The Carter administration served notice yesterday that it will intensify its attempts to break the Arab-Israeli deadlock on Palestinian representation in a Geneva peace conference when talks at the foreign ministers level begin here next week.
In a basic policy restatement, the State Department said more explicitly and firmly than before that Palestinian "representatives will have to be at Geneva for the Palestinian question to be solved."
The "status of the Palestinians," the White House-authorized statement said, is an issue that "cannot be ignored if the others are to be solved" in an Arab-Israeli peace settlement.
The key question of who will represent the Palestinians was left up in the air. The major grouping, the Palestine Liberation Organization, last month punctured Carter administration hopes that, as President Carter said, it would "recognize the applicability of the United Nations Resolution 242" which recognizes the existence of an Israeli state. The PLO Central Council, meeting in Damascus, rejected the U.S. proposal.
All participants in the peace conference, yesterday's statement reiterated, "should adhere to the terms of that resolution" of 1967, as well as U.N. Resolution 338 of 1973.
Nevertheless, the new U.S. statement was interpreted by many diplomats and others as putting greater pressure on Israel than on the Arab nations to end the deadlock Israel has rejected any negotiations with the PLO.
The president of the Zionist Organization of American, Rabbi Joseph P. [WORD ILLEGIBLE] said in a telegram to Secretary of State Cyrus R. Vance that have are deeply disturbed at timing and content of today's statement . . ."
He charged that its issuance on the eve of the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashanah when the Jewish community is immobilized is on a par with the Arab attack on Israel on Yom Kippur four years ago." Sternstein said the statement "undermines Israel's gence" just prior to the visit of Israeli Foreign Minister Moshe Dayan for talks starting on Monday.
Administration officials dismissed such charges as unwarranted and denied that the timing was related to the Jewish holiday, which began last night.
State Department spokesman Hodding Carter III said the statement is essentially a restatement of the American position, to make U.S. policy in the Palestine dispute "extra clear" before "we enter into a new round of discussions."
Dayan will be followed to Washington by the foreign ministers of Egypt, Jordan, Syria and, later, Saudi Arabia, with talks to be continued in New York while the U.N. General Assembly is in session.
The Arab nations insist that the PLO is the official representative of the Palestinians. Israeli Prime Minister Menhaem Begin has said, and the Israeli embassy here yesterday reiteracted that Israel will never deal with "this murderous organization which adopts genocidal methods aimed at the destruction of the state of Israel."
Israel's alternate, as embassy press spokesman Aviezer Pazner repeated yesterday, is that "it agrees to the participation of Palestinian Arab representatives in the Jordanian delegation to the peace talks, as long as they are not members of the so-called PLO . . ."
The Israeli spokesman also pointedly recalled that in 1975 the United States and Israel agreed that, as he put it, "every change in the composition of the participants in the Geneva peace conference must be with the agreement of all the original participants."
The 1975 agreement amounts to an Israeli veto on conference participation. U.S. officials recognize it fully, and regard it as part of their dilemma for providing what President carter has described as "a homeland" for Palestinian refugees of Arab-Israeli warfare.
An advance copy of the new U.S. statement was given to Israeli Ambassador Simcha Dinitz on Sunday by Under secretary of State Philip C. Habib. In the judgement of administration souces, by the objective is to put pressure "on both sides," Arab and Israeli, to reach a compromise, although Israel admittedly feels the weight the most.
In early August Vance Shuttled between the Arab nations and Israel, selling agreement on compromise. The U.S. proposals included the Israeli suggestion for having Palestinians attend a conference as part of a Jordanian delegation, and alternatively having the Arabs attend a conference as a single group with Palestinians in the delegation. All the approaches foundered.
Israel's Dayan is carrying to Washington a prposed Middle East peace tratey based on the premise that no territorial agreement between the Arabs and Israel is attainable in the occupied West Bacnk. Instead, Dayan is expected to propose giving the Palestinian Arabs self-government for internal affairs, with continued Israeli control of security.
The Arab nations generally, Israeli that type of approach.
In the new U.S. statement, seeking to focus prime attention on the Palestinian issue, the State Department said.
"Along with the issues of the nature of peace, recognition, security and borders, the status of the Palestinians must be settled in a comprehensive Arab-Israeli agreement. This issue cannot be ignored if the others are to be solved.
"Moreover, to be lasting, a peace agreement must be positively supported by all of the parties to the conflict, including the Palestinians.
"This means that the Palestinians must be involved in the peace-making process. Their representatives will have to be at Geneva for the Palestinian question to be solved.
"As co-chairman of the Geneva Conference, the United States has a special responsibility for ensuring the success of the conference. We have therefore been exploring with the confrontation states and Saude Arabia a number of alternatives with regard to the participation of the Palestinians in the peace negotiations.
"With the respect to U.N. Resolution 242, all of the participants in the peace conference should adhere to the terms of that resolution and Resolution 338, which presently form the only agreed basis for negotiations."