Title: Policy background.
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Title: Policy background.
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Bibliographic ID: UF00072554
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Source Institution: The Isser and Rae Price Library of Judaica
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POIY AKGON


NASSER IN NEWSWEEK, NASSER IN CAIRO:

THE MESSAGE IS THE SAME





























THE EMBASSY OF ISRAEL
Washington, D.C.


February 5, 1969


P 0 LI C


B A K GR 0 N







NASSER IN NEWSWEEK, NASSER IN CAIRO: THE MESSAGE IS THE SAME



President Nasser is known to be keenly sensitive to Western think-
ing and mood, and is adapt in measuring his words beamed for Western
audiences. Hence, when talking to visitors from Uestern capitals,
particularly representatives of the news media, he invariably assumes
a tone of reason and moderation laced, at times, with a hurt innocence.
This is the mood of his interview in Newsweek magazine of February 10,
1969.
There is, however, another President Nasser, one familiar to Arab
audiences and to students of the Arab scene. This Nasser talks in
the vernacular of the people he leads. What he tells his people
commits him to them. The undertakings, the aspirations, the programs
he unfolds are not delivered as empty promises. They are tenants of
policy binding upon his Government and by which he is judged by his
people. In nis pursuit of Middle East affairs, moderation and reason
are a stranger to this, the authentic Nasser. And it is with the
real Nasser that Israel has to live.

Specific Utterances
Yet, whichever the Nasser, the policy he espouses adds up, in
the final analysis, to the sa&e message: no. peace with Israel. To
his own domestic audiences he is specific. On January 20, he told
the UAR National Assembly:
"The Palestinian resolve must be given freedom to express
itself without hindrance. It must be given the fullest
opportunity to achieve its aims. The UAR places all its
resources at the disposal of these ,./errorist7 organizations
without condition or reservation."
(Note: "The Palestinian resolve" is a frequently employed euphemism
for Israel's destruction. In the words of the El Fatah leader, Arafat,
on February 2: ;'It is the Palestinian resolve that the revolution will
lay down its arms only after the liberation of the whole of Palestine.
There is no difference between the struggle of the Arab people to
eliminate the consequences of the aggression and the Palestinian
struggle." -- Baghdad Radio.)
And again, President Nasser before the UAR National Assembly:
"In line with this same policy, the UAR appreciates the
attitude of the Palestinian resistance organizations in
rejecting the Security Council resolution of 22 November 1967,
that was accepted by the UAR. They are entitled to reject
this resolution which serves the purpose of eliminating the
consequences of the June 1967 aggression, but is inadequate
for determining the Palestinian fate."
And again, Nasser at the opening of the Palestine National Council,
Cairo, February 1, 1969:
"The Arab nation must realize that the Palestine problem
is not only the Problem of the Palestinians... There is one
cardinal truth about the Mideast situation -- the need to
restore every last step of the sanctified soil."







-2-


Two Voices
Nasser continues to commit himself, in front of his own people
and before all the Arab States, to the ultimate aim of destroying
Israel. This aim, he tells them, cannot be accomplished without first
achieving the more immediate stage of an Israeli withdrawal from the
territories occupied in June 1967. Once that is brought about the
stage will be set for the ultimate second phase, realizable once
Israel will again have been reduced to the old vulnerable and insecure
Armistice lines.
President Nasser fully realizes that to spell out this design
before Western audiences would ellicit sharp opposition. Following
the Six Day War, he agreed that the openly-voiced Arab threat to
destroy Israel by force had proved politically damaging to the
objective. Thus, in the Newsweek interview, he phrases the Arab hope
of Israel's demise in these terms:
Q. Could you spell out how you see a lasting solution?
A. The only way is for Israel to become a country that
is not based on religion, but on all religions a nation of
Jews, Moslems and Cristians. They lived for centuries
together with few problems, but as long as the Israelis
insist on depriving the Palestinians of their rights, the
crisis will be with us for 10, 20, 30 and 40 more years.
Israel, in other words, has to relinquish its sovereign national and
cultural character. It must cease to exist as,a Jewish State. It
must again become Palestine.
Nasser's remark is revealing politically. It is likewise sig-
nificant for the echo it carries of the Hitlerite past: The final
solution will be at hand once the Jewish entity is eliminated. The
problem then will cease to exist. This is the underlying logic of
Nasser's non-recognition of Israel. It constitutes the intrinsic
theme of his Newsweek interview. Couched in a language muted for the
Western ear, he unfolds a "five-point" plan for the Middle East which
adds up to a non-peace situation. The underlying roots of the conflict
are all preserved in tact.
Israel has to withdraw, but in return for what? "Non-belliger-
ence," (whatever the term may mean), is the furthest he is prepared
to go. A declaratory gesture that can be abrogated as easily as given,
not a contractually binding document between the parties, is what
Nasser proposes. Opposition to direct contact is tantamount to non-
recognition, and without recognition there is no peace. If Israel
is not to be specifically recognized what credence can be placed on
the talk of territorial integrity? If, in Cairo thinking, Israel is
to remain a political fiction what value can be attached to utter-
ances about the rights of each State to live in peace? Pronounce-
ments concerning freedom of passage in international waterways, proven
empty before, are worthless without the backing of solid guarantees
between the parties involved. The only direct form of contact with










Israel that passer can conceive is at the level of a Mixed Armistice
Commission -- an institution of the former bankrupt Armistice regime
that enshrined the seeds of two wars in two decades.

The Khartoum Formula
In sum, what President Nasser in his interview (and the Soviets
in their so-called "peace plan," drawn up in coordination with him),
contemplate is a system of arrangements substantially similar to those
set up following the hostilities of 1956, which leave the UAR with
the option to rescind them at will as it did in May-June 1967. The
Khartoum resolution called for and Nasser again now demands, a for-
mula of total Israeli withdrawal without the slightest reference to
or allowance for those critical principles which must attend any
effort to establish true peace in the area: explicit recognition of
Israel's sovereignty and a permanent end tb hostility and contractual
agreements with guarantees between the parties to the conflict on
such issues as secure boundaries and freedom of navigation in the
Suez Canal and the Tiran Straits. True peace is what the Security
Council resolution of November 22, 1967, set out to achieve and what
the Jarring mission seeks to promote.
That Israel is not prepared to cooperate with any design that
does not clearly spell peace requires no explanation. Suffice it to
say that the Nasser who advocates the non-peace "settlement" is the
same man who fomented the 1967 war, invented the falsehood about
American-British bombardment of Egypt, who, in his latest interview,
promulgates the falsehood that Israel considers its borders to be the
Nile and the Euphrates, and who makes no secret in Cairo at least
that Israel's destruction remains his ultimate objective.

Significant Timing
It is against these facts that one must measure the credence
of his Newsweek interview. The one new and significant element it-
contains is not in content but in timing. It coincides and is
coordinated with the initiatives of the USSR and France to involve
the United States in four-power discussions on the Middle East in
what observers believe to be an attempt to bring about a change in
America's policy towards that region, one that would settle for
something less than genuine peace.
As Israel sees it, anything short of genuine peace is tantamount
to nurturing the seeds of renewed war, to be launched in time to come
once President Nasser feels ready to tackle his ultimate objective.




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