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Israel Fights Arab-soviet Attempts to Isolate It at Unctad Parley

February 28, 1968
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) which opened here nearly a month ago to work out a global strategy for the economic and industrial advancement of underdeveloped nations, has split into various committees and working groups. But they are operating under the shadow of charges by Israel and several other countries that the elective machinery which determined the membership of these groups was discriminatory and violated the conference rules.

The conference, while international in composition, is heavily weighted with Arab and Moslem countries of Asia and Africa which have done their utmost to isolate Israel. They have been actively supported in this by the Soviet bloc, with the exception of Rumania, and by many of the so-called unaligned nations. Conference plenary sessions have been used by the Arab and Communist nations as a form for bitter attacks on Israel although, as the Israeli delegation repeatedly pointed out, UNCTAD is non-political.

The Israelis have specifically charged that through “back-door pressures and machinations” they have been deprived of the opportunity to be elected to working or contact groups. One Israeli delegate, Avraham Darom, said the conference had failed to apply the rule of equitable geographic distribution in committee membership, as envisaged by the U.N. General Assembly, thereby raising a question of moral principles.

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