Former secretary of state Henry A. Kissinger criticized the Carter administration today for publicly blaming Israel for the impasse in the Egyptian-Israeli peace negotiations.
"It is not in the American interest to create the impression that Israel is just an appendage of our policymaking process," Kissinger told a luncheon here held in honor of departing Israeli Ambassador Simcha Dinitz.
Kissinger and Dinitz predicted an Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty would be signed eventually, but lamented the current angry exchanges between Washington and Jerusalem.
Although Kissinger in 1975 publicly criticized Israel after the first attempt at a second disengagement agreement in Sinai collapsed, Kissinger said rebukes such as those delivered by President Carter and members of his administration in the last week can "contribute to breaking the spirit of Israel" and can lead Arab radicals to escalate their demands so the the United States would be in conflict with both Israel and the Arabs.
Dinitz also spoke of breaking Israel's spirit and called Carter's statement last week that peace was up to Israel because Egypt had done its best "not only incorrect, but not very statesmanlike either."
Dinitz also denounced Senate Majority Leader Robert C. Byrd (D-W.Va.), without using Byrd's name, for raising the possiblity of withholding U.S. aid to further Israeli concessions.
"Israel cannot be spoken to like this. We are not a vassal country . . . We are not a dependent of the United States," Dinitz told the luncheon of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.
Kissinger repeatedly praised tee government and people of Israel for having a commitment to negotiate a peace in the Middle East.
"The government of Israel has made concessions that I would have considered inconceivable two years ago and that, frankly, I would not have dared to ask for," Kissinger said.
The logic of events, Kissinger said, will eventually produce a settlement between Israel and Egypt. But he warned that these negotiations, however difficult they seem at times, have been simple compared to the negotiations on the future of the West Bank that must follow.
For those later negotiations, Kissinger said, the United States and Israel must be dedicated to a common strategy and a common purpose.
Any disputes shouldn't be conducted on the front pages, he said.
It was the second Kissinger criticism of the Carter administration in two days. On Sunday, he told a Bronx audience that the terms on which Carter recognized China were identical to those offered by China four years ago.
The timing of recognition of China thus was entirely in Washington's hands, Kissinger said, and was poorly chosen. Why was the action necessary, asked the man whose secret trip to Peking began rapprochement between the United States and China after more than 20 years without contract.
Kissinger said the concession Carter administration officials claim China made-that the United States can still ship arms to Taiwan-was never discussed while he was in office.
Kissinger also said he was concerned by press stories that the United States was trying to back away from all-out support of the shah of Iran. "We have a duty to stick with him to the end," Kissinger said.
Dinitz. who officially ceased to be Israel's ambassador today after 51/2 years in Washington, gave an impassioned speech criticizing the Carter administration's handling of the most recent phase of Egyptian-Isaraeli negotiations which saw Israel reject changes in the treaty sought by Egypt.
The recent statements from U.S. officials blaming Israel for the failure of Israel and Egypt to reach an agreement by the Dec. 17 date set at the Capm David summit, Dinitz said, are "unjust recrimination."
Because of them, he said, "israel is bleeding and injured not less than if military or economic aid was being withheld."