JERUSALEM (Dec. 15)
The Israel Cabinet met in special session today to consider Israel’s position in relation to the meeting of the 14 government chiefs of the NATO powers which opens in Paris tomorrow.
The Israel Cabinet was reported to be discussing rumored British-Turkish-Iraqi efforts to revive either the 1947 Palestine partition plan or the proposal for truncating Israel made by then Prime Minister Sir Anthony Eden at a speech in London’s Guildhall late in 1955.
Top Israel circles are not certain at the moment whether the Middle East will be discussed on the NATO agenda or whether the Israel-Arab conflict will arise. According to information received here, some of the NATO countries are hesitant to raise the Middle East problem because of its controversial nature and they do not want any important issue to detract from the centrality of the discussion of the Western alliance in relation to missile warfare.
Other NATO member states, however, hold that Western defenses cannot adequately be considered without a discussion of the Middle East. It is understood, too, that Britain feels there is more to gain from keeping the Middle East matter an Anglo-American headache rather than a NATO problem.
Informed sources here doubt that Nuri as-Said’s proposals to President Eisenhower and Secretary of State John Foster Dulles in Washington last week were actually initiated by Britain. However, they are certain the Iraqi diplomat’s pressures for a return to the United Nations partition plan did have London’s approval.
Israel has made it very clear to the Western Powers that she is absolutely opposed to any discussion based on the Guildhall proposals and informed Israeli circles do not believe there is an actual danger the plan will be revived. But these same circles are somewhat concerned about the possible effects of British-Iraqi-Turkish ideas on Israel own efforts to gain improved security arrangements for itself after the NATO parle, closes.