UNITED NATIONS, N.Y. (Oct. 22)
Syria’s Ambassador to the United Nations, George J. Tomeh accused Israel today of war crimes and crimes against humanity in the occupied Arab territories and warned that if the Middle East dispute continued, that region might become the powder keg for World War III.
Addressing the General Assembly plenary Mr. Tomeh said that peoples who had been victims of aggression, among whom he included the Arabs, looked forward to a world ruled by law, adding that the recent history of the Middle East would not have been “as tragic as it had been so far if the legal imperatives of this principle had been implemented.” He assailed the United States as a “colonial exploiter” for its “unblushing support” of Israel during the past 20 years and most recently the initiation of sales negotiations for supersonic Phantom jets with Israel. Mr. Tomeh also denounced the Jewish Agency-American Section which he called “an integral part of the Israel Government in the United States.” He said the Agency announced last July 15 plans to exploit the occupied Golan Heights and other Arab territory and charged that use of American capital and tax-free aid amounting to billions of dollars was being permitted by the U.S. Government to colonize, settle and exploit the lands of United Nations members.
Mr. Tomeh rejected “so-called plans for peace” presented before the General Assembly by Israeli Foreign Minister Abba Eban on Oct. 8. He said Mr. Eban spoke against the background of sharp divisions in Israel’s coalition government and added that the crux of those divisions was not what territories should be returned to the Arabs but how much to keep. He said there were several plans to retain Arab territory permanently, including the “Greater Israel Plan” which Mr. Tomeh attributed to Prime Minister Levi Eshkol. He said Mr. Eban’s presentation meant that Israel would never return to the pre-June 5, 1967 armistice lines.
The Syrian Ambassador charged that Israel ignored the Security Council’s June 14, 1967 resolution calling for the return of Arab refugees who fled after the Six-Day War and had refused to permit a special representative of the Secretary-General to the area in implementation of the Security Council’s humanitarian resolutions. He said Israel continued a “Nazi-like policy” against the Arabs in the occupied territories. He also charged Israel with flouting General Assembly and Security Council resolutions asking it to rescind all measures taken in Jerusalem. “Could there be more withering contempt toward the will of the world organization?” he asked.