UNITED NATIONS (Oct. 14)
Israel warned the 138-nation General Assembly today that recognition of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) would gravely threaten the diplomatic process toward a solution of the Middle East conflict, encourage international terrorism and make “a mockery of the United Nations and of its Charter.”
Israeli Ambassador Yosef Tekoah delivered the warning as debate began on a resolution sponsored by 71 Arab, Afro-Asian and Communist bloc countries, including the Soviet Union, which would invite the PLO to participate in the General Assembly debate on the Palestinian Question as the recognized representatives of the Palestinian people. Neither Jordan nor any Western nations were sponsors of the resolution.
A vote on the PLO resolution appeared likely late today and the consensus here is that it will receive the simple majority necessary for adoption. The Jewish Telegraphic Agency learned that the PLO plans to send a 50-member delegation to the General Assembly, probably headed by Yasir Arafat. According to sources here, the delegation would be split into three groups: one to attend the Assembly deliberations, one for propaganda, and a third for “administration” which, as one source said, means security arrangements. The debate on the Palestinian Question is expected to begin after the Arab summit conference in Rabat, Morocco scheduled to start Oct. 26.
Tekoah called the resolution “a disgrace” to the international community and said Israel’s position toward the PLO would not change. “Votes and resolutions in the United Nations do not modify the nature of the PLO. It has been and remains an association of murder squads unrepresentative of the Palestinians,” the Israeli envoy declared.
PLO IS AN ANTI-LIBERATION MOVEMENT
Tekoah said that “the resolution will not affect Israel’s defense against the atrocities that are being perpetrated by the PLO. The government of Israel will protect its citizens from the nefarious crimes of the PLO. It will continue to take all measures to put an end to these crimes. It will continue to strike at the PLO terrorists and at their bases he said.
The Israeli diplomat charged that the Arab states, by presenting the resolution, have raised “grave doubts regarding their ultimate intentions toward Israel.” He recited a long list of PLO atrocities, including the massacres at Maalot. Kiryat Shemona and Munich and the murders of diplomats at Khartoum. “It is the perpetrators of these crimes that the UN is asked to honor.” Tekoah said. “The international community has tried for years to put an end to this scourge of savagery and now it is called upon to go to it in utter humiliation.”
Tekoah declared that the PLO in reality is an anti-liberation movement because its covenant clearly calls for the destruction of Israel and depriving the Jewish people of their liberty. “The annals of the UN know of no objective more sincere and more flagrantly opposed to the principles and purposes of the Charter,” he said.
The Israeli envoy noted that when the PLO was established it made no pretense, as it does today, of representing the Palestinian people. According to Tekoah, the PLO represents no more than 10,000 “murderers trained and paid for the slaughter of innocent human beings.”