JERUSALEM (Jul. 6)
The Cabinet today formally recorded expressions of “displeasure” by several ministers with the U.S. abstention in the United Nations Security Council’s June 30 vote on a resolution condemning Israel’s practices in Jerusalem. There was no official Cabinet resolution on the subject.
Cabinet Secretary Arye Naor told reporters afterwards, “I am authorized to reiterate the Israel Government’s position, which is based on the national concensus on Jerusalem–namely the city of Jerusalem, which was reunited in a legal act of national self-defense, will remain forever one city, indivisible evermore, and will forever be the capital of Israel as of right.”
The Cabinet today also heard a report sent by Israel’s chief negotiator in the autonomy talks, interior Minister Yosef Burg, on his meetings in Washington last week which resulted in an agreement with the Egyptian chief negotiator, Foreign Minister Kamal Hassan Ali and U.S. special Ambassador Sol Linowitz to resume the negotiations in Cairo, beginning July 10 (See separate story.)
Burg indicated that President Carter and his Administration are pressing for substantial progress soon but that Egypt, it appears to the Israeli negotiators, would prefer the talks to drag on until after the American Presidential elections in November. Burg wrote that Carter had suggested that the three parties compile a new framework agreement for autonomy that would highlight areas of accord and play down those of discard. But both Israel and Egypt rejected the idea.
MINISTERS DIFFER ON JERUSALEM BILL
The Cabinet discussed the controversial Knesset bill affirming united Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, on issue that split hardliners and moderates among the minister. The bill was submitted in May by Geula Coben of the ultra-nationalist Tehiya faction and referred to the Knesset’s Legal committee. Last week, in a move which coincided with the Security Council’s resolution on Jerusalem, the committee approved the measure and sent it to the Knesset for a first reading.
At today’s Cabinet meeting, Transport Minister Haim Landau of Herut demanded that the government support the bill. Deputy Premier Simcha Ehrlich of the Liberal Party was opposed. He said that if the bill had come before the Cabinet he would have voted against it. “Cohen succeeded in maneuvering the government to dance to her tune, “Ehrlich said.