Golda Meir Returns to Israel; is Satisfied with U.N. Stand on Refugees

Mrs. Golda Meir, Israel’s Foreign Minister, left the United States today for Israel after spending several weeks here as head of the Israeli delegation to the United Nations General Assembly where the Arab refugee problem came up for discussion.

Mrs. Meir, who led in the fight against anti-Israel allegations voiced by Arab delegates in long speeches at the Assembly, was reported to be satisfied with the results of the Assembly’s decision, although she would have preferred to see the Assembly adopt the 16-nation resolution urging the Arab governments and Israel to start direct peace talks.

The UN Assembly’s stand on the Arab refugee issue is considered a defeat for the Arabs inasmuch as their two amendments to the proposed American resolution were rejected by the Assembly. The Arab amendments requested the establishment by the United Nations of “protection” for Arab refugee property in Israel and the expansion of the membership of the Palestine Conciliation Commission which is now composed of representatives of the United States, France and Turkey.

The resolution which was adopted by the Assembly without the Arab amendments–proposed by the United States delegation–requested the Palestine Conciliation Commission to “intensify” its efforts not only for repatriation or compensation of the refugees but also for their possible resettlement or reintegration in the Arab countries. It also urged the PCC to complete by September 1,1962 its work on the “identification and evaluation of Arab refugee immovable properties in Palestine.”

Although the 16-nation resolution advocating direct Arab-Israel peace negotiations failed to receive the necessary two-thirds majority votes at the Assembly, it was considered a great achievement, inasmuch as eight African states sponsored this resolution. This made it clear that not all the states in Africa are influenced by the Arabs. In fact delegates of the African states openly accused some of the Arab countries of still practicing slavery.

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