UNITED NATIONS (Sep. 8)
Israel offered concrete proposals today to share the benefits of its research in agriculture, irrigation and solar energy with its Arab neighbors “without strings attached and without prejudice to an ultimate solution of the political problems which beset the area.”
The proposals were contained in the maiden speech of Israel’s new Ambassador to the United Nations. Chaim Herzog, delivered this morning at the ongoing Seventh Special Session of the General Assembly convened to discuss a new international economic order.
An anticipated demonstrative walk-out by the Arab delegates and their Third World allies did not materialize when the Israeli envoy mounted the podium. General Assembly President Abdelaziz Bouteflika of Algeria, was not in his chair while the Israeli spoke. He had left the hall shortly before the preceding speaker, the delegate of Senegal, completed his remarks.
The Israeli envoy proposed the creation of an integrated economic community in the Middle East along the lines of the European Common Market. He said that “Israel is prepared unilaterally and without reference to political problems which divide our area…to allow the free passage of goods to our neighbors to and from the ports of Israel.”
SPEECH DELIBERATELY NON-POLITICAL
Sources here said the Israeli Ambassador’s first speech was deliberately non-political and addressed the subject of the special session in concrete terms in order to demonstrate Israel’s ability to contribute to the world community and, hopefully, to avert the usual harassment of Israel in the General Assembly by the Arab states and their allies.
In his address, Herzog said Israel was ready to share the fruits of its research and experience with other countries of the Middle East. He mentioned specifically “drip or trickle” irrigation developed in Israel; the discovery of a high yield, disease resistant strain of wheat by scientists of the Weizmann Institute of Science; the development of solar energy; and the desalinization of sea water and brackish water.
The Ambassador noted that at least 50 member nations of the UN are benefitting from Israeli technical and agricultural aid. He noted that by December 31, 1974, 19,356 trainees from developing countries had received training in Israel and 5411 Israeli experts had been assigned as instructors in developing countries.
Herzog proposed air containerization for transport to and from developing countries, which sources here pointed out, was an original Israeli concept. According to Herzog, “This development can be of enormous potential internationally to the developing countries since it effectively shortens the distance between them and their main markets,” He noted also that it was likely “to reduce the investment in infrastructure for transport. certainly in the short run” because “it is cheaper to construct air terminals than roads, railroads or harbors.”