctions on Syria as they did last year on Israel.
Among the persons attending the reception last night were many of the 190 members of the Republican Jewish Coalition which met with President Reagan at the White House earlier in the day. Richard Fox of Philadelphia, the group’s chairman, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that it was the most satisfying meeting he has ever had with the President.
Fox said that Reagan reiterated U.S. support for Israel as a “strategic ally.” He said the President said that the U.S. has made it clear to the United Nations that if Israel was forced out of the organization, “We go too.”
Reagan also spoke of the harsh sentence given recently against Soviet Jewish activist losif Begun, noting that Jews are not permitted to leave the Soviet Union and then are punished for staying there.
Fox said that Reagan told the Jewish group that there was no question of Iranian responsibility for the bombing of the marine headquarters and of Syrian complicity. When asked why the U.S. had rejected Israel’s offer of use of its hospitals for the wounded Americans, Fox said that Reagan said it was basic U.S. military policy to have its wounded treated at American hospitals.