Israel Prepared to Meet with Arabs; Seeks No Commitments
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Israel Prepared to Meet with Arabs; Seeks No Commitments

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Israel is prepared to meet with Arab representatives without requiring any prior commitments from them, Ambassador Abba S. Eban, chief Israeli delegate to the United Nations, told the U.N. Special Political Committee today. The Committee is debating whether the U.N. Palestine Conciliation Commission should be continued or dissolved.

Mr. Eban said that a peaceful settlement between Israel and the Arab states is possible if the Arab Governments want to reach such a settlement. He pointed out that the mixed armistice commissions–when they were first put forward by the U.N. Conciliation Commission–were accepted by Israel and rejected by the Arabs.

Mr. Eban made a striking reply to Arab claims: that Israel was not carrying out the resolutions of the United Nations. He pointed out that the U.N. resolution to partition Palestine into an Arab and Jewish state was destroyed by the Arab states’ use of force. “Israel was not destroyed, but the partition resolution was,” he said.

The Israeli diplomat recalled that in 1948 the U.N. General Assembly called on the Jews and the Arabs to reach a settlement by negotiations and that Israel was carrying out this recommendation. He emphasized that the Arab states were in defiance of this resolution.


Mr. Eban argued that the call for the return of Arab refugees to their homes, which was included in the U.N. resolution, was based on “peaceful relations and practicability.” He also stressed that the present territorial position of Israel was in accord with the U.N. policy. “The General Assembly.” he said, “asked, “asked both parties to agree on the boundaries between themselves and this has been done.”

The Syrian delegate, Ahmed Shukeiri, was called to order at this mornings session by the chairman of the U.N. Political Committee when he referred to Israel as “an artificial state” and spoke of Israel’s “melting pot” policy. The chairman interrupted him by pointing out that he did not think that representatives of one state had the right to pass judgment on another state. Similar bitter addresses attacking the Jewish State were made by Fadil el Jamali of Iraq and Abdul Mustafa Bey of Egypt.

Six more delegations are scheduled to explain their votes at tomorrow’s session of the Political Committee before the voting begins on the four proposals concerning the future of the Conciliation Commission which face the delegates. The four are:

A Western Power resolution calling for continuation of the present commission, but with the transfer of its headquarters to United Nations, New York; a Pakistani proposal for expansion of the present commission; a Soviet resolution calling for the complete dissolution of the U.N. body as a failure; and, an Israeli recommendation that the Conciliation Commission be replaced with a Good Offices Committee–with the same membership as the Commission–whose services would be available when called for by the parties concerned.

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