Lake Success (May. 9)
A wave of laughter swept the crowded committee room this afternoon at the opening of proceedings when Argentine delegate Jose Arce misstook David Ben Gurion for the head of the Palestine Arab delegation.
The incident occurred when the committee began discussion of the sub-committee’s resolution on the terms of reference. The Egyptian delegate, supported by Gromyko, insisted that the discussion should not take place until the Palestine Arab delegation was heard. Whereupon the Argentinian delegate, looking toward Ben Gurion, who was seated among the distinguished political guests, said “I understand that the head of the Palestine Arab delegation is already here in the room, thus the Palestine Arabs can now be heard.”
Chairman Lester Pearson laughingly explained that Ben Gurion was not the head of the Arab delegation, but the head of the Jewish Agoncy delegation. All the delegates, including the Argentinian, roared. Arce said he mistook Ben Gurion for the Arab, because of the great fuss made by the photographers when the Zionist leader entered.