LONDON (Jun. 15)
Premier Golda Meir, who once served as Israel’s Ambassador to Moscow, lashed out at Soviet Russia today as the instigator of the Six-Day War whose weapons killed Israeli soldiers during that conflict and are still killing them two years later. Mrs. Meir, here on a six-day unofficial visit, addressed the Board of Deputies of British Jews.
Her indictment of the Soviet Union was made in the course of a speech in which she explained why Israel opposed the Four Power talks on the Middle East and was prepared to discuss diplomatic differences with friendly powers even if Israel’s image abroad suffered as a consequence.
“Russia is among the Four Powers.” she said, “and it is common knowledge that the Six-Day War would not have happened but for Russia. Every Israeli boy that was killed in the war was killed with Russian weapons and every Israeli boy that is killed now is killed with Russian weapons. We do not accept Soviet Russia as a neutral arbitrator.”
Mrs. Meir came to England last week to address the conference of the Socialist International which opens at Eastbourne tomorrow. President Nasser, whose Arab Socialist Union is not a member of the International, is sending an observer to the conference. Officials here said it was highly unlikely that there would be any personal contact between him and Mrs. Meir. But she will meet again at Eastbourne with British Premier Harold Wilson. It will be the second meeting between the two since Mrs. Meir arrived in London.
In an address to the Foreign Press Association here, Mrs, Meir dismissed Big Four and American-Soviet efforts to find a Middle East settlement as making no contribution to peace because they only shifted the burden from Arab shoulders. She rejected the argument that the Arab states have accepted the UN Security Council’s Nov. 22, 1967 Mideast resolution as the basis for a settlement. She said President Nasser accepted only the Arab interpretation which was unconditional Israeli withdrawal from the occupied territories without firm assurances that peace would follow.
At this and other forums, Mrs. Meir reiterated Israel’s fear that the Four Powers were preparing to impose a settlement inimical to Israel’s security. She said Israel suspected that the U.S. might be maneuvered into agreeing to concessions at Israel’s expense in return for Soviet moves in Vietnam and strategic arms limitation. Mrs. Meir said Britain was a friend of both Israel and the Arab states but there was no acrimony between London and Jerusalem.
(As the Socialist International, an association composed of 51 world Socialist parties, prepared to hold its first major congress since one in 1966 in Stockholm, the International’s chairman, Bruno Pitterman, said it pledged support to UN Mideast peace envoy, Dr. Gunnar V. Jarring. The former Austrian Vice Chancellor urged “directly negotiated peace treaties between Israel and the Arab states, incorporating as basic factors the right of Israel to exist as a sovereign state, freedom of navigation in the area and the final solution of the (Arab) refugee problem.”)