UNITED NATIONS, N.Y. (Nov. 2)
The United Nations Security Council, officially debating since October 15 an Israeli complaint accusing Syria of engineering the murderous El Fatah raids into Israel, took another hiatus on the issue today.
After a number of delays, the Council did finally hold a session on the Israeli grievance today. But, instead of making any effort to culminate that dispute, the members of the Council sat back for almost two hours, listening to a long harangue against Israel, Zionism, and “Zionist Jews,” by Jamil M. Baroody, Ambassador for Saudi Arabia. Although not a member of the Council, he was given the floor twice for his interventions last week, and allowed to continue his diatribe today.
Only one delegation chairman among the 15 members of the Council kept his seat. He was Arthur J. Goldberg, chairman of the United States delegation, who is this month’s president of the Council. All the others gave their seats to lower-ranking members of their delegations. Israel’s Ambassador Michael S. Comay, who, as the complainant, has a Council seat now for presentation of his Government’s case against Syria, gave up his seat to the No. 3 man on his delegation, Ambassador Joseph Tekoah.
Meanwhile, the Council members continued behind the scenes to try to reach agreement on how to handle the Israeli-Syrian dispute. The American and British delegations, which had moved a resolution linking Syria directly with the terrorist raids into Israel, continued to insist that, either by formal resolution or by a statement of consensus, such a step must be taken. They were opposed principally by the Soviet Union, while African members were threatening to introduce a counter-draft of their own. Mr. Goldberg said he would consult the members of the Council before setting a date and time for the next meeting.
Meanwhile, Secretary-general U Thant, meeting a Jordanian request in the current Council debate, submitted a special report on the breakdown of the Israeli-Syrian Mixed Armistice Commission. Israel has been boycotting many of that Commission’s sessions since 1951 on the grounds that Syria insists on the group’s discussion of affairs in the demilitarized zone separating the Israeli and Syrian borders, thus casting doubt on Israel’s sovereignty.
In his report, Mr. Thant cited figures to show that Syria had indeed clogged the Mixed Armistice Commission’s files with thousands of complaints affecting the demilitarized zone. The Secretary-general, however, after giving statistics showing that Syria has insisted on Commission handling of matters which Israel says affect its sovereignty, called on both Syria and Israel to make full use of all U.N. machinery in the area, including the Mixed Armistice Commission.