Ezer Weizman has reconfirmed his ambition to replace Menachem Begin as Israeli prime minister, and he says he does not agree with Sen. Edward M. Kennedy's criticism of President Carter as not sufficiently supportive of Israel , Monitor correspondent John Cooley reports.
Mr. Weizman, who recently resigned post as Israeli defense minister over policy disagreements with Mr. Begin, urged resumption of the Palestinian autonomy talks among Egypt, Israel, and the United States which Egyptian President Sadat broke off last month. West Bank and Gaza Palestinians should be given control of all their own affairs except foreign policy and security, he told an ABC "Issues and Answers" TV panel.
If he were prime minister, he said, he would push ahead on the negotiations with Egypt. He said rapid progress on these would mean that a European initiative toward recognition of the Palestine Liberation Organization "would be stopped."
Mr. Weizman repeated his traditional position that Israeli settlements in occupied Arab territory be limited largely to existing ones which should be built up, rather than dispersing many new ones throughout the territory, as desired by members of Mr. Begin's Cabinet.
To a question about his US presidential preference between President Carter and Ronald Reagan, he replied that he had not met Mr. Reagan. President Carter's large contribution to achieving the Camp David agreements was not yet sufficiently appreciated, Mr. Weizman added, and he said he "can't understand" why Senator Kennedy and some Israelis criticized Mr. Carter as not supportive enough of Israel.