JERUSALEM (Mar. 21)
Israeli officials regard the 15-point program adopted yesterday day in Cairo by the Palestine National Council as confirmation that the policy of no contacts whatsoever with the PLO is the only possible one “Even when the so-called moderates win support for their line, the terror organizations remain dominant and no dialogue can be held with them–the only meeting with them is on the battlefield,” Premier Yitzhak Rabin declared on a radio interview last night.
Foreign Minister Yigal Allon reacted similarly today. He said it was mistaken to make a distinction between “moderates” and “extremists” in the PLO because the only difference is between “extremists” and “super-extremists.” The “extremists” commanded the majority at the Cairo meeting he said, adding that “If these are the resolutions adopted by the extremists, imagine what they would have been had the super-extremists won.”
According to Allon, the Cairo program gives Israel additional reason to insist on a solution of the Palestinian problem in the context of a peace settlement with Jordan. Speaking at yesterday’s Cabinet meeting, the Foreign Minister said that PLO chief Yasir Arafat and his deputy, Farouk Kaddoumi, left no doubt in their speeches in Cairo that the destruction of Israel remains the ultimate goal of the PLO.
the only difference between their statements and earlier ones by PLO leaders, Allon and other Israeli officials noted, was that in Cairo this time the PLO did not explicitly call for the destruction of Israel. But there was no change in the Palestinian Covenant demand for a “secular democratic state” in all of Palestine, which aounts to the same thing.
VICTORY FOR ARAFAT
Political analysts here said the Cairo program contains elements of a compromise between the Arafat camp and the opposition “rejection front” headed by George Habash of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. But it was a victory for Arafat who believes in projecting the appearance of moderation for public relations reasons without changing the basic aims of the PLO, they said.
The moderate image will give the PLO a certain degree of maneuverability when the time for Middle East negotiations arrives and, in any case, it will enable President Anwar Sadat of Egypt to claim, when he visits the U.S. next month, that the PLO has undergone a process of moderation.
The Cairo program does not reject Palestinian participation in negotiations but rejects negotiations, within the framework of Security Council Resolution 242. It states that the Palestinians will negotiate under terms of the UN General Assembly Resolution 3236 of 1974 which supports their right to a sovereign state and return to their former homes in what is now Israel. It also calls for continued military and political warfare against Israel even after a Palestinian state is established on the West Bank.