JERUSALEM (May. 18)
The Israel Cabinet discussed major world developments and their relations to Israel today, with Premier David Ben Gurion reporting on the Lebanese and Algerian situations and on the Khrushchev-Nasser communique summing up the United Arab Republic President’s 18-day visit of state to the USSR.
Israeli circles refuse to comment on the Lebanese and Algerian situations, preferring to consider them for the time being at least, internal affairs of the countries concerned. There is no comment on the Moscow communique for an entirely different reason. Israeli circles are awaiting an official Russian text of the statement, feeling that every word in it may be significant.
It is understood here that the Israelis were concerned over the sentence in which “both governments (of the USSR and UAR) reaffirm their full support for the legitimate rights of the Arabs in Palestine.” If the translation is accurate, and the communique reads “in Palestine” rather than “of Palestine,” Moscow was seen here as endorsing a far wider Arab position than it has ever supported in the past.
Support of the right of Arabs “of Palestine” would refer, Israeli circles feel, to the Arab refugees, but support of the rights of Arabs “in Palestine” could mean Moscow’s support of Arab political and even territorial claims in Israel.
Though the communique can be easily viewed as a full endorsement of the Arab line, some observers here feel that it is still couched in phrases which give Moscow an opportunity to retreat if international reactions to it are sharp.