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Mrs. Meir Dissociates Herself from ‘misinterpretations’ of Her Policy Speech

Premier Golda Meir is walking a narrow line between the “doves” and “hawks” in her government. Yesterday she dissociated herself from what she described as several “misinterpretations” of the policy speech she delivered in the Knesset last week. That speech was hailed by the “doves” as heralding a less militant stand on the part of the government. It irked the hawkish Gahal (Herut-Liberal) faction which refused to endorse the speech. The section that bothered Gahal was one that in effect accepted the United Nations Security Council’s Nov. 22, 1967 Mideast resolution that calls for Israeli withdrawal from the occupied Arab territories in exchange for peace undertakings by the Arabs. Mrs. Meir also said that the establishment of Jewish settlements in the occupied areas did not mean laying down “irrevocable conditions” prior to peace talks with the Arabs.

Mrs. Meir did not dissociate herself from either of those remarks. But she did deny that she had implied that Israel would take the initiative to have the UN’s special peace envoy, Ambassador Gunnar V. Jarring, resume his mission in the Mideast. Nevertheless. Mrs. Meir made it clear that Israel would cooperate with Dr. Jarring should he decide to resume his peace-seeking task. Observers here noted that the question of Dr. Jarring’s mission is much less critical than the issue of the Security Council’s resolution. Mrs. Meir did not say directly that Israel accepts the resolution but she rejected Arab charges that Israel opposes it. She referred to a 1968 statement by Israel’s UN envoy. Ambassador Yosef Tekoah that Israel accepted the resolution. Ambassador Tekoah’s statement is given much greater weight here now that the Knesset has endorsed Mrs. Meir’s speech in which she referred to it.

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