JERUSALEM (Jan. 14)
Foreign Minister Yigal Allon warned the Security Council today not to tamper with Resolutions 242 and 338 during its current Middle East debate. He also said that he favored reconvening the Geneva conference and insisted that the possibility of resolving the Palestinian question within the framework of negotiations with King Hussein of Jordan “is not yet exhausted” even though the Arabs designated the PLO as the sole representative of the Palestinians at their Rabat summit meeting in 1974.
Allon spoke in the Knesset in response to agenda motions by Likud and the independent Liberal Party to hold a full-scale debate on the Security Council sessions which Israel is boycotting because of the PLO’s presence. The Foreign Minister agreed that a debate should be placed on the agenda and most of the coalition and opposition voted to hold one, probably next week.
He stressed that if the two key resolutions establishing the framework of Middle East peace talks were altered in any way, Israel would have to reconsider its acceptance of them. He said that during his talks with Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger and other U.S. officials in Washington last week it was agreed that the resolutions in their original form constituted “the sole and exclusive basis for the reconvening of the Geneva peace conference.”
DOES NOT EXPECT SURPRISES
Allon said the U.S. had promised to consult with Israel during the course of the Security Council debate. “We do not expect surprises,” Allon said, “but there could be land mines which we shall have to deal with the way one deals with land mines.” He did not elaborate on that reference.
Allon said he favored reconvening the Geneva conference on its original terms although Israel has not yet formally applied for this but has repeatedly stated its position in favor of resuming the Geneva talks. His remarks appeared to be at variance with those made last night by Defense Minister Shimon Peres who talked of a revival of the step-by-step approach. (See separate story.) Premier Yitzhak Rabin has also stated that the step-by-step approach is exhausted and that Israel now seeks an overall settlement at Geneva.
The Foreign Minister said that apart from coordinating strategy with the U.S. in advance of the Security Council session, his visit to Washington had contributed to speeding up the delivery of U.S. arms supplies, expedited decisions on some arms not yet approved and created a better understanding on economic aid issues.
DIFFICULTIES OF A ‘JORDANIAN SOLUTION’
Allon was challenged by Likud MK Haim Landau on the feasibility of a “Jordanian solution” to the Palestine problem. “King Hussein is politically dead,” Landau called from the floor. Allon replied with a Talmudic adage, “Do not rejoice at the death of a King for you do not know who will succeed him.” He added, “I do know who will succeed Hussein.” meaning apparently the PLO.
Allon admitted, however, that there were many difficulties in the path of a Jordanian solution since the Rabat summit had shunted Hussein aside as a negotiating spokesman for the Palestinians. But he indicated that Israel should keep trying to initiate talks with the Jordanians, possibly incorporating West Bank Palestinians in the Jordan delegation. He noted that Rabin appeared to support this idea in a recent television interview in the U.S., though admittedly, Hussein himself has not responded.
When Likud leader Menachem Beigin noted that all of the Arabs, including Hussein, have rejected Israel’s compromise proposals, Allon replied that it made all the difference politically whether Israel was seen by its friends abroad to be intransigent and negative or whether it was the Arabs who rejected reasonable proposals by Israel that were aimed at security for Israel and self-expression for the Palestinians within the context of an Israel-Jordan settlement.