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Judge Denies ADL Motion to Bar PLO from Coming to the UN

A federal judge denied Friday a motion by the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith to bar members of the Palestine Liberation Organization from coming to the United Nations to participate in the debate on the Palestine issue. Judge Mark Constantino said he had been informed by the State Department that PLO representatives would be restricted to an area of 25 miles in midtown Manhattan under C-2 class visas, and that their visas would be valid only for 29 days.

Arnold Forster, ADL general counsel, citing a statement by Judge Constantino urging that “serious consideration should be given to the imposition of more restrictive territorial limitations on the movement of the Palestine Liberation Organization representatives,” said the ADL would contact the State Department to request that it consider Judge Constantino’s admonition for more restrictive limitations on movements of PLO representatives.

The ADL obtained a show cause order Thursday in federal district court requiring the federal government to prevent Yasir Arafat and other PLO leaders from entry to the United States on grounds that their “crimes of murder, acts of barbarism and savagery” placed them in the category of persons banned by U.S. law from-entering this country. The suit asked, as an alternative, that if the PLO leaders were admitted, that their travels and activities be supervised and restricted.

CONFIDENT OF ADEQUATE SECURITY

Judge Constantino, in denying the ADL request, said it was subject to the condition that C-2 visas be issued to the PLO leaders, restricting them to the 25-mile limitation in Manhattan. Forster said the ADL also wanted to make sure that visas to PLO members less restrictive than the C-2 visas be changed to C-2 visas. He said Sadat Hassan, a representative of the PLO, had been traveling freely since his arrival in the U.S.

Judge Constantino said the United States government had a “special responsibility” to provide access to the UN and that “at times, our responsibility to the United Nations may require us to issue visas to persons objectionable to certain segments of our society.” He said he was “confident” that law enforcement agencies would provide “adequate security” for ADL officials. In the petition for the show cause order, the ADL said its officials were already under police guard because of alleged PLO death threats.

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