UNITED NATIONS, N. Y (Nov. 25)
Arab governments were warned today at a session of the United Nations Special Political Committee that if they do not proceed to integrate the Palestine refugees in their countries they may face a situation where international relief for these refugees will cease.
This outspoken warning was voiced today by Pierre Ordonneau, French delegate, who emphasized that “this was no threat, but an expression of reality.” He supported the four-power resolution calling for extension of the UN relief and works program for the Palestine refugees in the Arab countries for another five years, as a reply to the persistent Arab demands for “repatriation” of the refugees to Israel soil.
A similar stand was taken yesterday by James J. Wadsworth, United States delegate. He warned the Arab nations, however, that they must stop talking about sending the Arab refugees back to Israel soil. It is the “conviction” of the United States, Mr. Wadsworth said, “that the eventual resolution of the refugee problem rests not in looking back but in looking back but in looking forward to a new and stronger economy for the Arab states, coming to regard many of their Arab refugee brothers not as temporary residents but as fellow citizens.”
Mr. Wadsworth called on Israel to do what it could to compensate the refugees, but declared that “we also believe that it is essential that the refugees understand that the true destiny of most of them lies in the Arab world.” He urged the refugees’ “host” countries–Jordan, Egypt, Syria and Lebanon–to stop hampering some of UNRWA’s projects intended to help the refugees toward self-support, He announced American adherence to the main resolution fixing UNRWA’s budget and extending its tenure, but said he will oppose allocating any part of UNRWA’s $200,000,000 rehabilitation fund for projects benefiting the Arab countries instead of the Arab refugees.
REPRESENTATIVE OF ARAB REFUGEES PRESENTS CASE
At today’s session, the delegates from the Arab countries insisted that Izzat Tannous, a representative of the Palestine refugees, be heard. Ambassador Michael Comay, member of the Israel delegation, said that “in principle” Israel was sympathetic to the position that the refugees’ viewpoint should be heard. However, his delegation had “certain doubts” about this particular case. Dr. Tannous was described as a representative of the refugees. But there were different points of view among the refugees, different currents of thought. And with representatives of a number of Arab state stating their case here, what more could Dr. Tannous add? Mr. Comay said that nevertheless his delegation would not oppose a hearing for Dr. Tannous.
In a lengthy speech attacking Israel, Dr. Tannous said that Israel had been created “by brutal force” in the middle of the Arab world. The United States and Britain, he declared, had been “the hammer driving this wedge” into Arab land communications. He stressed that the Arabs consider Israel a “malignant growth” in their midst and emphasized that “peace was farther away today than it ever had been.”
The problem of the refugees was political and was not to be settled on any “Humanitarian” or economic basis, he said. “If the United States withheld financial and moral support from Israel until Israel complied with the United Nations resolutions, it would bring much quicker results than any long-term projects like the Johnston scheme,” he declared.
Anti-Israel speeches were also delivered today at the session by delegates from Syria and Yemen. The Syrian delegate, Adib Daoudy, said that the United Nations, in its resolutions on the Palestine refugees, had not offered Israel the choice between repatriating or compensating the refugees. He especially attacked the United States.
“All the attempts by certain great powers who bear the greatest responsibility in the Palestine tragedy, seek only one object — to consecrate the Zionist crime as an accomplished fact and to erase the Palestine question even to the detriment of the lives of a million human beings,” he said.
The Canadian delegate, G. Weaver, said that somewhere and sometime a start must be made toward a real solution of the Arab refugee problem. “It would be helpful if Israel could advance positive suggestions for repartriation and for compensation. On the other hand, it would be useful if the Arab governments gave full support to rehabilition and resettlement.” New efforts should be made to make it clear to the refugees that rehabilitation would be to their benefit, he suggested.