NEW YORK (Sep. 17)
Israel’s Foreign Minister arrived here yesterday to present his country’s case for Mideast peace before the United Nations General Assembly and hinted at a new approach to the Arab-Israel conflict. Asked by reporters at Kennedy International Airport whether he intended to offer new peace proposals in general debate in the Assembly on Friday. Mr. Eban said, “I don’t intend to repeat past speeches.” But he declined to elaborate.
Whether the presence of foreign ministers from the Arab nations will lend itself to movement toward a peaceful solution hinges upon their willingness to permit “fruitful contacts” rather than engage in “public polemics,” he said. The only avenue for peace is Arab-Israel contact, not American-Soviet bilateral talks which have failed to produce results, Mr. Eban said.
The climate for peace has darkened since last year when he came to address the Assembly, Mr. Eban said, for there has been since then a “new development”–new methods “in the service” of the Arab hostility toward peace as embodied in the Khartoum formula.
He defined this change as the “frenetic” breaking of norms and inhibitions that govern the relations of nations at war as manifested in hijacking of planes, detention of innocent passengers, hangings in Baghdad’s public square, campaigns of religious prejudice and incitement “recalling the Nazis,” the bombing of Israeli buildings in countries not involved in the Mideast conflict, and Arab training of children “to be murderers.” In this connection, he said that the Arab guerrillas’ warfare on Jews is a “lineal descendant ” of the Nazi technique of “killing Jews where they are.”
On the question of Israeli activities aimed at freeing two Israelis still held in Damascus following last month’s hijacking of a Trans-World airliner by terrorists, he said that there have been “more activities than have been published.” He said that efforts were continuing on several levels including those of governments and international civil aviation agencies to free the pair.
Commenting on Syria’s candidacy for a Security Council seat beginning in January. Mr. Eban said that such membership would be consistent with precedent since Algeria now holds a slot on the council. With obvious sarcasm he noted that with Syria on the Council, the Mideast would be represented by a nation that has held kidnapped people on its soil
The Foreign Minister was critical of this week’s Security Council 11-0 vote for a resolution calling upon Israel to refrain from altering the status of Jerusalem. He called the proceedings “farcical” and said he would make Israel’s views known on the Council’s impotence on major questions like the Mideast, the invasion of Czechoslovakia, Biafra war, Vietnam and Jordanian destruction of synagogues.