UNITED NATIONS, N. Y. (Nov. 19)
Pessimism over Soviet intentions in the present Middle East crisis mounted in United Nations circles today after the renewed attack on Britain, France and Israel made last night in Moscow by Nikita S. Khrushchev. It was noted that this was the second verbal assault by Khrushchev within 48 hours and that both were made publicly and deliberately.
The remarks by the Soviet leader on Israel were thought particularly significant here inasmuch as they indicated Moscow is definitely set to undermine Israel’s existence. Recalling that the Soviet Government had sent sharp diplomatic notes to Britain. France and Israel, Mr. Khrushchev went out of his way last night to state at a diplomatic reception:
“Well, the protest to Israel was just for form because, as you know, Israel carries no weight in the world, and if it played any role it is just to start a fight. If Israel had not felt the support of Britain. France and others, the Arabs would have been able to box her ears and would have remained at peace.”
This provocative tirade, voiced as it was on the eve of the return to the UN of Secretary General Dag Hammarskjold from Cairo, was seen by some diplomats here as a signal to Egyptian President Nasser to defy any suggestion by Mr. Hammarskjold towards an improvement in the Egyptian-Israel situation, and paralyze any effort that may be made by the United Nations to bring about a reduction in the Arab-Israel tension.
HAMMARSKJOLD CONFERS WITH ISRAEL’S FOREIGN MINISTER AT UNITED NATIONS
Mr. Hammarskjold, upon his return today from Cairo, lost no time in discussing the Middle East crisis with Israel’s Foreign Minister, Mrs. Golda Meir, who is here heading the Israeli delegation at the General Assembly. The nature of their conference remained secret. In addition to speaking on the Arab-Israel issue, Israel will also participate in the general debate in the Assembly on the Hungarian situation. Israel’s views on this matter will be conveyed at the Assembly tomorrow.
(Israel Ambassador Abba Eban suggested yesterday the possibility of a buffer area between Egypt and Israel to prevent future friction. He said on a CBS television program that a proposal for such a zone is an interesting and constructive idea.” He also urged as further measures to prevent new hostilities step to lift the anti-Israel Akaba and Suez blockades. He argued against a return to the status quo which led to the most recent blow-off.)
The Secretary General also conferred today on the Middle East crisis with Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr. head of the American delegation; Dmitri Shepilov, Soviet Foreign Minister; Maj. Gen. E. L. M. Boras commander of UNEF; Maj. Gen. Ilmari A. E. Martola, Mr. Hammarskjold’s newly appointed personal military aide and the members of the seven nation advisory committee on UNEF.
Meanwhile Syria put its hand into the Middle East crisis through a letter sent to the president of the Security Council by Damascus representative here. Rafik Asha. Mr. Asha complained that British. French and Israeli airplanes have on more than 20 occasions in the last two weeks flown “unlawfully” over Syrian territory.