NEW YORK (Apr. 8)
MK Abba Eban (Labor), chairman of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, warned here Thursday that unless Israel ceases its rule of the West Bank and Gaza, the area could become “another Lebanon.”
Addressing more than 150 major contributors and campaign leadership of the United Jewish Appeal-Federation, Eban said that Israel will suffer all the ills of civil war-torn Lebanon if it will incorporate the more than 1.5 million Palestinian Arabs in the West Bank and Gaza into Israel proper.
“Let Israel not become another Lebanon,” the former Foreign Minister said. “After 19 years it is clear that even in the next 19 years there will not be parliamentary majority for applying the Israeli law” in the administered territory, Eban declared, noting that only a few weeks ago the Knesset rejected a bill for the application of Israeli law in the territories.
Eban, turning to the issue of peace in the Mideast, called for the expansion of the peace process in the area. He said that the peace between Egypt and Israel should be enlarged to include Jordan and other countries in the region. But, he said, peace cannot be achieved unless the parties to the conflict are willing to meet and negotiate. “Peace cannot be born without the parents meeting,” Eban quipped to the laughter of the audience.
The Israeli statesman lauded the American raid on Libya last month, declaring that resistance is the proper answer to terrorism. He said that non-resistance to terrorism is, in effect, “cooperation with terrorism.”
Eban said that in the final analysis the American action against Libya brought about the agreement of the “civilized international community” to take concerted action against terrorism. He said that this was manifested in the Tokyo summit declaration this week, which supported joint international action against terrorism.
Eban called on American Jewry to show “a Jewish response” to terrorism by visiting Israel in a demonstration of solidarity with the Jewish State. Noting that the recent terrorist attacks deterred many American tourists from coming to Israel, he said, “The answer to Qaddafi terrorism should be solidarity with Israel.”