Mrs. Meir Outlines Israel’s Policy at U. N. Assembly; Scores Gromyko
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Mrs. Meir Outlines Israel’s Policy at U. N. Assembly; Scores Gromyko

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Israel’s Foreign Minister, Mrs. Golda Meir, today told Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko that he has been busying himself with “resurrecting lobby gossip” by talking of the possibility that Israel may invade Jordan when the British troops are withdrawn from that country. She spoke at the United Nations General Assembly.

Mrs. Meir started her address by saying there was “deep anxiety” throughout the world at the illness of the Pope and she wanted to express a “respectful wish for his full and speedy recovery.” She then analyzed the situation in the Middle East, emphasizing that “emergent nationalism” is one of the potent factors affecting the international situation.

The upsurge of Arab nationalism, she went on, would be welcomed by the United Nations in so far as it was a manifestation of a legitimate desire for progress and national well-being. But the precondition for the acceptability of nationalism, she added, “must be its strict respect for, and observance of the legitimate national aspirations of others.” In some instances, commented Mrs. Meir, nationalism had turned expansionist in its objectives and destructive in its methods. It then became indistinguishable from “unbridled imperialism” and menaced the object of its belligerence and the peace of the world, she said

Mrs. Meir accused Iraq and Saudi Arabia, whose representatives had addressed the Assembly last week, of violating the dignity of the United Nations and impairing its principles by saying that the “crux” of the Middle East is Israel’s existence and by calling for the dissolution of Israel. The Israel Foreign Minister Insisted that any economic development plan for the Middle East–like the one proposed to the special emergency session of the Assembly last August by President Eisenhower–must include all countries in the region.


In replying to Mr. Gromyko, Mrs. Meir said that the best answer to his innuendos and “unwarranted accusation” against Israel is the statement on Israel’s policy made by Ambassador Abba Eban a few weeks ago before the special session of the UN Assembly, This statement declared:

“Our policy has been and is based on mutual respect of all Middle East States for the integrity and independence of each other; on the need, in our view, to defend and guarantee the territorial integrity and political independence of states; and, on the strict observance and integral implementation of existing agreements on the basis of reciprocity, This is our policy.”

This statement, Mrs. Meir said, applies without change today. “It is regrettable,” she added, “that the distinguished Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Soviet Union should again have given current to baseless rumors and indulge in unwarranted accusations against my country. I can assure the distinguished Foreign Minister that despite his innuendos Israel’s policy is neither a dictated nor a subservient one. The policy of Israel, small state though it be, will continue as in the past to be determined by the Government of Israel and that Government alone.”


Mrs. Meir then analyzed the report which the UN Secretary General Dag Hammarskjold submitted to the Assembly on his recent mission to the Middle East. She recalled that the resolution of the special Assembly under which Mr. Hammarskjold was authorized to proceed on his mission had, among other things, required all states to respect the integrity and independence of all other states, Arab or non-Arab, in the Middle East.

Had the will of the Assembly been genuinely carried out, she commented, there would have been no blockades, no violent press and radio incitement in the Middle East. Nor would there have been “incitement” against Israel by Arab representatives from the same rostrum from which, only six weeks ago, they had exhorted all members to full Charter observance.

The immediate reactions to Mrs. Meir’s address were highly laudatory, especially on the part of delegations representing African and Asian countries. Several Africans came forward in the corridors with warm endorsements of the Israeli Foreign Minister’s stand regarding economic development plans.

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