UNITED NATIONS (Apr. 16)
Ambassador Abba Eban head of the Israel delegation to the United Nations, speaking at the U. N. Political Committee meeting, hit out sharply today at anti-Israel statements made yesterday by the representatives of the Arab countries who, he said, revealed a “hysterical Jew-baiting vehemence” in their speeches.
Declaring that the unprovoked denunciations of the representatives of Iraq and Syria constitute “a modern edition of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion,” Mr. Eban condemned the Arab charges. He described the Lebanese representative’s assertion that the Zionists had invented and exaggerated the whole anti-Jewish campaign behind the Iron Curtain as a “false and ghoulish remark,” one of the worst he had ever heard.
The Israel Ambassador declared that the issue did exist and that, though Israel was satisfied with the Moscow statement, it still did not erase Zionist indignation over the Slansky trial in Prague at which Israel and Jews were vilified. “We still say to the Communist leaders: “What about the results of the original libels, their effect in the Middle East, the contagion which has spread into the very heart of our region?”
“Can we be consoled,” he asked, “if the doctrine of the world Jewish conspiracy is now banished from Pravda and Izvestia only to find a sounding board, in far worse form, at Arab desks in the United Nations?” He said that the climax of the “sorry” Arab assault was the statement made by the Syrian representative that Israel and the Zionist movement were plotting to unleash a new world war.
CHALLENGES ARABS TO ACCEPT ISRAEL’S PEACE OFFER
Mr. Eban emphasized that he had been impressed and moved by the reaction of world opinion to “the dark threat of anti-Jewish incitement.” He referred to the way in which numerous delegates at the United Nations spoke against this incitement. “There is every evidence,” Mr. Eban said, “that the intensive expression of international opinion on this matter over recent weeks has had a positive and salutary effect. Israel for its part draws encouragement and conciliation from the vigor and sincerity of the world’s reaction.”
The Arab speakers, Mr. Eban declared, were right in saying that international peace was not only a function of the great power, but a principle to be applied in all regions of the world. He hoped “that they will join us in drawing the conclusions which flow from that premise.” Arab delegations here kept urging the great powers to get together and negotiate their differences without delay or prior condition; why did they not apply this “excellent advice” to their own regional relations? He asked.
Referring to a remark by the delegate of Poland that there was no anti-Jewish issue, and there is no reason to worry about such an issue ever arising in Communist Poland, Mr. Eban said: “If this consoling observation contains an assurance and a pledge for the future in the name of all the countries associated in alliance with Poland, then we welcome it with deep and ardent sincerity. Our object here is not to score points in a debate but to avert a disaster, by arresting the anti-Jewish process at its commencement. “
The issue, the representative of Israel went on, was not easily disposed of. “The central question is whether the Moscow statement is a single isolated episode, or whether, as we hope, it denotes an intention to eliminate all over Eastern Europe the entire atmosphere which accompanied and followed the propagation of the original libels,” he pointed out.
VISHINSKY CALLS EBAN A “SLANDERER”; AVOIDS REPLY
Soviet delegate Andrei Vishinsky, replying to Mr. Eban’s speech, told the Political Committee that what the Israel delegate had said about the Soviet Union was “a mixture of slander and poisonous insinuation.” He added that he could only repeat that “one does not argue with slanderers” and that it was beneath the dignity of the Soviet delegation to reply “to all this filth.”
Czechoslovak delegate Vaclav David told the session that Mr. Eban’s statement forced him to speak again. “The representative of Israel had heaped slander on Czechoslovakia,” he said. A duly constituted Czechoslovak court had convicted Slansky of the worst crimes against his country. What right had the representative of Israel to deny the sovereign right of Czechoslovakia to punish criminals? He asked. Because some of the accused in the Slansky trial were of Jewish origin should they have been dealt with in a different manner than the non-Jewish accused? Was immunity against punishment for criminals of Jewish origin being demanded, he asked.
The Prague trial “had exposed a gang of spies and saboteurs who had been in the service of the United States,” Mr. David declared. That Zionism was “a tool of American intelligence” was confirmed even by the Western press, he claimed. The Czechoslovak people, he said, rejected anti-Semitism.
“The struggle against Zionism is a struggle against espionage, sabotage and subversion,” Mr. David maintained, “and had nothing to do with anti-Semitism.” The attempt to substitute anti-Semitism for anti-Zionism was a “most insolent fraud committed by the Zionists, and their masters,” the Czech diplomat stated, adding that statements by the Arab delegates had exposed the “imperialistic threat” of Zionism.