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Israel / Begin / United States As Mid. East Battleground #49126

ABC Evening News for Monday, Jun 20, 1977
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(Studio) Menahem Begin becomes prime minister of Israel; calls on neighboring Arab leaders to meet with him with regard to Mid. East peace.
REPORTER: Barbara Walters

(Jerusalem, Israel) Report on Begin's assumption of office; government will incl. Moshe Dayan and Ezer Weizman. Opposition leader Shimon Peres says he will be fighting opposition. Begin's comments with regard to relations with United States and USSR noted.
REPORTER: Andrew Meisels

(Studio) Israel conts. to be surrounded and outnumbered by hostile neighbors; recently, location and weapons have changed.
REPORTER: Barbara Walters

(DC) Battleground has now become Washington, DC and battle for American mind is in progress; both sides agree Arabs make progress, in 1 respect. [Syrian amb. Sabah KABBANI - says Americans don't look at issue simply anymore.] [National Association of Arab-Americans representative Michael SABA - notes difference in American perception of Israelis and Arabs now.] [American Israeli Public Affairs Committee spokesperson Morris AMITAY - notes difference in American attitude toward Arabs, but doesn't believe basic American support for Israel is lost.] Arabs portrayed as more moderate now; Begin government is portrayed as inflexible. [KABBANI - says commentators now reflect change, for example, in criticism of Begin.] Negative press in United States upsets Israeli supporters. [Israeli ambassador Simcha DINITZ - cites objections to press portrayal of Begin.] Israelis' concern is that Arabs will expect unprecedented American pressure to get Israeli concessions. [DINITZ - cites concern over this view.] United States concerns with regard to Arab relations with USSR and Arab oil noted.
REPORTER: Ted Koppel

Koppel, Ted;
Meisels, Andrew;
Walters, Barbara

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