GENEVA (Feb. 5)
A striking declaration that the Arab states are in no position to make war on Israel for “a long period” was made here this week–and by Dr. Fadhil Jamali, permanent Iraqi delegate to the United Nations and former Foreign Secretary.
The statement was made in an exclusive interview with a Jewish Telegraphic Agency correspondent. In order to “avoid misunderstandings,” Dr. Jamali gave written answers to five questions put to him by the correspondent.
To the first question, asking “what is your opinion of reports that the Arab states are rearming in preparation for a renewal of war in Palestine?” the dean of Arab spokesmen at the U.N. stated:
“I declare categorically that there will be no Arab aggression in Palestine. The Arabs need a long period of peace and reconstruction at home, for Zionisn has disturbed this process of national reconstruction, unity and social progress in the Arab world. This, I hope, we shall yet achieve in spite of Zionist machinations.”
To the query: “What is your view on the proposals that the present Jewish population of Iraq be exchanged for Arab refugees and transferred to Israel?” Dr. Jemali replied:
“We have never thought of the Jews of Iraq as a separate entity in the country. We consider Judaism as a religion and not as a racial or political entity. We have no thought of any such exchange of population. This question has its human as well as political aspects. In all circumstances, however, I can assure you that the Arabs, I hope, will never act against Jewish citizens as the Zionists acted against the Arabs of Palestine,”
Asked “would you favor a partial and voluntary emigration of Iraqi Jews to Israel–that is to let go those who want to go? ” Dr. Jamali said that “this is a very vered and complex question at this moment. It must wait for future development in the Middle East.” “What is your main objection to (U.N. Trusteeship Council president Roger) Garreau’s new Jerusalem plan? ” the correspondent asked.
“The new Garreau plan is contrary to the letter and spirit of the (U.N. General) Assembly’s resolution on the complete internationalization of Jerusalem,” the Iraqi diplomat said, “My delegation stands for an Arab Jerusalem within an Arab state and voted for internationallzation only as a lesser evil. The Garreau plan, furthermer, is opposed to the basic national interests of the whole Arab world.”
To the question: “What are the current views of Iraq on proposals for the union of Iraq and Syria?” Dr. Jamali stated: “Iraq welcoms such unity–not only with Syria, but also with any Arab state who desires it. Such a nation, however, must come from the free will of the people and through constitutional channels. Iraq does not believe in forcing unity on any Arab state, It is now for the Syrians free ly to decide that they want to unite with Iraq. Iraq will always welcoms such a union,”