WASHINGTON (Sep. 27)
The Palestinian Arab refugees should be told that they cannot expect to return to their former homes in Israel, Harlan Cleveland, Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs, agreed with Chairman Otto Passman of the House Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee, it was revealed in testimony made public today.
Rep. Passman, Louisiana Democrat, told Mr. Cleveland that the Arab refugees should be taken out of refugee camps and permanently relocated in Arab states to establish new lives rather than dreaming of a return to Israel. He said that “for the United States to be cognizant of that situation and not be forthright, and just tell those people that this is a proposition that will never be solved is unbelievable.”
Mr. Cleveland affirmed Rep. Passman’s statement that the Arab refugees lived only to reclaim a “house” in Israel and that “those people know they will not get the house back.” Rep. Passman said the Arabs should be told “the facts as they are, and action should be taken accordingly.” He said he would vote for funds to permanently relocate the Arab refugees. He told Mr. Cleveland: “If you would come clean with those people and let them know the score, you would come before this Committee for funds to relocate them.”
Mr. Cleveland agreed and told Rep. Passman that “at the beginning of the new Administration, we took a look at this situation. I made the same type of speech as you just made. I must say that we have started a process. We hope it will work.”
It was pointed out to Mr. Cleveland by Rep. Gerald Ford, Jr., Michigan Republican, that although aid to Egypt had been increased in fiscal 1962 from $2,000,000 to $41,000,000 id did not reconcile the situation. Mr. Cleveland said “that didn’t buy peace with Israel.”