JERUSALEM (Dec. 16)
By his offer to the Security Council yesterday to study at first hand the circumstances of the Syrian attack on Israeli villages two weeks ago, UN Secretary General Dag Hammarskjold has taken upon himself a personal responsibility for the situation and Israel expects him to take steps to prevent recurrence of such attacks, top governmental circles indicated here today.
These same circles did not hide today their dissatisfaction with the failure of Henry Cabot Lodge, American delegate, to denounce unequivocally the Syrian aggression. Mr. Lodge’s attitude, the Israelis feel, forced the British and French–though they were firmer than Mr. Lodge–to tone down their statements so as not to appear out of step with Washington.
There is a feeling here that Mr. Lodge’s failure to make the obvious point is linked with Assistant Secretary of State William Rountree’s current trip to the Middle East to woo the Arab leadership, particularly President Nasser.
It was noted that when Israel appealed to the Security Council, aware of the possibility of a Soviet veto, it had no illusions about the likelihood of drastic anti-Nasser action by that body. However, faced with the choice of sitting quietly and taking a beating without action, retaliating immediately or appealing to the Council, the only practical choice was the one taken. The Council meeting had the added virtue of giving Israel a world forum to explain its case and to publicly warn the United Arab Republic of the consequences of further aggression.
Meanwhile, Israel has agreed to a UN Truce Supervision Organization proposal that UN observers patrol the Israel-Syrian border region. Accompanied by Israeli liaison officers, the UN observers will patrol demilitarized and other areas near the border. It is thought the proposal was made to guarantee calm on the border prior to and during Secretary General Dag Hammarskjold’s forthcoming visit to the Middle East.
(The British Government reported today that it had made representations to the United Arab Republic over the murder last month of Mrs. Joyce Mary Doran, wife of a British air attache in Israel, who was gunned down near the Syrian border. Britain’s representations have been made through Geneva. London maintains no diplomatic relations with Cairo since the Sinai-Suez campaign.)