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Arab, Soviet, Third World Delegates Walk out of Women’s Conference As Israeli Delegate Pleads for Pe

July 18, 1980
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Arab delegations to the international women’s conference now meeting here walked out today as Israel’s representative, Ambassador Chava Hareli launched on appeal for a comprehensive peace and regional cooperation in the war against poverty, ignorance, disease and inequality.

The Arab delegations, led by the Palestine Liberation Organization, walked out as she started to speak. They were joined by other countries, including those from the Soviet bloc, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan. The Egyptian delegation remained seated but did not applaud when Mrs. Hareli concluded her address.

After the walkout, Arab delegates said “We do not blame our Egyptian colleagues for having remained. They are not at fault. They just carry out orders given by the traitor Sadat.”

The walkout further symbolized the increasing politicization of the conference whose official objectives are equality, development and peace but which has increasingly concentrated on the Palestinian problem and anti-Zionist attacks. The non-aligned countries submitted an amendment describing Zionism as one of the major evils of the world and is calling for a Copenhagen declaration to set forth this principle.


Mrs. Hareli, who is Israel’s Ambassador to Norway, said after the walkout: “My country seeks a dialogue with all our neighbors. I deplore the slanderous statements made against us in order to disrupt and politicize the conference. I shall abstain from replying in order to preserve the work of the meeting.”

She added that “Our national independence is 32 years old but our national heritage goes back 4000 years, deeply rooted in the land where Jewish history began. From this land and from our ancestors first came the Prophets’ message to seek peace and pursue it.” The Israeli diplomat concluded: “We seek a dialogue of mutual understanding and reconciliation with all our neighbors, as people as mothers, as women, as human beings.”

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