JERUSALEM (Apr. 2)
The seriousness with which Israel views the Syrian border situation and the Security Council debate opening tomorrow on the matter, was stressed at a meeting here today between Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion and United States Ambassador Walworth Barbour.
The meeting, which took place at Mr. Ben-Gurion’s initiative, was intended to underscore Israel’s views and anxiety in the face of indications that the United States may support a Security Council draft resolution censuring Israel. (In Washington, Israel Ambassador Avraham Harman today conferred with Secretary of State Dean Rusk presumably on the American stand at the United Nations Security Council on the Syrian-Israel border clash.)
It is understood that Mr. Ben-Gurion emphasized to the American envoy that a one-sided Council resolution would mean the disregard of the fundamental fact that Syria, not Israel, initiated the aggression on Lake Tiberias and that such an approach would not contribute to quiet on the border, but would be interpreted by the Syrians as “a green light” for further aggression.
The Prime Minister underlined the fact that Lake Tiberias was wholly within Israeli territory and that Israel was determined to defend its territorial integrity and would sternly oppose any encroachment on its sovereignty. He stressed that a one-sided Security Council resolution would also undermine United Nations authority and that of the UN Truce Supervision Organization.
Pointing out that the UN truce chief’s report submitted to the United Nations, clearly reveals Syria’s guilt in initiating attacks on Israeli patrol and fishing boats, Premier Ben-Gurion stressed that Israel acted only under provocation and that, while she desires peace, she cannot let aggression develop.
In contrast to the cautious optimism that prevailed in Jerusalem last week following the report to the United Nations by the UNTSO Chief of Staff, Major General Carl C. von Horn, the U.S. position expressed in the Council last Wednesday by Ambassador Adlai E. Stevenson and subsequent contacts in New York and Washington have prompted a more sober appraisal here of the situation.