Israel Tells UN Refugee Problem is ‘bitter Fruit’ of Arab Recourse to Arms

Israel intervened in the debate in the General Assembly’s Special Political Committee today to “set the record straight after three weeks of one-sided abuse” as to responsibility for the existence of the Palestine Arab refugee problem. Ambassador Michael Comay of Israel, in a documented speech which covered the inception of the refugee problem in 1948, described the refugee situation today as “the bitter fruit” of the Arab attempt to solve the Palestine question by force of arms. He warned that the issue of responsibility was pertinent today because statements made by the representatives of the Arab Governments in the Special Political Committee’s debate over the last two weeks had shown that ‘nothing has been learned and nothing forgotten. There is still the proclaimed faith that history can be rewritten by the sword. What is more.” he added, “we are still confronted with a design to organize the Palestinian Arabs, including the refugees, as a military vanguard and so plunge them into fresh disasters.”

Pending before the Special Political Committee is an American resolution to extend the life of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine refugees to June 30, 1972. Arab spokesmen, during the two weeks of debate on UNRWA, have blamed Israel for the Arab refugee problem. Today, the Israel representative replied and declared that “but for the misguided Arab war against Israel, there would not have been a single Arab refugee. As it was, by the time the dust of battle had settled, hundreds of thousands of Palestinian Arabs had moved from Jewish into Arab areas, although some 85 percent of the Arabs of Mandated Palestine remained, and still remain within the area that came under the mandate.”

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