JERUSALEM (Mar. 20)
King Hussein of Jordan was denounced last night by the Egyptian National Assembly for his proposal to create a “United Arab Kingdom” linking the east and west banks of the Jordan River. The plan, which the King announced from Amman last week, has apparently divided West Bank residents, some of whom are condemning it while others say it should not be rejected without a fair hearing.
The Egyptian parliament made no bones about its objections to the plan. After hearing a speech by Foreign Minister Murad Ghaleb who accused Hussein of “chasing illusions instead of fighting against the occupation,” the Assembly adopted a resolution condemning the Hashemite ruler for abetting “colonialism and imperialism.”
The same charges were voiced at a demonstration yesterday by some 300 school children in Nablus who called Hussein a “collaborator with imperialism and Zionism.” The children, obviously echoing their elders, stayed out of their morning classes in large numbers to protest the federation plan. Those who did attend classes heard lectures on “the dangerous dimensions of the Hussein plan.”
But the traditional West Bank leadership has called for a reasonable approach to the plan. It has mounted pressure to convene an area conference to discuss it and possibly to send a delegation to Amman. Two articles yesterday in the East Jerusalem Arabic newspaper, Al Kuds, called on the public to consider the Hussein plan and warned against the traditional habit of rejecting outright any proposed political settlement.
HUSSEIN-MEIR MEETING DENIED
As far as Israel is concerned, the Hussein plan does not represent the offer of a viable political settlement. Premier Golda Meir’s office today denied categorically a report in the current issue of Time magazine that Mrs. Meir met privately with Hussein in advance of his announcement of his federation plan.
Time reported that Deputy Premier Yigal Allon had lengthy talks with Hussein in Amman last Nov. which Mrs. Meir and the King followed with a private meeting “at which they discussed the prerequisites for peace between their nations.”
A statement issued by the Prime Minister’s office said that Mrs. Meir had not met Hussein and that reports that Israel had any prior knowledge of Hussein’s proposals are false. Reliable sources here insisted that Allon has not been to Amman and did not meet with Hussein at any time during the past few months when the details of his federation plan were being worked out.