JERUSALEM (Dec. 23)
Premier Golda Meir will make a statement to the Knesset next Monday on American policy toward Israel. A debate will follow. Her statement is expected to be along the lines of yesterday’s Cabinet communique which flatly rejected the latest United States proposals for a settlement between Israel and Egypt and Jordan.
(In New York, the United Nations ambassadors of the Four Powers met this afternoon in their 21st meeting on the Middle East. Today’s meeting was at the home of Ambassador Armand Berard of France)
(At Rabat, a showdown between “moderate” and extremist elements in the Arab summit conference resulted in a demonstrative walkout from the conference by President Nasser of Egypt in apparent protest against the refusal of the oil-rich states to promise the funds he demanded. Mr. Nasser returned to the evening session of the conference which was boycotted in turn by the Iraqi and Syrian delegates.)
Mrs. Meir granted an interview to the New York Times correspondent, James Feron, yesterday, following an emergency session of the Cabinet devoted to the latest U.S. initiatives in the Middle East conflict. Highlights of the interview, broadcast by the Israeli radio today, pictured Mrs. Meir as bitter over what she regarded as a serious erosion of U.S. support for Israel amounting almost to appeasement of the Arabs.
The Prime Minister’s office said today that the broadcast gave an incorrect impression that Mrs. Meir had complained that the Nixon Administration was consulting Israel less than the administration of former President Lyndon B. Johnson. “The Prime Minister made no such comment nor did she draw any comparison whatever between the administrations,” a communique said. Mr. Feron confirmed that the remark attributed to Mrs. Meir was actually his commentary. He wrote: “Mrs. Meir spoke of the stream of proposals that have been presented to the major powers by Washington. Under President Johnson, Israel apparently was consulted beforehand; now it appears that some were submitted as late as 11 weeks after they were presented to the big powers.”
‘DEEP FEELING OF INJUSTICE’ MANIFEST AT CABINET MEETING
In her interview with the Times, Mrs. Meir quoted from successive U.S. formulations on boundaries and on the Arab refugee question which showed a gradual edging away by the Administration from previous positions supporting Israel. Mr. Feron reported that Mrs. Meir told him that at yesterday’s Cabinet meeting “there was a deep feeling of injustice. After all that’s happened, we’re asked to go into something like this, to start all over again as though it was 1948.”
She said the U.S. had submitted 10 or 15 proposals since 1967 while the Russians made only one and have stood by it. “I don’t think its Washington’s intention, but each new proposal encourages the Arabs to increase their military activity across the border. Things are going good for them. They just have to shoot more. How can this lead to peace?” Mrs. Meir asked.
American diplomats here are insisting that there has been no change in the basic policy supporting Israel that the United States has followed since the June, 1967 war. Such assurances are coming from U.S. sources here and abroad, apparently to mollify Israeli bitterness over the latest Middle East peace proposals to emanate from Washington.
The Americans are also giving assurances that the Nixon Administration is earnestly considering Israel’s requests for U.S. military equipment and economic aid. The say that the “balanced” approach enunciated by Secretary of State William P. Rogers on Dec. 9 was necessary to strengthen the hand of moderate Arabs at the Rabat Arab summit conference.