Eban Reiterates Israeli Unwillingness to Permit Restoration of Pre-war Conditions

Israel’s Foreign Minister, Abba Eban, said at a press conference Friday that Israel’s intentions must be regarded in the framework of its “obsessions,” which he listed as “resistance” and “deliverance.” He said that a third “obsession” was the memory of the Holocaust. He said Israel would never again return to such a situation, adding that national suicide was not an obligation of international policy. He reiterated that Israel would not allow restoration of the conditions which preceded the outbreak of the 1967 war.

He said there was a substitute for negotiation in achieving Middle East peace and said again that Israel would not allow its future to be written from the outside. “Sovereignty is what exists when a country decides it own conditions for survival,” he said. “There is no peace without negotiations.”

On the issue of Israel’s image in world opinion, he said that before and during the June, 1967 war, world sympathy was shown for Israel but action on its behalf was not displayed. He said that Britain had decided not to sell its Chieftain tanks to Israel but insisted there was no embargo.

He said his scheduled meeting with Secretary of State William P. Rogers on Tuesday would be one in which there would be differences but that the talks would be in a “friendly atmosphere.” He said he planned to ask U.S. officials to use their influence with the Arab countries for direct peace talks with Israel.

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