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Sen. Stone Arrives in Israel; Bears No Cautionary Message from Friends in Congress

June 3, 1977
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Sen. Richard Stone (D. Fla.) arrived here today and met with Foreign Minister Yigal Allon this morning and later with Likud leader Menachem Begin who is likely to be Israel’s next Prime Minister. Between the two meetings he told reporters that he saw no point in making any comment on the change of government due to come about in Israel as a result of the May 17 elections. He described his talks with Allon as “very good.”

Allon indicated afterwards that the American lawmaker did not convey a cautionary message from his colleagues in Washington that Israel should not regard the support of its friends in Congress as automatic. According to press reports earlier this week, a group of pro-Israel Senators met under the guidance of Sen. Hubert H. Humphrey (D. Minn.) to phrase a warning to the new leadership in Israel to adopt a moderate policy.

Stone said, “I think that feelings about the continuity of policy are premature until I have a chance to talk to the new leadership and until they have a chance to form a coalition government.” He made that remark just before entering Begin’s residence. He added that Israel should serve as an example to the world of the democratic process of transferring power.

It was learned that Allon told Stone that Israel expected the U.S. Administration to honor its commitments to his country regardless of the political Identity of its leadership. He said the new leadership should be given time to organize a government.

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