JERUSALEM (Mar. 21)
The Israeli government remains undecided as to what the country’s future boundaries with Jordan should be. But the Cabinet as a whole accepts the Allon plan which would return much of the West Bank to Arab rule as a minimum basis for discussion, Premier Golda Meir told newsmen attending the Foreign Press Association luncheon here today.
She said some members of her government are not satisfied with the borders envisaged by the plan and want more territory than would be ceded to Israel were it to become the basis for a future peace settlement with Jordan. The Allon plan calls for the establishment of a string of Israeli strongholds along the West Bank of the Jordan while much of the West Bank hinterland would revert to the Arabs though not necessarily to Jordan.
The plan, proposed more than two years ago, became the focus of public attention in the wake of the proposal by King Hussein of Jordan a week ago to create an Arab federation of the east and west banks of the Jordan with its political center in Amman. Israel has categorically rejected that proposal but officially has proposed no alternative.
FEAR U.S.-USSR DEAL
Israel Galili, a Minister-Without-Portfolio who is a close confidant of Premier Meir, said last night that the Jordan River should mark Israel’s future boundary and that there should be some link between the West Bank and Israel. Galili was the first senior Cabinet minister to state publicly that the Jordan River was Israel’s natural boundary and observers wondered today whether his remarks on a television interview reflected his own opinion or views held in high government circles. In the past, most members of Israel’s government have referred to the Jordan River as a “security boundary” meaning that no foreign troops should be permitted to cross it.
Galili also expressed his apprehension of a possible US-Soviet deal at Israel’s expense. He said that might come about at President Nixon’s forthcoming summit meeting in Moscow inasmuch as the US has never repudiated the Rogers Plan which calls for its return to the pre-June 1967 borders with only minor adjustments. Galili said Israel must make it clear that it will not be satisfied with minor adjustments and would risk a confrontation with Washington if the latter tried to press for a solution along the lines of the Rogers plan.
Asked about Galili’s statements, Mrs. Meir said she did not believe that Nixon would harm Israel’s interests on his Moscow visit. Even if some modus is reached on a basis similar to the Rogers plan, Mrs. Meir said, she did not think the US would agree to any coercive action to en-force it.
Mrs. Meir used the occasion of the Press Association luncheon to deny again a report appearing in Time magazine that she had met privately with King Hussein before he announced his federation proposal. She said she has often expressed her readiness to meet with the Jordanian monarch but she has not met him so far. Mrs. Meir also told the newsmen that she would not agree to serve as Premier following the next national elections next year. She will be 75 by then and noted she deserves a rest.