Kuwaiti Warns of Religious War on Israel if Begin Moves Office to East Jerusalem

The Security Council resumed its debate on Jerusalem today and heard various Arab speakers denouncing Israel and warning that Israel’s intentions in regard to East Jerusalem can provoke a war between the Jewish State and the whole Islamic world.

Abdolla Yaccoub Bishara, Kuwait’s UN Ambassador, warned that if Premier Menachem Begin of Israel moved his office to East Jerusalem it would set off a religious confrontation between Islam and Judaism, it would be like the religious wars of nine centuries ago, he said. He claimed that there could be no peace in the Mideast until Moslem rule is returned to Jerusalem.

The Kuwaiti envoy also warned that the flow of oil to the West is in jeopardy unless the Palestinian problem is resolved. He called on the U.S. government to make clear its position on Jerusalem.

Another Arab speaker in the Security Council this morning was Clovis Maksoud, the Permanent Observer of the League of Arab States to the UN, who acknowledged that Jews have a spiritual association with Jerusalem. But this, he said, “does not constitute under any circumstances a claim to legitimize conquest, annexation and aggression.” He urged the Council to adopt measures that would put an end to “the usurpation” that Israel undertook day after day in “our Jerusalem.”

The Council, which opened its debate on Jerusalem Tuesday, resumed it today despite the lack of a draft resolution, Diplomats here said negotiations on a draft resolution, which will allow the U.S. at least to abstain rather than invoke a veto are still underway and the debate might continue until next week.

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