WASHINGTON (Mar. 12)
Israeli Ambassador Meir Rosenne warned that unless Egypt returns its Ambassador to Israel soon, “Israel will have to think twice before accepting any negotiations with another Arab state.”
“if the end result of such negotiations is to see that you fulfill your obligations while the other side does not, it is not very encouraging for the peace process,” he told the 2,000 men and women attending the Fourth National United Jewish Appeal Young Leadership Conference at the Washington Hilton Hotel.
Noting that Syria “managed to impose the abrogation” by Lebanon of its May 17, 1983 agreement with Israel, Rosenne stressed that what was at “stake” was “whether international treaties can be abrogated, cancelled due to terrorist actions.” He stressed that the agreement committed Israel to total withdrawal from Lebanon.
Rosenne said that Israel went into Lebanon to end the terrorist shelling against northern Israel. He said it did not matter how many terrorist attacks occurred each month. “The Jewish State was not established in order to keep 70,000 Jews (in northern Israel) living in shelters, ” he declared.
But Rosenne said he believes peace can be established in the Middle East if the Arab states will agree to negotiate with Israel freely without any pre-conditions. “The Palestinian question is not a question of territory, it is the basic Arab refusal to recognize the State of Israel,” he said. The Ambassador said that Israel is committed to the “legitimate rights” of the Palestinian people under the Camp David agreements. He said Israel “cannot and will not accept any plans that are submitted and that are in violation of the agreement.”
Rosenne charged that any proposals by third parties no matter how well intentioned which suggest how the outcome of negotiations should be results in encouraging “recalcitrant Arab states to refuse to negotiate with Israel.” Although he did not say so directly, he was apparently referring to President Reagan’s September 1, 1982 peace initiative.
In a recent effort to convince Arab states to negotiate with Israel, Premier Yitzhak Shamir earlier this month reiterated his invitation to King Hussein of Jordan to enter into peace talks with Israel. Shamir repeated the invitation a few days before Hussein and PLO chief Yasir Arafat met in Amman for talks.
Rosenne placed the idea that negotiations must be held to determine the status of Jerusalem in this category. “Jerusalem has always been the capital of Israel,” he declared. “We cannot accept this double standard to see that the only country in the world that does not have the right to decide what its capital is is the State of Israel.”
BREGER: U.S. AID TO ISRAEL IS IN AMERICA’S INTEREST
Marshall Breger, special assistant to Reagan for liaison to the Jewish community, said that the new U.S. strategic cooperation with Israel and U.S. economic and military aid to Israel is not just to benefit the Jewish State but in “the rational self-interest of the United States.”
Breger added that “it is structurally impossible over the long run to sustain in the United States pressure and support for Israel and at the same time oppose a strong United States defense posture.”
Reagan is scheduled to speak to the leadership conference tomorrow. He is the second President to do so. President Carter addressed the group in 1980. The three-day conference, which ends tomorrow, sponsored by the UJA Young Leadership and Young Women’s Leadership Cabinets include a wide variety of workshop meetings to deepen the participants’ understanding of major public issues affecting world Jewry and to sharpen their skills in leading UJA fundraising campaigns.