WASHINGTON (Oct. 13)
A transcript of Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger’s testimony on the issue of American technicians in the Middle East before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee shows he spoke both of a “Palestinian state” and “autonomy” under specified circumstances. His remarks have come under fire in Israel as having endorsed the concept of a Palestinian state.
In the public hearing Oct. 7, Sen. Charles Percy (R.Ill.) said that “if the Palestinians accepted Israel’s right to exist, defensible borders, sovereignty and the right to live in peace.” would Kissinger “think there would be a desire by the Israelis to move forward in negotiations for a Palestinian state, let us say, on the West Bank?”
According to the Senate committee’s transcript, Kissinger replied: “Well, I do not want to live so dangerously as to speak for the Israeli government but I can conceive circumstances in which, if the question of who governs in that state is satisfactorily settled, then a large degree of autonomy could be agreed upon but we have never had any formal talks with Israel on this precise question and, therefore, I would be reluctant to speak, to give an assessment of what the conclusion of the Israeli Cabinet might be.