UNITED NATIONS (Sep. 13)
Jordan filed today its long anticipated request for a Security Council meeting to discuss alleged “illegal acts” by Israel in Jerusalem. Informed sources said the meeting is expected to begin tomorrow afternoon. Jordan’s request was promptly denounced by Yosef Tekoah. Israel’s Ambassador to the UN, as a frivolous attempt to use the UN for the purpose of diverting attention from Jordan’s internal and inter-Arab difficulties.” Tekoah, in a statement to the press, also accused the Amman government of “trifling with Jerusalem in order to satisfy local Jordanian propaganda needs.” He said: “This is a futile attempt for it is obvious that Jordan’s difficulties cannot be camouflaged by complaints against peace and progress in Jerusalem.”
The Jordanian complaint was contained in a letter to Toru Nakagawa of Japan, this month’s president of the Security Council, from Jordan’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Baha Tukan. The Jordanian letter cited previous Security Council resolutions enjoining Israel from taking unilateral actions that would alter the status of Jerusalem and to rescind all such measures already taken. As the basis for its call for a discussion on Jerusalem, it cited Security Council Resolution 271 of 1969 which states that in the event of a negative response or no response by Israel to previous resolutions on Jerusalem, “the Security Council shall reconvene without delay to consider what future action should be taken on this matter.”
JERUSALEM ENJOYING PERIOD OF PROSPERITY
The Jordanian letter accused Israel of continuing “its illegal and unilateral measures and steps to change the Arab character of the city and its environs.” It claimed that Israel “is now contemplating a new legislation to extend the borders of Jerusalem to include 30 new Arab towns and villages with a population of over 100,000.” Tekoah asserted that “never before has Jerusalem enjoyed a period of such tranquility, growth and prosperity as now. Never before have the Holy Places administered by the religious communities, had their rights, immunities and privileges so effectively safeguarded and free access to them so freely maintained as today.”
Tekoah said that “Only a state such as Jordan which will go down in history as a power that invaded Jerusalem, barbarically razed part of it to the ground, uprooted the entire Jewish population of the Old City, profaned Holy Places and sacred sites, barred free access to them and kept the city in the agency of partition for 19 years, could resort to the device of trifling with Jerusalem in order to satisfy local Jordanian propaganda needs.” Tekoah said the timing and substance of the Jordanian complaint indicated that Jordan, as in the past, was not really concerned with the welfare of Jerusalem or the need for peace in the Middle East.