Vice President Mondale, in addressing the American Jewish Committee dinner Thursday night, mentioned President Carter by name once. The Washington Post erred in reporting that he did not mention President Carter.
The White House yesterday sought to reassure American Jewish leaders and other friends of Israel that Monday's Senate vote on President Carter's controversial package deal of warplane sales to the Mideast did not mean any American abandonment of Israel.
Vice President Mondale, national security affairs adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski and White House Counsel Robert Lipshutz telephoned numerous Jewish leaders around the country yesterday, reasserting the Carter administration's desire for friendly relations with both Israel and American Jewry.
Rabbi Alexander M. Schindler, chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, received one of the calls, from Lipshutz. He also put out a statement yesterday saying it was now up to President Carter to make good on the promises he made during the debate on the plane sales.
"Now it is up to President Carter to make his word good," Schindler said, referring specifically to assurances that if the planes were sold to Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Israel this would improve the prospects for a negotiated Mideast peace.
Schindler said it was now up to Carter to get Egypt back to the bargaining table, and to persuade the Saudis to support the peace process.
Howard Squadron, president of the American Jewish Congress - who talked to Brzezinski by phone yesterday - said the sale of warplanes to Saudi Arabia and Egypt will increase Israel's concern for territorial protection of its security. This was a suggestion that Israel's bargaining terms could harden as a result of the sale.
White House press secretary Jody Powell said yesterday that emotions may have got too high during the debate on the plane sales. He said some administration statements had been misinterpreted as indications that the U.S. commitment to Israel had been diminished. This was untrue, Powell said.
Senior administration officials said yesterday they were personally and politically concerned that the debate had reached the level of charges that the administration was "anti-Semitic" or that proponents of the sale were not good Americans.
Talk like this "can be ruinous for the entire country," one of the president's aides said, adding that the administration was anxious to dispel any suggestion that it bore a grudge against Israel or American Jews.
This official said tempers did get hot during the tense struggle for Senate votes on the plane issue, and the time had come to cool them down.
Mondale has invited one of they key Washington lobbyists for Israeli causes, Morris Amitay of the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee, to meet with him this morning. Officials said there will be other similar meetings in the days ahead.
Senate sources said yesterday there were four to six senators prepared to vote with President Carter for the package deal if their votes were needed, but who ended up voting against it. The final vote was 54 to 44 for the sales.
Of the 12 Democratic senators running for reelection this year, only three voted for the sales: Jennings Randolph of West Virginia, Paul Hatfield of Montana, and J. Bennett Johnston of Louisiana.
One lobbyist who worked against the sales said about half a dozen senators who previously voted staunchly in favor of Israel had decided to support the sales, enough to put them over.