Israeli Press Emphasizes Need for Unity and for Collective Responsibility

Editorials in the Israeli press today emphasized the necessity for unity. Davar, the Histadrut paper, said a Gahal split “would be an uncalled for and purposeless move.” adding, “At this early stage of the American peace initiative there are no grounds for breaking the national unity framework. On the contrary, there is every reason for collective responsibility, Haaretz, which Is non-partisan, said there was “no Justification” for splitting the coalition “at this time.” Although, it said, “most cabinet ministers are unhappy with the dilemma facing the government, nor do they believe that an affirmative reply to the Rogers plan would lead to a settlement.” nevertheless “the Ministers realize that tactical considerations now necessitate an essentially positive response.” Haaretz added: “As long as it is clear to the government where it is headed, there is no point in depriving It of freedom to maneuver.”

Hatzofeh (NRP) stated: “Agreement at this stage to the Rogers plan is far from being the end of the road in the struggle for peace. All indications are that this is merely the beginning of a new and continuous struggle. It is therefore incumbent upon Israel to retain the national unity achieved with such difficulty on the eve of the Six-Day War.” Al Hamishmar, representing leftist Mapam thought, declared that “precedence must be given to true concern for Israel’s security and her standing among nations.” Hamodia (Agudat Israel) warned that “political definitions must not be allowed to create the impression that it Is Israel who is blocking peace.” It added: “Israel desires true peace and must do everything to secure such peace by any means whatsoever, even if one or the other body is dissatisfied.” Omer (Histadrut) said a Gahal defection would be “a grave mistake.” observing, “The adoption of a version which would be a positive reply to the Rogers plan would constitute a diplomatic move aimed at extricating Israel from a difficult diplomatic situation,”

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