Eban: Israel’s Position in Territories Legitimate Until Peace Treaty Signed
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Eban: Israel’s Position in Territories Legitimate Until Peace Treaty Signed

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Foreign Minister Abba Eban of Israel said here today that Israel’s position at present in the administered Arab territories is fully legitimate until there is a peace treaty signed which would alter the situation. Eban, appearing at a press conference at the conclusion of the London meeting of the Socialist International Bureau, made his remarks in reference to the resolution adopted Friday by the United Nations General Assembly.

He noted that even the General Assembly, where the Arab states have “an automatic majority” was forced to omit harsh clauses demanding immediate Israeli withdrawal from the territories and implying sanctions for refusal.

Observing that no one has the authority to repeal the Security Council’s Resolution 242, Eban said that if the Assembly vote was examined, “you will find that more of the “interested states’ voted against the resolution or abstained than voted for it.” In the future, he said, Israel would like to see less emphasis on polemics in the UN and more concentration on conciliatory diplomacy.


The Israeli Foreign Minister appeared at the press conference with Ron Hayward, general secretary of the British Labor Party; Dr. Bruno Pitterman, chairman of the Socialist International, and Hans Janitschek, its secretary general. Eban expressed satisfaction with the action taken at the meeting in the areas of Soviet Jewry and international terrorism.

The Socialist International Bureau decided to reactivate its study group on Soviet Jewry to produce an up-to-date report on recent developments. Eban termed the problem of Jews in the USSR a “needless obstacle” to improved international coexistence. The Bureau also decided to establish a special working committee to study the question of international terrorism.

Eban said the study hoped to discredit the claim by Arab terrorists that they acted from lofty motives and to find means to protect large groups of trade union members endangered by terrorist acts in post offices and at airports. “This is an international problem,” Eban said, “because it constitutes a disruption of international communications, traffic and post. It is an offense to innocent, non-belligerent civilians and no convictions or sentences can possibly justify it.”

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