UNITED NATIONS, N.Y. (Dec. 22)
Denouncing the “Palestine Liberation Organization,” authorized by the Arab summit meeting last September at Alexandria, as an “Israel liquidation organization,” Israel’s Deputy Premier Abba Eban told the General Assembly today that “Israel will be defended in the future as in the past” against all Arab aggressions and threats.”
Mr. Eban addressed the Assembly in reply to nine speeches made in the last three weeks by representatives of Arab states who, he charged, proclaimed openly “a message of war and a threat of force for the elimination of Israel.”
Noting that the one central theme of the current Assembly, from its opening on December 1 until today, has “echoed with a quest for peace, a quest for international order,” Mr. Eban charged that in the current Assembly the authorized spokesman for the Arab countries had stood out as the only members of the United Nations calling for war and “hoping to extinguish the freedom and sovereignty of another member state, the State of Israel.”
In spite of all the vast territory possessed by the 13 member states of the Arab League, Mr. Eban charged, they now hoped to liquidate Israel and “make it into a 14th Arab state.” He said that the Arab governments “would do well to remember that they have no more rights here than any of the other 102 states. On the basis of my very recent contacts with many member states here I know that the majority of member states in the United Nations desire Israel’s sovereignty.”
He also charged that this year, the Arab states have made it very clear that they consider the Arab refugees as a force of hostility and possible aggression against Israel. He quoted the spokesman for Kuwait, who addressed the Assembly previously, to the effect that the Arab aim was “not in assisting the refugees, but liberating their homeland.” He appealed to the United Nations to reject the Arab thesis that Israel had no right of existence and could be liquidated.
He assured the Assembly that while “the tensions in the Middle East are ominous, they are not necessarily tragic.” He said the immediate past of the United Nations in regard to the Middle East was to help stabilize the area and “hold the line against aggression.”