• Short Summary

    Israel would be prepared for a fight at the border with Syrian "terrorist groups", Prime Minister Golda Meir said at the weekend.

  • Description

    SV Golda Meir, Yigal Allon and Abba Eban seated

    CU N.B.C. reporter (SOUND DOWN)

    SCU Allon (deputy Prime Minister

    SOUND STARTS: "OF course....."

    SOUND ENDS: ".....which is peace."

    SCU Eban speaks

    SOUND STARTS: "Certainly I hope...."

    SOUND ENDS: "....by negotiation."

    SCU Mrs. Meir

    SOUND STARTS: "Supposing the Syrian...."

    SOUND ENDS: ".....essential for our good."

    MRS, MEIR: "Supposing the Syrian terrorist groups that came in -- and we know about Syria; the army, the Syrian army and the government have absolute control over their terrorist organisation called the Saika. Now if they should come into the southern Lebanon, very close to the border, all that we would do would be prepared on our border."

    INTERVIEWER: "But you're not talking about a response to the situation as it exists in downtown Beirut?"

    MEIR: "We have problems of our own. We're not butting into anybody else's problems unless it is absolutely essential for our good."

    ALLON: "Of course, this is the historic land of Israel and we consider our historic right for the land of Israel as the moral right of our existence in this part of the world. But, as the same time, as a sovereign country, we can decide where to settle and where not to settle just because of political considerations. We are ready, for instance, to compromise on a given piece of land on the West Bank (of Jordan). It doesn't mean that we don't have an historic right on this particular piece of land. In spite of this historic right we are willing to concede to obtain something that is no less historical -- which is peace."

    EBAN: "Certainly I hope that much beyond the end of the next 25 years we will be in a postulant dialogue with our neighbours. If reason meant more than it does I think they would negotiate....."

    INTERVIEWER: "But there's nothing you have to base that on?"

    EBAN: "Except that certain illusions seem to be growing weaker. The illusion that they can change the reality of Israel's existence by war. I think that after six years they must be less confident in what they call an 'imposed settlement', than they were six years ago. They don't have many options. They can't really believe that terrorist violence--which incidentally is getting pushed further away from the Middle East--can really have a radical effect. Therefor the options are not very many. They are either to put up with the present situation, which they cannot want and which we don't think is ideal. Or they can change the present situation fundamentally by negotiation."

    Initials BB/1607 DS/JB/BB/1619


    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: Israel would be prepared for a fight at the border with Syrian "terrorist groups", Prime Minister Golda Meir said at the weekend.

    She and her deputy, Yigal Allon, and Foreign Minister Abba Eban, faced a panel of newsmen on the "Meet the Press" programme aired Sunday (6 May) by the National Broadcasting Company.

    Mrs. Meir was commenting on the Israeli action if Palestinian terrorist groups threatened Lebanon, and, through Lebanon, Israel. A transcript of her remarks follows, including the questions's interjection about Israeli commandos' raid on Palestinian Beirut headquarters in April:
    Deputy Prime Minister Allon said that while Israel maintained its historic right to settle anywhere in the land of Israel, it might be willing to concede some of the land captured in the June, 1967 war with the Arab in order to get peace. A transcript of his statement follows:
    Asked if there were any peace prospects in Israel's next quarter century (it has just marked its 25th anniversary as a nation), Foreign Minister Eban said the Arabs had few options -- either to maintain the present situation or to negotiate. A transcript of his answer, and the interjection of his questioner, follows:
    SYNOPSIS: Israel's deputy Prime Minister, Yigal Allon, Foreign Minister Abba Eban and Prime Minister Golda Meir commented Sunday on the Middle East situation.

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