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Israel Hits Back at Arab Anti-semitic Calumnies at the United Nations

December 7, 1962
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Israel hit back here today at its Arab calumniators who, in 15 speeches in the last six days, have tried to batter Israel with charges of aggression against Arabs and with Hitlerian attacks which equated Jews, Israel and Zionism with Nazism and Fascism.

The Israeli answer came this morning in a long, hard-hitting but calmly delivered address by Ambassador Michael S. Comay, Israel’s permanent representative here. He spoke to the General Assembly’s 110-member Special Political Committee which is debating the Arab refugee problem. The committee had suspended a scheduled session yesterday to give Mr. Comay the opportunity of preparing a full answer to the anti-Semitic attacks by the Arabs which, on Tuesday, had reached a crescendo called by many observers here a “Neo-Nuremberg” outburst creating a “pogrom atmosphere.”

“Although we are still in the early stages of our debate on this item,” Mr. Comay told the committee, “Arab spokesmen have already made 15 statements and interventions. They have one and all been marked by a spirit of compulsive hatred, in which every means has been used to vilify and besmirch the image of my country. This is not merely a matter of hurling abuse, of screaming epithets. The central theme is that Israel, a member of this Organization for 14 years, has no right to exist and should be destroyed. The central demand is that the United Nations should cooperate in this enterprise. If such doctrines can be preached with impunity from the very rostrum of the United Nations, then the Charter of the United Nations has become meaningless.”

The Israeli representative, obviously addressing himself to the many new members from the African and Asian continents, some of whom may not be too familiar with the historical developments, went into great detail on the history and aims of Zionism, the Balfour Declaration, and the fact that the latter had been embodied by the League of Nations in the Mandate given to Britain over Palestine after World War I. He showed that Arab-Jewish cooperation was possible and even sought by responsible Arab leaders as far back as 1919. He carried the historical summary down to the United Nations, its adoption of the Palestine partition plan with the affirmative help of both the United States and the Soviet Union, and UN rejections of Arab insistence that “Palestine was an Arab country”


Ambassador Comay then recalled the various Arab aggressions, committed openly, at times boasting, with “notice” to the United Nations that the Arabs intended to destroy Israel, contrary to warnings by the UN itself.

“With this record,” he continued, “can there be any question in anyone’s mind as to who were the aggressors in Palestine–who deliberately tried to destroy the United Nations resolutions by force of arms–who set in motion the exodus of the Arab refugees–who sent their armies marching across their own borders into another country–who it was that refused to stop the fighting, until they were actually defeated on the field of battle?”

Mr. Comay touched on the Arab charges of “expansionism” by telling the committee simply that there is one way to guard against such an eventuality–the drafting of a peace treaty between the Arab states and Israel. “Let them,” he challenged, “solemnly enter into a non-aggression pact renouncing the use of force. Let them enter into disarmament arrangements, with mutual inspection and control. Let them obtain United Nations guarantees or Great Power guarantees for their territorial integrity. Israel is willing to consider any or all of these measures, and in fact has proposed them. It is the Arab States who reject them.”


The full time chief of the Israel delegation then came to the anti-Semitic barrage which has been led here by Hussein Zulfacar Sabri, Egypt’s Deputy Foreign Minister, and Ahmad Shukairy, Saudi Arabian delegation chairman backed by a half-dozen other Arab spokesmen. He referred also to Shukairy’s endorsement of the anti-Semitic TACUARA movement in Argentina and his call for “adoption” of Tacuara by the United Nations. He told the committee: “What surprises one is that the cry of Nazism is raised by those whose associations with it make them so vulnerable.”

Mr. Comay alluded to the fact that Egypt has given “key” positions to former SS officers, especially in its propaganda apparatus against Israel and against Jews. He told of the many thousands of survivors from the Nazi holocaust who finally found refuge in Israel and said: “These are among the people whom Mr. Sabri, Mr. Shukairy and their friends have the monumental indecency to smear as Nazis and Fascists. Their attitude has sinister contemporary overtones as well.”

He charged by implication that the Arab delegations are part of a new neo-Nazi-neo Fascist international, saying: “We have known for some time that certain Arab representatives and propagandists in the United States, Latin America and elsewhere, have been maintaining contacts with neo-Nazi and Fascist groups, and seeking cooperation with them in order to exploit anti-Semitism as a political weapon. (When I say anti- Semitism, I know quite well that the Arabs are also of Semitic stock, but my colleagues in the Committee will understand in what sense I use the term.) Some reflection of this association is beginning to creep into our debates.

“We would hope that Mr. Shukairy’s blessing bestowed upon the Tacuara group will serve to focus attention on this phenomenon, and produce a backwash of public sentiment inside and outside the United Nations. Not everyone, however, makes statements as revealing as that of the representative of Saudi Arabia. The technique of Mr. Sabri is a little less clumsy. It consists in trying to pin the Nazi label onto Israel and Zionism, in the hope that the public mind may be confused as between Hitlerism and those to whom it has caused such untold suffering. The public mind will draw its own conclusions.”

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