Netanyahu Says Israel Will Ask UN Chief to Allow It to Inspect Additional Files on War Criminals

Binyamin Netanyahu, Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations, revealed Sunday night that Israel will soon ask UN Secretary General Javier Perez de Cuellar to be given permission to inspect hundreds more files at the UN archive on war criminals. In an interview with the Jewish Telegraphic Agency shortly before he departed for consultations in Israel, Netanyahu said Israel will request an access to 500 more files in addition to the 2,500 files it already examined. The UN archive on accused war criminals contains some 40,000 files. Last month the Secretary General rejected Israel’s demand that the archive be open to the public, contending that the nations which were members of the long-defunct War Crimes Commission had objected to it.

Netanyahu addressed the annual dinner of the American Friends of Migdal Ohr at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel Sunday night. Migdal Ohr is a special school for disadvantaged children in the town of Migdal Haemek in lower Galilee. Netanyahu told the more than 500 guests at the dinner that Israel will continue its campaign to open the files to public scrutiny. He said that two nations, Australia and Holland, of the 17 nations who were members of the War Crimes Commission, agreed so far to the opening of the files.

“Public access to the files is needed for two reasons: justice and history,” the Israeli envoy declared. He said that new information in the files could help bring to justice the Nazi war criminals who are still alive. In addition, he contended, free access to the files by scholars and researchers will help establish a more accurate record of that historical period.

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