Israel’s Views on Peace and Defense to Be Presented to Dulles

When Secretary of State John Foster Dulles arrives in Israel this week, he will find the Israel Government receptive to the American defense conception for the Middle East, the Sunday Observer, leading British newspaper, reports today in a cable from Tel Aviv. The cable says that Premier Ben Gurion and Foreign Minister Sharett intend to present to Mr. Dulles the following views:

1. That no Middle East defense organization is possible without taking Israel into consideration; 2. That Israel’s high standards of technical know-how have made her air force the most efficient in the Middle East and her industrial and assembly plants are the finest and largest in the region; 3. That contrary to current Arab claims, peace between Israel and the Arab states is not impossible provided both sides are ready for compromise; and 4. That Israel does not ask the United States to mediate between it and the Arab states, but desires that the U.S. use its influence with the Arab states to induce them to sit down at direct peace talks with Israel and hammer out the basic issues.

The Israelis see a number of areas in which there is room for compromise in working out an Arab-Israeli peace, the Observer article states, including: the Jewish State’s readiness to make a major financial contribution to the resettlement of Palestine refugees in the Arab countries, if normal relations can be secured with the Arab states; Israel would also be prepared to make minor frontier rectifications on the basis of humane considerations; and, Israel would be willing to offer Jordan a free zone at the port of Haifa to relieve the economic problems inflicted on the Arab state by lack of a Mediterranean outlet.

However, the Observer article points out, the Israelis would only be willing to make these concessions as part of a general and permanent peace settlement with the Arab states. The Israelis have just approved the transfer to Arab refugees of the first 80,000 pounds of a total of 1,000,000 pounds which Israel has promised to release from frozen back accounts, as a demonstration of goodwill, the article reports. Another such gesture, the Observer continues, is the granting of permission to some 2,400 Arab refugees to return to Israel to allow them to be reunited with their families and the granting of permission to 900 Arabs to leave Israel for the same purpose.

For their part, Israeli policy-makers intend to suggest that the Arab states make certain concessions, including the following:

1. Agree to the resettlement of Palestinian refugees in the Arab countries, particularly in fertile regions of Syria and Iraq; 2. Halt border incidents and violation of Israeli territory by both regular Arab armies and civilians; 3. Discontinue the boycott of Israel and resume trade relations with the Jewish State; and, 4. That Egypt permits free and unhampered navigation of the Suez Canal and the Red Sea by Israeli shipping.

The Observer says that when Sec. Dulles arrives in Israel he will be told that British surrender of military bases in the Suez Canal area would be of “essential concern” to Israel and that Israel feels that such a development should be conditioned on Egypt’s willingness to accept certain obligations concerning the use of these bases.

NEXT STORY