PLO Denounced by Labor, Civil Rights Leaders, Jews, Christians, Israels
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PLO Denounced by Labor, Civil Rights Leaders, Jews, Christians, Israels

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A mammoth crowd estimated at between 150-200,000 people of all ages packed Dag Hammarskjold Plaza and adjacent streets near the United Nations today to hear speakers representing American labor, politics, the civil rights movement and the clergy–both Christian and Jewish–proclaim solidarity with Israel and denounce as outrageous and unconscionable the UN General Assembly’s bestowal of legitimacy on the terrorist Palestine Liberation Organization.

The throng also heard from two Israel statesmen–former Foreign Minister Abba Eban and former Defense Minister Moshe Dayan–who declared that Israel will determine its own fate and continue to fulfill the Zionist ideal.

About 1500 policemen, several hundred plain clothes men and volunteer marshalls provided by the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, sponsor of the giant rally, were on hand to maintain security. Though the demonstration was emotional, order was maintained throughout the more than two hours of speeches, recitations and songs that ended with the singing of Israel’s national anthem, Hatikva. There were no incidents. A group of seven Arabs who staged a counter demonstration a few blocks away at the Isaiah Wall, were virtually ignored.


The speakers at the demonstration included the two rival candidates for the United States Senate from New York State–Sen. Jacob K. Javits, Republican, and former U.S. Attorney General Ramsay Clark, Democrat. Also on the platform was Sen. Henry M. Jackson (D.Wash.) who declared, “We cannot be silent while the PLO is permitted to terrorize its way into the United Nations.” Jackson said he could “imagine no greater insult to the Palestinian Arabs, no greater slap at their hopes to lead decent, moral lives, then to have foisted upon them by the UN a murderous band which represents no one but itself.”

Javits noted that Israel “has rightfully declared that it will never negotiate with the PLO and added, “The United States, as a friend of Israel, should honor this refusal and stand by Israel against the onslaught of hatred that Is about to be heard in the General Assembly.” Javits asked, “How can anyone suggest that Israel be asked to recognize a band of terrorists who have never won an election and who speak no language but the language of wanton and willful killing?” He said that “Israel does not stand alone because millions of Americans of all races and faiths will not be taken in by Arab propaganda.”

Clark declared, “It is critically important that all of America’s leaders speak with one voice on this issue. To politicize the Palestinian question–to imply that disagreement exists where it does not–actually harms and threatens Israel by encouraging the terrorists to exploit an imaginary weakness on our part.”

Asserting that an eventual peace settlement in the Middle East must begin with direct negotiations between Israel and the Arab nations. Clark said, “I urge the United Nations to concentrate Its efforts in the direction of achieving success at the Geneva negotiations rather than publicly embracing the spokesmen of international terrorists who do not speak for or represent all Palestinians.”


The rally drew an estimated 25,000 union members as a group from 32 union organizations. Lane Kirkland, secretary treasurer of the AFL-CIO told the demonstrators that American labor believes that “the presence of the PLO at the UN or at any other forum or assembly that pretends to speak for mankind is not just an affront to Israel or an insult to Jews alone; It is an outrage against humanity at large, a betrayal of every principle of decent relations among people and nations…How far the UN has fallen that It now provides a platform for the exaltation of terror murder, extortion and blackmail as a way of international life.”

Sister Rose Thering, of the National Coalition of American Nuns, declared. “As a Christian I am compelled to ask the question: Do you not think the world would have reacted differently to the birth of a Jewish nation if Its sole representation would have been a terrorist organization? So when the UN recognizes terrorists as the sole representation of a struggling people, I ask: Is not this action again the same hypocritical double standard that is applied and has been applied to Jews again and again?”


Eban, who is in the U.S. as a visiting professor of foreign affairs at Columbia University, denounced the 105-4 vote in the UN inviting the PLO to participate in its Palestine debate. The UN, in its present composition, would refuse to accept the Ten Commandments “because they came from Israel,” Eban said.

He declared that his country not only abhorred the means of the PLO which Is terrorism, but opposes their objective, which is Israel’s destruction. The PLO Is not a liberation movement. “They are for abolishing the liberty of another people,” he declared. He said that while Israel cannot prevent the PLO from entering the UN “we can and we will stop the terrorists from entering Israel.” He pledged that Israel will determine its own fate, will not give up its Jewish identity and will continue to fulfill the Zionist dream.

A tumultuous ovation greeted Dayan who declared, “I want to assure you that the future of Israel will be determined not by the PLO and not in Rabat” but by Israel and the Jewish people. He said that no matter what the PLO claims to be, “they are terrorists” and they are rejected. even by the Arabs living in Israel. Dayan recalled that throughout the 26 years of Israel’s Independence, Jews and Arabs in Israel have lived In peace. The terror, he said, comes from outside, from Lebanon and Syria.

Rabbi Israel Miller, chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, stated the purpose of the rally. “We have come to speak out for humanity against Arab terror.” he said. “We have gathered in the shadow of the building of the United Nations to protest turning the UN General Assembly into a forum for murderers. We are here not only to protest and to express our outrage at an immoral deed. We are here to express our solidarity with Israel, to voice our faith in Israel and its people,” he said.

Rabbi Miller praised the New York City Police Department for its cooperation In handling security for the rally. In addition to uniformed police and plainclothesmen, he said, the Jewish War Veterans and B’nal B’rith provided 300 volunteers to serve as marshalls.


Governor Malcolm Wilson issued a proclamation designating Nov. 4 as “Protest Against Terror and Injustice Day.” In his proclamation, Wilson said the UN vote to invite the PLO to take part in the forthcoming General Assembly debate was “indefensible, unconscionable and unworthy.” He added: “I Join millions of my fellow-citizens in urging that the UN rescind this endorsement of barbarism and bloodshed. Those who would murder innocent men, women and children do not have any right to sit at the table of peace.”

All Jewish organization offices in the city were closed to permit their employes to take part in the demonstration. Malcolm Hoenlein and Margie Davis served as coordinators for the rally.

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