Eban Reiterates Opposition to Four Power Talks, Fears Israel Cannot Benefit

Foreign Minister Abba Eban reiterated in Israel’s Parliament today his lack of faith in the Four Power talks currently proceeding at the United Nations in New York and his fear that they will produce a settlement proposal harmful to Israel. Replying to a question in the Knesset, Mr. Eban said that whatever the Four Powers decided could not be for the good of Israel since the talks had been initiated by the Soviet Union, the major supporter of the Arabs.

Foreign Ministry officials said tonight that they had no knowledge confirming press reports that the Four Powers were on the verge of drawing up new terms of reference for Dr. Gunnar V. Jarring, the United Nations special envoy for the Middle East. Dr. Jarring’s efforts to get the Arab states and Israel to negotiate a settlement were temporarily shelved when the Big Four began their talks. According to press reports, the representatives of the Big Four had failed to reach agreement on the basic issues and were therefore drafting new recommendations for Dr. Jarring which would leave resolution of the major issues to the countries of the region.

Ambassador Yitzhak Rabin was expected to return from Washington shortly for consultations, it was learned today. Moshe Bitan, assistant director-general of the Foreign Ministry, who has been in the United States for some weeks, was expected to return with him.

(In Washington, former Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey told a United Jewish Appeal yesterday that he was “amazed at Israel’s restraint” in limiting its reprisals for Arab provocations. He said that Israel had greater need today for help than in June, 1967. He said he would not oppose the Four Power talks on a Mideast peace but warned that “an imposed peace is no peace.” Mr. Humphrey called for Mideast arms control, as well as guaranteed Israeli sovereignty, an equitable boundary settlement and Israeli navigational rights in international waters.

(In Montreal, Lester B. Pearson, former Canadian Prime Minister and a Nobel Peace Prize winner, said yesterday that direct Arab-Israel negotiations constituted the best path toward peace. But this procedure, he said, seems “quite impossible” today and the next best approach to direct talks is mediation by UN envoy Jarring and Big Four support of his efforts. Mr. Pearson was honored by the Canadian Society for the Weizmann Institute at a dinner at which it was announced that a chair in protein science at the Institute in Rehovot had been named for him.

(A peace settlement, Mr. Pearson said, must give Israel security within acceptable boundaries and contain an explicit and formal recognition of her existence as a sovereign state. “Until her right to exist is recognized by her neighbors, there can be no peace that means anything more than an uneasy truce–and perhaps not even that,” he said. Mr. Pearson is now chairman of the International Commission on Development of the World Bank. He won the Nobel Prize in 1957 for his efforts to bring peace to the Mideast, including establishment of the UN Emergency Force, following the Sinai War.

(In New York, Rep. John B. Anderson, Illinois Republican, who is chairman of the House Republican Conference Committee, expressed opposition to an imposed Mideast settlement by the Big Four, declaring that their talks merely provided the Arabs with an excuse to avoid direct talks with Israel for peace. He also told the annual New York Metropolitan Assembly of the Zionist Organization of America that a lasting peace requires full U.S. support for “a contractual peace settlement freely and sincerely entered into by both the Arabs and Israelis.”

(Rep. Anderson, who is also second ranking member of the House Rules Committee, said neither the parties involved nor the world could “afford a continuation of the fragile and explosive arrangement that has brought us to the brink of World War III in the past 20 years.” He described as “not negotiable” the central issue of “unreserved recognition by the Arabs of Israel’s sovereignty and territory.”)

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