UNITED NATIONS, N.Y. (Aug. 14)
A proposal that the United Nations make an immediate effort to solve the Israel-Arab problems, as issues that are basic to the peace of the world, was made to the special emergency session of the United Nations General Assembly today by Frank Aiken, Foreign Minister of Ireland.
Declaring that the Arab refugee problem was “the greatest embittering factor between Israel and her neighbors,” and firmly repudiating the idea that the situation confronting the Arab refugees was “the result of Israel’s actions alone,” Mr. Aiken proposed that the United Nations undertake a program of guaranteeing full compensation to all the Arab refugees.
Conceding that such a compensation program would be very costly, Mr. Aiken told the Assembly “we should remember that even if the most generous terms were given to every refugee, the total cost would be much less than the damage which might be caused by a single H-bomb.”
He proposed that Israel be “invited” to state how many Arab refugees she would be prepared to accept and how much she would contribute to the compensation scheme. Then, Mr. Aiken continued, the Secretary General of the UN, with the assistance of the director general of the United Nations Relief and Works Administration for Arab refugees in Palestine “would arrange for the repatriation of the maximum possible number of refugees and for full compensation–and not merely resettlement–for the remainder.”
After the refugee problem had been solved, Mr. Aiken declared, an international regime should be established for the preservation of the Holy Places in Palestine and a United Nations convention should be prepared for the protection of civil, religious, educational and cultural rights of all residents in the area.
PROPOSES ISRAEL AND ARAB LANDS BE DECLARED NEUTRAL COUNTRIES
The Irish Foreign Minister also proposed that the Assembly at this session adopt steps to declare the entire Middle East–in which he specifically included Israel–as neutral. He urged that all members of the United Nations pledge themselves not to provide atomic weapons or long-range bombers or missiles to the region. His plan for regional neutrality, he said, should include a non-aggression pact between the states of the area “if necessary, its enforcement by the United Nations.”
Mr. Aiken also called for the cessation of “violent propaganda and incitement” in the area. He said a propaganda truce at the present moment would be helpful. He told the Assembly that it ought to recognize the right of self-determination for all the states in the Middle East and that this right should include “the separate existence or the right to unite or federate with one another.”
Mr. Aiken’s inclusion of Israel in the debate was the first direct involvement of Israel here since the Middle East crisis was brought to the United Nations early in June. The Irish Foreign Minister explained that he was focussing his attention on Israel-Arab relations because “a threat to the peace existed before the American and British landings in Lebanon and Jordan; this threat was neither created by these landings nor removed by them.”