HELSINKI (May. 27)
After two days of heated debate, and despite Soviet pressures from the sidelines, the Socialist International adopted a pro-Israeli resolution today. It called for maintenance of the arms balance in the Middle East in light of Soviet shipments to Egypt and Syria and recommended direct Israeli-Arab negotiations. Finland, which invited two Egyptian observers and supported the Soviet line throughout the debate, voted against the arms-balance section and abstained with Sweden on the direct-negotiations plank. The Socialist measure also called for strict observance of the American-initiated cease-fire, which officially expired March 7, and full support for United Nations Security Council Resolution 242. Earlier, Israeli Premier Golda Meir received a very friendly reception from the convention after delivering a keynote address. She stated that “the Jewish people will not accept an interim arrangement for the reopening of the Suez Canal which would result in a return of the Egyptian Army and the Soviet missiles to the east bank of the waterway and in the diminishing of the security of the State of Israel.”
She charged that Egyptian President Anwar Sadat’s talk of peace was actually “a step towards the elimination of Israel.” Mrs. Meir also rejected again an imposed settlement. “The big powers have proved in the past quite unable to defend Israel,” she declared. “The UN turned out entirely ineffectual in 1948 as well as in 1967. Israel can only rely on her own strength, and she is not going to entrust her fate to the Security Council.” Mrs. Meir added: “Guarantees have proved useless too. Remember de Gaulle–he let us down in the hour of our greatest danger.” The Israeli Premier said it was “astonishing to reflect that in this day and age, in 1971, the big powers still believe that they could decide on the fate of other nations.” She said Israel would continue to support the Jarring negotiations without precondition. Sharing the platform with Mrs. Meir were West German Chancellor Willy Brandt, Austrian Prime Minister Bruno Kreisky, Swedish Prime Minister Olaf Palme, Norwegian Prime Minister Trygve Brattelie and former British Prime Minister Harold Wilson.