Israel, Arabs in Sharp Exchanges During UN Committee’s Debate on Apartheid

Acrimonious exchanges between Israel and several Arab delegations continued in the General Assembly’s Special Political Committee yesterday as Arab representatives used the debate on apartheid to draw analogies between South Africa’s policies and alleged aggressive intentions of Israel.

Taha al-Daoud, the Iraqi representative, charged that Israel was following the example of South Africa and threatening the territorial integrity and sovereignty of independent states. He referred, out of context, to a statement Tuesday by Prime Minister Levi Eshkol that the Jordan River was the security frontier of Israel.

Moshe Erell, speaking for Israel, said Mr. al-Daoud was asserting his Government’s desire to see Israel liquidated while ostensibly speaking on apartheid. He said this was not surprising for the representative of a country which had collaborated with the Nazis in World War II and had Nazis on its soil. He also quoted press reports of Iraq’s “war against the Kurds.” Sayed el-Masry, of Egypt, asked the chairman to call on Israel not to interfere in Iraq’s internal affairs. Mr. al-Daoud insisted that Arabs and Kurds lived in harmony in Iraq. Souheil Chammas, of Lebanon, declared that Israel was unable to refute the parallel drawn between the actions of South Africa and the actions of “the Zionists in occupied Palestine.”

Israel denounced apartheid in the committee. But a link between Israel and South Africa was alleged by the Syrian representative, Dia Allah el-Fattal, who urged the committee to study the effects of the prolonged shut-down of the Suez Canal on the economy and strategic importance of South Africa. He said that Israeli “occupiers” closed the Canal, diverting international trade routes around Africa, strengthening the economy of South Africa and enhancing its strategic importance in the eyes of North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) members. The Syrian also alleged that Israel supplied aircraft to South Africa, and referred to reports of alleged visits to that country by important Israel Government officials and businessmen, including aircraft experts. Mr. Erell called the allegations fabrications and said Israel had no intention of collaborating with South Africa in the manufacture or purchase of planes for the “suppression of black people.” He declared that Syria could not teach Israel anything about human equality or rights because it had a long way to go before it provided its people with rights and equality which the Israel Government provided to its own citizens and the inhabitants of the occupied territories. Mr. Erell declared that there was neither segregation nor denial of human and political rights in the Jewish State and invited the world to compare Israel and Syria and make its own judgment.

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