WASHINGTON (Nov. 12)
Seven Knesset members, visiting here as guests of Congress, indicated yesterday that Israel was not about to break with the United Nations but stressed that the world organization has lost its moral authority as a result of the pro-PLO and anti-Zionist resolutions adopted by the General Assembly Monday.
At a press conference held at the Capitol after a meeting with President Ford at the White House earlier in the day, Yitzhak Ben Aharon, a Labor MK, replied, when asked if Israel would quit the UN, that “At this stage it is too early to pre-judge a decision by the Israel government.” He added. “But there is no doubt that the UN has lost its moral authority as far as Israel is concerned, in regard to Israel, to act for Israel or with Israel in any capacity whatsoever.”
Another member of the Knesset delegation, Zerach Warhaftig, of the National Religious Party, said, with regard to UN peace-keeping forces in the Middle East that Israel was “interested” in seeing that it fulfills its tasks. “We are not going to depart from the services of the UN forces if they give us those services.” he said.
Menachem Beigin, Likud leader, said the group’s meetings with Ford and with Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger and Congressional leaders had convinced him that there is “absolute unanimity in the U.S. government’s unequivocal objection” to the “abominable evil” adopted by the General Assembly last night.
POSITIVE MEETING WITH FORD
Yosef Tamir, another Likud MK, described their visit with Ford as “a very positive meeting.” He said the President was given a list of Jewish “prisoners of conscience” in the Soviet Union and was requested to intervene with Soviet Communist Party Secretary General Leonid Brezhnev-for their release and permission to emigrate to Israel. Ford said he accepted the request and pledged to do his best to achieve this aim, Tamir reported.
Yisrael Yeshayahu, Speaker of the Knesset, who heads the seven-member delegation of Israeli law-makers, noted that he was born in Yemen, a country where Jews were treated as second class citizens. Speaking in Hebrew, Yeshayahu said that the one million Jews who emigrated to Israel from Islamic countries did not leave because Jews refused to sell a radio to an Arab leader but because they were repressed and oppressed in the countries of their birth.
He was referring to the canard by Egyptian President Anwar Sadat on his recent visit to the U.S. that Jews had controlled Egypt’s economy until 1952 and once refused to sell him a radio because they took orders from the Zionists.
Dr. Ari Ankorian, a Labor MK, expressed concern over Sadat’s efforts to acquire more arms for Egypt during his recent travels in the U.S., Britain and France. He said such efforts “raise our suspicious that the road to peace is still distant.” Chaika Grossman of Mapam remarked that “The world has yet to learn the lessons of the past because some people continue to say, “I am not responsible for the Holocaust because I was born after it occurred.”
In their 20-minute meeting with Ford, the Knesset delegation presented the President with a silver filigreed Chanukah lamp. Yeshayahu, who made the presentation, observed that “It is a symbol of life.” The President replied “I thank you very much and I assure you it will be prominently displayed in the White House.” The delegation, the first Israeli parliamentary group officially invited by Congress, will visit Florida, Illinois, Nebraska and New York City before returning to Israel (By Joseph Polakoff).