JERUSALEM (Aug. 24)
An effort by Premier Menachem Begin to weld an inter-factional front for a Knesset vote today on a resolution ruling out all possibilities of negotiations with the Palestine Liberation Organization received a setback because of the opposition of both the Labor Alignment and the Democratic Movement for Change. Both these two main opposition blocs informed Begin that, while they agreed with the anti-PLO sentiment they could not in good conscience agree to give their support to a motion of this kind.
“We must stress the positive, not only the negative,” former Foreign Minister Yigal Allon explained. He referred to this party’s long-time proposal for a Palestinian solution within the Jordanian context, which specifically advocates a territorial compromise on the West Bank, a solution anathema to the Likud government.
The DMC gave much the same response, calling for a full-scale Knesset debate on foreign policy, not merely a solidarity resolution on this single aspect of the peace problem. In the face of this situation, Begin withdrew his initiative and the Knesset, which was to convene today to discuss budgetary provisions, did not take up the PLO issue at all.
Instead, the Knesset will convene next week for a special recess session to discuss Israel’s foreign policy. The session will be convened at a joint initiative of the Alignment and the DMC factions following Begin’s failure in his bid today to secure an inter-factional front. The PLO issue will be only a part of the subjects discussed in the Knesset, as the Alignment and the DMC originally demanded.