Arab Threatens Israel with War at U.n.; Rejects Integration of Refugees
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Arab Threatens Israel with War at U.n.; Rejects Integration of Refugees

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Blaming Israel for the failure by the United Nations to date to solve the Arab refugee problem, the Saudi Arabian representative here today warned the United Nations that unless Israel is forced at this year’s session to accept complete repatriation of the refugees, 80,000,000 Arabs “from Casablanca to the Persian Gulf” are ready and eager to go to war against the Jewish State. He spoke at the General Assembly’s Political Committee.

Mr. Ahmad Shukairy categorically rejected the Hammarskjold plan for economic integration of the Arab refugees into the economies of the Middle East. Without mentioning the name of the UN Secretary General he told the committee that the subject of economic integration of the refugees is “irrelevant and inadmissable.” The Arab economy, he contended, “is the sole concern of the Arab states,” and those states will “tolerate no interference in their affairs, economic, political or otherwise.”

Michael S. Comay, deputy chairman of Israel’s delegation to the United Nations, took the floor immediately to reply to the Saudi Arabian attack. However, because the majority of delegates attending the 82-member committee session were anxious to adjourn so that they might attend an important diplomatic luncheon, Mr. Comay told the committee he will reply tomorrow morning. The Saudi Arabian delegate had spoken for two-end-one-half hours–and Mr. Comay said he would need “more than ten minutes” to reply adequately.

Mr. Shukairy’s long address was the opening shot by the Arab delegations in the annual general debate of the Arab refugee problem. The Special Political Committee heard statements yesterday dealing with the refugee problem from Secretary General Dag Hammarsk-jold and from Dr. John H. Davis, director of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees.


Within the memory of virtually all diplomatic observers here, no such violent attack against Israel has been heard at United Nations meetings in years. The Saudi Arabian insisted that integration of the refugees into the economic life of the Middle East means their integration on Israel’s soil. Only those refugees who refuse to return to Israel are to be integrated elsewhere, he said, and that resettlement must be financed by Israel. Mr. Shukairy laid down a five-point program which, he insisted, must be enacted by this year’s Assembly. This program envisages:

1. Implementation of a 1950 resolution which, in Mr. Shukairy’s view, calls for the collection of the revenues allegedly derived by Israel from Arab-owned properties and the use of these revenues for the welfare of the refugees.

2. Allowing the inhabitants of the “front villages” on the Israel-Jordanian border to cultivate lands on the Israel side of the Armistice demarcation line.

3. Allowing not only the refugees in the Gaza area, but also the local inhabitants of the Gaza Strip “to farm their lands on the other side of the Armistice line.”

4. “Reinstating” of the Bedouins in the Sinai area to Israel whence they had been allegedly “expelled by Israel.”

5. Reactivating the Palestine Conciliation Commission and enlarging it “on a geographical basis.” The PCC now has three members–the United States, France and Turkey. By calling for enlarging the PCC on a “geographical basis,” Mr. Shukairy was seen here as calling for the addition to the PCC of a representative of the Soviet Union or of another Communist country.

These steps, he said, would constitute only the “beginnings of a peaceful solution.” Should Israel refuse still to accept these “solutions” Mr. Shukairy said economic sanctions should be invoked “to melt Israel’s resistance.” Then, he added, Article VI of the United Nations Charter calling for the expulsion of a member of the United Nations should be invoked against Israel as a “consistent violator” of UN resolutions.

“But if the United Nations does not act in this session, a serious situation is bound to take place,” he warned. “The people of Palestine will become desperate and they are entitled to be. What would be their last resort? The answer: to arise to arms. You should not be shocked at the idea. To arise to arms, as a last resort, is quite natural and understandable. With human nature what it is, I venture to say it is even Justifiable.”

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