JERUSALEM (Dec. 1)
Israel was badly shaken today by last night’s Security Council resolution. The government called a special session of the Knesset to convene tomorrow to debate the Security Council’s action and specifically its implicit invitation to the PLO to take part in its proceedings.
Official opinion regarding the Council’s action is divided between hard-liners who reportedly want Israel to renounce unilaterally UNDOF and demand its removal from the Golan Heights, and the “doves” who want Israel to reassess its position on the Palestine issue and declare its readiness to negotiate with any Palestinian group that recognizes Israel’s existence and renounces terrorist activities.
The basis of the hard-line approach to the removal of UNDOF is that the linkage of UNDOF to the Palestinian issue was a gross violation of the terms of the 1974 Israeli-Syrian disengagement accord under which UNDOF was established. The doveish view has been promulgated by Avraham Offer, Aharon Yariv and Abba Eban of the Labor Party, Victor Shemtov of Mapam, and Yitzhak Navon, chairman of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Security Committee, who is the only doveish member of the Labor Alignment’s former Rafi faction.
There was considerable bitterness here, mean- while, against the United States which in effect abandoned Israel at the 11th hour at the UN by tacitly accepting Syria’s terms for renewing the UNDOF mandate.
The crucial paragraph of last night’s renewal resolution commits the Security Council “to reconvene on 12 January, 1976 to continue debate on the Middle East problem, including the Palestinian question, taking into account all relevant United Nations resolutions.” The latter include, by implication, the General Assembly’s resolution of Nov. 10 inviting the PLO to participate in all UN sponsored peace forums on the Middle East.
Although the U.S. Ambassador to the UN, Daniel P. Moynihan, stated in advance of the vote that the U.S. considered “relevant” only those Mideast resolutions adopted by the Security Council, that disclaimer was not expected to prevent PLO participation in the Council’s debate.
Moynihan also said that the Council’s supplementary statement made by the Council President Soviet Ambassador Yakov Malik, that the PLO be invited to join the debate in January, did not record a decision of the Council but “merely a summation of the views of some of the members of the Council,” He added that his interpretation of the resolution was that the Council would decide in January whether the Mideast problem included the Palestine question.
That view was reinforced by Malik, who said that it was the “understanding of the majority” of the Security Council that “the representatives of the Palestine Liberation Organization will be invited to participate in the debate” when it is resumed next month. It was agreed to in advance of the vote that Malik would make such a statement in his capacity of Security Council President as a gesture toward Syria’s demand while, at the same time, avoiding any direct reference to the PLO in the text of the UNDOF resolution.
SURRENDER TO BLACKMAIL
Moynihan’s statement was a reiteration of the U.S. position that Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338 were the only ones applicable to Mideast peace negotiations. He also stated that the U.S. ruled out any “transfer” of Mideast negotiations to the Council and did not regard last night’s resolution as affecting in any way the Geneva peace conference set up under the terms of 242 and 338. Moynihan said the U.S. went along with last night’s measure “solely out of deference” to the Security Council’s right to debate any matter.
Israel’s UN Ambassador Chaim Herzog nevertheless termed the Security Council vote “a surrender to Syrian blackmail and Soviet dictates.” A member of the Israeli UN Mission was quoted as saying that his country felt “badly let down” by the U.S. decision to give back-handed recognition to the PLO as a future negotiating partner.
It was learned, meanwhile, that Foreign Minister Yigal Allon cabled Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger last night urging the U.S. not to accede to Syrian pressure. It was initially reported that Kissinger, who was enroute to China with President Ford, did not reply to the message. The Foreign Ministry tonight, however, said that an answer had been received. A spokesman said part of it was “satisfactory” and part of it unsatisfactory. He would not reveal details.
It is believed, however, that the decision to acknowledge the PLO, if only indirectly, as a future negotiating partner was made by Ford and Kissinger aboard the President’s plane enroute to Peking and that Moynihan was instructed accordingly.
CRITICISM OF DINITZ UNWARRANTED
Meanwhile, Israel’s Ambassador Simcha Dinitz was the target of media criticism here today for “vacationing” in Hawaii at a time when the crucial matter of the UNDOF mandate was under debate in the Security Council. In Dinitz’s absence from Washington, Israeli contacts with the U.S. were pursued through a relatively junior member of the Embassy staff. Tonight, however, the Foreign Ministry denied reports that Dinitz had been vacationing in Hawaii. He had gone to Hawaii to attend a fund-raising function there, officials said.