JERUSALEM (May. 3)
Labor Party chairman Shimon Peres has indicated a sharp differentiation between the policies he would pursue if elected the next Prime Minister of Israel and those followed by the Likud government.
Meeting with the 20-member International Executive of the World Jewish Congress under the chairmanship of WJC president Edgar Bronfman here yesterday, Peres said he would not insist that the Camp David agreements be the only basis for negotiations between Israel and Jordan; he would almost immediately cut in half Jewish settlement activities in heavily Arab-populated areas of the West Bank; and would immediately end the confrontation in Lebanon by pulling Israeli forces back to a flexible line on Israel’s northern border.
Peres appeared before the WJC leaders during their corrent meeting in Jerusalem to consider policies on the Middle East, Soviet Jewry and the rise of global anti-Semitism.
Bronfman met privately today with Premier Yitzhak Shamir. Other key government officials, including Defense Minister Moshe Arens, and leaders of key coalition and opposition parties will also be meeting with the WJC Executive over the next few days.
SAYS SETTLEMENT ACTIVITY WOULD BE HALVED
Peres said a Labor-led government would act within 100 days of taking office to halve Jewish settlement activity, while maintaining a security zone in the West Bank. He said that as a means of inducing King Hussein of Jordan to enter the peace process, he would offer three options.
The negotiations could begin without prior conditions by either side; Labor would not insist on the Camp David formula but would be willing to negotiate on the basis of United Nations Security Council resolutions 242 and 338 — which Jordan has accepted; or Israel would be willing to accept President Reagan’s September 1, 1982 Middle East peace initiative as the basis for negotiations, while recognizing the different interpretations placed on those proposals.
Peres added that he would not mind if Palestinians were part of a Jordanian delegation as long as they were willing to recognize Israel and rejected terrorist methods.
With respect to Lebanon, Peres said “it is not wise to keep our army abroad where they sit as a target for hostile forces.” He said he would withdraw to a flexible line along Israel’s border rather than trenches and emplacements inside Lebanon.
PROPOSES A ‘RED SEA PACT’
The Labor Party leader also proposed that Israel, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Jordan conclude a “Red Sea Pact” which would guarantee free and open navigation through the waterway and provide for the “thinning out” of all military installations along the Red Sea.
Summing up, Peres said that if a Labor government is elected on July 23, it would change current Israeli policies on the West Bank and Gaza by limiting its interest to matters of security and foreign affairs in those regions. He disagreed with the present policy of separation of civilian and military administrations on the West Bank. Israel, he said, seeks to be a “contributing country”, not a “confronting country.”