Behind the Headlines Begin’s ‘plans’ Evoke Reactions
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Behind the Headlines Begin’s ‘plans’ Evoke Reactions

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While the full peace proposals Premier Menachem Begin brought to President Carter in Washington this weekend remained cloaked in secrecy today, strong reactions developed in Israel to the rumored plans which made headlines in the Israeli and American press over the weekend.

These have already agitated the hard-liners of Herut, La’am (State List) and the Greater Israel Movement which comprise the bulk of Begin’s Likud constituency. MK Geula Cohen, a former member of the extremist Stem Group, said last night that she would ask for a meeting of Likud’s Knesset faction when Begin returns to Israel tomorrow and urge unanimous support for full Israeli sovereignty in the Judaea and Samaria regions.

Begin is not unaware of the strong opposition within his own party to any compromise on the West Bank. For that reason, it is believed, he included in his entourage to Washington Chaim Landau, one of the most uncompromising of his veteran Herut followers. Begin reportedly wants Landau to see for himself what the situation is and be able to explain the facts later to his worried Likud colleagues.


Meanwhile, rumors continued of sharp differences between Begin and Foreign Minister Moshe Dayan. When the Premier invited Dayan to join his government after the elections last May, one of his reasons was said to have been that Dayan would project an image of moderation in what was widely regarded as a hard-line regime. Now, many observers say, positions have been reversed with Begin coming across as a “dove” prepared to give up more than Dayan is willing to concede.

The differences between the two men seemed to be confirmed when Begin told an Israeli television reporter on the way to Washington that he had no idea what Dayan means when he speaks about a “functional compromise” on the West Bank. “I never used the phrase ‘functional compromise’ and, believe me, I do not know what it means,” the Premier said.

Dayan has been pushing that idea and has enlisted the support of some of his former colleagues in the Labor Party. Labor Alignment leader Shimon Peres has come out in favor of such an arrangement, though as a short-term solution, applicable for 5-10 years after which some sort of confederation would be established. But there has been no precise definition, even by Dayan of a “functional compromise.”


The Labor Party itself is hardly of one view. Former Premier Golda Meir was sharply criticized yesterday by Labor MK Yossi Sarid for her “extremist” position on territorial withdrawals and her assertion that people should not be lured into be {SPAN}####{/SPAN} (Continue on page 3 unclear)

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