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Rabin: Rogers’ Speech Evidence That U.S. is Committed to a ‘determined Posture’ in Mideast

January 23, 1973
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Ambassador Yitzhak Rabin said yesterday that Secretary of State William P. Rogers’ speech in New York last Wednesday indicated that the Nixon administration is more committed than ever to maintaining a “determined posture” in the Middle East. According to Rabin. Rogers placed “more stress than in the past in pointing to the responsibilities of the parties involved to take the initiative themselves in putting an end to the difficulties.

Rogers. who spoke last week at a farewell dinner to Rabin sponsored by the Presidents Conference of Major American Jewish Organizations, appealed to Israelis and Arabs to enter into “a genuine, meaningful negotiating process, direct or indirect,” to achieve peace in the Middle East. The Secretary of State also said that the “most realistic approach” would be to negotiate an interim Suez Canal agreement which would be “a first decisive step of facilitating negotiations to carry out (Security Council) Resolution 242 in its entirety.”


Rabin, addressing an estimated 200 people attending an aliya conference at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Washington, characterized Rogers’ address as a very real and true restatement of the policy of the United States,” adding, “all fears that there would be a change in American policy has not proved to be true” in view of Rogers’ remarks which included a reaffirmation that the U.S. “will be active in ascertaining if and how we can help the parties initiate a general negotiating process.”

The Israeli diplomat was not optimistic, however, about the possibility of peace in the Middle East which he referred to as “a small light at the end of a very long tunnel.” He drew resounding applause when he declared: “There is no need for Israel to withdraw from the cease-fire lines.” Rabin stressed that Israel’s top priority is to remain militarily strong enough “not to be pushed from the cease-fire lines by force.”

He spoke very warmly about America’s relationship with Israel, noting that over the past four years the U.S. has supplied $1.2 billion worth of arms, mostly on a credit basis. He called for further assistance from the U.S. to “help ensure the burden of defense” which he said consumes 25 percent of Israel’s gross national product, or proportionately three-and-a-half times that in the U.S. Rabin declared himself in favor of what he called a “growing understanding” in Washington “that it is in the interest of the United States to let smaller countries take care of themselves by themselves.”

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