NEW YORK (Jun. 16)
Four Congress women have written to Secretary of State Edmund Muskie attacking the inclusion of an item concerning “Palestinian women” on the agenda of the United Nations World Conference on Women, which will be held in Copenhagen this July.
Elizabeth Holtzman (D-N.Y.), Beverly Byron (D-Md.), Marjorie Holt (R-Md.) and Gladys Spellman (D-Md.), urged Muskie to counter attempts to raise the issue at the conference.
“It is abundantly clear that the issue of Palestinian women is being used at this UN Women’s Conference as a subterfuge to attack Israel and further the cause of the PLO,” the letter to Muskie said. “The needs and problems of women around the world are too important to be used for narrow political ends. We cannot allow this conference to be turned into a vehicle for the political lashing of Israel.”
They criticized a report prepared by the Economic Commission for Western Asia to document the issue for the UN, noting the group includes PLO members but has refused to allow Israeli membership.
The letter said that the report addresses the problems of Palestinian women not as women but rather as part of the general political question of Palestinian self-determination. The report attacks Israel as “the Zionist entity,” the representatives said.