The Camp David summit conleyence has resulted in an "almost complete turnabout" in the attitude of Jewish voters toward President Carter, the president aide responsible for liaison with the Jewish community said yesterday.
Earlier this year, the president was thought to be in trouble with traditionally Democratic Jewish voters. His standing in the Jewish community reached a low point when the administration pushed through a sale of sophisticated warplanes to Saudi Arabia and Egypt.
But now, according to Edward Sanders, a Los Angeles lawyer who joined the White House staff last summer in the 1980 election, Carter should be able to count on the usual heavy Jewish support for a Democratic presidential candidate.
At a breakfast meeting with reporters, Sanders also said that it is "possible" that an exchange of letters between Carter and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin on future Jewish settlements on the West Bank of the Jordan River may never take place.
"I think both sides are trying to keep their voices mutted" on the issue, Sanders said, suggesting that the scheduled exchange of letters would not be necessary so long as Israel tacitly agrees not to establish new West Bank settlements.
At Camp David, the president and Begin agreed to state their understanding about future West Bank settlements in letters to be exchanged shortly after the summit. Carter insists that Begin agreed to a moratorium on new settlements during a five-year transition period during which the "final status" of the West Bank is to be decided.
Begin, however, says he agreed to a moratorium only during the expected three months it will take to negotiate a peace treaty between Egypt and Israel.
Because of the dispute, the letters have not been exchanged and White House officials now are not even speculating on when an exchange may take place.
Sanders said he does not consider the settlements dispute to be "a major issue," adding that American Jews are not likely to become upset by the U.S-Israeli disagreement so long as they are convinced that "the general security needs of Israel are being met."
Sanders said that from the "low point" of the arms sale to the Camp David summit there are virtually no communication between the White House and the Jewish community. Jewish uneasiness with Carter, he said, was exacerbated by a "cultural difference" between American Jews, concentrated in the large cities of the Northeast, Midwest and West, and the president's Southern Baptist background.
The arms sale prompted Sanders' predecessor, Mark Siegel, to resign from the White House staff in protest.