Two Cabinet ministers predicted over the weekend that Israel would come under renewed political pressure for concessions after the Presidential elections in the United States. Defense Minister Shimon Peres told a gathering of 1000 Labor Party members here that pressure would be brought to bear on Israel to negotiate territorial withdrawals in the Judaea-Samaria regions in exchange for little more than an end of the state of belligerency by the Arabs.
Peres acknowledged that there was a reservoir of good will in the U.S. toward Israel and observed that the Israeli army’s strength assures its ability to stand up to pressure. Nevertheless, he warned, if Egypt and Syria renew their pre-Yom Kippur War military alliance and political pressure is excited by Israel’s friends. “it will be a heavy burden on our shoulders.”
The Defense Minister said the political debate would begin within the next two months and would focus on the status of Jerusalem which is the key to the future of Judaea-Samaria. Therefore, he said, the expansion of Jewish settlements around Jerusalem must be given top priority, adding that much has been accomplished so far in this respect. He referred, however, to “a dynamic of Arab settlement” around Jerusalem. “a quiet one which does not make headlines.”
Speaking in Jerusalem, Interior Minister Yosef Burg said that Israel would come under heavy pressure from the U.S. in about three months when the new Administration in Washington takes office. He urged the establishment of a national unity government to meet the challenge.
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.