NEW YORK (Mar. 11)
Yitzhak Modai, Israel’s Finance Minister, warned American Jewish leaders today not to be deceived by Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and not take his statements at face value.
“After all he comes from the orient and you have to distinguish between imagination and facts in his statements,” Modai told a meeting of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations here.
A delegation of American Jewish leaders was scheduled to meet with Mubarak this evening in Washington. A number of Jewish leaders who were present at today’s Presidents Conference meeting, expressed surprise at the remarks of the Israeli Minister. “He had no business saying that to us, ” one of them told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency after the meeting. Modai recalled that he was misled by the Egyptian leader a few weeks ago when he went to Cairo at the invitation of the Egyptian ruler. “I wanted for a long time to go to Cairo, but I was not invited until recently. Two days after my meetings in Cairo it was announced that Mubarak will be going to Washington,” Modai said, indicating that his invitation to Cairo was part of an Egyptian ploy to gain favorable public opinion before going to Washington.
“I just want you not to be misled by Mubarak’s statements,” Modai said. “You have to see behind his words.”