Mrs. Meir, Opening Knesset, Reiterates Israel’s Demands for Direct Negotiations
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Mrs. Meir, Opening Knesset, Reiterates Israel’s Demands for Direct Negotiations

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Premier Golda Meir today vehemently rejected any Middle East settlement that falls short of Israel’s demands for a directly negotiated peace treaty with the Arab states. She scored the “maneuvers” of outside parties which, she said, put forth all sorts of schemes but did not demand of the Arab rulers “that they make peace with Israel peace pure and simple… such as exists between most nations of the world.”

Mrs. Meir addressed the opening of the summer session of the sixth Knesset, its last before the general elections next fall. Her speech, in which she listed in some detail what Israel thinks a peace treaty with the Arabs must include, had prior approval of the Cabinet and represented a statement of policy of the coalition Government.

Mrs. Meir dismissed as “dust in the eyes of the world” the professions of Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser that he accepted the Security Council’s November, 1967 resolution as a basis for Middle East peace and the peace proposals enunciated by King Hussein of Jordan during his visit to Washington last month. She warned the Jordanian ruler to halt Arab guerrilla raids across the border or face reprisal. She told Egypt that Israel would continue to fortify the cease-fire lines on the Suez Canal because they are Israel’s “best guarantees.”

Mrs. Meir said, “We have been witnessing many types of maneuvers in the discussion of a solution to the conflict in the area. They were designed to find means of avoiding peace treaties. We have heard talk of so-called peaceful settlements. There are some who are content with every state declaring its peaceful intentions and others who will be satisfied with a declaration terminating the state of belligerency. There are reflections on demilitarized zones, on guarantees and on all types of arrangements and intentions–all this without demanding of the Arab rulers that they make peace with Israel,” Mrs. Meir said.

“The statesmen and formulators of public opinion must not become accustomed to the Arab refusal of peace,” Mrs. Meir continued. “Nor must they regard every unbinding statement by one Arab leader or another about a cessation of belligerency and so forth as a manifestation of moderation and acts of charity toward Israel.”

Mrs. Meir said proposals were now being made that were unacceptable to Israel because they did not satisfy its demand for a full and genuine peace treaty. “It is possible that in our struggle for peace we shall face our most severe political test,” she said, “but we shall not give our consent to illusory and ephemeral solutions.” She spelled out Israel’s interpretation of peace.

“Peace must be expressed in signed peace treaties between Israel and each of the neighboring states,” she said. “The governments of the region and not external factors are responsible for working out and drafting peace treaties. The peace treaties must include agreement on secure and recognized boundaries. They must annul claims of belligerency, blockades, boycotts, interference with free navigation and the existence and activity of organizations or groups engaged in preparing or executing sabotage operations from bases and training camps on the territories of states signatory to the peace treaty. No state will sign a treaty with any other state aimed against a neighbor which is a co-signatory to the peace treaty.” Mrs. Meir added that “within the framework of peace, we must strive for a system of relations based on wide regional cooperation for the development and prosperity of the Middle East.”

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