WASHINGTON (Aug. 14)
The State Department has rejected as “impractical” a proposal that the United States admit some 10,000 Palestinian refugees.
The proposal was made by a State Department “working” group which has been studying means of alleviating “the plight” of the Palestinians, Department spokesman John Hughes said last Friday. He denied that Secretary of State George Shultz ever personally proposed that the U.S. consider taking in a large number of Palestinians.
Instead, Hughes said that Shultz has stated publicly on many occasions his “keen interest in the overall plight of the Palestinians.” In this connection, the Secretary of State ordered studies “on what might be done, if anything, to improve the lot of the Palestinians,” Hughes said.
He stated that the proposal, which reportedly at one time was to admit as many as 50,000 Palestinians, was made at “low level.” Hughes maintained that Shultz had never considered the proposal and that the proposal itself is no longer under “active consideration” within the State Department.
A TRAGIC INDICTMENT OF ARAB STATES
(In New York, Herschel Auerbach, national public affairs chairman of the Zionist Organization of America, said that the State Department study was in effect a “tragic and pathetic indictment of Arab states which, after 35 years, still refuse to normalize the lifestyle of Palestinian Arab refugees living in their midst.”
(The problem of the Palestinians, Auerbach stated, “is first and foremost the problem of the Arab states who created the tragedy to begin with and who now continue to perpetuate it.” He added: “Is it not hypocritical and even uncivilized that the Arabs have not used their extraordinary financial resources to resettle their brethren, while they continue to spend vast amounts of petrodollars on offensive weaponry aimed at the Jewish people?”)