Mayhew Predicts Mideast Balance of Power Will Shift from Israel to Arab Nations

By the mid 1970′s the balance of power in the Middle East will begin to shift toward the Arabs and away from Israel, according to a member of the British Parliament, Christopher Mayhew, who spoke last night at Georgetown University’s Graduate Students Association. Mayhew, one of the strongest pro-Arab spokesmen in the House of Commons, said the only way to settle the Israeli-Arab conflict is for the Big Four powers to bring pressure to bear on Israel. “If there is no pressure, there will be no settlement,” he said. Mr. Mayhew noted that prospects for peace would improve if only the big powers would refuse to provide additional military aid to countries of the area. Mr. Mayhew also proposed an improved security system for Israel. He called for Israeli withdrawal from the occupied territories, but proposed “a demilitarized zone 10 miles wide, which could be established by the United Nations and patrolled by British and French forces.”

The Israelis “have shown little interest in this proposal,” Mr. Mayhew said, “since they have no intention of withdrawing to their own frontier. This attitude seems rash to the point of being suicidal.” He warned that the U.S. will face a serious dilemma unless a settlement is reached in the foreseeable future. “What will be the reaction of Americans if Israel begins losing ground?” he asked. “Intervention is unthinkable today. But 15 years ago. U.S. intervention in Vietnam was unthinkable. It seemed then that military aid and advice would be sufficient, but now I am beginning to see an uneasy resemblance between the Middle East and the Vietnam situation.”

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