JERUSALEM (Jan. 25)
Premier Yitzhak Shamir strongly rejected an international peace conference on the Middle East over the weekend because, he maintained, at least three of the major participants — France, the People’s Republic of China and the Soviet Union — would demand that Israel withdraw to its 1967 borders. He thought that even the U.S. would insist on such a retreat, though it would probably agree to minor border changes.
Such a conference would “leave us isolated, confronting the whole world,” Shamir said, addressing a seminar of Russian immigrants in Ramat Gan. It “will not bring peace or blessings to Israel. The only way to achieve peace is by direct negotiations without prior conditions,” Shamir declared. His remarks underlined a fundamental division between Likud and the Labor Party, its partner in the unity coalition government.