U.N. Assembly Opens Today; Arab Attacks on Israel Expected

With Israel and the Middle East in general figuring only obliquely on its 67-point agenda, the General Assembly of the United Nations convenes here tomorrow for its ninth session. Yet the Israel-Arab issue, which took up so much of the Security Council’s time and energy during the last year, is on the minds of dozens of delegates here today.

No one, least of all Israel, is overlooking the fact that through one avenue or another the Israel-Arab conflict may take the center of the stage here any day within the next twelve weeks of the General Assembly’s meeting. The anti-Israel statement issued by the representatives of eight Arab countries in London over the last week-end is considered here an indication that the Arab group will attempt to use the General Assembly as a forum for attacking Israel.

Elimination of the Arab-Israel conflict from the Assembly agenda was maneuvered by the Western Powers in an effort to avoid heated discussions similar to those held at the Security Council early this year. However, at the beginning of each session of the Assembly there is a general debate in which the heads of delegations express the views of their governments on problems which interest them most. Thus, the Arab delegates will, in all likelihood, use this opportunity to start their blasts against Israel.

In United Nations circles the likelihood was not precluded that the Arab delegations would, at the last minute, insist on inclusion in the agenda of certain anti-Israel issues in which they are primarily interested. The Israel delegation is, naturally, prepared for any development.

SECURITY COUNCIL TO REPORT ON UNSETTLED ARAB-ISRAEL ISSUES

Immediately after the conclusion of the general debate, there will be a report from the Security Council, which also provides an opportunity for the Arab delegates to express their views on issues with which the Security Council has dealt. Similarly, they will be able to sound off on the “unfinished business” of the Security Council which includes such issues as the Jordan and Israel complaints and counter complaints, the Syrian-Israel dispute over the Bnot Yaacov hydro-electric project and others.

The report of the director of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees, the 18th item on the Assembly’s agenda, will also open up a possibility for the Arab delegates to indulge in lengthy attacks on Israel. Then too, there is the demand of the Arab League countries that some official documents of the General Assembly be translated into the Arabic language. The Arab delegations are also interested in the Morocco and Tunisian questions.

The Israeli delegation here is headed again by Abba S. Eban, who in addition to being Ambassador to Washington, is also Israel’s officially designated permanent delegate to the United Nations. It is understood that Mr. Eban may spend more time in the near future in Washington than he has in the past during General Assembly sessions. When Mr. Eban is not here, the chairmanship of the Israel delegation will be assumed by one of the alternate delegates, Michael Comay, Ambassador to Ottawa.

Other members of the delegation are: Maurice Fischer, Mordecai Kidron, Mrs. Zena Harman, Arthur Liveran, Joshua Justman, Michael Pragai, Meir Meyer, Moshe Ofer, and Ovidio Gondi. There are four other regular representatives here from Israel. They are: Izhar Harari, a member of the Israel Parliament; David Hacohen, Minister to Rangoon; Dr. Jacob Robinson; and Moshe Tov, head of the Latin American department of the Israel Foreign Ministry.

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