JERUSALEM (Nov. 23)
The Arab summit conference in Rabat, Morocco in December can be expected to decide on nothing less than open war with Israel, Foreign Minister Abba Eban told the Israeli Cabinet today. The parley will probably discuss military tactics and timetables rather than the principle of peace, which President Gamal Abdel Nasser of Egypt has officially renounced, Mr. Eban said.
Mr. Eban also told the Cabinet that he had again expressed Israel’s opposition to the current American-Soviet bilateral negotiations, and to four power talks, in a discussion last week with British Ambassador Ernest J.W. Barnes. Meetings between Mr. Eban and ambassadors of the United States and France are also slated, he said.
On another issue, Mr. Eban noted that most of the nations which voted last Thursday for the United Nations General Assembly’s Social, Humanitarian and Cultural Committee resolution condemning Israeli “collective punishment” policies were Arab and Communist.
The committee’s 51 to 11 vote condemned the destruction of homes and deportation of Arab inhabitants of the occupied territories and called upon Israel to desist from the alleged repressive measures taken in reprisal for Arab terrorism. Mr. Eban noted that most of the 51 states have no diplomatic ties with Israel and that their number was smaller than that voting last year for a similar measure.
Mr. Eban noted that the 50 abstainers included the United States and many Western European friends of Israel. He reportedly expressed hope that the resolution would be defeated when it comes up for confirmation in the General Assembly where a two-thirds vote is needed to have the resolution passed and included in the record.
Foreign Ministry circles have noted that the resolution, co-sponsored by India, Pakistan, Yugoslavia, Guinea and The Congo (Brazzaville), contained the word “reported” in describing “repressive practices and policies” because no impartial agency had found the allegations to be grounded on fact.
The sources also observed that the resolution ignored completely the plight of Jews in Arab countries which have barred any UN investigation of the Jews’ condition. The aim of the resolution’s sponsors was patently political and not humanitarian, the sources said.
(In abstaining, U.S. delegate Mrs. Rita Hauser criticized the measure for disregarding the violations of rights of Jews living in Syria and Iraq. Last year the U.S. voted against a similar measure but this year shifted its position because of reports of alleged Israeli mass arrests and deportations.)
A spokesman for Mr. Eban’s ministry meanwhile registered “surprise and consternation” over a U.S. State Department spokesman’s statement deploring “collective punishment” by Israel. The ministry stressed that Israel had never applied “collective punishment” in the occupied areas and had no intention of so doing. A term “neighborhood punishment” used by Defense Minister Moshe Dayan in a recent press conference has been mistakenly construed to mean “collective punishment,” the ministry said. The only instances of “collective punishment” are impositions of curfews, whereas “neighborhood punishment” means acts like blowing up houses whose residents or owners had actively aided terrorists, the spokesman declared.