PARIS (Oct. 6)
Israel cannot confide the safety of Jerusalem’s 100,000 Jews to the United Nations, Foreign Minister Moshe Shertok told a crowded press conference today at the Palais de Chaillot. Nothing but a Jewish force can assure their protection, he declared, adding that the Jews of the. Holy City and of the world have lost confidence in the ability of the U.N. to safeguard their lives and vital interests.
Pointing out that the Holy Places could be protected through an international regime for the walled city only, Shertok said: “We have the right to ask that the New City form a part of the territory of Israel, as it does today, and that it be linked to the Jewish state by a strip of territory.” He added that the fact that the Jerusalem Jews did not die of thirst during the siege was due entirely to Jewish valor and to self-discipline. “I am sorry to say,” ho-asserted, “that the United Nations can claim no credit for that.”
Asked to comment on the Bernadotte recommendations for Palestine, the Israeli Cabinet member said that they were not acceptable as a basis of discussion. Western Balilee is no substitute for the Negev, he remarked. He added that Israel had claimed that area from the outset, Israeli troops had occupied it, and events and experience had proved it indispensable to national defense.
ISRAELI GOVERNMENT MAY SOON FILE APPLICATION FOR U.N. MEMBERSHIP
Formal application for U.N. membership will probably be filed by Israel during the present sessions, the Foreign Minister disclosed. On the subject of the disposal of the Arab areas, he said that as a matter of principle Israel would prefer to see those sections established as a separate state. However, he said, the Bernadotte proposal that those Arab sections should be joined to Trinitarian seemed a plausible one.
The so-called Arab Palestine Government at Gaza he described as a “propaganda agency, not an administrative authority,” and remarked that this situation was complicated by dissensions within the Arab world as well as among Palestine Arabs. Israel, he declared, would content itself with maintaining a “watchful attitude, expressing a preference only in principle.”
On the issue of the Arab refugees, Shertok reiterated Israel’s position that those people could not be accepted back until there was a final peace settlement with the Arabs. He said that Israel was prepared at any time to sit down at a table with the Arabs and discuss peace terms.
Yesterday, Shertok spent a half-hour with Secretary of State George C. Marshall outlining the Israeli position on the Bernadotte plan. Informed American Sources said Marshall indicated that the U.S. did not regard the Bernadotte report as a sacred testament and insisted only that it be accepted as a basis for dissension. The U.S. delegation is said to be willing to discuss modifications of the report, including the section amputating the entire Negev from the Jewish state.