Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Chaim Herzog, responded sharply today to repeated attacks by Arab delegates on Israel for its relations with the government of South Africa. Taking the floor during the General Assembly’s continuing debate on apartheid, Herzog accused the Arabs of a “most disgusting exhibition of double-talk, two-faced duplicity and unashamed hypocrisy.”
The Israeli envoy declared that the Arab countries that accuse Israel of collaborating with apartheid and racism, themselves have connections with the South African government. He said the Arabs’ injection “of irrelevancies into the debate” was responsible for its failure to achieve a consensus on the apartheid issue. “Driven by their own rivalries, hatred and immature approaches, they (the Arabs) have ignored the interests of the African world in order to advance their goal for the destruction of a member state (Israel),” he said.
Herzog declared that Israel’s attitude against apartheid remained unchanged. He said that Israel did not hide its relationship with South Africa and that the relationship was based on the belief that the process of dialogue is the only method to resolve conflicts. But, Herzog said. Israel’s relations with South Africa are singled out although many countries, including the Arabs have such relations with the Pretoria government and South African officials visit those countries.
“Let us not be selective because this is dishonest and my delegation is determined not to allow this dishonesty to continue without the record being set straight,” Herzog declared. He said that singling out Israel was part of “the political witch-hunt against Israel.” He pointed out that despite the fact that the majority of countries at the UN trade with South Africa, it is Israel that is accorded special treatment at the UN and in its reports on apartheid.
ASSAILS EGYPT AND IRAQ
Herzog responded to last week’s “vicious attack” on Israel by Egypt which, he said, was in violation of the second Sinai interim accord signed last year by Egypt, Israel and the U.S. He cited fresh reports to the effect that Egypt has been sending teachers to South Africa until two months ago. He also attacked Iraq who, he said, supplied oil to South Africa.
“The Iraqi government which supplies oil to South Africa has had the effrontery to initiate moves against Israel because of our commercial relations with South Africa,” Herzog said. He charged Iraq with brutal repression of its Kurdish minority, Jews and other minorities within its borders. He noted that Saudi Arabia and Kuwait also deal with South Africa.
The more vehement the Arab attack on Israel on the issue of South Africa, “the more vulnerable they are on the subject,” Herzog said. The apartheid debate, which will conclude Wednesday, has been distinguished by the low key references by the African states to Israel, according to observers here. The Arabs, on the other hand, raised the issue of Zionism and Israeli trade with South Africa during the course of the debate. It was learned that they tried to inject a reference to Zionism in a resolution against apartheid to be introduced in the General Assembly.
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.