Begin Associate Says Diplomatic Initiatives Will Come from Israel

Dr. Eliahu Ben Elissar, a close associate of Likud leader Menachem Begin, said at a press conference here last night that Begin will go to Washington in July for talks with President Carter and will raise new ideas for solving the Middle East conflict.

“Up till now diplomatic initiatives generally stemmed from Washington or Cairo. From now on Jerusalem will launch new diplomatic initiatives,” Elissar said. But he refused to say what those initiatives might be. He forecast that the Geneva peace conference would reconvene later this year probably in November or December. He said that a Palestinian delegation would be barred from participating in any from whatever.

Elissar, who is regarded as a Likud spokesman, is in Paris on what he called a semi-private visit. He said Likud would try to explain its positions to Jewish communities throughout the world and planned to convene a world conference of Jewish communities shortly for that purpose.

The Likud victory in Israel’s parliamentary elections has disturbed many prominent members of the French-Jewish community. One of them, former Socialist Minister Daniel Mayer, has resigned from the board of the bi-weekly publication of the French Zionist Federation, La Terre Retrouve (The Re-Found Land) and announced that he will discontinue the column he has been writing for the last six years.

“People read my column to know my views, but what should I do if the new Israeli government adopts policies which I condemn? To pay no attention is out of the question. To denounce such possible policies would strengthen Israel’s enemies who could say that even an unconditional pro-Israel supporter opposes such or such a move,” Mayer wrote in his final column.

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