Palestinian Arabs Present Their Views to U.N. on the Refugee Issue
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Palestinian Arabs Present Their Views to U.N. on the Refugee Issue

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The Arabs of Palestine will have to fight “for the liberation of their country” from Israel rule, unless the UN “intervenes” to bring the Arab refugees back to their “homeland” in present Israel, a representative of the former Grand Mufti of Jerusalem told the United Nations here today.

The threat was made in the name of a so-called “Palestinian Arab Delegation” by Emile Ghory, spokesman for the ex-Grand Mufti, who addressed the General Assembly’s Special Political Committee, which was continuing the annual debate on the Arab refugee problem, begun last Monday.

Ghory was allowed to speak before the committee after a protracted argument in which six Western Powers backed Israel’s insistence that, if he were to talk at all. he should be considered only an “individual” spokesman and not a representative of any organized group.

The argument was opened after the committee chairman, Carlet Auguste, of Haiti, read a letter signed by 10 Arab delegations who had requested the seating of a four-man so-called “Palestinian Arab delegation.” The representatives of the United States, Britain, France, Australia, New Zealand and The Netherlands discussed the letter, saying they had no objection to hearing from the group, provided they were considered as “individuals.”


Michael S. Comay, chairman of the Israel delegation, told the committee that Israel feels listening to the group, even as individuals, was a waste of the committee’s time. In past years, he pointed out, the committee always listened to Dr. Izzat Tannous, who had called himself the representative of the Arab refugees. Now, said Mr. Comay, “three more individuals” wish to speak, and “they are no more than individuals.”

Lebanon, Iraq and Saudi Arabia backed the request for the seating of the entire four-man “delegation.” The United Arab Republic and Jordan did not speak up for the so-called “delegation,” although both countries had signed the original Arab letter on this issue. Finally, Ghory was allowed to talk.

Ghory spoke for nearly two hours, and was constantly interrupted by the chairman, Mr. Auguste insisting that he stick to the subject of the Arab refugees and not roam all over the horizon of general Israel-Arab disputes. He, however, continued with his set talk, in the course of which he reiterated all the old Arab accusations of “Zionist aggression” and “Zionist crimes” against the “Arab nation.”

At the end of his talk, he finally did come to the refugee problem, but insisted that the only solution of the question is full return of all the refugees to Israeli territory. Then he voiced his threat that, failing such a UN order for “repatriation,” the Arabs of Palestine “will have no choice but to follow the honorable course for the liberation of their country.”

The committee adjourned until tomorrow afternoon. It was considered likely that one more spokesman for the so-called “delegation,” probably Dr. Tannous, will be heard before the refugee debate is concluded.

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