JERUSALEM (Sep. 19)
The Cabinet today avoided an expected clash over Foreign Minister Yigal Allon’s proposals for territorial compromises published in the current edition of Foreign Affairs quarterly. Most observers had anticipated that the controversy generated by the article over the weekend would erupt at today’s Cabinet session.
Premier Yitzhak Rabin’s aides had let it be known that the Premier was angered by Allon’s failure to consult with him prior to publication or inform him in advance of the article’s impending appearance. But when challenged by National Religious Party ministers Yitzhak Raphael and Zevulun Hammer over who authorized Allon to publish his proposals, Rabin, determined to avoid a collision over the affair, referred the questions to Allon without comment.
The Foreign Minister said he published the article in order to impress upon Israel’s friends its need for minimal strategic depth of territory to defend itself, even in the missile age. He said he had not intended to present a formal proposal but rather to argue Israel’s basic position.
The Likud, meanwhile, has called for a special Knesset session later this week to debate the proposals contained in Allon’s article. The Foreign Minister will be in New York by then to attend the opening of the 31st United Nations General Assembly. Minister-Without-Portfolio Israel Galili is expected to reply for the government.
Press reaction to Allon’s article has been mixed. Haaretz congratulated the Foreign Minister for a good informational effort. The Jerusalem Post, however, blasted him for writing the piece, allegedly behind the Cabinet’s back and for timing its appearance to coincide with the General Assembly. The Histadrut newspaper, Davar, agreed with the content of Allon’s article but faulted him for poor timing.