Israelis react to call for 'jihad'
Jerusalem — The Islamic summit's call for "jihad" (holy war) against Israel has caused some of the Jewish state's biggest diplomatic guns to be trained on Saudi Arabia , the Muslim conference's host country.
The Israeli hope is that their verbal salvos will be able to tear away the Saudis' alleged mask of moderation.
Foreign Minister Yitzhak Shamir is leading the Israeli assault. He mounted the rostrum of the Knesset (parliament) here to sound a dire warning to the West , especially West Germany and the United States, against selling arms to the Saudis.
Mr. Shamir's astute political adviser and media aide, Naftali Lavie, was first to open fire, telling foreign correspondents that the Saudis speak with forked tongues, "repeatedly advocating 'jihad' in the Arabic press while telling American and other Western journalists that they seek peace in the Middle East."
Saudi King Khalid and Crown Prince Fahd were singled out as outstanding examples of Mr. Lavie's point.
"Actually," he went on, "the Saudis are a disruptive, agitating force constantly inveighing against the Camp David accords and the peacemaking process."
He was particularly bitter about the Saudi stand on Jerusalem, citing Riyadh's advocacy of the city's former Jordanian sector be severed from Israel and transformed into the capital of a Palestinian state.
Mr. Lavie took the summit's communique with the utmost seriousness, noting that at the Saudis' behest and encouragement it recommended that "economic, military, and political means" be mobilized for jihad against Israel.
This was contrasted with the Saudis' refusal to accept United Nations Security Council Resolution 242 as a basis for regional peace and their having participated in all the Middle East wars fought by Israel except the 1956 invasion of the Sinai Peninsula. This presumably was caused by the hostility of Egypt's late President Gamal Abdel Nasser toward the royalist Saudi regime.
Mr. Lavie charged the Saudis with practicing and fomenting blatant anti-Semitism, recalling reports by American correspondents traveling with ex-secretary of state Henry Kissinger in 1974 to the effect that copies of the anti-Jewish "Protocols of the Elders of Zion" were distributed in the newsmen's hotel rooms.
He also noted the Saudis' refusal to permit a Dutch correspondent, Jap Van Wesl, to accompany the Dutch foreign minister to Saudi Arabia on the grounds that Mr. Van Wesl is Jewish and files dispatches from Israel.
In a speech prepared for delivery in the Knesset Foreign Minister Shamir pointed out that whereas Saudi Arabia exported $4 billion worth of oil in 1973, it exported $47 billion worth in 1980. This was by way of contending that the Saudis are not doing their customers a favor by selling oil.
He also noted that the developing countries have sustained an increase of 1, 000 percent in the price of their oil imports from Saudi Arabia since 1973, while their average increase in export revenues was only 188 percent during the same period.
Mr. Shamir regrets the implied hatred and anti-Jewish unanimity in the summit's attitude toward Israel, but believes that a military expression of this sentiment is unlikely as long as Egypt is outside the belligerent camp.
"And Egypt was excluded from that summit," Mr. Shamir stressed, taking substantial comfort in this fact.
Undoubtedly, the Israeli diplomat's views will be presented in greater detail later this month to US Secretary of State Alexander Haig in Washington. Mr. Shamir reportedly is scheduled to be among the first foreign ministers to confer with the newly installed United States secretary.
Labor Party chairman Shimon Peres prefers to look beyond the bellicose text of the Islamic summit's communique toward the implications for his favorite Arab negotiating partner: Jordan's King hussein.
The Jordanian monarch's public refusal to conduct negotiations with Israel, even if Mr. Peres's Laborites come to power (a likely prospect after this summer's general election, according to local public opinion polls), is not taken as King Hussein's last word.