Search JTA's historical archive dating back to 1923

Rabin Tells Wjc Council Meeting Interim Suez Pact ‘best Option’

June 8, 1972
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Yitzhak Rabin, Israel’s Ambassador to the United States, said here today that of four options possible in the Middle East conflict to move the situation from “dead center,” an interim agreement between Israel and Egypt on reopening the Suez Canal offered the best immediate hope. Rabin spoke before the Governing Council of the World Jewish Congress now meeting here with representatives of 20 countries in attendance. The meeting, the first the Council has held in the United States, ends Friday.

Rabin listed the four options as: movement toward a full settlement; an effort to achieve a partial settlement; retention of the status quo; and resumption of hostilities. At the present time, he said, the interim agreement plan offers the most practical chance of improving the situation.

Reviewing the situation in the five years since the start of the Six-Day War in June 1967, the envoy said that–as far as an overall settlement was concerned–he did not think it was possible that the Arab countries and the Soviet Union would be ready to agree at the present time to any changes in the Arab-Israel borders. He added, however, that without this, a settlement could not be achieved, declaring that “any attempt to move towards an overall settlement is unrealistic as long as there is no change in the basic elements of the present situation.”

He said he believed the status quo could go on for the time being and that a resumption of major hostilities was not expected in the coming months, but, he declared, “we always have to be prepared for it.” Thus, he said, only the option of an interim agreement remained. Such a pact, he said, would make possible an agreement without either side being required to give up territorial claims. He said that, in any event, “we face a long struggle until peace is achieved.”

Recommended from JTA