WASHINGTON (Oct. 17)
Israel’s Ambassador to the United States, Moshe Arens, praised last night what he called Secretary of State George Shultz’s “courageous step” in warning against the expulsion of Israel from any organization of the United Nations.
Shultz issued a statement earlier yesterday saying the U.S. would withdraw and cut off U.S. funds from any UN agency, including the General Assembly, if it expelled Israel. The statement was seen as an effort to prevent a vote by the International Telecommunication Union’s Plenipotentiary Conference in Nairobi, Kenya this week to expel Israel, and a similar move led by Libya and Iran to bar Israel from the General Assembly.
The U.S. walked out of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) conference in Vienna last month after Israel’s credentials were withdrawn. Shultz said the U.S. is holding up the rest of its 1982 payment to the IAEA — $8.5 million.
“If Israel were excluded from the General Assembly, the U.S. would withdraw from participation in the Assembly and would withdraw payments from the UN until Israel’s right to participate is restored,” Shultz said. While the Arab and Third World nations are reported backing away from an attempt to expel Israel from the General Assembly, Iran has announced that it will go ahead with the attempt regardless.
SAYS EXPULSION VIOLATES UN PRINCIPLES
Shultz said the U.S. would also walk out of the Nairobi conference and withdraw money from the international Telecommunications Union if Israel is expelled. “We will take such actions in other UN organizations if there are similar moves,” he added.
“The exclusion of Israel from the General Assembly or the International Telecommunications Union in these circumstances would be contrary to the principles of the UN” and in the case of the General Assembly,”a clear cut violation of the UN Charter,” Shultz said. He said it would also contradict the pur- pose of the UN, “creating further conflict and division” rather than settling disputes.
Shultz warned, too, that the exclusion of Israel “would also be a serious setback for progress toward peace in the Middle East” and would be “a tragic irony” if it came “just at a time when there is renewed hope for progress in the Middle East.”
CITES ‘CONTINUED BOND’ OF FRIENDSHIP
Arens’ praise of the U.S. action, made to nearly 1,000 persons at the third North American Conference of American, Mexican and Canadian Friends of the Hebrew University, was cited by him as an example of what he said was the “continued bond” of friendship between the U.S. and Israel, despite “the stresses and strains in U.S.-Israeli relations” during recent weeks. He said this bond has been strengthened.
During the dinner, the highlight of the four-day conference which ended today, Avraham Harman, president of the Hebrew University, presented honorary doctorates to Jeane Kirkpatrick, the U.S. Ambassador to the UN and to Walter Annenberg, former U.S. Ambassador to Britain.
In his speech, Arens stressed the necessity for Israel to remain strong since the Middle East is a “very dangerous place to be weak.” He noted that some advise Israel to “compromise, make concessions and give up territory; after all there is no better security than peace, words that are perfectly appropriate from the perspective of the U.S,-Canadian border but may not be that appropriate in the Middle East.”
He contrasted Lebanon, which was weak and unable to defend itself and which over the last 7-8 years had been controlled by Syrian troops and the Palestine Liberation Organization with a strong Israel that has been able to “ensure its survival.”