Dayan Tells UN Assembly Israel Has Changed Its View on Territorial Concessions; Defends West Bank Se
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Dayan Tells UN Assembly Israel Has Changed Its View on Territorial Concessions; Defends West Bank Se

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Israeli Foreign Minister Moshe Dayan said here today that Israel has changed its policy on territorial concessions. In a speech prepared for delivery before the General Assembly late this afternoon, Dayan said that for 10 years, between 1967-77, “the government of Israel was committed to territorial concessions in return for genuine peace and this implied the re-division of the area. Now our view is that re-division is not the answer.”

Dayan defended the establishment of Jewish settlements on the West Bank as “legal.” He cited the unification of Jerusalem as the “model” for the future for those territories. He contended, “No state today has any claims of sovereignty to what was Mandatory Palestine that are better than or even equal to Israel’s claims.” He reiterated Israel’s absolute rejection of a Palestinian state on the West Bank and Gaza Strip which he called “a futile exercise in wishful thinking totally unacceptable to Israel.”

Dayan said that developments in recent days and the possibility of reconvening the Geneva conference are a source for “guarded optimism” for the future in the Middle East. He emphasized repeatedly Israel’s rejection of PLO participation at Geneva and its firm position that Security Council Resolution 242 is the only basis for negotiations. Dayan said that “Israel is ready to resume negotiations at Geneva for the achievement of true, contractual and effective peace treaties including the establishment of diplomatic relations between Israel and the Arab states.


With respect to Israel’s changed attitude on territorial concessions, he said: “Nowhere is it possible to draw a dividing line which will satisfy not only the security but also the historical, economic and social needs of all sides. The model for the future must be united Jerusalem where since 1967 Jews and Arabs have proved that they can live together harmoniously to their mutual benefit….There is no room and no need for barbed wire anymore.”

Dayan said that, in the past, if the Arabs had proposed partitioning these territories between Israel and themselves, Israel “would have discussed and examined their proposal and afterwards would have decided whether we are ready to agree to their proposals or not.” However, according to Dayan, Jordan and the Palestinian Arabs on the West Bank and Gaza Strip have no inclination for a solution based on re-division of Judaea and Samaria and the Gaza Strip. He said that Jordan’s annexation of the West Bank in 1950 was never recognized by any state except Pakistan and the United Kingdom.


The Israeli diplomat sharply rejected criticism of Israel for establishing settlements on the West Bank. He said that no Palestinian Arabs have been displaced by the settlements and declared: “It is unacceptable to us that Jews should be prohibited from living in any part of their ancestral land.” Dayan said, however, that Jewish settlements will not decide the final borders between Israel and its neighbors which will be decided in negotiations. He claimed that “settlements are by no means an obstacle to peace because if they were we should have had peace years ago.”

A Palestinian state, he said “is but a futile exercise in wishful thinking, totally unacceptable to us, ignoring as it does the language of (Resolution) 242 and the basic facts on the ground.” Dayan insisted that “A PLO mini-state on the West Bank which would not be viable itself, would be a base for attempts to destroy Israel. One has only to consult a map and the political program of the PLO to realize this.”

Referring to Egyptian Foreign Minister Ismail Fahmy’s recent address to the General Assembly in which he warned of the possibility of a new war in the Middle East, Dayan said he wanted to remind the Egyptian minister that every war launched by Egypt ended to its considerable disadvantage. With respect to Fahmy’s demand that Israel halt immigration, Dayan said “Israel will never limit immigration. Zionism is the lifeblood of Israel.”


Dayan opened his remarks with reference to the condition of Jews in the Soviet Union and Syria. He called on the Soviet government to permit Jews who want to emigrate to do so. He said Syrian Jewry does not enjoy basic human rights such as freedom of movement and the right to be reunited with their families abroad. “There can be no valid reason for the government of Syria to hold these 5000 innocent people as hostages,” Dayan said.


The Israeli Foreign Minister said his country advocated a reduction of the arms race in the Middle East and is ready to enter agreements on arms limitations with all states of the area. He also called for direct negotiations with the Arabs to establish a nuclear-free zone in the Middle East. Dayan criticized the UN for failing to adopt appropriate measures against terrorism. He said if the UN failed to take action in that direction “then it will have lost all credibility as an effective instrument of international action.”


Earlier today, a statement embodying four principles for peace between Israel and the Arab states was read to reporters at the opening of a press conference called by Dayan. The statement was read by Meir Rosen, legal advisor to the Foreign Minister.

The principles on which Israel said a peace must be based are: “Israel’s security must be insured; there shall be freedom of navigation in all international waterways in the area; the main water sources of Israel such as the Jordan River sources in the north should be secured; equal rights and full coexistence between Israel and the Palestinian Arabs in the Gaza Strip and Judaea and Samaria should be achieved.”

The statement said that Israel would enter into negotiations without any pre-conditions and that it considers all issues as being subject to negotiations. The statement said the principles for peace contained therein were provided to U.S. Secretary of State Cyrus Vance in the draft text for a full peace treaty proposed by Israel.

Dayan reiterated at his press conference that Israel will not “sit down” with the PLO under any circumstances, even if it changed its covenant calling for the destruction of Israel. Dayan stressed that the rules of the Geneva peace conference did not allow the participation of any parties not agreed to by Israel.

(Addressing some 3000 people last night in Montreal at a Jewish community gathering at the Chevra Kadisha Bnei Jacob Synagogue under the auspices of the Combined Jewish Appeal, Dayan declared: “Nobody is going to force us into a peace which we would consider unacceptable to our security and national defense.”

(He stressed the moral and physical strength of Israel, the readiness of its army and the willingness of the population to accept whatever measures of economic stringency may be required in any given situation. He was cautiously optimistic that a way will be found to reconvene the Geneva conference.)

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