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Israel out of Anti-apartheid Parley

August 18, 1977
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Israel announced today that it will not participate in the United Nations-sponsored World Conference for Action Against Apartheid in Lagos, Nigeria Aug. 22-26 because the World Jewish Congress was excluded from the conference while the Palestine Liberation Organization and a pro-PLO UN committee were invited.

Israel’s decision was officially announced yesterday in a letter from its UN Ambassador, Chaim Herzog, to UN Secretary General Kurt Waldheim. Herzog noted that the WJC, which has consultative status since 1947 with the UN Economic and Social Council, as well as the International Labor Organization, the Organization of American States and the Council of Europe, was not told of the selection process or why it was rejected and others approved. He pointed out that the WJC has “a commitment to work for human rights generally.”

At the same time, Herzog said, the PLO was invited despite its “anti-Semitism” and at its request the Committee for the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People has also received an invitation “even though its mandate is in no way connected with the conference and it was originally not invited for precisely that reason.”

Herzog stressed that the Israeli decision to withdraw was done with “reluctance” since it was opposed to apartheid and any form of racism or racial discrimination. He also stressed that Nigeria had been cooperative in providing facilities for Israeli participation at the conference.

“Once again a conference of great importance not only to Africa, but to all states, is under threat of emasculation by Arab extremists for their own partisan purposes,” Herzog declared. “The government of Israel can neither ignore such behavior, not let it be ignored.”

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