JERUSALEM, OCT. 18 -- Secretary of State George P. Shultz, ending three days of meetings with the rival leaders of Israel's coalition government, today called for "energy, unity and resolve" in restarting an Arab-Israeli peace process and warned that "no one helps the chances for peace by doing nothing."
Shultz's remarks at his only public address here were interpreted by Israeli journalists as critical of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir, who has vetoed the diplomatic initiatives of his rival, Foreign Minister Shimon Peres.
In a news conference several hours after the speech, however, Shultz went out of his way to praise Shamir's desire for peace and announce that Shamir will pay an official visit to Washington next year, which could boost his political prospects in an Israeli election year.
Shultz met three times with Shamir and three times with Peres, but never with the two men together.
"I can't point to any particular thing and say, look, we've moved from here to there" as a result of the discussions, Shultz told reporters tonight. Nearly all of the key talks were one-on-one sessions with the rival leaders conducted in unusual secrecy and, so far, an almost unprecedented absence of leaks to the Israeli press.
Shultz did say that "I'll have some things to talk to King Hussein about" when he meets the Jordanian monarch Monday night and Tuesday in London, but he declined to elaborate.
A senior U.S. official said it is "still too early to tell" whether anything discussed here will end the seeming stagnation in the peace process. A senior Israeli official said he gave the prospect of some movement an outside chance, perhaps 3 or 4 on a scale of 10.
In his address to the Weizmann Institute in Rehovot, where Shultz was awarded an honorary degree, the secretary declared that "those who are reluctant to explore new ideas, or even revisit old ones, have an obligation to offer something different as an alternative to the status quo."
Questioned about the statement in his press conference, Shultz insisted that it did not apply to the current Israeli government talks, saying he had found "eagerness to discuss the peace process on all sides." Shultz disclaimed reports from his aides in Washington and the Israeli press here that he came with "new ideas" about the peace process, and even expressed doubt that such new ideas exist.
The one area of open discord was between Shultz and nine Palestinian leaders from the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip, who refused an invitation to meet him this afternoon.
Mustafa Natshe, former mayor of the West Bank city of Hebron and spokesman for the group, said, "Our people refused to come as a kind of protest against American policy toward our people." Natshe charged that U.S. policy "ignores our national rights, our right to self-determination and our right to have our own state, and refuses to recognize the Palestine Liberation Organization as our sole legitimate representative."
Natshe said the group was particularly angry at the recent State Department order closing the PLO information office in Washington.
Shultz said "it is too bad for them" that the Palestinians refused the invitation to talk because "Palestinians keep saying they want representation, they want to be heard, that they want to be listened to, that they have ideas, that they have an important role."
Shultz said he understood that "a number" of those invited were threatened with harm if they met him, which "only reminds us that peace has enemies."
Morris Draper, U.S. consul in Jerusalem, who also deals with the Palestinians, said two of those invited to meet Shultz were out of the country, four of those invited had reported to him that they had been threatened, and the other three evidently found it uncomfortable to come under the circumstances. Shultz has met here in the past with Palestinians.
Shultz met this afternoon with Ida Nudel, the Soviet dissident who was released from Moscow last week after 17 years of struggle. During the meeting, Shultz telephoned President Reagan at Bethesda Naval Hospital near Washington and passed the phone to Nudel, who expressed thanks "from the depths of my heart to you personally, to your government, to all the people of the United States, to all people of good will" for pressing for her departure.
Shultz also participated in a ceremony at Tel Aviv University inaugurating the George Shultz doctoral fellowships for students in international relations, political science, business and economics. Shultz has contributed $10,000 to start the fellowships, according to a university official.
Early Monday morning, Shultz is scheduled to depart for meetings with President Hosni Mubarak and other Egyptian leaders in Cairo before flying on to London to see Hussein. Washington Post Jerusalem correspondent Glenn Frankel contributed to this report.