Republican Presidential candidate Ronald Reagan declared here last night that Israel and Jordan are the primary parties for settling the future of the “unallocated territories” in what was Palestine and suggested negotiations between them to resolve the West Bank-Gaza Strip problems.
He also stated, in an address last night to the B’nai B’rith International convention, that there should be no more withdrawal of Israeli troops or changes in its security position “until Jordan and other neighbors make peace.” He declared, too, that while President Carter refuses to brand the Palestine Liberation Organization as a terrorist organization, “I have no hesitation in doing so.”
Departing from the Carter Administration’s pursuit of an Egyptian-Israeli autonomy agreement, Reagan appeared to side-track Egypt from the settlement procedure for those areas and put its basis on United Nations Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338. He said “ambiguities” in the Camp David “documents” have resulted in the present Egyptian-Israeli dangerous impasse on West Bank-Gaza Strip autonomy.
SAYS CARTER IS UNDERCUTTING ISRAEL.
Reagan’s strongly pro-Israel 3000-word address before an overflow audience of some 1500 guests, was punctuated at least 30 times by applause, in addition to three standing ovations which included an “encore” suggested by B’nai B’rith president Jack Spitzer. Reagan charged President Carter with “undercutting” Israel by his Mideast policies, including U.S. abstentions in the United Nations Security Council and the sale of military hardware to Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Iraq, and with having opened the way for Soviet influence in the Mideast.
The heaviest applause for Reagan come after his remarks about Carter’s attitude toward the status of Jerusalem and his slashing condemnation of the PLO. Albert Spiegel, a Los Angeles attorney, who heads the coalition for Reagan and his Vice Presidential running more George Bush, introduced Reagan as being “pro-Israel since Israel’s creation in 1948.”
Copies of Reagan’s prepared speech were made available to the media about five hours after President Carter announced that Egypt and Israel would resume their autonomy negotiations and that a summit meeting would be held sometime later this year. The GOP candidate was the first of the three major Presidential candidates to address the B’nai B’rith. Independent candidate John Anderson spoke this morning (see separate story) and Carter was scheduled to speak tonight
Discussing the “unresolved question of territorial rights resulting from the 1967 war,” Reagan said, without using the term “occupied” area, that the question should “be decided in accordance with Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338. We will tolerate no effort to supercede those resolutions. We must weigh the future utility of the Camp David accords against that position.”
AMBIGUITIES IN THE CAMP DAVID ACCORDS
There are, Reagan declared, “basic ambiguities in the documents Camp David produced, both in the links between the Israeli-Egyptian peace, and in the provisions for an autonomous regime in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. These ambiguities have now brought negotiations to a dangerous impasse.
“Negotiations between Israel and Jordan could result in long and creative steps toward resolving these problems,” Reagan added “Israel and Jordan are the two Palestinian states envisioned and authorized by the United Nations. Jordan is now recognized as sovereign in some 80 percent of the old territory of Palestine. Israel and Jordan are the parties primarily authorized to settle the future of the unallocated territories in accordance with the principles of the mandate and the provisions of Resolutions 242 and 338.
“Thus, the autonomy plan called for in the Camp David agreements must be interpreted in accordance with the two Security Council resolutions, which remain the decisive and authoritative rules governing the situation. The Comp David agreements cannot and should not lead to fundamental changes in the security position, or to the withdrawals of Israeli troops, until Jordan and other neighbors make peace.”
Reagan, in this connection, recalled that “an autonomous Palestinian Arab regime for the West Bank and the Gaza Strip was an Israeli proposal — a major concession on Israel’s part in the interest of progress toward peace.”
THE CENTRALITY OF JERUSALEM
Speaking of Jerusalem’s “centrality to Jewish life,” Reagan said “unlike the days prior to 1967, Jerusalem is one and will continue to be one city, undivided with free access for all. “He said the Carter Administration was cynical “in pledging to preserve the status of Jerusalem in its party platform and its undercutting Israel and Jerusalem can be solved by men of good will as part of a permanent settlement. The immediate problem is to make it easier for men of good will to come to the peace table.”
Saying “President Carter refuses to brand the PLO as a terrorist organization,” Reagan declared: “I have no hesitation in doing so. We live in a world in which any bond of thugs clever enough to get the word ‘liberation’ into its name can thereupon murder school children and have its deeds considered glamorous and glorious. Terrorists are not guerrillas, or commandos, or freedom-fighters or anything else. They are terrorists and they should be identified as such. If others wish to deal with them, establish diplomatic relations with them, let it be on their heads. And let them be willing to pay the pride of appeasement.”
“The PLO is said to represent the Palestinian refugees,” Reagan continued. “It represents no one but the leaders who established it as a means of organizing aggression against Israel” and has murdered more Palestinians than it has Israelis.” Noting that the U.S. made an agreement with Israel in 1975 concerning relations with the PLO, Reagan said “this Administration has violated that agreement.
“We are concerned not only with whether the PLO renounces its charter calling for the destruction of Israel, we are equally concerned with whether it is truly representative of the Palestinian people,” Reagan said.
ISSUE OF PALESTINIAN REFUGEES
On the question of Palestinian refugees, Reagan read from the Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel of May 14, 1948 appealing to the “Arab inhabitants of the State of Israel to preserve peace and to participate with us in the upbuilding of the State on the basis of full and equal citizen-ship and due representation all its provisional permanent institutions.”
“Tragically,” Reagan observed, this appeal was rejected. People left their land and their homes confident Israel would be destroyed in a matter of days and they could return. Israel was not destroyed and the refugee problem is with us today.” One solution to the refugee problem, he said, “could be assimilation in Jordan, designated by the UN as the Arab-Palestinian state.” He also spoke of the “long agony of Jews in the Soviet Union” and pledged “they will not be forgotten by a Reagan Administration.”
ISRAEL IS A FRIEND, NOT JUST A CLIENT
Reagan warned that “no policy, no matter how heartfelt,” can succeed if the U.S. “continues its descent into economic impotence and despair” and that neither Israel’s survival nor the ability to help “dissidents against tyranny can become realistic policy-choices if our American economy continues to deteriorate under Carter policies of high unemployment, taxes and inflation.”
While speaking of “a moral imperative” in the Israeli-American “bond,” Reagan added: “The touchstone of our relationship with Israel is that a secure, strong Israel is in America’s self-interest. Israel is a major strategic asset to America. Israel is not a client, but a very reliable friend which is not something that can always be said of the U.S. under the Carter Administration.”
Reagan assailed the Carter Administration’s record of abstentions in the United Nations Security Council and Carter’s moves for the Soviet Union to “join him in his effort to force Israel to accept the mockery of negotiations in Geneva.” This was a reference to the joint Soviet American accord of October 1977.
The GOP standard bearer paid tribute to President Anwar Sadat of Egypt and said that the Soviet-American accord “seriously disturbed” Sadat who “did not share Carter’s appreciation of the Soviets.” As a result, the Egyptian leader “made his courageous trip to Jerusalem at the invitation of Prime Minister Begin and a bilateral peace program began, let me reemphasize, without the participation of Mr. Carter.”
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.