WASHINGTON (Oct. 13)
A leading Protestant weekly, “The Christian Century,” condemns in its current issue the United Arab Republic’s anti-Israel blockade of the Suez Canal and calls on the United Nations to take “firm and immediate steps” to uphold Israel’s right to free passage through the canal.
Attacking the Arab position expressed at the United Nations, the Christian Century says opposition to Israeli shipping rights was “a dubious rallying point for Arab unity.” Jordan’s attitude was singled out for criticism and termed a result of a Jordanian-UAR reconciliation. The Jordan delegate was charged by the Protestant organ with repeating “dusty slogans” and with defying UN Secretary General Dag Hammarskjold, Secretary of State Christian Herter, British Foreign Secretary Selwyn Lloyd “and other friends of the Arab people.”
The Christian Century said: “Such defiance wins no friends and does nothing but harm to legitimate Arab aims, such as securing international help for the Moslems of Algeria or developing Middle Eastern resources.” It emphasized that “the blockade of the Suez Canal to Israeli ships is a violation of international compacts, to which Egypt is a signatory and which the present government has acknowledged are still valid. Israel’s right to use the canal is solidly based on international law and on decisions of the UN Security Council. The General Assembly should uphold this right and if necessary take firm and immediate steps to enforce it,” the publication urged.