United Nations, N.Y. (Aug. 31)
The United States and Jordan are cooperating in an attempt to limit next week’s expected Security Council meeting to the question of Israeli practices in East Jerusalem, according to informed Western sources. “We were against the meeting from the beginning,” one diplomat said, “but Hussein (of Jordan) and Faisal (of Saudi Arabia) are determined to have it.” Since it is up to Jordan–or any other United Nations member state–to decide whether to ask for a Council meeting, Jordan is expected to submit her formal request tomorrow for a session Sept. 7. Sources explained that with the meeting now seemingly unavoidable, the U.S. feels that the least she can do is limit the agenda to Jerusalem and not let it become a wide-open verbal brawl on the whole range of Middle East issues. Thus, the U.S.-Jordanian cooperation, which one diplomat called “very close, very careful.”
The U.S., it was further learned, will again try to have the Council pass a resolution strongly critical of Israel’s attempts to change the “ethnic quality” of Jerusalem, believing that Israel is violating international law with her unilateral projects in the Eastern sector prior to an Israeli-Arab agreement on the future of the historic city. The U.S.’ long-range position is that Jerusalem should be internationalized, which Israel opposes. But the Americans are trying to dissuade the Jordanians from requesting that a fact-finding commission investigate the Jerusalem issue. The U.S. feels that since Israel is unlikely to permit such a unit to enter her territory, any subsequent UN ruling would be unenforceable.