WASHINGTON (Jun. 18)
Dr. Joseph E. Johnson, the United Nations Palestine Conciliation Commission’s special envoy to the Middle East, charged with attempts to ease the Arab-Israeli impasse over the Arab refugee problem, is virtually a representative of the U.S. State Department and a “traveling salesman for the ruling Israeli circles,” according to an official Soviet publication disseminated here today by Soviet diplomats.
The charges against Dr. Johnson, who returned last month from his second visit to the Middle East capitals, were printed in New Times, an official Soviet propaganda organ published at Moscow in eight languages, including Russian and English. In its article. New Times set forth as its own the Arab version of the refugee problem, by stating that the UN General Assembly bad adopted a resolution favoring the “repatriation of the Arab refugees to Israel. (New Times, like the Arab spokesmen, ignored the fact that the resolution-adopted in 1948-also mentioned resettlement of the Arab refugees as an alternative to “repatriation.”)
“There are General Assembly decisions,” the Soviet organ declared, “which foresee repatriation of the Arab refugees to their native places. However, the Government of Israel, supported by the United States, stubbornly refuses to carry out these decisions. The Palestine Conciliation Commission, composed of representatives of the United States, France and Turkey, wants to impose upon the Arab countries a solution of the problem which is clearly contrary to the decisions of the General Assembly.
“Johnson is attempting to influence the Arabs against complying with the General Assembly decisions. However, his efforts during the last year have failed. This time, the Arabs did not overlook the fact that Johnson visited Israel first on his trip. Johnson is not only carrying out a mission for the American State Department, whose weakness for Israel is very well known, but he virtually assumes the role of an unofficial traveling salesman for the Israeli ruling circles by acting in their interest. Although Johnson makes optimistic statements, there is no basis whatsoever, so far, for such statements.”