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Soviet Delegate Attacks Israel at U.N. Debate on Palestine Refugees

The Soviet Union today strongly attacked Israel on the Palestine Arab refugee issue during the debate on this issue at a meeting of the United Nations Special Political Committee, Delegates from 17 countries have to taken part in the debate so far and representatives of 30 more countries are scheduled to speak.

In his attack on Israel, Platon Morozov, the Soviet delegate, said that the Arab refugee problem was primarily a political problem, and, because of the “resistance of Israel and the Western Powers to implementation of the General Assembly resolutions on this question, a situation was being created which was “fraught with grave consequences.”

The situation was “intolerable,” declared Mr. Morozov, Israel could not go on “ignoring” the General Assembly resolutions, while basing itself on “its Western allies, its great protectors.” The refugees must be given their choice of repatriation or compensation, in accordance with General Assembly resolutions, and as quickly as possible.

The Soviet representative said that Israel had participated in the 1956 “aggression” against Egypt, and that this, too, was only because of backing from Israel’s “protectors.” Mr. Morozov then spoke of the “brilliant” statement made by the representative of Saudi Arabia. His delegation, he said, fully shared the thoughts that had arisen in the mind of the representative of Saudi Arabia regarding the report of the Conciliation Commission for Palestine. The representative of Saudi Arabia, he observed, had asked a number of questions regarding the report, seeking to look “between the lines and behind the lines.”

Morozov said that the Conciliation Commission had stated in its report that it was giving careful consideration to possible courses of action. “The statement was only designed to cover up the Commission’s obvious inactivity,” he asserted. He saw no reason to think that the Commission would take any decisive measures, and he looked forward to hearing the answers to the questions asked by the representative of Saudi Arabia.

In all these years, he went on, the Commission had not achieved any significant results. He concluded by declaring that the refugees must return to their homes and their property must be returned to them.

CHALLENGED BY ISRAEL TO USE SOVIET INFLUENCE ON ARABS

Ambassador Michael Comay, head of the Israel delegation, said he would not reply to the “highly contentious” statements of the representative of the USSR except to repudiate them. What his own present intervention aimed at, he said, was to provide son clarifications with regard to the Conciliation Commission for Palestine. This body, he pointed out, was not an Implementation Commission but a Conciliation Commission whose task was to try to make possible negotiations between the parties to the dispute.

Israel, said Mr. Comay, was ready to enter into negotiations with the Arab states on all points. If, he added, the representative of the USSR considered the present situation “intolerable.” perhaps he might use his influence with the Arab states to induce them to settle their dispute with Israel in accordance with the UN Charter, namely, through peaceful negotiations.

Ahmad Shukairy, representative of Saudi Arabia, said he would not reply to Mr. Comay’s remarks “because the Soviet delegation was well able to make its own reply.” He argued that the repatriation of the Arab refugees was not dependent on agreement with Israel–as provided in the General Assembly resolutions. The Palestine Arabs, he said, had “an inherent right to their homeland” even without the resolutions of the General Assembly. He emphasized that the Arab States were not prepared to enter into negotiations on the refugee issue.

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