LAUSANNE (Jun. 23)
The Israeli delegation today received with mixed feelings the report on the Arab-Israeli talks here which the U.N. Conciliation Commission submitted yesterday to the Security Council at Lake Success.
Gideon Hirsch, an official of the Israeli Foreign Ministry and spokesman to the Tel Aviv delegation, said that the Israelis were pleased that the Commission had established once and for all that the Lausanne talks were intended to bring about final settlement of all questions outstanding between Israel and the Arab states and not, as in the earlier Beirut negotiations, designed merely to discuss the question of the Palestine Arab refugees.
The Israeli delegation here is empowered to negotiate a final settlement in all its forms, Hirsch stated, and that remains the Israeli objective in Lausanne, he added; Be said that Israel welcomed the agreement of the Commission with these views although the Israeli delegates are under the impression that none of the Arab delegations here are either authorized, or intend, to conclude a formal peace.
The Israeli spokesman then criticized the report, stating that in an attempt to establish an even balance between the Arab and Israeli views the Commission member had been led into certain misleading conclusions of the present position. He cited particularly the purported fact that the evenly distributed criticism by the Commission of the attitude of the Arabs and Israelis made direct negotiations Impossible. He asserted that the Israeli delegation had repeatedly pressed the Commission fro direct negotiations with the Arabs.
The Israeli delegation recently addressed a letter to the Commission to this effect, Mr. Hirsch disclosed. He added that the real trouble was that the Commission numbers had not thrown their weight behind these efforts to establish direct negotiations and had maintained its own view that such efforts were premature.
The Israeli delegate challenged the Commission’s statement that Israel had refused to consider repatriation of the Arab refugees. What Israel had refused, he said, was to take only one of the 15 items of the December 11 resolution by the U.N. and discuss that, as the Arabs wanted to, before discussing the other 14 points which the Commission would also have to consider.
But altogether, Hirsch said the Israeli delegation felt that the report was a fair document and represented the present position. He added that he believed that all parties to the dispute were now making one last effort to see whether they could get out of the deadlock in order to avoid a total failure of the conference here.