LONDON (Apr. 21)
An anti-Israel resolution was adopted today by the political committee of the 29 nation Asian-African conference at Bandung, Indonesia, marking an important victory for the Arab states participating in the parley.
The resolution, which was adopted unanimously, called for “the implementation of the United Nations decisions on Palestine and the achievement of the peaceful settlement of the Palestine question.” The UN decisions provide for the internationalization of Jerusalem, ceding by Israel of certain border areas and agreement by Israel to the return of Arab refugees to their former homes.
Premier Chou En-lai, Premier of Communist China, who voted for the resolution, declared he was convinced that “had it not been for foreign intervention, the tragedy of the Arabs of Palestine would not have taken place.” He has been backing the Arab delegates at the conference in their anti-Israel efforts, while India’s Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and Burmese Premier U Nu urged moderation in handling the Arab-Israel issue.
The resolution adopted today pledged “support of the rights of the Arab people of Palestine” and spoke of “the existing tension in the Middle East caused by the situation and of the danger of that tension to world peace.”
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Mr. Nehru, who expressed sympathy for the plight of the Arab refugees, insisted “we must consider what the conference can actually do about this problem. The question of negotiation should not be ruled out.” He asked how the matter could be settled as long as the Arabs refuse to negotiate.
The Indian Premier agreed with other speakers that Zionism was “aggressive,” but added that “we must remember the tragic suffering of the Jews in the second world war and the massacre of Jews by Fascists and Nazis.”
The Arab representatives were elated over the developments. Maj. Salah Salem, Egyptian propaganda minister, said that “the course of the discussions was very satisfactory to the Arab views. Egypt is very pleased to have the support of Chou En-lai on the question of the Arab refugees.”
It was Arab threats to boycott the Bandung conference if Israel were invited which kept Israel out of the parley. Mr. Nehru in his arguments on the Palestine issue, noted that any resolution coming out of the conference would lack moral force since Israel’s side had not been presented.
While the Arab representatives were vilifying Israel at the political committee session, Israel’s old enemy, Haj Amin el-Husseini, the ex-Mufti of Jerusalem, appeared in the anteroom of the conference chamber. The former intimate of Hitler and one of the planners of the Nazi extermination of Jewry, clad in black robes except for a white turban swathing a red fez, and carrying a black brief case, held an impromptu conference with reporters.
He had come. he informed them with a grin, “to fight my battle.” He said that he would ask permission to address the conference. Some of the Arab delegates, notably the Jordanian Prime Minister, were not too happy to see him.