Tekoah: End-of-war Proposal Tests Arab Intentions for Final Peace

Yosef Tekoah, former Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations, declared yesterday that Israel’s proposal for an end to belligerency with the Arab states is a test of Arab intentions towards entering into a final peace agreement with the Jewish State. Tekoah addressed the quarterly meeting of the national executive committee of the Zionist Organization of America after Dr. Joseph P. Sternstein. ZOA president, denounced the U.S. government’s intention of supplying military equipment to Egypt as “a Machiavellian stance completely without moral justification.”

Discussing the proposal for a non-belligerency accord between Israel and its Arab neighbors. Tekoah said that although Israel is ready to renew the Geneva conference, the non-belligerency proposal would test Arab intentions of “what is possible now.” He said it would also give Israel time to strengthen itself.”

If the Arab states agree to end belligerency, then Israel would make its proposals on the terms of agreement with Egypt or other countries, Tekoah said. But, he added, if the Arabs refuse to end belligerency. Israel will be “facing political gravity without precedent” and will take “a new look for negotiations for peace.” Tekoah said only one method would remain, separate bilateral negotiations with each Arab state.

Referring to the question of the renewal of the UNDOF mandate by Syria, Tekoah stated that “Israel can do without UNDOF on the Syrian border.” He emphasized that a Syrian refusal to renew UNDOF’s mandate would be “a grave violation” of the disengagement agreement. “However,” he added, “there can be tranquility and maintenance of the cease-fire without UNDOF’s presence while there can be violence even though the UN forces remain along the frontier.”

NO DEALINGS WITH PLO

The Israeli diplomat, who is president of the Ben Gurion University of the Negev, categorically rejected the idea of any Israeli talks with the Palestine Liberation Organization and any notion of a second Palestine state, in addition to what he termed the Arab-Palestine State of Jordan. “Israel’s position on the so-called Palestine question and Israel’s refusal to have any dealings with the PLO is based on Israel’s legitimate national interest in peace and security and is in full conformity with generally recognized principles of international law and morality.” Tekoah declared.

During World War II, when the United States, Great Britain, the Soviet Union and other allies battled Nazi Germany, “no one would have dared to suggest that Washington, London or Moscow should sit down with the representatives of the Nazis and negotiate an agreement with them,” he said. To the Nazis, the Allies offered only one thing–unconditional surrender. This was despite the fact that the Nazis never even questioned the right of Americans. Britons and Russians to have their own states. What the allies were entitled to say to the Nazis during World War II, we Jews are entitled to say to the Nazis of the Arab world today.”

Warning that “we should not rush into such type of negotiations” as the Geneva conference. Tekoah said that the Geneva conference framework opens the door for Arab demands to invite the PLO as a participant. He also observed that the Geneva conference is under the UN auspices “and the UN has become totally inimical to us, including the Secretariat and the man who heads it today.”

SCORES ARMS SALES TO EGYPT

Sternstein declared that the U.S. government’s proposal to become a supplier of arms to Egypt “must be clearly and vigorously condemned.” He asked, “Why does Egypt need these arms? Who threatens her?” Stating that “bribes cannot buy Egypt away from Russian influence” Sternstein said that the U.S. action is “a betrayal of American support for Israel” and “no less disturbing, it is a betrayal of America itself.”

He said the most the bribe of arms can do is to gain some time but “how much time can be bought by a bribe before it must be paid again and again? The United States, dedicated to peace, will have become a dealer in death.”

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