Israel Charges UN Mideast Debate is an Ego Trip for Arab Politicos

Israel said today that the Mideast debate, which opened here this afternoon, is another “fruitless barren” discussion that will serve no other purpose than “satisfying the whims of the few Arab politicians who want to score politically regardless of the effects the debate may have in the Mideast.”

Addressing the General Assembly, Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations. Chaim Herzog, said that the present debate is not going to bring peace any closer and charged that,” in order to hear the Arab delegates and their friends” the United Nations is going to spend time and vast quantities of money. The Israeli envoy claimed that the “luxury of attacking” Israel in this year’s General Assembly is costing approximately $30 million.

“The Assembly is again bowing to a dictate of the Arab representatives and bringing up a subject for debate which only last week (during the Palestinian debate) we discussed and in relation to which in the two weeks remaining in this Assembly we shall have to discuss at least five further resolutions if not more.” Herzog said.

WARNS OF EROSION OF SECURITY COUNCIL

Herzog further accused the General Assembly of an attempt “to erode the authority of the Security Council.” Noting that Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338 “form the basis in the view of the government of Israel for negotiations toward a just and lasting peace” in the Mideast, the Israeli envoy called on the Arabs to say clearly if they accept or do not accept “the basis set up in these two resolutions.”

Recalling the recent declaration by Egyptian President Anwar Sadat that he is ready for reconvening the Geneva conference and statements by Israel declaring its readiness “to reconvene the Geneva conference as originally constituted,” Herzog asked: “If that is the case why should the debating take place here at an enormous cost and with no practical results? Why should the states–parties to the conflict–not be debating one with the other?”

Concluding his statement with an appeal to the Arabs to enter the process of direct negotiations with Israel, Herzog quoted at length from Premier Yitzhak Rabin’s call last week in Geneva for an Arab-Israeli conference modeled after the Conference on European Security and Cooperation at Helsinki last year. “The government of Israel made its position clear,” Herzog declared after reading Rabin’s statement. “For our part, the Geneva conference of December 1973 can be reconvened tomorrow.”

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