JERUSALEM (Apr. 17)
Israeli officials appeared pleased today with the contents of President Ford’s message to President Ephraim Katzir on the occasion of Israel’s Independence Day yesterday. In addition to extending “warm greetings and best wishes for the peace and prosperity of Israel,” Ford’s message assured Israel of the “continuing United States commitment to do our part to help promote a lasting peace in the Middle East.”
The officials noted that this sentence went beyond the usual formal nature of greetings of this kind and seemed to hold out the hope of renewed American efforts to bring about a second-stage Israeli-Egyptian agreement. President Ford also stated in his message that “There will be challenges ahead and I am sure your people will meet them with the same spirit as before.” Independence Day greetings were also received from Queen Elisabeth II of Britain and many other heads of state.