TEL AVIV (Jun. 1)
Meir Rosenne, Israel’s outgoing Ambassador to the United States, summed up his four-year tour of duty in Washington Sunday as “the best years in the (U.S.-Israel) relationship, except for the Pollard affair.” He credited American Jewry in large measure for this.
“We have reached a strategic military and political relationship based on signed agreements,” Rosenne told Israel Radio in an interview from his Embassy. “We have a free trade area agreement which was signed between the two countries, which is unique in the relations of the United States with any country in the world.”
The case of Jonathan Pollard, the civilian intelligence analyst employed by the U.S. Navy who was convicted of spying for Israel and now is serving a life sentence, was the only serious blot on the record. But Rosenne was also angered by the subpoena issued two weeks ago to David Kimche, former Director General of the Israeli Foreign Ministry, to testify before a select committee of Congress on the Iran-Contra affair.
According to the envoy, the U.S. Justice Department violated all norms of diplomacy when it issued the subpoena. Kimche was later excused by court order from appearing before the committee.
CITES VOA, SDI
In reviewing developments that have strengthened U.S.-Israeli relations, Rosenne also mentioned the completed negotiations for building Voice of America (VOA) radio transmitters in the Negev and Israel’s joining in the U.S. Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) research. He pointed out that Israel is “one of four countries which have until now signed an agreement with the U.S. in this respect.”
Rosenne observed that “As far as American Jewry is concerned, the relationship (with Israel) is extremely close. This does not mean that we agree on everything. But I think that this is one of the pillars of strength of Israel and of the relationship with the U.S. and this is undoubtedly one of the elements of our strength that has to be developed and kept alive,” Rosenne said.
His term in Washington expired officially at midnight Sunday and Rosenne was planning to return to Israel. The ongoing dispute between Premier Yitzhak Shamir and Foreign Minister Shimon Peres over his replacement has not been resolved. Until Rosenne’s successor is named, the Washington embassy will be headed by a Charge d’Affaires.