UNITED NATIONS (Jul. 19)
Israeli sources warned today that Israel “will not consider any resolution that does not take into account the Israeli point of view” on the prisoner-of-war issue. Israel will ignore all “one-sided” resolutions as “mere paper” unless they “contain a call to all parties to release all prisoners,” the sources told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.
The sources commented in the wake of last night’s Security Council meeting which Israel refused to attend after the Council decided to consider only a Lebanese-Syrian complaint that Israel had “abducted” one Lebanese and five Syrian officers on June 21. On June 26, the Council voted 13-0, with the United States and Panama abstaining, to condemn Israel’s raids and captures.
Lebanese Ambassador Edouard Ghorra charged Israel last night with “lawlessness” and “persistent defiance” of the Security Council and with attempting to “impose conditions extraneous to the purport of the (June 26) resolution.” Dr. George J. Tomeh, Syria’s envoy, charged Israel with “blackmail” and belligerency, and threatened sanctions against that “robber baron” State. The Soviet deputy ambassador, Dr. Viktor L. Issraelyan, charged that Israel’s actions and its “ostentatious absence” from the chamber proved defiance of the Council.
In a speech prepared for delivery at last night’s session, Israeli Ambassador Yosef Tekoah contended that “Israel’s efforts to achieve the release and repatriation of prisoners of war have in the past met with an unyielding refusal on the part of Egypt and Syria,” a refusal he said that was “not acceptable to civilized opinion.” Rejecting “one-sided resolutions” as ineffective, Tekoah declared: “Such resolutions have always remained powerless to weaken Israel’s defense of its legitimate positions.”
WALDHEIM REPORTS NO PROGRESS
Secretary General Kurt Waldheim, in his first formal statement on the dispute, observed in a message to Council President Carlos Ortiz de Rozas of Argentina: “From reactions so far to contacts made by me and my representatives, both in Europe and in New York, in the exercise of my good offices, it appears at the moment that in the present circumstances a generally acceptable solution is not yet in sight….I still hope that our efforts and others now being made, may yet result in arrangements acceptable to all the parties concerned.”