UNITED NATIONS, N.Y. (Dec. 6)
Ambassador Michael S. Comay, Israel’s permanent representative at the United Nations, today delivered a 90-minute address replying to what he called the “mammoth speech with mammoth distortions” delivered before the General Assembly’s Special Political Committee yesterday by Ahmad Shukairy, chairman of the Saudi Arabian delegation.
In his reply to Mr. Shukairy’s address, Mr. Comay once more appealed to the Arab states for peace with Israel. He told the Committee that it was the moral duty of the United Nations, in spite of all provocations by Arab representatives like Mr. Shukairy, to “throw its weight behind a peaceful and negotiated solution” of all Arab-Israeli disputes.
Mr. Comay said that the kind of speech the Committee heard from Shukairy yesterday “represents the mentality of compulsive hatred” and that Mr. Shukairy’s long intervention could be summed up in these four words: “Israel must be eliminated.”
Reciting in detail the history and development of the Zionist movement, the Palestine question and the State of Israel from the first Zionist Congress in 1897 to the Balfour Declaration of 1917, the Paris Peace Conference of 1919, and adoption of the Palestine partition plan by the UN in 1957, Mr. Comay showed that, throughout the years, it had been possible to establish full cooperation between the Jews, Zionists and Israel on the one hand and the Arab peoples and states on the other hand.
The Israel representative regretted that he had to take up so much of the Committee’s time for setting straight the historical record which, he said, Mr. Shukairy made an attempt to rewrite and “did distort.” He stressed that Israel still insisted now that it was possible to sign a peace treaty with the Arab states, to sign an Arab-Israeli pact renouncing aggression, and to implement an Arab-Israeli agreement for complete Middle East disarmament under proper inspection and control.
REJECTS ARAB REQUEST FOR U.N. CUSTODIANSHIP OVER PROPERTY IN ISRAEL
Regarding Mr. Shukairy’s insistence on the establishment of a UN custodianship over alleged Arab property in Israel, Mr. Comay rejected the idea totally as a proposal to interfere with the internal affairs of a sovereign state. “If this were a court,” he added, “we could tear Mr. Shukairy’s allegations to pieces and show without any difficulty that none of them has any bearing at all on the question of abandoned property in Israel.”
The Israeli delegate touched on another of Mr. Shukairy’s demands, in which the latter called for the establishment of a UN commission to investigate the conditions under which Arabs live in Israel. Mr. Comay suggested that Mr. Shukairy might instead interest himself in a UN probe of conditions in Saudi Arabia where “slaves are bought and sold like cattle.”
He pointed out that Arabs in Israel, enjoying full democratic political, economic and social rights, have an annual income of $1,500, while Saudi Arabians have an average annual income of $40. “Mr. Shukairy,” said the Israeli, “wants the United Nations to behave as if it was a colonial power and Israel a colony.” The UN, he added, “is not a super-government, and Israel is not a non-self-governing territory.”
The Arabs, he said, had nothing to fear from Israel but much to fear from their own internecine quarrels and disputes. He told the Committee that the real roadblock to the solution of the Arab refugee problem and to peace in the Middle East was constituted of “the type of compulsive hatred heard here yesterday from the Saudi Arabian delegate.”
“Israel for its part,” Mr. Comay continued, “rejects the doctrines of hatred, violence and strife we heard expounded here yesterday with such misguided eloquence. We shall go on seeking to compose our differences with the Arab world by negotiation, and open up a better future whereby we and they will live and work together in peace, as neighbors should. It remains important that countries which have ties of friendship with both the Arab states and Israel should look to a genuine settlement of this conflict.”