UNITED NATIONS (May. 12)
Israeli Ambassador Chaim Herzog vigorously denounced Soviet accusations that Israel was practicing “racial genocide” against the Arabs on the West Bank. In a statement at the Security Council today he also chided the Soviet Union for complaining about the harassment of Soviet diplomats in New York while ignoring acts of terror perpetrated by the Palestine Liberation Organization in the Middle East.
But Herzog characterized as “shameful threats” the warning by Jewish Defense League founder Meir Kahane in Tel Aviv Monday that Jewish activists overseas would kidnap Russian diplomats. Referring to Kahane, Herzog said: “These shameful threats made by a small and irresponsible group must not be confused with the efforts of the Jewish people to ensure the freedom of Soviet Jewry.” Herzog said the attitude of the Israeli government toward “a fringe group led by Rabbi Kahane was clearly stated” by Foreign Minister Yigal Allon who yesterday sharply condemned Kahane’s threats.
The Israeli envoy spoke in reply to remarks by Soviet Ambassador Yakov Malik in the Security Council Monday in which he accused Israel of “genocide” and charged U.S. authorities and New York City officials of protecting and encouraging “terrorist Zionist groups” in recent attacks on Soviet diplomatic installations. Malik’s charges against American authorities were dismissed as “baseless” by the U.S. delegate to the Security Council, W. Tapley Bennett, who nevertheless, condemned the attacks as “outrageous.”
CHARGES SELECTIVITY OF COMPLAINTS
Herzog accused Malik of selectivity in his complaints about acts or threats of terror. Referring to a bomb blast in the center of Jerusalem on the eve of Israel’s Independence Day last week in which 33 persons were injured, including a Greek diplomat and his wife. Herzog said:
“I ask the distinguished delegate of the Soviet Union, how did you react? Did you condemn this indiscriminate act of violence against diplomats.., or did you and most of your colleagues here vote to seat those who claimed credit for the act of terrorism?” Herzog’s reference was to the PLO which claimed responsibility for the Jerusalem bombing.
With regard to the charge of “genocide” against Israel, Herzog observed that the Soviet Ambassador apparently got his information from the verbatim record of the current Security Council debate during which the Arab states lodged all manner of accusations against Israel. He noted that this was not a reliable or credible source and suggested that Malik verify the true facts from a Soviet delegation currently visiting Israel.
“This delegation from the Soviet, Union which attended the annual memorial in the Red Army Forest in the Jerusalem hills commemorating the Allied victory over Nazi Germany will doubtless be able to apprise Ambassador Malik of the true state of affairs on the West Bank,” Herzog said. He did not amplify the nature of the Soviet delegation.
DEBATE TERMED WASTE OF TIME
Herzog reiterated his contention that the current Security Council debate on the West Bank situation is a futile waste of time. He noted that the debate which Egypt had urgently requested is “being dragged out” because the Egyptian delegate has no direction from his government. He said this was because the inter-Arab confrontation has not been resolved and therefore instructions are not arriving.
Herzog concluded by saying, “Until we, the representatives of the Arab governments and the representative of Israel, begin to sit down and negotiate across the table instead of maligning each other across the table in this purposeless manner, we shall never advance toward peace.”
(In Jerusalem today, Foreign Minister Yigal Allon warned Egypt not to contravene the spirit of last September’s Sinai accord by resuming political warfare against Israel. Allon assailed Egypt for moving the current Security Council debate on the West Bank which, he said, ran counter to the spirit of that agreement. He said he hoped Cairo’s move was an aberration, not the beginning of a real shift.
(Allon remarked that Egyptian President Anwar Sadat was surely too much of a statesman to be led by PLO chieftain Yasir Arafat. It is ridiculous for the Security Council to take up this kind of debate while ignoring the daily carnage in Lebanon, Allon declared.)