JERUSALEM (Apr. 27)
The Cabinet decided today to hold a full-dress “political debate” at a date to be fixed by Premier Yitzhak Rabin. The decision followed pressure from a number of ministers for new political initiatives and for the drafting of an overall Israeli peace plan in advance of Geneva. The ministers held a four-hour “question and observation” session today following Foreign Minister Yigal Allon’s report on his visit to the U.S. last week.
Allon reiterated his feeling that the dialogue with the U.S. had been reopened along less tense lines following his meeting with Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger in Washington. He recalled the statement he and Kissinger read to the press following their meeting in which they promised to try to coordinate the Israeli and U.S. positions.
The official Cabinet decision published today said Rabin and Allon would bring draft resolutions to the “political debate.” Cabinet Secretary Gershon Avner said it was not yet known whether these drafts would concern further possible efforts at a partial settlement or an overall peace scenario to be presented by the Israeli delegates at Geneva.
At the same time, Independent Liberal Party ministers Moshe Kol and Gideon Hausner repeated to the Cabinet today their public urging that Israel begin preparing a peace plan for presentation at Geneva. But Yitzhak Raphael, a minister of the National Religious Party spoke out tonight against either initiative. To present new partial settlement ideas would look like knuckling under to pressures which followed the collapse of last month’s shuttle talks he contended. He also claimed that no overall settlement scenarios likely to be proposed by Israel would be acceptable to the Arabs.