JERUSALEM (Nov. 3)
Premier Yitzhak Rabin said today that he was confident that President-elect Jimmy Carter would keep the promises of assistance to Israel made by President Ford. In his first reaction to the American election results, Rabin told an interviewer on the Army Radio station that he believed that Carter “understands our problems.”
He said he based that assessment on two meetings he had with the former Governor of Georgia–one while Rabin was serving as Israel’s Ambassador to Washington and the other during Carter’s visit to Israel in the summer of 1973 after Rabin’s tenure as Ambassador had expired. At that time, Rabin held no public office.
Rabin described President Ford as “a true friend of Israel.” Of Secretary of State Henry A, Kissinger, he said, “We may remember with nostalgia the days of Kissinger.”
Former Defense Minister Moshe Dayan and Likud leader Menachem Beigin were the first Israeli political figures to voice reactions to the results of the American Presidential elections last night. Appearing on a radio interview program, they took opposing views of what the election means for Israel and the future of peace negotiations in the Middle East.
Dayan, a Labor MK, foresaw a year of confrontation with the new Administration in Washington. Opposition spokesman Beigin said that contrary to the prognostications of political circles here, 1977 need not be a year of American pressure on Israel as Rabin warned recently.
Dayan claimed that there was no difference between Ford and President-elect Jimmy Carter on the Middle East. He said both aspired to achieve an overall peace settlement in the region and that the initial attempt by the new Administration would be to press Israel for extensive territorial concessions in exchange for peace. According to Dayan, this would not work because the Arabs are not ready for peace on any terms. He said that once this became clear to Washington, negotiations would be started for something less than overall peace and this is where Israel will have to fight hard.
Beigin said that American pressures could be forestalled if Israel mounted “a great political offensive.” He proposed that Israel recruit some of her “best men” to launch an information drive within the new Administration to remind it of its pre-election promises. Beigin noted that the Democratic Party platform pledged friendship and support for Israel. He said he did not accept the “cynical approach” that platforms were meaningless.