NEW YORK (Jun. 15)
Declaring that “no war can provide by itself political solutions,” Simcha Dinitz, Israel’s former Ambassador to the United States, said last night that the Israeli invasion into Lebanon to destroy the military infrastructure of the Palestine Liberation Organization has opened vast new political realities in the Middle East.
In an address to some 200 persons gathered under the auspices of the Labor Zionist Alliance, Dinitz recalled that following the 1967 Six Day War and the Yom Kippur War in 1973, political and diplomatic opportunities developed and in some cases were expanded upon. In particular, he noted the disengagement agreement between Israel and Egypt, and the eventual process that led Egyptian President Anwar Sadat to Jerusalem and Camp. David.
Dinitz, who is a vice president of Hebrew University, said that while he is still a member of the Labor Party, he was not speaking as an official representative of the Party, Dinitz served in his position as Ambassador to the U.S. during the Nixon-Ford Administrations and prior to that was secretary to former Israeli Premier Golda Meir.
Now, he pointed out, with the Israeli operation in Lebanon, the political situation there has been shifted. He said the first development to arise from the Israeli action was the shattering of the image of the Palestine Liberation Organization which he said was an image created by West European, Third World and Arab states.
NO ARAB HELP FOR PLO
According to Dinitz, the political image of the PLO was greater than the actual power and political weight which that organization professed to have. He reminded the audience, conspicuous by its lack of young persons, that not a single Arab country came to the support of the PLO during the recent fighting. He said Syrian involvement in the conflict was only in its own self interest because of its concern over possessing the Beka Valley for strategic purposes.
Dinitz said the Syrians “were happy to agree” to the cease-fire and that the moderate Arab states-Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Jordan–were not sorry to see the PLO suffer a military setback.
Dinitz contended that Palestinians would be more likely to negotiate with Israel without having to fear PLO reprisals and terror. He however said that negotiations cannot take place unless there is the participation of at least two Arab states. In an effort to meet this end, Dinitz cited what has become the traditional Labor policy calling for the incorporation of Jordan into the peace process since the majority of Jordanians are Palestinians.
He said Jordan’s support, along with tacit approval of Saudi Arabia, may be obtained for the Camp David process when it becomes clear that the real threat to the stability of moderate Arab nations is that of the Islamic revolution of Iran, the government of Libya, the PLO and Syria.
He called on the U.S. government to help Israel “achieve the fruits” of the Lebanon victory. But he stressed that the Israeli government has no desire to control the government of Lebanon. He said that Lebanon can however, count on Israeli support in the future.