Vice President Walter Mondale’s “good will” visit to Israel which begins Friday, was clouded over today by altercations between his Israeli hosts and the American advance party sent here to arrange the details. The Israelis insist that Mondale visit East Jerusalem in his official capacity, something no visiting American official has ever done. They also demand that the American party observe the Sabbath ban on travel.
Mayor Teddy Kollek said yesterday that he would snub all public functions with Mondale unless the Vice President visits the Western Wall as part of his formal schedule with U.S. and Israeli flogs flying from his limousine and an official Israeli escort. The U.S. has never recognized Israel’s unilateral annexation of East Jerusalem after the Six-Day War and top American diplomats, Including Secretaries of State William Rogers, Henry Kissinger and Cyrus Vance, pointedly avoided visiting East Jerusalem in their official capacity because of the implied recognition of Israeli sovereignty there.
Mondale and his party will have only two full days in Israel. The government has indicated that it wants the Americans to refrain from touring on the Sabbath. The Americans have balked at this. Mondale has already arranged to visit former Premier Golda Meir in Tel Aviv on Saturday and his wife is scheduled to visit museums in that city which are always open on the Sabbath.
A highly placed Israeli source told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency last night that if the U.S. remained adamant on the East Jerusalem issue, much of the good will Mondale hopes to generate would be drowned in bad feelings. Mondale and his party, which will include more than 20 prominent American Jews and non-Jews he invited to accompany him, is due to land at Ben Gurion Airport at 3 p.m. local time Friday. They will be welcomed by Premier Menachem Begin and Knesset Speaker Yitzhak Shamir, who are the joint hosts, and by the entire Cabinet.
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.