The latest attempt to bring peace between Israel and her Arab neighbours stems from an initiative taken by the United States last month.
The latest attempt to bring peace between Israel and her Arab neighbours stems from an initiative taken by the United States last month. But it can be traced back the United Nations Security Council's resolution of November 1967, a few months after the 6-day war.
That resolution called on Israel to withdraw from the territories it had occupied in the June war, and for all the states in the area to respect each other's territorial integrity. The first to try to put it into effect was the Secretary General's representative, Dr. Gunnar Jarring, who made many visits to Israel and the Arab capitals without obvious results. Then in April 1969, the four big powers on the Security Council opened talks among themselves, again designed to implement the Council resolution. Despite themselves, again designed to implement the Council resolution. Despite apparent differences between the Soviet Union on one side, and the United States, Britain and France on the other, intense diplomatic activity led the United States to announce its new initiative in June with some hopes of general acceptance by most of those directly concerned.
The announcement of the American move-though not the details of the proposals-came in a press conference given by the Secretary of State, Mr. William Rogers, on June 25th. He said:
The way for this new attempt was paved by a round of visits to the Arab and Israeli capitals by President Nixon's principal adviser of Middle East Affairs, Mr. Joseph Sisco.
It has emerged later that the main points of the American plan are that there should be a cease-fire until at least the beginning of October, and that in the meantime, Dr. Jarring should start a new round of negotiations to try to get agreement on the Security Council resolution.
The Arab states have been divided in their response to the new initiative. President Nasser of the United Arab republic accepted it - though he expressed doubts about whether it was likely to produce results. King Hussein of Jordan announced his support for President Nasser. But Syria (which has never accepted the Security Council resolution and declined to receive Dr. Jarring on his previous mission) and Iraq have both rejected the American plan.
The Israeli cabinet has met several times to consider the plan in the past few days, but has still not announced a definite decision.
Total opposition to the latest move has come from the more militant of the Palestine Arab guerrilla groups. The Popular Front For the Liberation of Palestine have said they are determined to use all their strength to frustrate any attempts at a peaceful solution. They and the Popular Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine demonstrated against the plan in Amman on Monday, for the first time attacking President Nasser in their slogans.