The Role of Business in Mideast Peace Plan
There have Been similar efforts in the past, but I don't recall a major
U.S. diplomatic move that involved our private business community as in
the current pressing for peace and prosperity in the Middle East.
During the visit of President Sadat of Egypt and Prime Minister Begin of
Israel, they and heir associates mixed with gatherings of U.S. business groups formed specifically
strengthen relationships on a business level.
A Washington briefing and dinner with Sadat and a New York City
briefing and luncheon with Begin were sponsored respectively by the recently
formed Egypt- U.S. Business and the Israel-U.S. Business Council, both
administered by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce at the request of U.S. government officials.
The U.S. Business Councils have their counterparts in Israel and
Egypt. There are visits back and forth. The aim is to promote economic
growth and development through association and cooperation with the U.S. groups.
Such councils aren't new. There are 17 of them. The first, with Japan, was
organized in 1970. Of course, these councils involving Israel and Egypt
are center stage just now.
Both recent meetings appeared useful to this guest participant.
At Washington, President Sadat discussed the economic implications of
the U.S.-Egypt agreements, significance for the development of the
Egyptian economy, and areas for possible American business and industrial
help to stimulate Egypt's growth.
President Carter attended the Washington meeting. Vice President
Mondale and Gov. Hugh Carey were on hand with Israel's Menachem
Begin and a large contingent of aides and associates in New York.
Seeing them up close, one reflected that both Begin and Sadat are politicians from away back.
Both also have fought and suffered in war and, really, in the plain struggle for existence. Neither may live or
remain in power long enough to see fruition of many of their U.S.-supported efforts.
They are glorying in a diplomatic triumph now, but facing big problems
as they try to carry out what they've agreed to.
In a word, both Egypt and Israel bespoke all the business and technical
counsel and assistance they can get beyond the financial aid and support
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
"Peace and security are not inexpensive. But war and insecurity are
even more expensive."
—U.S. Defense Secretary Harold Brown, disclosing letters covering $4.5 billion in gifts and loans to Egypt and
Israel for relocating and replacing bases and forces in the Sinai.
already guaranteed in the agreements.
So what else is new? Aren't we already heavily involved and committed one way and another?
Yes, though the business councils do provide some extra dimension. Not
that past efforts at aid haven't shown minuses,as well as pluses.
"But," said one council member, "the way I see it, these things can't
hurt and they might help. It's as simple as that."
Rosalynn a Hit
She spoke smoothly and with confidence. She mixed hunter with a bit
of serious business like an expert. And she was stunning, as the fashion
reporters say, in her evening gown. In a word, Mrs. Jimmy (Rosalynn)
Carter was a hit. Asked to take over in the absence of her husband, speaking that night in Oklahoma, she filled
in at a recent dinner of the Gridiron Club of Washington. Her performance
was an eye-opener. Few had seen her in such a role before.
Well, many will remember her so next time they see a newsphoto showing her primly standing by at some
formal function as husband Jimmy holds center stage. In the words of
one Gridironer, "He can't afford to let her 'fill in' for him too often. People
might begin asking for her first."
Said Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, D-N.Y., a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee:
"There is no intelligence agency of any consequence in the U.S. government . . . There are very few functions left to the CIA that could not be performed by the Library of Congress or the Department of State."
And that, dear reader, is indeed "telling it like it is," thanks to altacks
and restrictions now hobbling America's intelligence agencies.
Miller was chairman of the Board of directors of Gannett Co. Inc. before retiring at the end of 1978.
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