GENEVA (Jun. 19)
An Israel delegate to the current meeting of the International Labor Organization said today his delegation fully endorsed the stand of the African delegations which decided to abstain from further participation in protest against the presence of the Republic of South Africa.
The delegates from the African countries, carrying their fight against South Africa’s apartheid policy into the United Nations specialized agency, charged that the South African delegates had been “imposed” on members of the ILO. They also charged that the action was in violation of a 1951 resolution condemning the apartheid policy and asking the Republic of South Africa to withdraw from the ILO.
The Israeli delegation made its position clear when, on a point of order in the debate, Oded Messer, and Israeli delegate, told the meeting that “the Government and the people of Israel cannot remain indifferent to any issue of racial discrimination. Cur people have suffered more than any other people from such discrimination, accompanied often by the indifference of governments and international organizations.”
He added that “in asking the whole conference to take immediate action” on the issue of South Africa’s continued participation, a “and without going at this stage into the legal and formal aspects of the matter, the Israel delegation expresses its most complete solidarity with the states of Africa whose statement we have just heard.”