Eban: Israel Has No Substitute for U.S.

Former Israeli Foreign Minister Abba Eban has cautioned that Israel has “no substitute for America” and in the “crucial moment of truth” it is “vital” for the two countries to reach “lucid understanding on issues on which they diverge.”

“There’s no way of discussing the Middle East without beginning and ending with America,” Eban said. The Soviet Union, the United Nations and Western Europe, he noted, have ruled themselves out of dialogues with Israel, thus leaving the United States “alone in the field.”

Eban addressed approximately 1200 delegates and guests at the Pioneer Women’s dinner meeting at the Shoreham American a Hotel where it is holding its 25th biennial national convention. The three-day meeting ended today. The first Golda Meir Human Rights Award was presented in absentia to Sen. Hubert H. Humphrey (D.Minn.), who is ill in Minneapolis.

Before leaving Washington, Eban conferred at the While House for half an hour with Internal Security Affairs Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski who later declined to discuss the meeting except to say it was a “good talk” with “an old friend.”

While lauding America’s support for Israel, Eban told the Pioneer women’s convention that “Israel asks not to have its limited negotiating power pre-empted in advance,” adding that settlements on territories “destroy Israel’s capacity” to negotiate for “minimal and crucial conditions upon which its security depends.”

He also decried an “evenhanded” approach, noting that the Israelis would not object if there were 23 Jewish states in the United Nations, equal to the number of Arab states plus the PLO, and if Israel had the population and resources and land areas equal to the Arab states.

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