Allon Lists Circumstances That Could Change Israel’s Policy on West Bank Peace Talks with Jordan

Foreign Minister Yigal Allon indicated yesterday that Israel should be prepared for sudden and far-reaching changes in Jordan which, should they occur, would cause it to reconsider Jordan’s role as a possible party to peace talks on the West Bank. He also stressed that West Bank leaders must play a part in any future peace talks because Jordan has no monopoly as a negotiating partner.

The Foreign Minister made his remarks in a speech at the Hebrew University graduation ceremonies. He listed three circumstances that might alter Israel’s policies on peace talks with Jordan: If that country “became a province of Syria”; if the PLO overthrew the present regime there; or if Jordan persisted in demanding an “illogical price” for peace with Israel.

Observers here saw Allon’s references to Jordan as a warning to King Hussein not to damage the prospects of peace talks by moving into a close alliance with Syria or insisting on maximal demands.

TERRITORIAL COMPROMISES FAVORED

Allon said he favored “far-reaching” territorial compromises by Israel in exchange for peace. At the same time, he insisted on defensible borders which he claimed were still vitally important even in this age of ballistic missiles. He listed four premises on which, he said, Israel would base its search for a peace settlement:

A territorial compromise; defensible borders; preservation of the Jewish and democratic nature of Israel; and consideration of the interests of the Arab states and of those “Arabs who define themselves as Palestinians.”

In an apparent reply to nationalist elements, such as the Greater Israel Movement, which advocate annexation of the West Bank, Allon pointed out that such an act would result either in a binational state or, if the Arab minority was not awarded full and equal rights, a non-democratic state. Israel wants neither of these, Allon declared.

The so-called Allon Plan which emerged after the Six-Day War, calls for ceding the heavily populated areas of the West Bank to Arab sovereignty while retaining the sparsely populated but strategically important Jordan Valley under Israeli rule.

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