TEL AVIV (Sep. 16)
The Israel delegation to the U.N. General Assembly, which opens its session next Tuesday at Flushing Meadows, will do its utmost to show the injustice and impracticability of the plan-proposed by the U.N. Conciliation Commission-to place Jerusalem under an international regime and prevent the Jewish section of the city from becoming an integral part of the state of Israel, Foreign Minister Moshe Sharett announced today at a press conference here.
“The Israel delegation,” he said, “will also prove to the satisfaction of the United Nations the feasibility of a solution which would fully safeguard the rights and interests of all faiths and all religious institutions in Jerusalem without encroaching upon the freedom of the Jewish part of the city and its indissoluble connection with Israel.
“The application of the principle of international responsibility of a regime in Jerusalem cannot and need not go beyond the supervision of the Holy Places, unless, indeed, the principle of international administration were confined to the Old City with its shrines and its religious foundations,” he pointed out. “A growing number of Christian countries, and even some churches, appear ready to accept this conclusion. In any case, the insistence on establishing an international regime for Jerusalem, affecting the sovereignty and the administration, by no means represents the united will of the Christian world,” he emphasized.
Stressing that the U.N. plan for Jerusalem is “patently ineffectual in relation to the purpose which it proposes to achieve,” Mr. Sharett said: “While Jerusalem problems were discussed on the international scene before successive bodies, the city itself went through death agonies, defended itself successfully against its attackers, and rebuilt its life. It could achieve this only as part of the state of Israel and with its help. It is impossible to break this connection without again jeopardizing Jerusalem’s existence.
OPPOSES MIXED ARAB-JEWISH ADMINISTRATION; REJECTS DEMILITARIZATION
“Equally unreal,” Mr. Sharett continued, “is the assertion that the affairs of Jerusalem can today effectively be administered by a mixed Jewish-Arab Council of equal composition. All such theoretical experiments at the expense of Jerusalem’s vital interests are a matter of the past. The idea that the population of Jerusalem can deliberately and artificially be frozen either in a total or racial composition is utterly fantastic.
“The provision contained in the U.N. plan regarding immigration into Jerusalem is not merely a denial of right to every Jew who wishes to go and live in the ancient mother city of his people, nor does it merely constitute a grave menace for Israel’s economic future. It is simple unenforceable in practice.
“In providing for the complete demilitarization of Jerusalem–equally applied to the Jewish and Arab parts of the city–the authors of the plan completely disregarded the cardinal fact that Jewish Jerusalem today is surrounded on three sides by Arab territory. Formal equality in demilitarization becomes a sham when gross inequality is inherent in the realities of the security situation. Such inequality can only be remedied by ever-present capacity for effective defense. The tragic experience is there to be learned from. It cannot be brushed aside with sublime light-mindedness as irrelevancy,” Mr. Sharett declared.
Replying to questions, the Foreign Minister said that the Israel Government would “tactfully cooperate” with Alberto Gonzales Fernandez, the newly-appointed U.N. commissioner for Jerusalem. “The government is now examining the terms of reference under which Mr. Fernandez is to assume his post,” he said. He added that with regard to the composition of the supervisory body for Jerusalem eventually working under Mr. Fernandez, the Israel Government will not lay down any conditions nor accept any commitments. When these matters some up before the U.N. Assembly, they will be dealt with by the Israel delegation there in accordance with the prevailing circumstances, he stated.
U.S. PRESSURE ON ISRAEL FOR TERRITORIAL MODIFICATIONS CONTINUES
Replying to a question regarding reported improvement in relations between Israel and Britain, Mr. Sharett said that he is unable to say anything at all on this question. However, he emphasized that recently no claims have been made by Britain for the return of more Arab refugees to Israel, nor for any territorial concessions by the Jewish state. He stressed that he could not state whether this was indication of an improved attitude on the part of Britain toward Israel.
On the other hand, Mr. Sharett reported that there has been no indication whatsoever of a change on the part of the United States Government either with regard to the Arab refugee question or Israel territorial modifications. The appointment of the U.N. survey commission for the Middle East does indicate any change in the attitude of the United States toward these two questions, he said.
Mr. Sharett restated the attitude of the Israel Government toward the Arab refugee problem. He pointed out that there is no necessity for returning any Arabs to Israel since there is ample space in neighboring Arab countries for refugee settlement, while in Israel living space is considerably restricted and the country is still confronted by the acute problem of large-scale Jewish immigration.
The Foreign Minister revealed that talks with Britain have been temporarily interrupted to enable the British delegation to consult with its government in London. The talks will be resumed next week upon the return to Israel of the British Minister, he said. Asked whether the East European governments had modified their attitude with regard to permitting Jews to leave their countries for Israel, Mr. Sharett declared that the Israel Government has not been made aware of any such change.