TEL AVIV (Oct. 11)
Foreign Minister Moshe Dayan returned from the U.S. at noon today and told reporters he would recommend that the government approve the U.S.-Israel “working paper” on procedures for reconvening the Geneva conference because he thought it was a good beginning. However, he said he would not resign if the Cabinet failed to approve the draft at its special session tonight. He said he did not regard the document, worked out with President Carter and Secretary of State Cyrus Vance, to be his personal creation. The Cabinet is not expected to announce any decision on the “working paper” until later tonight.
Dayan refused to divulge details of its contents. He would say only that the “working paper” contained assurances that the U.S.-Soviet joint declaration of Oct. I is not a prerequisite for Middle East peace talks and that Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338 remain the sole basis for reconvening the Geneva conference. Dayan warned, however, against any illusions that the two-power statement will not cast its shadow over Geneva. He said the U.S. and the USSR have taken a mutual stand on the Middle East and, even worse from Israel’s viewpoint, follow a joint policy with regard to procedure.
Dayan went directly from the airport to Jerusalem to report to Premier Menachem Begin who was discharged from Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv this morning. He was hospitalized 10 days ago for fatigue and a mild heart ailment. His physicians pronounced him fit today but ordered him to rest at home for a few more days. Begin will preside at tonight’s Cabinet session. He is expected to support Dayan’s recommendation to approve the “working paper.”
COMPLICATING FACTOR IN CABINET APPROVAL
Meanwhile, before the crucial Cabinet meeting began, there were reports that Begin’s “advisor on overseas information,” Shmuel Katz, has been invited by Begin to attend. He is known to oppose the “working paper” and is expected to argue forcefully in favor of rejecting it, although he is not a member of the Cabinet. Katz’s opposition to the “working paper” is “complicated” in the view of observers here by his own steadily deteriorating personal and professional relations with Dayan and the Foreign Ministry.
Their discord began at the inception of the Begin administration when Katz was appointed to his post and sought to incorporate the Foreign Ministry’s overseas information department in a new information authority he wanted to establish. Dayan and Ephraim Evron, director general of the Foreign Ministry balked at this and Begin sided with them against his long-time friend and comrade in arms Katz.
This smoldering grievance has dew come to a head since Katz drafted a four-page “guide for information officials” and sent a copy to the Foreign. Ministry, plainly expecting it to be disseminated to all Israeli missions abroad. The “guide” strongly advises against the continued use of such terms as “West Bank” or “return of territory” or “annexation.” Instead, Israeli officials are instructed to always say “Judaea and Samaria,” “withdrawal or concession,” and “application of Israeli law or incorporation,” Katz wrote.
Evron says he is “studying” the paper but apparently the Ministry has no intention of circulating it among Israeli legations around the world. Katz was reported on television to have threatened resignation unless he was permitted “to function as I would wish.” He denied saying that today.