Eban: Israel’s Future Boundaries Must Be Drawn Up in Direct Talks with Arabs
Menu JTA Search

Eban: Israel’s Future Boundaries Must Be Drawn Up in Direct Talks with Arabs

Download PDF for this date

Israeli Foreign Minister Abba Eban declared last night that Israel’s future boundaries must be drawn with “utmost craftsmanship and precision,” and in direct negotiations with her Arab opponents, so as to ensure that there can be no repetition of the surprise invasion by Syria and Egypt last month. Addressing the 1700 delegates at the biennial convention of the United Synagogue of America at the Concord Hotel here, Eban said, “The Arab failure was not Israel’s triumph unless it can be translated into a solid prospect that the war of 1973 was the last of Israel’s wars.”

He said that immediately prior to the Invasion, he and U.S. Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger had been discussing the necessary machinery to allow “a process of negotiations” between the Arab states and Israel. “Let us put out of our minds,” he said, “the illusion that the Arabs had no other course that day but war.” A second illusion, he said, was that the war “was not a matter of Israel’s survival, but merely a territorial dispute,” a classic attempt to alter or restore boundaries. He characterized the two claims as “utter nonsense.”

He referred to “the solitude” of Israel’s responsibilities and stated that no one outside of Israel was prepared to “risk life or blood on Israel’s behalf.” He praised the courage of the U.S. government for its support during and since the Yom Kippur invasion.


Earlier in the day, addressing some 200 members of the Israeli delegations in New York, Eban said that the Jewish State has to draw three major lessons from the Yom Kippur War: the lesson of security; the lesson of peace, which Israel has to strive for constantly; and the lesson of unity. Speaking at the Israeli Consulate during a memorial service for the Israeli soldiers who died in the war, Eban called on all Israelis to unite “without hatred and strife” without forgetting what he termed the “inner account.”

Opening the memorial service, Israel Consul General David Rivlin, said: “We are joining our tears with the tears of the bereaved children, parents and wives. We will carry their memory with, us forever.” Cantor Zvi Aroni recited the El Moleh Rachamim. Nissim Zohar and Azaia Rap-aport of the Consulate eulogized the fallen soldiers by reading Hebrew poetry.

This afternoon Eban met with UN Secretary General Kurt Waldheim to discuss the current Mideast situation, including the problem of Israeli POWs in Syria, and the operation of UNEF in view of the incidents this week between it and the Israelis over the control of checkpoints. This was a continuation of the talks the two diplomats held last Saturday, according to a spokesman for the Israel Mission to the UN.

Early next week Eban is scheduled to-go-to Washington for consultations with Israeli Embassy officials on the next steps in the peace effort in the Middle East. During the weekend he will address Jewish audiences in Los Angeles and San Francisco. Tonight he is addressing a meeting of the Greater New York United Jewish Appeal at the New York Hilton Hotel.

Founding Funders

The digitization of the JTA Archive would not have been possible without the generous support of the following donors:
  • The Gottesman Fund
  • Righteous Persons Foundation
  • Charles H. Revson Foundation
  • Elisa Spungen Bildner and Robert Bildner, in honor of Norma Spungen
  • George S. Blumenthal
  • Grace and Scott Offen Charitable Fund