UNITED NATIONS (Apr. 19)
The permanent mission of Israel here declared that a special United Nations committee investigating charges of Israeli maltreatment of Arabs in occupied areas “continues to give automatic publicity to Arab allegations submitted to it without even going through the motions of examining such allegations and weighing their veracity.” The mission issued the statement Friday in response to requests by a number of press representatives at the UN for comment on the proceedings of the Special Committee set up by the UN Human Rights Commission, now touring Arab capitals to hear witnesses. Israel has refused cooperation with the committee because it has rejected Israeli requests that it also investigate the conditions of Jews in the Arab countries it is visiting.
The mission asserted that “this method of proceedings confirms that the committee serves as a mere channel for the dissemination of Arab propaganda and that its conclusion will reflect the committee’s complete subservience to Arab belligerency toward Israel.” This was to be expected, the statement added, “of a committee established on a controversial and discriminatory basis and composed of Somalia, Yugoslavia and Ceylon, whose biased attitude on the Middle East situation is a matter of record.” On Tuesday, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency investigated a report from Damascus released by the UN Office of Public information that an official of the Syrian Red Crescent submitted to the special committee a document from the World Council of Churches which purported to provide evidence of maltreatment of Arab prisoners in Israeli-occupied territories. The WCC told the JTA, after it was contacted for confirmation of the document, that it was not authentic and repudiated it. Newsmen at the UN who sought, for the next few days, to find out if the special committee had any response to this repudiation were told by a UN spokesman that no word was available from the committee’s press liaison officer appointed by the UN’s OPI to accompany the group.