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Peres Confident Israel Will Be Supported by Carter Administration

December 6, 1976
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On the eve of his departure for the United States, Israeli Defense Minister Shimon Peres said last night he was confident that the new American Administration would be a strong supporter of Israel and would firmly resist Arab pressures and the threats of a new oil boycott.

But since Israel did not want to be a burden to the United States it did not support Egypt’s suggestion that only the U.S., together with the Soviet Union, should have to guarantee a Middle East settlement, Peres said. “We don’t want the United States to be like a nurse trying to control two quarreling children. We hope to live with the Arabs peacefully, with direct and immediate relations,” he stated.

Peres, who was addressing Britain’s Joint Israel Appeal at the Savoy Hotel, said that Israel sought real peace “not just a public relations game or a competition in catching the headlines.”


Israel was in the dilemma of facing two “peace offers,” Peres observed. Yasir Arafat is promoting “a peace with Israel which was really peace without Israel,” while Egyptian President Anwar Sadat favors “a peace with Israel which is not really peace,” Peres said. But Israel prefers “peace with peace, where people can meet freely and exchange views, shedding their hatreds and dropping their taboos,” he declared.

There are also different diplomatic options: a renewed Geneva or Helsinki-type conference or the step-by-step approach of partial settlements. Whatever path is taken, Peres noted, Israel would have to “walk on two legs.” military strength and diplomacy. She would not be charmed by easy offers, and “we would be fools to lose our strength on the road to peace.”

Israel, Peres said, has to learn from the mistakes of the Yom Kippur War. She must organize her manpower with great care. Morale in the defense forces was now high, he claimed, because of the feeling that the burden was shared fairly throughout the nation. However, it was a very heavy one.

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