JERUSALEM (Oct. 28)
Peace between Israel and the Arab states is possible only through direct negotiations with Israel “as it is” and there will be no settlement in the Middle East of matters concerning Israel “except with our participation and consent, Mrs Golda Meir, Israel’s Foreign Minister, said today in the Knesset.
Mrs. Meir’s statement was seen as a reply to reports that Prime Minister Harold Macmillan had proposed to President Eisenhower last week a proposed Middle East policy which would have pressed Israel to permit “border adjustments” and acceptance of Arab refugees. The Foreign Minister told the House that there was no vital issue which prevented the Arab people from entering into a policy of peace and cooperation with the Jewish State.
Responding to critics within and without the Mapai-led government coalition, Mrs. Meir rejected all calls that Israel adopt a “neutralist” policy as between the United States and the Soviet Union in the hopes that the USSR would take a “softer” attitude toward Israel.
“The fault is not ours that certain states, for their own political calculations, are not on friendly terms with Israel,” she asserted, “But friendship with any state will not be purchased at the price of Israel relinquishing measures which assure its security and the maintenance of its independence and territorial integrity.
“If proof were needed of the futility of the easy advice offered us from time to time, “the Foreign Minister declared, “we have it in the Soviet Union’s discriminatory attitude toward us, who are not bound by any alliance, and her attitude to other states in the region who are so bound.”
SOME WORLD STATESMEN STILL PRESS APPEASEMENT, MINISTER SAYS
Reporting on her talks with leading world statesmen at the United Nations, Washington and Italy, Mrs. Meir said that the “illusion has not entirely been dissipated among certain statesmen that appeasement of the aggressor is perhaps the best way of reaching a goal.”
However, Mrs. Meir spoke warmly of the sympathy for and understanding of Israel’s problems displayed by representatives of Latin American countries, among some states of the Afro-Asian bloc and among European countries. She expressed deep satisfaction with her visit to Italy where she found understanding and a readiness to give Israel support Mrs. Meir was also complimentary of the traditionally friendly contacts with statesmen of various British Commonwealth nations.
At the United Nations, she noted, there was only one person with whom she conferred who was not convinced of the sincerity of Israel’s quest for peace.
On the question of arms to the Arab states, Mrs. Meir reiterated Israel’s opposition to the dispatch of arms–“regardless of source–to those who use them for the purpose of aggression and destruction. However, ” she continued, we dare not ignore the new element that has recently appeared that greatly intensifies (our) peril.” She referred to the vast quantity of arms streaming into Syria and the accompanying propaganda campaign that Israel is threatening to attack its Arab neighbors.
Mrs. Meir touched briefly on the Israel delegation’s fight at the United Nations to force the release of the Israeli fishing trawler Doron and her crew of six. Israel is waiting impatiently upon Secretary General Dag Hammarskjold’s efforts in this respect, she said, and insisted that it was “essential” that he exercise his full authority to achieve the earliest return of the vessel and crew.