Begin Streesses Dangers of Palestinian State at Meeting with W. Germanminister
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Begin Streesses Dangers of Palestinian State at Meeting with W. Germanminister

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Premier Menachem Begin seized upon this morning’s terrorist bombing in the Mahane Yehuda market as further proof of the dangers a Palestinian state would pose for Israel. He made that point repeatedly in his hour-and-40-minute talk with West German Foreign Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher today during which the visiting German diplomat offered condolences in his name and in the name of his government to the families of the victims.

“A Palestinian state means killing and bloodshed,” Begin told his guest. He expressed concern over recent statements by West German leaders, notably Chancellor Helmut Schmidt, which, he said, indicated a “regretful” shift in policy toward Israel and support for a “Palestinian organization in the framework of a state.”He also claimed that Egypt was demanding pre-conditions for the resumption of peace negotiations with Israel.


Genscher said there was no change in German Mideast policy. His government’s stand, he said, was in line with the June 29, 1977 declaration of the European Economic Community (EEC) which supported the right of self-determination for the Palestinians. Begin also raised the issue of the sale to Syria of missiles produced by a France-German consortium. He said that Germany had a moral obligation to cancel the deal. Genscher promised to re-examine the issue but he, and other West German leaders, have stressed that Bonn could do nothing to prevent its French partners from consummating the sale.

Begin complained about the statute of limitations on the prosecution of Nazi war criminals in West Germany which goes into effect in January,1980. He said that even France has not introduced such a measure and questioned how Germany could do so. Genscher said the matter was under review and promised that German war criminals whose cases were opened before the law goes into effect will be tried “even if they are captured in 50 years.”

Prior to his meeting with Begin, Genscher met for two hours with Foreign Minister Moshe Dayan and earlier with Finance Minister Simcha Ehrlich and former Foreign Minister Yigal Allon of the opposition Labor Alignment. Dayan told reporters later that his talk with Genscher went beyond Israel’s immediate problems to cover the security needs of the entire region and Africa. “I believe there is a basic understanding between us an Israel’s security needs in the long run although there are differences on the immediate and tactical steps necessary,” Dayan said.

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