“big Three” Demand Full-fledged U. N. Debate on Arab-israel Crisis
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“big Three” Demand Full-fledged U. N. Debate on Arab-israel Crisis

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The United Nations Security Council today started discussion of the complaint brought by Lebanon against Israel for the raid on Nahalin, in Jordan, and Israel’s four-point complaint against Jordan’s violations of the armistice agreement. The discussion will be continued next Monday.

The delegates of the United States, Britain and France urged the Council to discuss the two complaints together–not separately–as part of the general item, “The Palestine Question,” listed on the agenda. The Lebanese delegate, Dr. Charles Malik, insisted that the two complaints be discussed separately, with the Lebanese complaint being taken up first because it precedes the Israeli complaint on the agenda.

Dr. Malik threatened the Western Powers that their insistence upon a general debate on the Arab-Israel situation would influence the stand of the Arab countries toward the “Big Three. ” Andrei Vishinsky, Soviet delegate who presides over the Council sessions during the month of April, said that usually the Security Council considered items in the order of their submission.

Sir Pierson Dixon, British delegate, mentioned the killing by Jordanians of 11 Israelis at Scorpion Pass, in the Negev, and the “organized attack” on Nahalin village in Jordan, and added that he hoped no further incidents or attacks would occur while the Council was considering the problem. “The situation is already grave enough without that, ” he said.

He observed that on March 29, British Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden had announced that the United Kingdom was consulting with the U.S. and France regarding the desirability of an early meeting of the Security Council to discuss the situation. So long as the situation was brought before the Council, he went on, his government was content. He saw no objection to inscribing the two complaints on the agenda, provided the Security Council could have “a thorough discussion of the whole problem. “


U.S. delegate Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr., said the present situation in Palestine should be treated “very seriously” and not obscured by procedural discussions. There was more involved here than findings on individual complaints. The two complaints before the Security Council could not be separated in air-tight compartments, he insisted.

The U.S., he said, was deeply concerned when a country, particularly a member of the United Nations, took the law into its own hands and followed a policy of reprisal and retaliation. This policy must stop. The Nahalin incident clearly called for a condemnation, he stated. The situation on the Israeli-Jordan border since the Kibya resolution had not improved, he pointed out.

Such problems, Mr. Lodge said, must be treated as interrelated. This was also the only practical way if the Security Council was to continue to play a positive role in this area. The Security Council must fit its procedure to the problems before it.

French delegate Henri Hoppenot said that he considered that the Lebanese complaint against Israel and the Israeli complaint against Jordan were only parts of the general Palestine question. He recalled that Mr. Vishinsky had recently favored simultaneous discussion of the Israeli complaint against Egypt and the Egyptian complaint against Israel, as “two aspects of the same matter.” He supported the view on discussion of the two complaints together, and expressed hope for “a constructive solution of the problem as a whole. “


In opposing a general debate on the Arab-Israel issue at the Security Council, the Lebanese delegate said he had no doubt that the Western Powers who advocated such a debate had the best of motives, but he did not think they had considered all the repercussions. He feared the procedure “which they seem to have set their hearts upon” would not be conducive to what they wanted: the creation of an atmosphere in which something could be done for lasting peace in the Middle East.

He commented that they “always appear to be opposed to the Arab thesis, ” and said it was “not a very helpful thing. ” He urged them to “ponder the effect of this constant unfortunate appearance, ” to which their “conduct gives rise. ” Dr. Malik went on to say, “you cannot, at the point of a gun, force the Arabs either into a general debate or around a conference table.”

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