TEL AVIV (May. 3)
Dr. Nahum Goldmann, president of the World Jewish Congress, predicted today that no matter who is elected President of the-United States this year. Israel will come under increasing pressure soon after the elections to withdraw to its pre-June 1967 borders with only minor modifications. Goldmann who arrived here from a series of meetings with statesmen and other leading personalities in several countries, based his forecast on his belief that the U.S. is fed up with the Middle East problem and wants a final settlement.
He told a crowded press conference here that he was optimistic over the chances of a final-settlement in the Middle East because of several factors, including the American desire to end the status quo which may lead to another war and a corresponding desire by the Soviet Union. He said the Americans have reached the conclusion that a Pax Americana is unattainable and that the Soviets will have to share in the peace-making process.
Another factor, Goldmann said, was the Arabs’ realization that they cannot win a military victory over Israel and their desire to concentrate on building up their own countries while they still control much of the world’s oil wealth with almost no competitors.
Goldmann said that Arab terms for a settlement with Israel are admittedly tough but not insuperable. They want withdrawal from the occupied territories, demilitarization and guarantees. The most difficult problem would be the status of Jerusalem, but a solution may be found without dividing the city again, he said.
According to Goldmann, the American solution for the Palestinian problem envisions a plebiscite on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip to decide whether there should be a Palestinian state federated with Jordan or an independent state and whether there should be an economic confederation with Israel or with both Israel and Jordan. There are Arabs who will accept such a settlement guaranteed by both the U.S. and Russia, Goldmann said.
NO PROGRESS ON SOVIET JEWRY ISSUE
The WJC leader said that no progress has been made toward solving the problem of Jews in the Soviet Union. He said the Soviet attitude has become tougher because the Soviet bloc is constantly being strengthened while the Western bloc has become correspondingly weaker. The result is that the number of Jews seeking to emigrate from the USSR has declined, Goldmann said. He said he had information that a number of the visa offices that were opened in the Soviet Union to deal with exit permits for Jews have been closed down because of a lack of applicants.
Goldmann confirmed a report, referred to yesterday by Yosef Almogi, chairman of the World Zionist Organization and Jewish Agency Executives, that 60 percent of the Jews who left the USSR last month did not continue to Israel after reaching Vienna. Goldmann also said that the Soviet authorities were issuing exit visas to many non-Jews to go to Israel because they were dissenters unwanted in Soviet society. (See related story P. 4.)
RECENT ARAB PHENOMENON
Goldmann referred to another recent phenomenon–Arab efforts to demonstrate friendship toward Jews as separate from Zionists. He noted that the King of Morocco announced he would welcome the return of Moroccan Jews who emigrated, even if they held Israeli passports. In Lebanon, both sides in the civil war tried to protect the Jewish community in Beirut. Goldmann said. He also revealed that “quite amazingly, a prominent Jew from the 500-strong Jewish community in Egypt asked if his community would be accepted in the WJC.”
Summing up his views, Goldmann predicted a very difficult year for Israel in 1977 when vital decisions will have to be made.