Menu JTA Search

Former Official Urges U.S. to Stop Flirting with Plo. Palestinian State

The United States should abandon its “creeping toward tacit recognition” of the Palestine Liberation Organization and “stop flirting” with the idea of a Palestinian state, a former U.S. official at the United States, told B’nai B’rith last night.

Rita Hauser, U.S. representative to the UN Human Rights Commission during the Nixon Administration, also urged a halt to American support of UN refugee camps, contending that U.S. policy of paying the bulk of refugee costs, however humanitarian in motive, had “substantially contributed” to the lack of a Middle East peace solution. A “hard-nosed insistence” on the Arab world absorbing the refugees “would have been the far wiser policy.” she declared.

Mrs. Hauser’s views were in a speech she was to have delivered at the annual meeting of the B’nai B’rith International Council. Unable to attend, she submitted the text for distribution at the opening session of the four-day meeting. Chaim Herzog, Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations, will deliver a major address tomorrow on the forthcoming UN General Assembly debate. Joseph J. Sisco, former Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs and now president of American University, will receive the B’nai B’rith President’s Medal for his services in the U.S. government.

ASSESSES PLO THREAT

Mrs. Hauser warned that creation of a PLO dominated West Bank state between Israel and Jordan would preclude the stability needed for peace between Arabs and Israelis. Events in Lebanon, where the PLO has had an instigating role in Lebanon’s civil war, “supports fully” Israel’s refusal to accept a Palestinian state which “could become a staging ground for a relentless irredentist attack on the Jewish State,” she said.

“Even the non-radical Arab states,” she added, “must by now fully realize that the PLO is more a threat to their integrity than to Israel.” Absorption of the refugees by Arab states would “wreck the remaining effectiveness of the PLO, allowing Jordan and possibly Syria to move toward a settlement with Israel,” Mrs. Hauser declared.

Mrs. Hauser said that perpetuation of the refugee camps had made it easy in the past for the Arab states to exploit the refugees as “surrogate fighters against Israel, whose blood was cheap indeed.” Only when the PLO “did the unthinkable” and “threatened Arab leadership in Jordan and Syria directly did Arab brotherly support present another face,” she said.

NEXT STORY