Israel’s Ambassador to U.N. Blames Syria’s ‘irrational Conduct’ for Tensions

Syria’s state of mind and “irrational conduct” endanger the peace of the Middle East and are “at the very root of all the turmoil and backwardness” in the Mid-East region, Israel’s Ambassador Gideon Rafael warned here tonight at a celebration observing the 19th anniversary of Israel’s Independence Day. Mr. Rafael, Israel’s permanent representative at the United Nations, spoke before 2,000 delegates of the fraternal and benevolent societies affiliated with the Council of Organizations of the United Jewish Appeal of Greater New York.

The observance was opened with the lighting by Jewish communal leaders of 19 large candles, one for each year of Israel’s independence. Speakers at the event included Ambassador Gideon Rafael; Benjamin Duhl, a general chairman of the UJA of Greater New York; and Jonah J. Goldstein, chairman of the Council of Organizations.

“Three days ago,” Ambassador Rafael noted, “I notified the Secretary General of the United Nations of the gravity of the situation and of the responsibilities which rests squarely upon the Government of Syria for this alarming state of affairs. The Secretary General of the U.N. himself has publicly denounced that type of activity as insidious and contrary to the letter and spirit of the armistice agreement, menacing the peace of the area.’ He has called upon the governments concerned in the interests of peace to take every measure within their means to put an end to such hostility.

“The Government of Syria has sufficient opportunity to give proof of its patriotic zeal in its own country. It is not our affair to advise it how to cope with its tasks.”

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