Kirkpatrick: Mideast Peace Conference Would Isolate Israel and the U.S.
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Kirkpatrick: Mideast Peace Conference Would Isolate Israel and the U.S.

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An international peace conference on the Middle East, as construed by the Soviet Union and the Arab states, would be a “recipe for disaster” for both Israel and the United States, Jeane Kirkpatrick declared.

The former U.S. Ambassador to the UN addressed a capacity crowd of 3,000 people Tuesday night as the guest of Rabbi David Kahane of the Sutton Place Synagogue in the opening program of the congregation’s seventh annual “Jewish Town Hall” series.

“I am profoundly dubious about the prospects for a conference in which the permanent members of the Security Council would play a major role,” she said, adding: “No Israeli government could submit itself to arbitration by such a group. It would result in the isolation of Israel and the U.S.” Kirkpatrick, who served at the UN during Kurt Waldheim’s tenure as Secretary General, indicated that the recent decision to bar the Austrian President from entering this country was arrived at “carefully, prudently and judiciously.” She characterized Waldheim as “an organization man who adopted the ethos of the Nazis,” rather than a major war criminal like Adolf Eichmann.

At the same time, she urged that the world body’s archives on Nazi war criminals should now be made public. “There are some crimes so terrible that no statute of limitations can be applied. The Holocaust is such a crime,” she said.


On prospects of increased Jewish emigration from the Soviet Union as a result of Mikhail Gorbachev’s policy of “glasnost,” the former UN envoy indicated that she thinks the recent changes in the USSR are real, but that they may not bring about a substantial increase in the number of Jews who are permitted to leave. She said: “We must keep up the pressure on human rights.” She added:

“While Gorbachev has staked his political future on modernizing the Soviet economy and other liberalizing reforms, it is important for us to understand that this does not mean turning Russia into a Western-style democracy.”

Assessing the potential long-term effects of the Pollard spy case and Israel’s role in the Iran-Contra affair, Kirkpatrick said that these incidents “do not strike at the base of the U.S.-Israel relationship.” That relationship remains strong, she said, “because Israel is a good friend, a fellow democracy, a very important strategic ally and a state that has deep political and moral meaning for anyone who has lived in our century.” The former diplomat expressed doubt that the Jonathan Pollard spy case would raise the specter of “dual loyalty” charges against American Jews. “We are all hyphenated Americans. America is a pluralistic society — and that is our glory.”

Kirkpatrick agreed with Kahane that Israel is judged by a double standard. “Holding Israel to such unusual and unrealistic standards is a compliment Israel can well do without,” she declared.

As a prime example of this tendency, Kirkpatrick cited the Zionism-is-Racism resolution passed by the UN General Assembly in 1975. She termed the resolution “an obnoxious and gross insult,” and charged that it was part of a continuing campaign orchestrated by Arab states to delegitimize Israel.

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