TEL AVIV (Apr. 4)
Premier Golda Meir responded angrily today to King Hussein’s suggestion that Jerusalem could become an “open city” Jointly administered by Arabs and Israelis. The Jordanian ruler made that point Sunday when he appeared on the NBC “Meet The Press” television program in Washington. Mrs. Meir asserted that “there will be no territorial rights in Jerusalem for Hussein nor a Jordanian flag over Jerusalem.”
If Hussein had any rights in the city “he lost them in the Six-Day War into which he plunged in the expectation of easy gains despite Israel’s message that Jordan would not be harmed if it stayed out of the fight,” Mrs. Meir said. She stressed that Israel had neither the pretension nor the ambition to administer Christian or Moslem holy places in Jerusalem. She denounced Jordan’s 19-year rule over East Jerusalem during which Jews were denied access to the Western Wall and other sacred sites, and Jewish cemeteries were desecrated.
No Maps Drawn
Mrs. Meir reiterated to newsmen that Israel will never return to Its pre-June, 1967 borders and that Israel would continue to establish settlements in the administered territories “according to security needs and development requirements.” She said Israel would continue holding Sharm el-Sheikh, the West Bank and the Golan Heights. At the same time, she stated, no maps have been drawn and Israel is ready at any time to meet the Arabs at the negotiating table without pre-conditions.
Commenting on Israel’s religious problems, Mrs. Meir said that while religion has an important place in the nation’s life, the rabbinical authorities must display greater flexibility in the solution of problems so as not to create an atmosphere of coercion. “I do not believe that halacha (religious law) was intended to cause suffering to people and I call on the religious elements in the country to find the way to coexistence,” she said.