Israeli Ambassador Meir Rosenne said last night that the rejection by King Hussein of Jordan of the offer by the new Israeli unity government to begin negotiations demonstrates that the Arab countries only want an imposed settlement.
“We have said it for years, that if you want to establish peace you sit in the negotiating table, you submit, you present your requests and then there is a discussion,” Rosenne said at the closing banquet of the United Jewish Appeal’s Hineni Ill, a three-day gathering of the UJA’s major leadership.
“The trouble is that the Arab countries want the results of the negotiations before any negotiations take place,” he said. Rosenne added this is why the government of Premier Golda Meir rejected the plan proposed by Secretary of State William Rogers in the Nixon Administration and Premier Menachem Begin rejected President Reagan’s September 1, 1982 Mideast peace initiative.
“There can be peace in the Middle East only if the Arab countries understand they cannot impose peace on Israel,” he stressed.
PREDICTS MAJOR SOVIET CAMPAIGN
Rosenne predicted that the Soviet Union will launch a major campaign to press for its call for an international conference on the Middle East that will include the United States, the USSR, Israel, the Arab countries, the Palestine Liberation Organization and perhaps the West European countries.
He said Israel and the U.S. oppose this because “nothing will come out of such a conference.” He noted that in 1977, Egyptian President Anwar Sadat went to Jerusalem partly because the U.S. and the Soviet Union issued a joint statement calling for an international conference in Geneva.
The Israeli envoy said negotiations will come about when the Arabs realize Israel is strong, not only militarily but internally. He said the establishment by the Likud and Labor of a national unity government “is the best evidence to what extent political leaders in Israel are ready to give up narrow party interests and to work in the interest of the entire nation.”
Noting the pessimistic predictions that have been made about the divisions in Israel, Rosenne said, “People never understood that when it comes to basic issues like the security of the State of Israel, the need to secure the northern border of the country, the need to pursue the peace efforts of Israel, Israel has always been more united than ever.”
ISRAEL’S ‘SECRET WEAPON’
Rosenne added that Israel’s “secret weapon” is “Jewish solidarity that is so strong today and will remain so strong for the future.” He told the more than 100 Jewish leaders who have participated in three days of meetings with U.S. and Israeli officials here, “you do not realize how moving it is” for Israelis that Jews leave their work to go on missions to Israel or to meetings like the UJA gathering in Washington because of “only one thing, and that’s their love for Israel.”
Hineni, which is Hebrew for “Here 1 Am,” is the UJA’s annual major gifts program. At the banquet last night held at the L’Enfant Plaza Hotel, Samuel Miller of Cleveland, a UJA national vice chairman, was honored for being the founding father of Hineni. H. Irwin Levy of Palm Beach, Flordia, national chairman of Hineni, presented Miller with a Roman Glass Antiquity. Jerome Dick of Washington was program chairman.
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.