Palestine Week to Be Celebrated at the UN Beginning Friday

As a result of the continuing war between Iraq and Iran and the change of administrations in Washington, Palestine Week here, which will begin with the marking of Palestine Day this Friday, is likely to be subdued, if not overlooked altogether, according to diplomats and observers here.

“This is very bad timing for a Palestine celebration,” one diplomat opined. “For one thing, the prestige of the Palestine Liberation Organization has reached a new nadir as a result of the war between two Moslem countries that have adopted the Palestinian cause. For another, the Arab world is presently divided, as it has not been for a long time. The Arab states are in a state of confusion and disarray and the uncertainties concerning a new American Administration and its Mideast policy are only contributing to the confusion.”

This is the third consecutive year that the United Nations will be celebrating Palestine Week. The celebration of the week starts each year on Nov. 29, which is officially designated by the UN as Palestine Day. But since Nov. 29 this year is Saturday, the celebration was moved one day ahead to Friday, Nov. 28. The Nov. 29 date was selected by the PLO because that was the day in 1947 when the UN voted to partition Palestine.

DEBATE ON PALESTINIAN QUESTION NEXT WEEK

While the events Friday will be ceremonial — including a special meeting of the General Assembly with speeches by Secretary General Kurt Waldheim and other UN officials; the opening of an exhibition depicting achievements and aspirations of the Palestinian people; and the screening of a film which was shown last year “Palestinians Do Have Rights” — Palestine Week will continue next Monday with the General Assembly opening its annual debate on the Palestinian Question.”

During the five-day debate, a litany of anti-Israel accusations is expected to be expressed by the majority of Third World and Communist nations delegates.

Nochman Shai, Israel’s spokesman at the UN, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that Israel will participate in the debate, underscoring its position that a solution in the Mideast can be reached within the framework of Security Council Resolution 242 and the Camp David accords.

The Arab-Israeli conflict will continue to dominate the General Assembly’s agenda for one week after the Palestinian debate concludes with a debate on the “Question of the Mideast.”

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