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Israel Parliament Rejects Motion to Debate Johnson’s Mission

May 24, 1962
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Israel’s Knesset (Parliament) today rejected a motion by the Herut Party for a debate on the results of the Middle East mission concluded in the area last week by Dr. Joseph E. Johnson, the UN Palestine Conciliation Commission’s special envoy charged with exploring ways to ease the impasse between the Arab states and Israel regarding the Arab refugee problem.

Arieh Altman, of Herut, told the Knesset that the body should be given “clear, public disclosures” about the Government’s conversations with Dr. Johnson. During his five-week tour of the Middle East, Dr. Johnson visited Jerusalem twice, starting and finishing his tour with conferences with Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion and Foreign Minister Golda Meir.

Mr. Altman cited a Knesset resolution of nearly a year ago, when it was decided by Parliament that Israel’s official policy involves the principle that the Arab refugees must not be re-admitted. “This principle,” he said, “remains our non-compromising and determined stand, regardless of threats or pressures by the PCC’s special envoy.” He warned that alteration of the policy “may presage an offensive of pressures on our Government to yield on the subject, and may have the gravest consequences regarding Israel’s security.”

Mrs. Meir replied that the Knesset’s committee on security and foreign affairs has been kept “fully informed” on the subject, and Herut’s motion failed to obtain support from any of the other parties in the Parliament.

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