NEW YORK (Aug. 5)
Israeli Foreign Minister Yigal Allon told a group of American Jewish leaders today that while a new Middle East war is possible it is not inevitable. He said that while preparing for war Israel must also seek to avert a war by political means. Allon’s remarks were made at an off-the-record meeting with members of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations at the Jewish Agency office here Just before his departure for Israel. The Israeli official, who had been in the United States since July 28, reported on his meetings in Washington with Administration and congressional officials.
According to a source, Allon stressed that the United States has no Mideast peace plan and will not try to impose a settlement on Israel. He said his meetings with Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger, Defense Secretary James R. Schlesinger, Treasury Secretary William Simon and Vice-President Gerald Ford had been very good, constructive, useful and fruitful with satisfactory results. Allon reportedly said that “some of these results are already in my pocket” and expressed confidence that the others were being considered favorably.
Allon said that thanks to the special relationship the United States enjoys with Israel, the U.S. is the only power with which all Mideast countries are willing to negotiate. He said the American airlift during the Yom Kippur War convinced the Arabs that the U.S. would not sacrifice Israel and thus opened the way for peace talks. Allon stressed that there was no truth to the rumor that the U.S. had asked Israel to recognize the Palestine Liberation Organization.
U.S. CONCERNED ABOUT SOVIET. SYRIAN JEWS
The Israeli official said he had discussed the issue of Soviet Jews with Kissinger, Ford and Senators Henry M. Jackson (D.Wash.) and Jacob K. Javits (R.NY), among others, and declared that the Administration cares about the fate of Soviet and Syrian Jews.
Asked about the U.S. plan to give Egypt nuclear reactors. Allon reportedly said Israel feels Egypt has not yet exhausted its other power resources but that if the U.S. did not give the reactors other nations would. He said Israel wants to see that stringent safeguards are enforced to prevent the reactors from being used for military purposes.
When he was asked about the National Religious Party Joining Premier Yitzhak Rabin’s coalition government, Allon reportedly said he would like to have the NRP in the government but asked why it had been willing to join former Premier Golda Meir’s Cabinet but then had insisted on different conditions for Joining Rabin’s government. “With all our arrogance and ‘shvitz’ we in Israel are not able to decide religious questions without consulting all streams of Judaism,” a source quoted Allon as saying.
Among those attending the meeting were leaders of the United Jewish Appeal, Israel Bond Organization, National Conference on Soviet Jewry and Writers and Artists for Peace in the Middle East. Earlier in the day Allon met in an off-the-record briefing with editors of major metropolitan dailies in the office of the Israeli Consulate and appeared on the NBC-TV “Today” show.