House Witnesses Reject Idea of Palestinian State

Witnesses before the Subcommittee on the Near East of the House Foreign Affairs Committee today did not favor the creation of an independent Palestinian state. Testifying in hearings on the Palestinian Movement in 1971, Paul A. Jureidini of the American Institutes for Research in Kensington, Md, said that he favored some kind of plebiscite in the West Bank area to “start a debate among the Palestinians as to what kind of country they want.” Dr. Amos Perlmutter of the Center for International Affairs of Harvard said that there was “no room for a third state.” He added that “the creation of an entity whose chief spokesmen are the guerrillas would be a source of instability.” Though he could not see a state with the present guerrilla leadership at its head. Perlmutter said that the conservative political leadership could vindicate itself and become viable spokesmen for Palestinian nationalism. The guerrilla movement, he said, “has made a tremendous impact on Palestinian consciousness, but it is a long road yet to structure and sovereignty.” Jureidini told the committee members in attendance, including chairman Lee Hamilton (D., Md) that the Jordanians coexisted with the Palestinian guerrilla movement “as long as there was no viable alternative, political or military, to the Arab-Israeli conflict.” He said that the guerrillas served a “useful purpose” in keeping the cease-fire lines from becoming permanent boundaries, and in kindling international interest.

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