A fundamental shift is likely in the relationship between Israel and the U.S. under the leadership of Bill Clinton, the president of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) said last night.
Stephen Grossman told a crowd of 60 at Harvard-Radcliffe Hillel that Secretary of State Warren M. Christopher had called him yesterday afternoon to discuss U.S. relations with Israel.
Christopher expressed support for compromise which would "enable the peace process to continue, 'hopefully," said Grossman.
Grossman said he was enthusiastic about Christopher's opposition to technology transfers to countries unfriendly to Israel and his willingness to cooperate on technology development with Israel.
Christopher said the United States would not pressure Israel in talks with Middle Eastern countries, according to Grossman.
Grossman said the conversation with Christopher is emblematic of a renewed friendliness and positive tone in the relationship between U.S. and Israel in the first month of the Clinton administration.
It is necessary for the new administration to tell Palestinians and sovereign Arab states that "the only road to peace is through Jerusalem," Grossman said.
He advocated "direct, face-to-face negotiations between parties in the region."
Grossman said he thought that Israel's settlement of the question of the Palestinian deportees had been "satisfactory" to all concerned.
Even though the Clinton administration has a much stronger pro-Israel policy than previous administrations, individuals must continue to show their support for Israel, Grossman stressed.
"The strength and security of Israel and U.S.-Israel relations is bound up in what each of you is willing to do," Grossman said.
Grossman said that the United States should help Israel to "create a stable political environment through the peace process."
One of AIPAC's goals has been loan guarantees to Israel to bolster stability, he said.
About 85 percent of the money given in aid to Israel stays in the United States through trade between the countries, Grossman said.
He urged the audience to lobby the U.S. government for more pro-Israel policies.
"Grassroots political activism is the strength of the American Jewish Community," he said repeatedly.