Israel Memorandum Explains Objections to U.N. Recognition of Arab League

The Israel delegation today circulated a memorandum to all delegations at the United Nations explaining why the Jewish state considers the Syrian proposal for U.N. recognition of the Arab League as a regional body under the U.N. Charter should be rejected. The issue is due to be debated next week in the General Assembly’s legal committee. The memorandum, it is understood, contains the following points:

1. The area covered by the states of the Arab League does not constitute a “region” in any sense recognized by the U.N. Moreover, it is impossible to conceive of a “regional arrangement” which is not accessible to all member states in the area defined. The Arab League is conceived on the principle of exclusive racial and cultural identity, which does not accord with the basic ideas of the Charter. The memorandum notes that in the Middle East region, Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, Greece, and Ethiopia are excluded from the League, as well as Israel.

2. There is no “regional arrangement” even on a racial basis. The pact of the Arab League was drawn up before the U.N. Charter and contains no reference to acceptance by the League of Charter obligations.

3. The League, in embarking on military intervention in 1948, violated the U.N. Charter and is still doing so in setting its face against peace negotiations today, as confirmed in the report of the U.N. Palestine Conciliation Commission.

The memorandum also charges that the League endeavors to subvert the political status of countries outside the League; has refused to cooperate with the Security Council in respect to Korea; employs procedures contrary to those approved by the United Nations, such as secret deliberations, the failure to keep records of meetings, and the failure to publish resolutions; as a matter of courtesy, it would be improper for the U.N. to invite the Arab League as a permanent observer here, since the League does not invite representatives of the U.N. to its sessions.

In the general debate at today’s Assembly session, the Foreign Ministers of two Arab states–Mohamed Bey Saleh-el Dein of Egypt and Philippe Takla of Lebanon–made similar references to the plight of the Palestine Arab refugees, asserting that they must be repatriated as a matter of U.N. justice. Referring to the Korean situation, both attempted to draw a parallel between U.N. action there and its “lack of action” in a military sense in Palestine.

Late yesterday, French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman, addressing the Assembly, declared that “one of the greatest evils in the world today is racial discrimination and many countries therefore forbid it by law.” He asserted that “it is amazing that at this juncture any member of the United Nations should embark upon it as a deliberate policy, sanctioned and enforced by the law. Such a policy will ultimately lead to inter-continental race-conflicts and is therefore a menace to the peace of the world.”

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