JERUSALEM (Mar. 29)
Israeli-American relations are good, and cooperation between Israel and the United States is “very close,” Mrs. Golda Meir, the Foreign Minister, today told the Knesset, Israel’s Parliament, The recent mission here by W. Averell Harriman, President Johnson’s special emissary, “contributed much to mutual understanding,” she declared. She made those statements in the course of a wide-ranging report to Parliament, to which she presented her Ministry’s annual budget.
As to other governments–aside from the U. S. A.–she said, there are both understandings and differences stemming perhaps from divergent opinion on how to attain the mutual purposes of Israel and those states which desire peace in this region. “Our views are not always the same in assessing the dangers,” she stated. She added that Israel feels that greater pressures exerted against aggressiveness would prevent more aggression in this area.
In the Middle East, she affirmed, Israel favors full disarmament under mutual controls. But she urged the powers supplying Egypt’s President Nasser with arms to consider the use to which he would make of those military resources. The Middle East remaining part of the cold war zone enables Nasser to resort to blackmail, she charged. Nasser, she said, is also responsible for the introduction of modern arms into the area, and he is “gambling” on conflicts in various countries to bolster his position.
WARNS ON ARAB MANIPULATIONS; TOUCHES ON GERMAN-ISRAEL RELATIONS
She warned against the “false atmosphere of relaxation” the Arabs are trying to emphasize, “picturing such an atmosphere instead of revealing their real intentions toward Israel, whose extinction they now hope to achieve through long-term plans.”
Stressing the Arab decision to form a “Palestine Liberation Organization,” to be composed of Arab refugees “now living at the expense of the United Nations,” she demanded that each refugee recruit to that army be struck from the relief rolls of the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Agency.
The Israeli Foreign Minister urged nations to deter the Arab states from implementing their scheme to divert the headwaters of the Jordan River. That scheme, she said, is motivated only by the desire “to hurt Israel.” “Israel,” she stressed, “will never allow the sabotage of the Israel water project.”
Regarding the “momentous change” in relations between Israel and West Germany, she said she hoped that all outstanding problems between the two countries would be resolved. She rejected the contention of some Israelis that establishment of diplomatic relations between Jerusalem and Bonn may “make Jews forget the deeds of the Nazis.”
Mentioning the decision by Germany’s Parliament to extend the statute of limitations for the prosecution of war criminals by only four and a half years, she said she was “particularly perturbed” by the German Parliament’s proposal “to divide criminals into varying categories.”
STRESSES ‘GROWING COOPERATION’ WITH FRANCE; REPORTS ON RUSSIA
In the general area of Israel’s relations with other governments, she stressed this country’s “growing cooperation” with France, and greeted Britain’s Labor Government, recalling that government’s statements, promising to do all that is possible to preserve Israel’s independence and to lessen tensions in this region.
As for the Soviet Union, she said that efforts to improve relations are continuing. She said that much progress has been made in the area of cultural relations between the USSR and Israel, and expressed the hope that this progress might be extended also to other spheres. She told the Knesset that “the supply of arms to those wishing to destroy Israel does not tally with the Soviet Union’s declared policy of liking peace.”
The Foreign Minister said the anti-Israel statement issued in Cairo by Walter Ulbricht, East Germany’s chief of state, jointly with Nasser, “denied Israel’s very right to exist.” She deplored “this immoral East German step.”