Eban Tells Cabinet of Efforts to Explain Israeli Position to Washington

Foreign Minister Abba Eban described to the Israel Cabinet today the efforts by Israel’s representatives in the United States to explain this country’s misgivings over recent American proposals for a Middle East settlement. Israel is concerned that the United States proposals for settlement of conflicts between Israel and Egypt, and the more recent proposals for resolution of the Israeli-Jordanian conflict signified a new American trend toward disengagement.

In Washington, the Israel Embassy issued a policy statement that rejected the American proposals as “an unwitting prescription for the disintegration of Israel.” The statement accused the United States of an “abrupt reversal” on the principle of direct negotiations, and charged that “U.S. policy, as unfolding now, comes close to the advocacy and development of an imposed settlement.”

It declared that Israel remained “adamant in the view that a lasting peace is feasible only if the Arab governments show a readiness to negotiate their differences with Israel.” It said that “there can be little left to negotiate once outside powers virtually decide on each and every item for solution.”

The statement, which criticized the American proposals in detail, asserted that “the Arab governments cannot but take courage from the U.S. stand, viewing as they must the concessions as a gesture of appeasement and as a license for further diplomatic and military escalation against Israel.”

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