UNITED NATIONS, N.Y (Sep. 4)
Representatives of three Arab states assailed Israel in speeches before the International Conference of Ministers Responsible for Social Welfare, currently in session here under the auspices of Secretary-General U Thant. They placed on Israel blame for the failure of their domestic welfare programs, Israel, in turn, urged that political discussions be kept out of the seven-day parley.
Ambassador Mohammed H. el-Farra, of Jordan, complained that Jordan could not maintain a social welfare program when one million of its inhabitants had been “evicted” from their homes and Israel held the West Bank territory. Sheikh Abd Arrahman Aba Al-Khail, the Saudi Arabian Minister of Labor and Social Affairs, blamed the absence of social welfare programs in the Arab countries on the “ever present threat of Israeli aggression” which compelled the Arab states to give priority to defense needs. The Iraqi Minister of Labor and Social Affairs, Anwar al-Hadithi, blamed Israel for the unsolved Palestine refugee program and called for its solution on the basis of the right of self-determination and the right of the individual to his home and country.
Minister of Social Welfare Josef Burg, representing Israel in the conference in which cabinet members and other officials of 88 countries are participating, expressed regret that political issues and assumptions had been introduced into the discussions. He termed them “irrelevant” to the purposes of the conference.