Goldmann, Eban Differ on Mideast Scene
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Goldmann, Eban Differ on Mideast Scene

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Dr. Nahum Goldmann, retired president of the World Jewish Congress and former Foreign Minister Abba Eban clashed here last night over the value of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat’s imminent visit to Jerusalem and over Goldmann’s contention that much of the blame for the present Mideast stalemate lies with Israel. Goldmann and Eban both addressed the 20th anniversary symposium of the Zionist Socialist magazine, New Outlook.

The symposium, which received an unprecedented message of greeting from Sadat yesterday, is being attended by nearly 1000 scholars, Orientalists, political figures and diplomats.

Eban asserted that the Sadat visit has great significance because it ends the fundamental rift between Israel and the Arabs over the latter’s attitude toward Israel’s existence. He said the visit will pin-point the issues and will force both sides to state clearly their views on the contents of peace, future borders and the Palestinian problem. He accused Goldmann of ignoring the role of the Arabs in prolonging the present stalemate.

According to Goldmann, it is dangerous to place too much reliance on Sadat’s visit because peace cannot be attained by the “red carpet method.” He dismissed the Israel-U.S. “working paper” on Geneva procedures as inconsequential but supported the controversial U.S.-Soviet joint statement on the Middle East of Oct. I as essential to bringing the Russians into the peace-making process.

Goldmann argued that while Moscow may not play a constructive role at this time, it is capable of sabotaging any potential settlement and therefore it is wiser to have the Soviets involved in the negotiations. Goldmann also blamed Israel for the current stalemate and wormed that the U.S. Administration and American public opinion were fed up with the continuing status quo in the Middle East.

The symposium, which opened yesterday and concludes next Monday, is dealing with such issues as how to promote a fruitful Israeli-Palestinian dialogue, the scope and limits of the Geneva conference, the alternatives between an imposed solution and war in the Mideast and the components of the Israeli-Arab dispute. Simcha Flapon, editor of New Outlook, said the theme of the symposium is, “Can the guns fall silent?” Participants include former U.S. Undersecretary of State George Ball; Lord Caradon, former British Ambassador to the UN and one of the authors of Resolution 242; and former French Premier Pierre Mendes-France, a leader of France’s Socialist Party.

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