Search JTA's historical archive dating back to 1923

Labor Party Suspends Decision on Peace Treaty Until It is Signed

November 27, 1978
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The Labor Party leadership agreed, at a meeting here last night, to suspend any decision on the Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty until it is signed and brought before the Knesset for ratification. “Labor has no obligation to support the peace agreement in the Knesset just because it has supported the Camp David agreement,” party chairman Shimon Peres told his colleagues.

He said the Labor Party should wait before committing itself and convene just prior to the Knesset debate to adopt its stand. Peres and other speakers elaborated on what they saw as the dangers that still lie ahead in the negotiating process.

According to Peres, the main problem posed by the issue of autonomy on the West Bank and Gaza Strip is not necessarily its linkage to the peace treaty with Egypt but what it portends for the future of those territories. In Peres’ view, autonomy could lead to the creation of a Palestinian state and Israel’s eventual return to its 1967 borders.


Former Foreign Minister Yigal Allon proposed that Labor adhere to four points: that the peace agreement with Egypt must be based solely on the Camp David accords; it should stand on its own and not serve as a binding precedent for agreements with Israel’s other neighbors; the administrative autonomy should apply only to those areas heavily populated by Arabs and Israel and the autonomous agencies should act in full partnership to maintain internal security; Israeli security zones must be established along the Jordan valley, in the Judaean desert, in the Etzion region between Bethlehem and Hebron and in the southern part of the Gaza Strip.

Former Foreign Minister Abba Eban said Israel must insist on the treaty’s Article VI, that states specifically that the treaty super cedes any agreements Egypt has with other Arab states. Former Premier Yitzhak Rabin said he favored an Egyptian administrative presence in the Gaza Strip during the five-year interim period when the future of that territory will be decided. He said that from a security point of view it would be preferable to have different administrations on the West Bank and in the Gaza Strip.

According to Rabin, Israel’s biggest problem now is American pressure. He claimed the Carter Administration is lending unprecedented support to the Arab position that Israel most withdrawal to its 1967 borders.

Recommended from JTA