NEW YORK (Jun. 16)
Shmuel Katz, the personal emissary to the United States of Israel’s Premier-designate Menachem Begin, said today that when Begin comes to Washington next month he will try to persuade President Carter to change his policy on the requirements for a settlement in the Middle East.
Addressing a press luncheon at the American Jewish Committee headquarters here, Katz said that the emphasis of the Begin government will be on face-to-face negotiations with the Arabs. He said that President Carter’s statement on Israeli withdrawals to the 1967 borders with minor adjustments and his call for a Palestinian homeland are not acceptable to the Likud-led government.
“There is a consensus in Israel that we shall not return to the 1967 borders” and that no Palestinian state be established east of Israel, Katz said. However, he added that the Begin government will have no objection to a solution of the Palestinian problem within Jordan.
Katz, who may have an important position in the Begin government, said that Begin will respect and abide by the international obligations undertaken by the previous Israeli government. He said that Israel is prepared to follow United Nations Security Council Resolution 242 but “we do not feel we should make promises of concessions” before the process of negotiations begins.
The Begin emissary said that at the moment no significant change in the Arab attitude toward Israel can be detected “apart from semantic variations.” Asked about the Begin government’s policy in the West Bank, Katz said “it will pursue a policy of settlements.” He also said that Israel will not agree to partial agreements with the Arabs, noting that the previous partial agreements did not make progress toward peace. He said the aim of negotiations with the Arabs will be to achieve a full peace treaty.