WASHINGTON (Oct. 23)
British Prime Minister Harold MacMillan, who arrived in Washington today, was believed to be bringing Middle East proposals calling for concessions by Israel on boundaries and on the return of Arab refugees.
The British are seeking a formula for reestablishing their position in the Middle East and reportedly have certain definite ideas on a new joint Western approach, It is known that British Foreign Secretary Selwyn Lloyd said privately here last week that a new attempt should be made to improve relations with the Nasser regime of Egypt.
In 1955 Sir Anthony Eden, then Prime Minister, urged Israel to surrender Negev territory to provide a “corridor” linking Egypt with Jordan, At that time, some important American officials agreed that Israel should be called on to make sacrifices in the name of regional peace and stability.
Today, both British and American leaders are desperately anxious to regain ground lost to Communism in the Arab world. To establish a new atmosphere of trust, according to the reported line of thought emerging, Israel may be asked to make concessions Such concessions might be asked to help unify the region against Communist penetration In the view of proponents of this thinking, it is hoped Western pressure on Israel would indicate to the Arabs that Washington and London see elements of justice in the Arab nationalist position. It is hoped too, that a policy pressuring Israel would offset Communist propaganda linking Israel and America and bolster “friendly” Arab regimes
LITTLE CHANCE SEEN NOW OF ARAB READINESS TO MAKE PEACE
A maximum clarification of American commitments against aggression in the Middle East is being sought here by Israel in view of continuing Soviet pressure in the region, it was reported here today.
Israel is see Arab nationalism as unlikely to settle peacefully with Israel at a time when the Arabs are so strongly supported and incited by Moscow. Arab nationalism is described as inextricably linked today with Communist objectives. It is thought, there fore, that it is not now appropriate to push for an Arab-Israel settlement as a panacea of the region’s turmoil.
Israel believes that the primary cause of regional tension today is the emerging Soviet role. Premier David Ben Gurion said this week that the crisis could only be alleviated by a solution of the power struggle of Russia and America–the forces now confronting each other in the Middle East. This basic East-West conflict is seen as primary with the Arab-Israel situation only one of a number of subsidiary issues.
The remedy to the present crisis is not to be found in Israel but in the bigger context of the free world struggle against Communism and in the relationship of the two biggest world powers, according to Israeli thinking.
Israel is thought to be reiterating to the State Department its view that the United States should support social and economic development in the Middle East rather than engage in a competition with the Soviet Union to supply arms to the Arabs.