NEW YORK (Jun. 1)
“All Israelis, no matter what political view they represent, are united in the search for, and determination to achieve, peace,” Israeli Premier Yitzhak Shamir declared Sunday night in a videotaped message to more than 1,000 Jewish leaders from the U.S., Canada, Western Europe and Latin America.
“The differences among us,” Shamir told the leaders, attending the International Israel Bond dinner at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel here, “are in regard to the methods to achieve peace, and such differences are perfectly legitimate in a democratic society.” Shamir was alluding to his dispute with Foreign Minister Shimon Peres, who supports the convening of an international peace conference on the Mideast.
The dinner also paid tribute to Meir Rosenne, Israel’s Ambassador to the United States, who completed his four years of service in the U.S. Monday.
In his address, Shamir said that “the government of Israel will, in accordance with its agreed guidelines, pursue peace in the spirit of the Camp David accords that were concluded between President (Anwar) Sadat and Prime Minister (Menachem) Begin, with the participation of the United States.” The Premier asserted that the Camp David process “is still the only instance of successful peace negotiations between Israel and the Arab world. It was achieved by means of direct negotiations, and the government of Israel is committed to that procedure.”
JERUSALEM ‘NEVER TO BE SEPARATED’
Noting that world Jewry is marking the 20th anniversary of the unification of Jerusalem, Shamir declared: “We have returned to Jerusalem never to be separated again. We have united Jerusalem and it will never be divided again. It is a city in which there is freedom of worship for all faiths and protection for all shrines. It is a city of peace.”
Rosenne, assessing the present relations between Israel and the U.S., said that the ties between the two countries are strong and are based on a “strategic understanding and political alliance.” He claimed that the relations between Jerusalem and Washington are not a “one-way street,” and that Israel contributes to the U.S. as much as she receives.
Rosenne presented this year’s Ben Gurion Centennial Medals to 17 national and international Jewish leaders who were honored “for their achievements in philanthropy, business, and efforts for Israel and the community at large.”
More than $76 million in Israel Bond subscriptions were announced at the dinner by David Hermelin of Detroit, international chairman of the Israel Bond Organization, who served as chairman of the dinner. Israel Bonds sales reached the record amount of $603 million in 1986. The goal for 1987 is $700 million.