UNITED NATIONS (Aug. 20)
After a two-hour luncheon meeting between seven prominent Black leaders and the Palestine Liberations Organization representative at the United Nations here today, Dr. Joseph Lowery, president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) said that the delegation he headed “expressed our support of the human rights of all Palestinians, the right of self-determination, involving, among other things, their homeland.”
In a press conference at the UN Church Center, Lowery described the meeting with Zehadi Labib Terzi, the PLO observer, as “very interesting and communicative” and said it helped the Black leaders to understand the position of the PLO. He said that his delegation urged Terzi to convey to PLO chief Yasir Arafat a message that the PLO consider the recognition of the State of Israel and negotiate with it.
Lowery said the Black leaders stressed their belief in non-violence to Terzi. He said the Black leaders undertook this “mission of peace” because Andrew Young, who resigned last week as U.S. Ambassador to the UN, “was cut on his mission of peace.” He stressed that the SCLC’s support for the “human rights of the Palestinians does not mean it opposes Israel.
Asked about the possibility that Black leaders will go to the Middle East, Lowery said “I would not rule out such a possibility.” As to the possible clash between Jews and Blacks in the U.S. as a result of Young’s resignation, Lowery said that “there are no problems between Jewish and Black leadership that cannot be worked out.”He explained that the Black community has a vital stake in the Middle East peace.
Lowery asserted that if “material,” apparently referring to oil, from the Mideast does not arrive in the U.S. it will have a “devastating affect on the United States and a fateful affect on Black America.”
The Black leaders are scheduled to meet tomorrow with Yehuda Blum, the Israeli Ambassador to the UN, and later on with American Jewish leaders. The SCLC will hold a rally in Harlem Wednesday to explain the situation of the last few days.
In addition to Lowery, the other Black leaders who met with Terzi were: Dr. William Jones, Jr., president of the Progressive National Baptist Convention; Dr. Wyatt T. Walker, secretary general of the International Freedom Mobilization; Rep. Walter E. Fauntroy, who represents the District of Columbia in the House of Representatives and is chairman of the SCLC’s board of directors; Dr. Harry Gibson, Jr., a member of the board of Global Ministries, United Methodist Church Bishop Philip A. Cousin of the African Methodist Episcopal Church; Dr. George Lawrence, director of communications and public information of the Progressive National Baptist Convention (By Yitzhak Rabi)