JERUSALEM (Jan. 4)
Israel reiterated today that it will not take part in the Jan. 12 Security Council debate if the Palestine Liberation Organization is invited to attend. A Cabinet statement warned the Council, the United States and the world that Israel would “oppose and would not acquiesce in” any changes in resolutions 242 and 338.
The statement, drafted by Premier Yitzhak Rabin and approved unanimously by the Cabinet at its weekly meeting, recalled the “memorandum of agreement” signed by the U.S. and Israel in September as part of the Sinai settlement package, and expressed its “belief that the U.S. government would implement in practice those understandings reached in the memorandum– and would oppose any Security Council resolution that contravenes those understandings.”
The understanding, the Cabinet statement noted, had been intended “to advance the prospects of peace, progress and any Security Council resolution contravening them would seriously hit at peace prospects.” Observers saw this as a warning to the U.S. not to stray from or soften its commitments under the September package.
(In Washington, meanwhile, the Ford Administration has called home the American Ambassadors to Israel, Jordan, Egypt and Syria for strategy meetings tomorrow and Tuesday on the United States policy for the Security Council meeting. Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger is expected to discuss the upcoming Mideast debate with Foreign Minister Yigal Allon in Washington Wednesday and Thursday.)
The Israeli Cabinet’s discussion today was centered on Allon’s trip to Washington. Sources present said the discussion was concentrated on the business at hand and did not stray into other issues such as the delicate Palestinian problem. These sources said there would be a fuller political debate, which would embrace this issue, prior to Rabin’s trip to Washington at the end of the month.
UNITED FRONT PRESENTED
Cabinet sources explained to the JTA that all the ministers were interested in presenting as united and determined a front as possible in the face of the Security Council debate. For this reason, the doves did not press their challenge to present policy on the overall Palestinian-PLO question at this Cabinet session.
The Cabinet statement, noting the “urgent need” for progress towards peace, declared Israel was ready to negotiate peace with each of its neighbors without preconditions and called for the reconvening of the Security Council, under its original terms of reference, “to discuss, under an agreed agenda, all the issues requiring solution, in order to achieve a just and lasting peace between the Arab states and Israel.”
The statement cited earlier decisions both of the Cabinet and of the Knesset barring Israel’s participation at the Council session if the PLO is invited to it.