JERUSALEM (Aug. 18)
Foreign Minister Abba Eban said today that a possible solution of the Palestine problem might be the creation of a politically separate Palestinian entity. It was the first time Israel’s Foreign Minister said publicly that the idea of a separate Palestinian state was supportable.
Mr. Eban told a Montreal United Jewish Appeal delegation that Israel would not totally debar all the Palestinian Arabs from a separate political destiny. However, he argued against any attempt to delineate Israel’s future borders before peace negotiations with the Arabs. The extent of our control over our own home is no less important than the dimensions of our homeland, he said. That is why most planning for peace in Israel today seeks ways to improve our territorial security without acquiring an Arab population of 1.5 million which would be permanently dissident and totally committed in its deeper loyalties to our neighbors, Mr. Eban said.
Asked about the possibility of Soviet intervention in the Middle East, the Foreign Minister said Russia clearly had reservations over direct involvement in the area. He said he detected a common interest in both the United States and the Soviet Union to prevent the globalization of the Arab-Israeli conflict.