TEL AVIV (Apr. 7)
Two of Israel’s top government leaders yesterday criticized the Four Power talks on the Middle East now underway in New York, declared that Israel had no choice but to establish and protect secure borders with its neighbors, and reiterated Israel’s refusal to accept any Big Power proposals for a solution that might jeopardize its national existence. Deputy Prime Minister Yigal Allon delivered his remarks in an address to the graduating class at Haifa’s Realschule, one of the country’s oldest high schools. Defense Minister Moshe Dayan spoke at the annual conference of the National Union of Students at the village of Shefayim. Each expressed Israel’s concern that the Big Four talks would result in proposals that would compromise Israel’s security because of the two powers–France and the Soviet Union–are openly pro-Arab.
Mr. Allon described the Four Powers as in actuality two Big Powers and two formerly Big Powers. He said France was using the Mideast talks as a forum to regain lost prestige and asked whether France was a bigger or more influential power than Italy. He said Israel had no quarrel with efforts by the powers to solve all of the world’s major problems provided they did not attempt to revive the “exclusive Big Four club” which, at the Yalta conference, divided the world into spheres of influence “for which the world is still paying a high price.” He observed that the Mideast was “no longer a vacuum but a region populated by independent sovereign states” not subject to the will of outside powers.
Mr. Allon said Israel had no choice but to establish secure borders by founding settlements in the occupied areas it considered essential to its security. He predicted that such borders would in time be agreed upon and recognized by the Arabs.
‘POWDER KEG’ CONCEPT OF MIDEAST IS ‘PURE FICTION’, DAYAN ASSERTS
Gen. Dayan said Israel had no reason to fear Big Four talks because it was strong enough to turn down “proposals whose acceptance would be suicidal.” He said Israel was “in the comfortable position of not having to call on the Big Powers to save us” whereas the Arabs want the Big Four “to achieve for them what they themselves were unable to achieve.” He said the Arabs were depending on the Big Powers to force Israel to retreat without a peace settlement. The return of Israel to the pre-June, 1967 borders coupled with the return of the Arab refugees of 1948 would amount to national suicide for Israel, he declared.
Gen. Dayan vigorously denied the contention by President Richard M. Nixon and other world leaders that the Mideast was a “powder keg” about to explode. He said that view was “pure fiction” even though Egypt was trying to present it as a fact by touching off incidents along the Suez Canal. He said the canal fighting in recent weeks was “strictly a local affair” and observed that Egypt was not likely to start a war it knew it could not win.
Gen. Dayan reiterated his call for action by Israel to establish “facts” in the occupied territories. He urged the establishment of new settlements and proposed the introduction of Israeli law and Israeli currency into the West Bank territories where Jordanian law still applied. He said such steps would create jobs, improve the standard of living and integrate the West Bank with Israel’s economy. But he said Israel should bar the Arab population of the West Bank from moving into Israel or acquiring Israeli citizenship.