ejects Sadat's Plan on Canal Reopening
JERUSALEM :.ETA ) — Premier
t3olda Meir has flatly •rejected
Egyptian President. Anwar Sadat s
terms for an interim arrangement
leading to the reopening of the
But she told the 3.000 delegates
and foreign visitors at the Labor
Party . convention that Israel fav-
ored the reopening of the water-
way to free navigation by all na-
tions and would willingly discuss
proposals aimed at normalization
of civilian life in the Suez zone
and de-escalation of the military
confrontation across the canal.
But, said Mrs. Meir, "if recent
statements attributed. to President
Sadat regarding the reopening of
the Suez Canal are authentic, they
cannot even be a basis for agree-
ment with Israel."
Sadat's proposals, reported by
the official Middle East News no need for the government to
Agency in Cairo last week called
draw "maps." He said he was glad
for a partial withdrawal of Is-
of this because the drawing of
rael forces from the canal's east
bank as • a first stage toward maps would only have led to
"fights among ourselves."
total withdrawal from the Sinai
Galili said Israel was prepared
to continue with the Jarring talks
Egyptian forces would occupy • and was ready to begin separate
the area, undefined by Sadat as talks on reopening the Suez Canal.
to extent, that would be evacuated But, he added, Israel will never
by Israel. In return, Sadat offered retreat from the canal which he
to put the current de facto cease called "an excellent water ob-
fire on a formal basis for a limited stacle." He said "No one would
time and to start work immediate- think of providing the Egyptians
ly to reopen the canal to intena and Russians with the means of
reaching El Arish (25 miles from
Mrs. Meir said Jerusalem would Israel's borders) from where they
remain the capital of Israel in its could attack Israel from superior
present unified state, "never again strategic positions."
to be divided," but "appropriate
Opposition is developing within
arrangements will be made to safe_ the cabinet to the tough terms
guard the religious and universal laid down by Defense Minister
status of the Christian and Mos- Moshe Dayan for any interim ar-
lem holy places with free access rangement with Egypt to reopen
to them by members of all faiths." the Suez Canal, informed sources
The premier was most emphatic said.
in repeating her government's op-
According to the sources, one
position to Big Power guarantees group of ministers believes that
and peace-keeping forces as "sub- Dayan's insistence on a formal
stitutes" for the kind of peace armistice or statement of nonbel-
settlement Israel wants.
ligerency from Egypt is unrealis-
She criticized "various proposals tic - and might put Israel in an
for an international force, includ_ unfavorable light before world
ing ideas raised by U.S. Secretary opinion. The ministers believe a
of State William P. Rogers that formal extension to the current
the Soviet Union should play a part de facto cease fire should be suf-
in such a force."
ficient to start talks about an in-
The Labor Party convention terim arrangement. But even these
gave all-out support to the govern- moderates realize that their posi-
ment's position on peace negotia- tion is still a long way from what
tions Wednesday and then ad- Cairo has offered, the sources
journed well past midnight.
The convention was the first
Galin said Israel's doctrine
since the Mapai,' Rafi and Ahdut
was to preserve the cease fire
Avoda factions merged two years
ago to establish a united Labor while negotiating for secure, de-
front. But despite differences that fensible borders recognized by
still exist among the three, the con- formal peace agreements. He
y e n ti o n displayed remarkable warned that Israel "cannot close
unity, especially on the crucial' its eyes to the unprecedented
question of the hour, the future airlift from Russia which un-
loads in Egypt new war material
boundaries of the state.
contents of which we do not
The government's position was know."
expounded by Israel Galili, minis-
The serious external situation
ter without portfolio, who is a
close associate of Premier Golda appeared to mute differences with-
Meir. Galili's political speech at in Labor Party ranks, and ,there
the conventions closing session was virtually no dissent through-
was a strongly worded rejection out the four-day convention. A new
of international pressure from any central committee was elected in
source aimed at forcing Israel to which Mapai. with 69 per cent of
the members will play the domi-
accept anything less than what it nant
considers its minimum security
with 18 per cent and Ahdut
borders. Galili adhered so faith-
fully to fie government's line Avoda -with 13 per cent offered
that Mrs. Meir canceled her own no objections; The central com-
address because of the lateness mittee was expanded from 500 to
of the hour and because almost 600 members to avoid clashes be-
everything she planned to say had tween the various branches.
It will meet shortly to elect a
been said by Galili.
secretary general, and the pres-
The minister, who more and ent incumbent, Aryeh Eliav, ap-
more seems to be the foreign pears almost certain to retain the
policy spokesman for Mrs.
Meir's so-called "inner circle," post. But he will preside alone
Deputy secretary generals repre-
acknowledged the danger of re-
senting Rafi and Ahdut Avoda
newed warfare with Egypt Ind were abolished.
said that in such an event Is-
Foreign Minister Abba Eban
rael would be subjected to the
urged the Arab states Monday
most severe pressure it has
ever known from friendly na- night to accept his vision of the
future Middle East — a commun-
tions to make concessions. But,
ity of nations after the fashion of
he said, Israel will never ac-
the European Economic Commun-
cept solutions that are not solu-
tions or substitutes for peace ity, in which each nation main.-
tains its sovereignty and cultural
that are not peace.
identity, though linked by bonds
Galili said that inasmuch as of loyalty to the region.
Israel has already rejected the
Eban rejected Rogers' conten-
June 4, 1967 boundaries as a basis tion that geographical security is
for a peace settlement, there was less important than international
guarantees, He also rejected the
demand by some Israeli circles
that Israel retain every, inch of
occupied Arab territory on his-
Israel has had little geography
but many guarantees — actually
an overflow of guarantees but
little security to show for them,
the foreign minister said. "We
do not say only geography. but
we say geography too," Eban
Speaking from the. same plat-
form. Dayan told the convention
delegates that Israel must hold on
to its - present defense lines despite
various plans and promises of
guarantees until a firm peace set-
tlement is obtained. This, he said,
would be a long, slow process.
Under the circumstances, he
said the Gaza .Strip and Golan
Heights were not just "real es-
tate" but keys to peace and sec-
He asked, "If we withdraw from
Sharm el Sheikh and the Egyp-
tians return there, in a year or
five years, what will we do then?"
Dayan also hinted, in remarks
made after his official speech,
that he favored the permanent
presence of an Israeli army on
the west bank of the Jordan.
"If we do not want just peace
documents but security, I pre-
fer that Israel's army should
hold to the lines which are ef-
fective and meaninful for Is-
rael's security, even if the Arab
countries refuse to recognize
them as our peace borders," he
said. "The Israel army is now
deployed from Mt. Hermon to
the Jordan and the Dead Sea.
Is there any substitute for such -
a defensible line?"
Dayan stressed :Israel's read- . *heart that we will never have to
iness to meet any new Egyptian fight Soviet soldiers."
thrust. He said he hoped threats
(Dr. Henrik Kahn, editor of the
emanating from Moscow do not 1 Baseler National Zeitung in Switz-
I represent Russia's policy in Egypt: • 'erlancl, charges in a leading article
"We are not at war with the that the Rogers' plan for Israel is
Soviet Union. I desire with all my
(Continued on Page 17)
16—Friday, April 9, 1971
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