WASHINGTON (Sep. 3)
Israel’s Ambassador to the U.S., Meir Rosenne, declared today that Israel cannot accept a “double standard” in which it alone is condemned in international bodies.
“We are a sovereign state and what we ask for is one thing, and that is the implementation of the same principles of international relations that are being applied to any other state,” Rosenne told the more than 1,000 delegates to the biennial convention of B’nai B’rith International at the Sheraton Washington Hotel here.
The Israeli envoy noted that the United Nations Security Council is now considering a resolution to condemn Israel and to order it to evacuate its troops from south Lebanon. But, he said, there is “no reference to the withdrawal of the Syrians” although Syria occupies some 60 percent of Lebanon.
Rosenne stressed that Israel does not want “one inch of Lebanese territory” but will not withdraw until it is satisfied that Israel’s northern border will be secure, the reason Israel went into Lebanon in the first place. “We simply cannot accept in 1984 to see thousands of Jews live in underground shelters,” he said.
BASIS FOR PEACE IN THE MIDEAST
The envoy stressed that peace will come to the Middle East if instead of pressure being put on Israel, pressure is put on the Arab states to negotiate with Israel. He also said peace requires a strong Israel.
Rosenne said that while Israel has “fulfilled all our obligations” under the Egyption-Israeli peace treaty Egypt has been violating the treaty, specifically because it has failed to return its Ambassador to Israel for the last two years.
He said Israel would have to think twice before negotiating with an Arab state “before the peace treaty with Egypt is fully implemented. ” He stressed at the same time that the peace treaty has been a major achievement, noting that “nobody has been killed in the last 11 years” on the Egypt-Israel border.
Acknowledging the concern among American Jews about Israel’s election results, Rosenne assured the audience that “wisdom will prevail and we will have a government of Israel.” He said that “one thing we can all be proud of is that Israel has remained a democracy in spite of 36 years of wars.”