FM Levy Meets with Jewish Newspaper Editors in US

(Communicated by the Foreign Ministry Spokesman)
September 25, 1997

Foreign Minister David Levy met this morning (Thursday), 25.9.97, in the US, with a group of Jewish newspaper editors.

In his remarks, he criticized the international community’s double standard: "We are honoring agreements which harm our security and our existential interests, yet while Lebanon is a hostage to a foreign force and Iran is threatening to destroy us, we are being criticized. The world accepts this without any reference at all. It cannot be that while Israel upholds an agreement, it is criticized and threatened with sanctions and other measures, while the other side is free of any blame."

In response to a question regarding the connection between investments and the existing tension, Foreign Minister Levy said: "When demands are made on us, and we respond to them positively, the prize must be the opening of markets. But even while we are honoring agreements, we are being punished with the closing of markets and the absence of investments. If Israel must choose between life and markets, we prefer life."

Foreign Minister Levy was also asked about the conversion law and the American Jewish community’s relations with Israel. He emphasized that there is no alternative to partnership between the State, and citizens, of Israel, and the Jewish communities around the world. The Jewish communities around the world can live as they see fit; nothing can be forced on them. Neither is there any intention to do so. The issues before us are complicated and will not be resolved by this or that decision. From our point-of-view, it would be best if the status quo were maintained."