GENEVA (May. 4)
The members of the United Nations Palestine Conciliation Commission and the various Arab delegations have gathered here to resume mediation efforts for an Arab-Israel peace. However, neither an Israel delegation nor Israel’s reply to the Commission’s latest proposals for bringing the two sides together has arrived here yet.
Commission sources have expressed the hope that Israel’s reply, which has been in the drafting stage for a month and which is reported nearing completion, will be more positive than the Arab document. The Arab reply is authoritatively reported to be hedged with impossible conditions. However, the Commission is represented as believing that the Arabs are more amenable to peace negotiations than recent public statements from that camp seem to reveal.
The Commission also believes that Israel is over-optimistic in planning on reaching an agreement with the Arabs without the Commission. It is pointed out that the United States is not prepared to exert pressure on the Arabs except through the Commission itself. In addition, Commission sources point to the results of the recent tour of the Near East by Claude de Boissanger, French chairman of the three nation body, as evidence that Israel will have some hard bargaining to do before peace is achieved because the Arabs do not wish to appear as suing for peace.