Security Council Meets Today on Suez; Israel Insists on Participation
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Security Council Meets Today on Suez; Israel Insists on Participation

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Israel today pushed hard on its request that it be heard by the Security Council on the Suez issue, but all eight of the Arab states ganged up in as vigorous a move to make Israel’s appearance impossible before the meeting, which opens tomorrow.

Abba Eban, head of the Israel delegation filed a letter today with Bernard Cornut-Gentille of France, this month’s president of the Security Council, reiterating the demand he made last week that Israel be heard and pledging himself to “limit” his end of the debate “solely to the aspect of the problems which arise from the resolution of the Security Council of Sept, 1, 1951.” That resolution called upon Egypt to end restrictions on the passage of all international shipping through the Suez Canal “wherever bound.”

Immediately after Israel filed this letter, a request that they be permitted to participate in the Suez debate was sent to M. Cornut-Gentille by the representatives of Syria, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Iraq, Lybia and Jordan. Since Egypt, represented here now by its Foreign Minister, Dr. Mahmoud Fawzi, has already been assured of a seat at the Council table, the Arab League would have all eight of its UN members participating, if the request of the seven governments were granted.

Mr. Eban’s reiteration of his request was backed by a statement in which he not only pledged Israel to limit its debate to the issue of Suez passage, but also made an appeal to small nations that they should support Israel’s stand.

“It is not conceivable to us,” Mr. Eban’s statement declared, “that any member of the United Nations will fail to uphold our right to address the Security Council fully on a matter in which the Council already had an intimate responsibility and in which Israel’s interest is amply attested.”

Pointing directly to the self-interest of the six non-permanent members of the Council, Mr. Eban said: “Access by a small member nation to the Security Council on an agenda iterm in which it has a recognized interest is both a principle and tradition of United Nations life. The principle has never been violated. The tradition has never been broken.”


Mr. Eban expressed himself as “confident’ that the Council “will find a suitable arrangement for Israel’s appearance at its table to discuss the specific issue which concerns us in the context of the present debate.”

That Israel’s insistence on participation in the Council debate has made some head-way was indicated here by a number of delegations including some of the most influential members of the Council itself. It was understood that virtually every Council member interviewed this week by Mr. Eban or by other members of the Israel delegation has agreed that as a matter of procedure Israel’s case is very strong.

Some of the Council members, however, indicated that they have as yet not received their government’s instructions on this specific point. Two members are understood to be of the opinion that Israel should be permitted to make a statement of its case regarding the Suez situation, but not to participate in the ensuing debate.

Meanwhile, however, the request of the seven Arab states, clearly intended as a roadblock to Israel’s demand, complicated the issue and was seen by some of the Council members as a powerful countermove by the hostile Arab states.

Some observers here interpreted Israel’s latest letter and statement to mean that Mr. Eban would be satisfied only with the opportunity to state his government’s case without necessarily participating fully in the debate. Israeli circles, however, disagreed with that interpretation, insisting that Israel had not backed off one iota from its original request. All agreed that Israel was obviously eager for the opportunity to state its case before the assembled Foreign Ministers of the United States Soviet Union Britain, France, Yugoslavia and Belgium.

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