Eban: Peace Requires Strengthening Israel’s Economic Infrastructure

Former Foreign Minister Abba Eban said here last Friday that the rules of international diplomacy have shifted from military power to economic power and that as a result, Israel’s economic infrastructure must be substantially strengthened to sustain the peace effort that was started by Egypt and Israel.

Eban told the 1000 U.S. and Canadian representatives from 68 cities at the fall International Israel Bond Organization Leadership Conference that “military power has neutralized itself. Those who have economic strength, the Third World, the oil countries, they are now calling the tune. “He cited as examples the U.S. experience in Vietnam and Cuba and that of Britain in Ireland where despite their military strength, “they did not and are not prevailing.”

Therefore, Eban said, “Israel’s economy cannot show signs of weakness just when there is developing on the peace front a forward movement.” He predicted that as the peace negotiations continue, third parties would join the talks. He said “the Palestinian Arabs will understand that revolutionary violence will not get them anywhere, whereas either a territorial settlement or an interim autonomy will at least give them some expression to their nationhood.”

Eban called on Israel and the U.S. to continue their policies of non-recognition of the Palestine Liberation Organization “as long as they remain tied to their covenant.” He added: “If this policy is continued, those who attach importance to this diplomacy will abandon the covenant and join the flow of international civility. But if that policy is to pay off, you have to sustain it properly. It worked with Egypt, after all, three years ago and (Egyptian President Anwar) Sadat’s policy was exactly the policy of the PLO today.”

NEXT STORY