TEL AVIV (Nov. 14)
Israeli leaders are making no attempt to conceal their anger and disappointment with the United States for its support of a consensus statement of the Security Council Thursday night that strongly deplored the establishment of Jewish settlements in the administered Arab territories and declared that all Israeli actions “which tend to change the legal status of Jerusalem are invalid.”
The new friction between Jerusalem and Washington was evident at the Histadrut Solidarity Conference today where 550 American Jewish leaders of the Histadrut Foundation were addressed by Premier Yitzhak Rabin, former Premier Golda Meir and U.S. Ambassador Malcolm Toon.
Rabin remarked that he was well aware of the American attitude and positions “but I do not have to say that these are always right.” Mrs. Meir was more vociferous in giving vent to her feelings. She described the American support of the Security Council consensus as harmful and insulting to Israel and unjust.
ISRAEL DOES NOT DESERVE IT
“We do not deserve it,” Mrs. Meir said, “Those who back the U.S. attitude at the Security Council know only too well that they cannot compel Israel to accept something that will undermine its security. If anybody thinks he could force us and soften us through a UN resolution he is mistaken,” she said.
Mrs. Meir questioned whether American policy has “changed overnight” and if Washington believes that a weak Israel would be easier to deal with. She said that talk of the two sides taking risks for peace “are nothing but lip service” because to date it was only Israel that took risks by returning territory and strategic positions.
Toon told the delegates that the American representative at the Security Council joined the consensus only after negative elements were deleted from the statement. He said the U.S. had to maintain its credibility in the world and in the Middle East, meaning apparently that failure to go along with the condemnation of Israeli actions in the Arab territories would have lost Washington leverage in the Arab world.
ALLON IS BLUNT WITH TOON
On Friday, Toon was summoned to a meeting with Foreign Minister Yigal Allon at his Tel Aviv office and was told bluntly to inform Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger about Israel’s “deep sorrow” and disappointment over America’s position in the Security Council. A communique issued by the Foreign Ministry later said Allon had informed Toon that “Israel was not unaware of differences existing between Israel and the U.S. concerning Israel’s policies in those areas” but that there was no necessity in very those differences “every hour” and in “every place.”
The communique added that Allon had “expressed his appreciation in regard to positive elements in the U.S. representative’s speech concerning Israel’s policies, but pointed out that as far as Israel was concerned, the negative content of the final statement far outweighed any positive comment that may have been made.”
It was apparent that Allon’s anger was more than simply a reaction called for by diplomacy. During a chance meeting with Toon at a reception for visiting American Congressmen here Friday. Allon snapped ”good morning” to the U.S. envoy and was overheard by reporters to say, “It is only a diplomatic duty that I greet you good morning on such a morning.”
U.S. REASONS FOR JOINING CONSENSUS
According to American officials, the U.S. joined the consensus statement because it was more moderate than a similar one which the U.S. had opposed in the Security Council last May. The officials said that by making the statement unanimous, the U.S. forestalled an even stronger condemnation of Israeli practices in the administered territories. Such a statement would most certainly have been adopted by a majority of the Security Council in face of U.S. opposition. Since the condemnation was in the form of a consensus statement rather than a formal resolution, it would not have been subject to an American veto.
Israeli sources here and in Washington reportedly tend to agree in private with the American explanation. But they are, nonetheless, deeply concerned that a new application of pressure on Israel will be brought to bear much sooner after the American Presidential elections than expected. They are also clearly alarmed that the Security Council statement will encourage extremist elements in the administered areas to launch a new wave of disturbances.
The fact that the Security Council consensus will be followed this week by a debate in the General Assembly over the recommendations of the Committee on the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People increases the possibility of disturbances, Israeli sources say. (See related story P. 4.)