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Allon Says W. Bank Settlements Not Illegal but Criticizes Likud Methods

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Israel’s former Deputy Premier and Foreign Minister Yigal Allon sharply criticized the Likud government for failing to coordinate major aspects of foreign policy with the United States government. But he agreed in principle with Likud’s contention that Jewish settlements on the West Bank were legal although he faulted the government for resorting to publicity “fanfare” in establishing them.

Allon, who addressed the first of a series of public affairs programs sponsored by the Labor Zionist Movement Coordinating Committee at the Barbizon Plaza Hotel here Saturday night, said “The settlements are not illegal. The question is not the legality of them but the political, strategic and moral considerations and a responsible government should think about where and when to settle them.” He said new settlements should be established in uninhabited, strategic areas of the West Bank along the lines of the Allon Plan which he authored after the Six-Day War.

URGES COORDINATION BEFORE GENEVA

Allon said that he “did not want to be too critical.” But he noted that “under the Labor government in Israel, it was understood with Washington that constant consultations on concepts and steps yis-a-vis the Arab-Israeli conflict existed. Unfortunately, this practice has been stopped by the existing administration” in Israel, he said.

“Before going to Geneva,” Allon declared, “attention should be made to reach an understanding between Washington and Jerusalem about which the outcome of a Geneva conference would rest and what would the American attitude be if it fails. We should know beforehand the joint concepts of Washington and Jerusalem. Otherwise, even with all kinds of ‘hochmas’ (cleverness) we will find ourselves trapped in Geneva and the whole world will blame us for failure, “he said.

Allon stressed that he and other Israelis would never accept the PLO or “a Palestine state between Israel and Jordan.” He said that” Any solution should be based on a compromise which should serve the basic interests of both sides. Such a compromise should provide Israel with defensible borders on the one hand and offer a just solution to part of the Palestinian question on the other hand, and put an end to the territorial dispute between Israel and its neighbors.” Allon added that “not necessarily every inch of territory could be held” by Israel and indicated that the option was left open to the Palestine Arab community to be returned to Jordan “in the context of peace between Jordan and Israel.”

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