Search JTA's historical archive dating back to 1923

Ceylon Proposes Conciliation Body for Arab-israel Refugee Settlement

November 18, 1959
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Ceylon proposed here today that the Palestine Conciliation Commission be revived and enlarged, and be given a specific mandate to work out a compromise between Israel and the Arab states for overall settlement of the Arab refugee problem.

The proposal was made by Dr. G. P. Malalasekera, vice chairman of the Ceylonese delegation, the first non-Arab speaker to participate formally in the week-long debate of the Arab refugee problem. Israel, which has addressed the Committee a half dozen times in the last week, has thus far spoken only in reply to bitter Arab attacks.

Dr. Malalasekera pleaded with the United Nations to go beyond mere palliative measures and solve the refugee problem once and for all. Such a solution, he declared, promised “great rewards and blessings to the people of the Near East, to the United Nations and to all mankind.”

Recalling that some delegates in the current debate–a reference to the Arab speakers–had gone so far as to threaten war against Israel, the Ceylonese diplomat warned that “war has not solved any problem in the past and it will not do so in the future.” War, he stated, “would surely mean the destruction alike of both the perpetrators and the victims.”

He referred to proposals made by the Arabs for revival of the Palestine Conciliation Commission and noted that the Commission in recent years had not attempted to lay down a basis for overall settlement of the refugee problem. “We would ask that the Commission be now directed to give attention to the latter program,” he said. “We also welcome the suggestion to enlarge the Commission so as to bring in fresh blood and to secure a wider geographic distribution.”

The proposal to bring an enlarged PCC into the refugee situation was voiced here one week ago by one of the most violent of Israel’s attackers, Ahmad Shukairy of Saudi Arabia. Mr. Shukairy was believed aiming at bringing Soviet bloc representation into the PCC, which is composed of the United States, France and Turkey.

Recommended from JTA