UNITED NATIONS (Feb. 24)
Denunciations of Jewish settlements in occupied territories during a United Nations Security Council session Friday drew a comment from Israel’s chief delegate Yehuda Blum that whenever tangible progress toward Middle East peace took place, the Arab states rushed to the Security Council for support for their “diversionary and belligerent” goals.
The 15-nation Council was called into session at the request of Jordan and Morocco, which hold the presidency of the Islamic group of countries. Abdeliatif Filati, the Moroccan delegate, said “world Zionism” was trying to establish 46 new “settler colonies” in the West Bank and Gaza Strip by 1983, a policy he said, was accompanied by “ill treatment” of the Arabs of the occupied areas. Hazem Nuseibeh of Jordan charged there had been “on unprecedented and staggering acceleration” of Israel’s “colonization” of the territories.
Esmat Abdel Meguid, Egypt’s chief delegate, sided with the Arab critics, saying that the settlements issue was of “great concern” to the maintenance of peace and security in the area. He said the “decision” of the Israel government to allow Jews “to settle in Al-Khalil (Hebron)” was viewed by Egypt with “great concern.”
EXPLAINS CABINET STAND
In criticizing Arab calls for Security Council sessions, Blum recalled that when President Carter went to Cairo and Jerusalem “to negotiate personally the last delicate stages” of the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty, “Jordan reacted by staging a debate here.” He said that at the opening of the autonomy talks last summer, “the Security Council was mobilized to try to frustrate the peace process” and “this is precisely what is happening now.” He described the Israeli Cabinet’s stand on Hebron as only a re-statement of Israel’s “position of principle that Jews have the right to live in any part of the land of Israel.” Blum declared that “this mere reiteration of a position of principle has been turned into a flimsy and dubious excuse to call for an urgent meeting of the Security Council, based on an exclusivist — I dare say racist — proposition.”