LONDON (Nov. 6)
Abba Eban tonight praised President Carter’s latest affirmation that he does not favor a separate Palestinian state between Israel and Jordan, and said that it had greatly, eased relations between Israel and the United States.
In a speech prepared for the conference of the British Zionist Federation, the former Israel Foreign Minister said it was “preposterous” to regard the creation of a 23rd Arab state to be as important as the Jewish people’s right to sovereignty and security.
Turning to the prospects for a Geneva conference, Eban said that once procedural and representational issues were solved, the major crisis would center on Israel’s quest for territorial security. Even the most moderate members of the Israeli Knesset would not agree to the restoration of the explosive 1967 map.
ISRAEL SHOULD BE READY FOR COMPROMISE
However, Israel should be ready for compromise in the West Bank and Gaza as well as in other areas, Eban said. Despite its hardline pronouncements, he implied that the present Israeli government might yet recognize this. “Every political party that comes to power with a record of emphatic slogans finds it necessary to seek a compromise between its rhetoric and its responsibility,” Eban said.
As a result of Israel’s concessions on a unified Arab delegation and the possibility of Palestinian Arab representation at Geneva, it was now for the Arab side to contribute to the removal of obstacles preventing a peace conference, he observed.
Turning to the internal Jewish front, Eban said that the greatest need of the hour was universal solidarity. He called for reconciliation between passion and reason, historic sentiment and political realities, and between the quest for security and the need for peace.
Eban’s only strong criticism of the Israel government concerned proposed alterations in the definition of “Who is a Jew.” “It would be irresponsible to enact measures that conflict with the existing pluralism of Jewish religious expression, and thus make Israel a divisive force in Jewish spiritual life,” he said.