Israelis Believe Johnson is Rejecting Soviet Mideast Peace Proposals

President Johnson’s reiteration of his five-point Middle East program of June 19, 1967 in his address to the B’nai B’rith convention in Washington on Sept. 10 amounted to a rejection of the latest Soviet proposals for peace in the Middle East, according to authoritative sources here today. They said that Mr. Johnson knew of the Soviet proposals before he spoke, although it may have been too late for him to incorporate a reference to them in his speech. By repeating his own formula, these sources said, Mr. Johnson indicated that he did not consider the Russian proposals as a basis for a solution. They added that the announcement that the State Department was studying the Soviet plan probably meant that the United States was working out a reply. Even if the present Soviet proposals are rejected, it is believed here, the United States will not abandon its dialogue with the Soviet Union.

(A Washington correspondent of the Christian Science Monitor said today that Washington’s initial reaction to the Moscow plan was that the Soviet Union was not trying to block or spoil the peace mission of United Nations envoy Dr. Gunnar V. Jarring. He said the plan was essentially “a reinterpretation” of the Security Council’s Nov. 22, 1967 resolution. He said the Russians interpreted the resolution to mean a “step-by-step” procedure beginning with an Israeli withdrawal from the occupied territories, while the United States position was that the “three sections of the resolution are interrelated and balanced. They are a package.”)

(Foreign Minister Abba S. Eban, who arrived in New York yesterday to participate in the general debate in the United Nations General Assembly, was scheduled to meet this afternoon with Secretary of State Dean Rusk. He was expected to outline to Mr. Rusk details of the Israeli proposals for a Mideast settlement which he reportedly will present before the General Assembly. Israeli spokesmen denied agency reports that Mr. Eban would get involved in the territorial details of a proposed settlement when he addresses the Assembly and said he would deal with the principles of peace.)

Deputy Prime Minister Yigal Allon returned today from visits to Britain and the United States where he said Israel’s requirements were understood and her peace aspirations supported. He denounced the Soviet peace plan as “worse than the Arabs’ demands.” He warned that the Soviet naval build-up in the Mediterranean posed a threat to the entire area.

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