NEW YORK (Feb. 2)
Israel’s Premier Yitzhak Rabin said last night that the responsibility in the peace-making process in the Mideast should be the responsibility of the parties involved in the conflict. “It will be a mistake on the part of Israel as well as the Arabs, to look up to the big powers for a solution,” Rabin warned, emphasizing that “peace should not be imported and imposed from the outside.”
Addressing some 500 Jewish and non-Jewish American community leaders, businessmen and clergymen at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. Rabin reiterated Israel’s call for reconvening of the Geneva peace conference as a way out of the impasse towards a settlement in the Mideast. Israel, Rabin said, is ready to attend the conference without preconditions and is willing to discuss any proposal. But, Rabin said, the conference should reconvene on the same principles and procedure of the original conference two years ago.
Asked about the participation of the PLO in Geneva, as demanded by the Arabs, Rabin pointed out that in the original call for a conference it was ruled that any new participant in the talks must be approved by all the original parties to the conference. He reiterated Israel’s view that the Palestinians could be represented as part of the Jordanian delegation.
NO DIFFERENCES REGARDING PLO
Meeting earlier yesterday with some 300 Jewish leaders from all sections of the country in a briefing session sponsored by the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, Rabin told them that after his week in Washington he was “much more encouraged” by the Ford Administration and Congressional “continued readiness to support Israel” based on an understanding of Israel’s needs.
He said there was “no difference” between the U.S. and Israel in terms of attitude toward the Palestine Liberation Organization and a Palestinian state. He said that as a result of his talks, he believes that the U.S. prefers that the Palestinian issue be decided in negotiations between Israel and Jordan.
Rabin said that Israel seeks a far-reaching settlement with its Arab neighbors, including an end to the state of war between Israel and the Arab states, but that Arab attacks on Egypt for reaching an interim agreement with Israel demonstrate how deep is the refusal by the Arab states to reconcile themselves to the existence of a Jewish State. This refusal to recognize Israel lies at the heart of the Middle East conflict, he said.
ISRAEL ASSURED OF ARMS
Rabin also expressed confidence that Israel’s military needs will be met by the U.S. and that if he was asked if he was satisfied with the talks in Washington. “My answer is positive.”
He said that Israel was assured in a detailed way that it would receive more arms and specific kinds of arms and assistance was agreed upon. He said that Israel didn’t get all it asked but his experience has been that it takes several steps and “we get what we want in the long run.” He said another step toward Israel’s military security had been achieved in the past few days.