Costa Rican Envoy Defends Israeli Practices in Administered Territories

Costa Rica, one of six countries–all Latin American–to join with Israel in voting no on the General Assembly’s pro-Egyptian resolution Monday night, defended Israel yesterday against charges of brutality in the administered Arab areas. Speaking in the Special Political Committee on the question of Israeli practices in the territories, Costa Rican delegate Benjamin Nunez said the Israeli attitude actually constituted the most beneficent occupational authority in history.

Nunez, a priest who serves as Costa Rican ambassador to Israel, suggested that the “cloud of preconceived ideas and positions” about Israeli policy could be dissipated if those delegates critical of Israel would visit him there and see the situation for themselves. The territories, he said, had freedom of religion and passage, and the Israelis were providing agricultural, health and sanitation facilities. He was shocked, he said, that the Special Committee had not accepted a single “crumb of truth” from the Israeli side before submitting its critical report.

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