UNITED NATIONS, N. Y. (May. 13)
Israel’s uppermost need in the current, tense situation in the Middle East–in addition to assuring for itself its own deterrent power–is a guarantee of its independence and territorial integrity by the United States, in the opinion of Michael S. Comay, chairman of Israel’s delegation, who was honored at a luncheon today by the United Nations Correspondents Association.
Without naming the United States Government, but clearly implying he meant the Washington Administration, Mr. Comay said, in reply to a question as to Israel’s fore-most need for a sense of security: “What we need is a guarantee of our independence and territorial integrity–if not by all the major powers, at least by one.”
At the same time, Mr. Comay discounted any value to reaffirmation by the United States. Britain and France of their Tripartite Declaration of 1950. He said also he saw no value in the proposal by Sen. Hubert Humphrey, Democratic whip in the U.S. Senate, for an arms embargo in the Middle East.
In discounting the value of a Franco-British-American reaffirmation of the Tripartite Declaration, Mr. Comay pointed out that that document, issued by the three big Western Powers 13 years ago, had a double aim: halting the supply of arms to the Middle East. and guaranteeing the Israeli-Arab borders against aggression. Reaffirmation of the Declaration now, he said, would amount only to a “hypothetical” measure, since the major supplies of arms to the Arab states now come from the Soviet bloc, which is not a party to the 1950 declaration.
SAYS AMERICAN GUARANTEE COULD APPLY ALSO TO ARAB COUNTRIES
Asked how an American guarantee of Israeli independence and borders would work, he replied: “I would be very surprised if such a guarantee was even being considered in Washington. However, if Israeli security were guaranteed, no one who has no intention of attacking Israel need be disturbed. The guarantee could apply equally to our neighbors. If our neighbors want to be guaranteed against attack by Israel, that would suit us, since we have no intention of attacking them.”
As for Sen. Humphrey’s proposed measure for a Middle. East embargo, he said: “It is not a very good idea, unless all suppliers of arms to the Middle East were parties to such an embargo. Unless there were mutual conviction that no arms should be supplied to any one in the area, it would not serve much of a purpose. It would not serve much of a purpose unless the Soviet bloc were a party to such an embargo. What we would like to see is some sort of regional disarmament scheme, with agreement for mutual control and inspection, so that we and the Arab states could stop escalating the buildup of our armaments–which neither of us can afford.”
CALLS NASSER ‘THE NUMBER ONE TROUBLE MAKER’ IN MIDDLE EAST
The “major source” of the present Middle Eastern troubles, Mr. Comay said, in a prepared statement prior to the questioning by the correspondents, is “the Nasser regime which, for many years, has been the Number One trouble-maker in the Middle East, with Cairo the real center of neo-colonialism in that area.” He pointed out that Egypt has been “busy” interfering with one state after another in the: region, disturbing the entire area “even leaving aside the threats to Israel.”
He noted Egypt’s use of “indirect aggression,” employing, in addition to its large, well equipped army, “powerful propaganda media, internal subversion, the maintenance of exiled groups of political leaders and army officers,” and creating conditions whereby “other independent Arab states in the area can preserve their independence only by the extent to which they can resist these pressures.”
“Israel,” he said, remains “watchful on the sidelines. We cannot dismiss the present tug-of-war in the Arab world as purely the internal concern of the Arab states. As long as they share a common hostility to Israel, any pooling of their military resources has a direct impact on our security situation. This security problem would be even more seriously affected if the Kingdom of Jordan were to be engulfed, or come under Egyptian control.”