JERUSALEM (May. 19)
Premier Golda Meir said in the Knesset today that her government continues to reject the Rogers Plan calling for Israel’s return to its pre-June, 1967 boundaries and has made that clear to all U.S. representatives with which it has had contact recently and to United Nations mediator Dr. Gunnar V. Jarring. Mrs. Meir spoke in reply to a question by Mordecai Ben Porat, an MK representing the Labor Alignment. There was no indication when Mrs. Meir would deliver her report to the Knesset on her recent talks in Jerusalem with Secretary of State William P. Rogers and Assistant Secretary Joseph J. Sisco. She had been expected to make the report directly after Rogers’ departure but it was postponed to a later, as yet unannounced date. Mrs. Meir told the Knesset that the Cabinet has never held a discussion on the delineation of Israel’s future borders, nor have any recommendations in that respect been submitted to the Cabinet. From time to time, she said, teams of experts were asked to prepare material on various topics, but not to recommend any particular possibilities. Mrs. Meir replied to a question by Free Center MK Shmuel Tamir, who asked whether reports in a morning newspaper that there were two teams of map-planners headed by Foreign Minister Abba Eban’s personal advisor, Walter Eytan, were correct. She added that it was also untrue that Absorption Minister Natan Peled had suggested to the Cabinet that it hold talks with the American administration on a map of security borders in the Sinai.
Mrs. Meir told the House that during her last trip to the United States there was no discussion about the idea of an Israeli lease of Sharm el-Sheikh. She again denied that Defense Minister Moshe Dayan told Sisco that Israel was prepared to pull its troops 30 kilometers (18.6 miles) from the Suez Canal. The Premier refused to comment on recent press reports alleging that as of this month the U.S. will not fulfill Israel’s request for equipment. Later in the session, Eban told the House that Israel viewed with favor the increased efforts by the U.S. to foster an interim agreement aimed at reopening the canal–which have become apparent since Rogers’ visit to the Middle East. The minister added that he was convinced that Israel and America could surmount their differences and that damage to their relations was not inevitable. Eban stated that there was no American pressure on Israel to agree to the Rogers territorial plan or to return to the pre-Six-Day War borders. Replying to questions on the situation of Soviet Jews, Mrs. Meir said the Israel government was aware of numerous cases of physical injury to Jews who had applied for visas to emigrate to Israel. She said there were also many cases of abusive anonymous letters received by Jews seeking emigration. She said that when complaints were made to the authorities, the Jews were told “we do not deal with anonymous letters.” Mrs. Meir said her government was doing all it could to bring these incidents to the attention of “those who can help.”