JERUSALEM (May. 14)
Former Foreign Minister Abba Eban presented last night a 15-point peace plan, including a delineation of Israel’s future borders, which he said the government should propose without delay. Foreign Minister Yigal Allon said an overall settlement was only one of the options facing Israel at present and ruled out Eban’s suggestion that Israel map its final borders before negotiations with the Arabs begin.
Both diplomats stated their views at a meeting of the Labor Alignment’s Knesset faction. The meeting, surprisingly, was devoid of polemics. Eban, who has come under bitter criticism from Premier Yitzhak Rabin and other Labor Party leaders for his public criticism of the government’s policies during the recent bilateral talks with Egypt conducted by Secretary of State Henry A, Kissinger, asked, “Is it not possible for a man sincerely to believe that the situation is serious and sincerely to propose ways to remedy it?”
His peace plan envisaged an Israel withdrawal from the bulk of the Arab territories occupied since the June, 1967 Six-Day. War but recognized the need for a continued Israeli presence in “tactically significant” areas such as the Golan Heights and Sharm el-Sheikh and the permanent status of Jerusalem as a unified city and the nation’s capital.
ELEMENTS IN PEACE PLAN
Other points of the Eban peace plan were: a full-fledged peace treaty embodying the political recognition of Israel and an end to the state of war; an end to hostile actions by irregulars; iron-clad demilitarization arrangements; provisions for the maritime rights of all parties; an end to economic warfare; an end to hostile propaganda; free traffic of foreign tourists between countries.
Also, trade ties, cultural relations and the establishment of diplomatic relations to be implemented gradually; regional cooperation; an end to political harassment in international forums; mutual compensation for Arab refugees and Jewish refugees from Arab lands; open borders, especially within the boundaries of Mandatory Palestine.
Eban said there was no contradiction between such an overall peace plan and efforts to achieve a step-by-step settlement. Allon said he did not rule out additional interim agreements and that war was not necessarily unavoidable.
But he insisted that Israel could not lay out a map of future frontiers beforehand when those frontiers will be items for negotiations. Allon said he also did not rule out a mutual defense agreement between Israel “and her friends.” However, he added, “guarantees cannot serve as a substitute for an independent defense capacity.”