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Israel Taking Steps to Counter Jordan-inspired Debate in Security Council

United States and Jordanian diplomats are trying to hammer out a formula acceptable to both sides in the Security Council’s debate on Jerusalem which is expected to begin at Jordan’s request on Sept. 7, it was learned from reliable sources here today Israel has made it clear to American diplomats that it will not admit any delegation or commission sent on behalf of the Security Council to investigate the situation in Jerusalem. According to the sources, the Americans assume that Secretary General U Thant will be asked again to report on the situation as he has done on previous occasions. Their efforts are believed to be directed toward convincing Jordan to agree to such a course, the sources said. Israel has rejected the idea of a debate on Jerusalem in the Security Council at this time but can do nothing to prevent it. Israeli diplomats have emphasized their view that such a debate would hinder the progress of any negotiations with the Arab states on a final agreement or even a partial agreement to reopen the Suez Canal. The Israelis do not conceal the fact that they are displeased by what they consider to be a lack of forceful efforts by the U.S. to head off the debate. The Israelis believe that Washington exerts considerable influence with the Amman government. According to informed sources. Foreign Minister Abba Eban told the senior American diplomat in Israel that Jordan’s own interests would not be served by calling for a debate. The sources said that Eban’s remarks to J. Owen Zurhellen Jr., who is substituting for vacationing Ambassador Walworth Barbour, were made in the hope that the U.S. could still convince Jordan to change its plans.

Israel, however, is taking diplomatic measures on the assumption that the debate on Jerusalem cannot be averted. Israeli Ambassadors and other high ranking diplomatic officials are being sent on “special missions” abroad to generate support for Israel’s position both in the Security Council and at the fall session of the UN General Assembly which opens in New York Sept. 31. Deputy Premier Yigal Allon will go to Norway and Sweden next week on such a mission. The Israelis meanwhile are preparing a powerful counter-offensive against Jordan in the Security Council debate. It is based on Israeli charges of atrocities and desecrations in East Jerusalem during the 19 years of Jordanian occupation. Israel will charge that during those years the Jordanian regime kept the Holy City “Judenrein”, the Nazi term meaning froe of Jews, in retaliation to Jordanian charges that Israel is “Judaizing” East Jerusalem at the expense of its Arab inhabitants. Unrelated directly to the Security Council debate but nevertheless endangering Middle East peace prospects as the Israelis see it, is the continuing delay by the Nixon Administration in responding to Israel’s request for more military aid, especially F-4 Phantom jets. The Israelis claim that the supersonic warplanes are needed to counter the heavy shipment of Soviet combat aircraft and pilots to Egypt.

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