JERUSALEM (Mar. 2)
Likud leader Menachem Beigin warned Premier Yitzhak Rabin yesterday not to make any political commitments when he goes to Washington to meet President Carter next week. He also criticized the Carter Administration for inviting Rabin at this time, implying that the invitation was an attempt to bolster the Prime Minister’s political stock before the May 17 elections.
Beigin, addressing the newly formed Likud Council here, said Rabin had no authority to commit Israel to anything because he headed a minority care-taker regime. He accused the Rabin government of “lightheadedness” on the Palestinian issue and said Rabin’s favorable reaction to Egyptian President Anwar Sadat’s proposed linkage between the Palestinians and Jordan was “dangerous.”
According to Beigin, who heads the militant Herut wing of Likud, “If a Palestinian state is established, Soviet generals will sit in Bethlehem and an airlift will operate from Odessa to the new state.” He also claimed that a Palestinian state on the West Bank would be a corridor through which the Iraqi army could move four divisions against Israel in 40 hours.
Beigin questioned why Carter invited Rabin to Washington now when the Arab leaders would be going there only in the first half of June. “That the Premier is visiting Washington about three months before the Arab leaders is not pure chance. Everybody knows that between March and June there is May 17″ (election day). Beigin said. (Actually, Carter will meet with Arab leaders in April and May, according to information from Washington.)
The Likud Council approved the party’s proposed foreign affairs and security platform plank in principle and agreed to refer proposed amendments to the central committee. The plank reiterates Likud policies but in somewhat more modrate language than in previous policy statements. Instead of saying “The Land of Israel will never be divided,” it says “Judaea and Samaria will never be yielded to foreign rule” and “between the Mediterranean and River Jordan there will be Israel sovereignty only.”