JERUSALEM (Dec. 3)
The United States is actively cooperating with Israel in a diplomatic campaign aimed against the Egyptian inspired resolution in the United Nations General Assembly calling for sanctions against Israel, Israeli officials disclosed today. They said the U.S. was alerting friendly capitals around the world to the dangers inherent in the measure and that Washington fully endorses Israel’s position that the proposed draft resolution could wreck any progress toward a Middle East peace settlement.
The resolution, submitted by a pro-Arab bloc, demands Israel’s immediate, unconditional withdrawal from all of the occupied Arab territories and recommends sanctions should Israel refuse. Israeli diplomats are pointing out that the draft runs counter to the Security Council’s Resolution 242 which does not call for an Israeli withdrawal in advance of a peace settlement. Israel has made it clear that any resolution that has the effect of re-interpreting 242 would lead to Israel’s renunciation of its support for that resolution adopted on Nov. 22,1967.
Such a warning was submitted last week to Ambassador Gunnar V. Jarring at the UN by Israeli Ambassador Yosef Tekoah, and is believed to have been conveyed to the U.S. by Ephraim Evron, head of the Foreign Ministry’s North American section, at a meeting Friday with Jack Button, Counsellor at the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv. Foreign Minister Abba Eban told the Netherlands Ambassador, Gerrit Jan Jongejans, last Thursday that Israel could not continue to support Resolution 242 if there were any changes in its interpretation.
The Netherlands was singled out because its Foreign Minister, Norbert Schmeltzer, is serving this month as chairman of the Council of Ministers of the nine European Common Market countries. The latter are a prime target of the Arab campaign and some of the countries are reportedly inclined to support the Egyptian-inspired draft.
Observers here believe the West European nations will attempt to introduce modifications to the resolution making it less extreme. It is believed here that the Egyptians will go along with these changes in order to garner maximum support among the Western nations and from Latin America and Africa. Israeli officials say that without the support of the Western powers, primarily the U.S., the anti-Israel resolution will be meaningless even if it is adopted by the General Assembly.