GENEVA (Jun. 23)
An Israeli official told a Christian group here today that Israel would negotiate with authorized Palestinian representatives should they ever emerge “but never with a representation which projects the fulfilment of Palestine Arab destiny in the vitiation of the existence, sovereignty and character of the Jewish State.” Dr. Jacob Herzog, director general of the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem addressed a luncheon of the World Council of Church’s international affairs committee. The World Council is a body composed of Protestant and Eastern Orthodox denominations. Dr. Herzog said that in certain church circles there was a misunderstanding of Israel’s attitude toward Palestinian Arabs. He noted that “The Palestine Arabs did not assert a national entity either in 1922, the time of the partition of the original mandated area, or in 1947 when a further partition of the already diminished mandatory area took place, this time under a United Nations resolution.” Dr. Herzog said the failure of the Arabs to force Israel’s withdrawal from the occupied territories without a prior peace settlement had deepened the divisions in the Arab world. He said there was no longer unanimity among Arabs about Israel being a “temporary phenomenon.” Dr. Herzog said that everyone concerned with the welfare of the Middle East peoples were obligated to encourage realism by supporting negotiations between the parties directly concerned.