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Mapam Mk Suggests Platform for Talks, Instead of Peace Plans, Between Israel, Jordan, Palestinians

Asserting that the Arab-Israel conflict has been marred by a series of failed peace proposals, Mapam Knesset member Elazar Granot yesterday suggested that instead of peace plans a “platform for negotiations” should be developed for Israel, Jordan and representatives of the Palestinian people.

Such a proposal, Granot said, if backed unanimously by the United States and Europe, “based on principles of equality and mutuality, could not be rejected out of hand by any of the parties concerned.” He added, that a peace platform “would steer the peace forces in the area by providing them with a plan they could fight for, without being accused of betraying the interests of their people.”

Addressing some 200 people attending the 1983 Human Rights Luncheon at the Sheraton Centre, sponsored by the Americans for Progressive Israel, the Givat Haviva Educational Foundation and the Kibbutz Artzi Federation, Granot said such a platform should be composed of the following principles: mutual recognition of the right to self-determination of all states in the region; honoring the sovereignty of all states; the establishment of peace between Israel and its neighbors behind secure and recognized borders; an obligation to refrain from aggressive actions during the negotiations period, including a freeze on Israeli settlement policy on the West Bank; and the right of each participant to present within the negotiations, its own peace plan.

The Mapam MK said that acceptance of the platform would qualify a party as a legitimate negotiator.

KLUTZNICK; JEWS HAVE RIGHT TO DEBATE ISRAEL’S POLICY

Also addressing the luncheon was the former president of the World Jewish Congress, Philip Klutznick, who affirmed the right of diaspora Jewry to be actively involved in policy debate within Israel because of the deeply rooted links between the two. He said that because of Israel’s unique experience in relations to world Jewry and the Mideast, the situation “should demand debate.”

“We cannot be one in our need and separate in our ability to speak and write the truth to one another, Klutznick declared. He said that when Israel shines in the eyes of the international community, the diaspora “basks in its sunlight,” and when Israel’s international standing diminishes, the diaspora feels the effect.

Klutznick, who was Secretary of Commerce during the Carter Administration, addressed the advantages of peace in relation to the economy of Israel. He called Israel one of the most productive states in the world, a “miracle in the use of high technology,” which last year boasted a Gross National Product more than $20 billion.

SAYS ISRAEL COULD BECOME THE JAPAN OF THE MIDEAST

Continuing, he said Israel cannot continue to spend one-third of its GNP on its military budget and not meet the needs of its people and work force, which he said suffers from a lack of sufficient technological training.

Klutznick said that if a peace agreement could be achieved, then Israel could become “the Japan of the Middle East.” As it stands right now, he noted, the technological market to the nations in Asia remain closed to Israel, as do many of the markets to the Third World nations and African states.

Klutznick said that after the establishment of the Jewish state, and especially now as it has proven itself to be a major military strength in the Middle East, it is the next step of the diaspora to increase Jewish education and culture. He said Jewish cultural continuity in the diaspora “is as important as 1,000 F-16s.”

“If Jewish life is assimilated in the diaspora, it will generate a loss of security for the State of Israel and the future of the State of Israel that is more dangerous than the failure of Washington to provide extra” military hardware, he declared.

The Kibbutz Artzi Federation was presented with the 1983 Human Rights Award for its continued efforts on behalf of peace in the Middle East.

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