JERUSALEM (Aug. 4)
Officials here say the fight against the Arabs’ plan to oust Israel from the United Nations is by no means over yet–but they cautiously admit to a more hopeful and relaxed feeling than was prevalent here only a week ago. Developments in Helsinki, in Kampala and in Stockholm have demonstrated that if Israel must fight the ouster bid she will not fight alone. They have demonstrated, too, that the Arabs will not have the going as easy as they had perhaps thought–if they do decide to go ahead and press the ouster effort.
At the same time though, political observers here are warning that Western and non-aligned help for Israel against the Arab bid will very probably have its prices: those states rendering this support will make it contingent (at least tacitly) upon greater Israeli “flexibility” in the ongoing interim settlement talks with Egypt.
Israel for its part has tried to keep the two issues (the UN and the talks) separated. Its officials have stated on numerous occasions that the pace of the talks with Egypt is set solely by their content and intrinsic progress, not by extraneous considerations such as the UN ouster effort. At the same time, they add, the implementation of a new agreement, if and when concluded, would inevitably hinge upon the UN developments–since the UN Emergency Force is destined to play a central role in the new settlement.
The implication is that Israel would not move towards implementation if it had been discriminated against at the UN. (This policy is open to the question–which in Kampala took on a practical aspect–of how Israel would act if it were ousted by a UN majority which did not include Egypt. At the meeting of the Organization of African Unity in Kampala, Uganda, a number of nations, including Egypt, opposed a direct call for Israel’s expulsion from the UN.)
SUPPORT MAY HAVE A PRICE
The Israeli policy of separating the two issues, however, is not necessarily adhered to by other states, including Israel’s chief friends. Their support against the ouster bid is seen by some here as based on the assumption that a new Sinai accord will be achieved by further Israeli concessions if necessary.
Meanwhile, however, Jerusalem has naturally been heartened by the Arab failure at Kampala, by the Soviet Union’s indications at Helsinki through such trusty front-men as Gustav Husak, first secretary of the Czechoslovak Communist Party, and by the firm stands taken by the U.S., Canada, and latterly by Western European leaders.
(Husak reportedly was instrumental in getting his country to support the European Economic Community’s declaration last Thursday opposing expulsion or suspension of Israel from the UN. The EEC declaration, which was also reportedly supported by Yugoslavia, was adopted at a meeting held in conjunction with the 35-nation European Security Conference in Helsinki.)
The Arab bid, it seems, will run up against the opposition of the Western and Communist blocs as well as from a number of the more sober non-aligned states.
Premier Yitzhak Rabin, returning from Stockholm yesterday, spoke of a possible shift in Euro-Arab relations as reflected in the strong stand of the European Socialist leaders, whom he had met, against the ouster bid. (See Monday’s Bulletin P.I.)
Other highly placed sources here are less sanguine, Apart from the likely political price to be demanded of Israel later, these sources feel the European stand is less impressive than it perhaps looks at first sight. The Europeans, they say, have conveniently found a moralistic, universalistic motive by which they can support Israel and show a measure of tentative defiance of the Arabs–in the knowledge that the Arab ouster bid has not won respectability in the “Third World” nor is it supported with total enthusiasm even among the entire Moslem bloc.