JERUSALEM (May. 18)
Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir continued to push his plan for Palestinian elections and self-rule in the territories against strong opposition in his own Likud party.
Apparently hoping to appease hard-liners, Shamir ruled out any territorial concessions by Israel, even in the context of a permanent settlement.
In a television interview, Shamir said Israel need not give up land in order to conclude a peace treaty with Jordan.
His adamant position drew sharp criticism from Shimon Peres, the vice premier and Labor Party leader.
Peres, who also serves as finance minister, said Shamir’s remarks were “not helpful to the cause of peace nor to the country.”
The Israeli peace plan is a joint undertaking of Likud and Labor. But the Labor Party leader thinks Shamir’s articulation of maximalist positions at this time is counterproductive.
Addressing Labor’s Leadership Bureau on Thursday, Peres warned that if Israel “wants to remain a Jewish state,” it must divest itself of the administered territories, especially the heavily Arab-populated areas.