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October 05, 1962 - Image 14

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1962-10-05

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS — Friday, October 5, 19 62

Israel at UN: Writers' Dim View from the Bridge


(J. T. A. Correspondent at
at the United Nations)
(Copyright, 1962,
Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Inc.)

This first of the weekly reports
on Israel at the UN in the year
5723, opens with a caution: Do
not despair of Israel's position in
the world organization. Israel is
not a lone wolf, it is not iso-
lated, it is not in any blind alley
(or, indeed, in anyone's pocket).
It has excellent relations here,
is respected, is heard, is believed
by a great many open minds.
But, having thus stated the
positive, one must paint the pic-
ture as it appears to the casual
observer. That outward image
might seem to indicate the direct
negative of all stated so far
above. It's a paradox. It is also
annoying to many here — diplo-
mats, journalists and others.
On the General Assembly podi-
um are three dignitaries. Read-
ing from left to right, you see:
U Thant, the Acting Secretary
General; Sir Muhammad .Zafrulla
Khan, president of the Assembly;
and C. V. Narasimhan, Under-
secretary in charge of General
Assembly affairs, chef de Cabinet
of the Secretariat.

The first is a Burmese who,
prior to his election to the high-
est executive post, was known as
a warm friend • of Israel. But,
being a thoroughly honest man,
Mr. Thant can no longer act as
a Burman — except in his heart.
As "Mr. S. G." he must be neu-
tral in regard to all controver-
sies involving any of the 'mem-
bers of the UN. Thus, as far as
active friendship to Israel — he
is a total loss.
We come to the president of
the Assembly. He is a Pakistani
—a Moslem. From 1947, when he
first entered the United Nations
as his goVernment's permanent
representative (he had been Pak-
istan's first Foreign Minister)
until 1954, he was one of the
leading architects of anti-Israel
hostility here. There was not a
single issue touching upon
Israeli-Arab relations in which
Sir Zafrulla was not among the
fiercest opponents of Israel,
among the most biased, bitter
and uncompromising. What was
worse — he was, is, a brilliant
Zafrulla Khan is a no Ahmad
Ehukairy, the loudest and most
vicious of the professional Arab
ranters here. Cold, calculating, a

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Boris Smolar's

'Between You
... and Me'

(Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Inc.
Copyright, 1962)

Ecumenical Council

With the Ecumenical Council opening its deliberations in
Rome Oct. 11, it now becomes clear that powerful forces within
the Catholic Church - strongly oppose any revision of the Church's
traditional attitudes toward Jews . . . Proposals for such revisions
have come from Jewish organizations and have been given
support by a progressive-minded group of Church dignitaries
within the Vatican -. . . However, something has gone wrong .. .
Those within the Vatican who have sought fundamental changes
in the Catholic attitude toward Jews suddenly felt their influence
weaken . . . The Preparatory Commission of the Ecumenical
Council which was to discuss basic modification of relations
between the Church and the Jews dropped the entire question
from its agenda . . Scheduled articles by prominent Catholic
dignitaries supporting such liberalization were canceled . . . The
general atmosphere, so very promising a week before the start
of the session of the Ecumenical Council, is now alarmingly
cool .. . The session will last several months and the possibility
exists that the situation can still be retrieved . . . But no publicity
whatsoever can be expected either from the Vatican side or from
the side of interested Jewish bodies . . , At present the secretariat
of the Ecumenical Council has in its possession three memoranda
on subjects affecting Jews .. . The first is an analysis of ref-
erences to Jews and Judaism in Catholic textbooks which Jewish
organizations would like to see eliminated ... The third focuses
attention on the "Christ-killer" doctrines and the need for a
permanent Church body to deal with means of bettering Catholic-
Jewish relations . . These representations have been made in
the hope that the Ecumenical Council will develop the means of
re-interpreting the dogmas and attitudes of the Catholic Church
about Jews.

Background Notes

The attitude of the Catholic Church toward Jews and Judaism
has been an essential factor in Jewish history for almost 2,000
years . . . While anti-Semitism is a complex phenomenon, there
is little doubt that Christian teachings have constituted one of
its main sources . . . From early centuries of the Christian Era
to the present day, the image of the Jew in the minds of many
Christians has been that of "the Christ-killer" . . . In this view,
not only ancient Israelites, but each succeeding Jewish genera-
tion is charged with the collective responsibility for the cruci-
fixion of Jesus . . . From time to time, over the centuries,
within the church, attempts have been made to modify this
interpretation • . . One example is the doctrine that Christ died
for all humanity and that all humanity shares the responsibility
for his death .. . Despite these efforts, however, the primitive
concept of collective Jewish responsibility - persists .. It finds
expression and reinforcement in certain prayers, passages of
the liturgy and in a great many Catholic textbooks . . . In recent
years, partly as a reaction to the horrors of the Hitler holocaust,
some leaders of the Catholic Church have indicated a desire to
improve Catholic relations with Jews . . . This trend was strength-
ened with the accession in 1958 of Pope John XXIII, the liberal-
minded pontiff who helped many Jews escape during the Nazi
regime . . Shortly after assuming his high office, he ordered
the deletion of the phrase "perfidious Jew" and other invidious
references from Good Friday liturgy ... The call for an Ecumen-
ical Council was one of the new Pope's first official acts following
his election to the papacy . . . This Council, the first such convo-
cation in a century, is• the legitimate gathering of the entire
leadership of the Catholic Church and concerns itself with the
doctrinal matters that affect the entire Church • . . Its delibera-
tions now will be an event of supreme historic importance not
only to Catholics, but to all other religions as well . . . It is the
hope of world Jewish leaders that despite the opposing forces
within the Council, a new and better era in Catholic-Jewish
relations may emerge from the Council's deliberations.


master of exposition, Zafrulla
Kahn is an enemy to be reckoned
with. And he has been an enemy
—from the very beginning. He
still is, of that there is no doubt.
He served for seven years —
1954-1961 — as a member of the
International Court of Justice,
rising during that period to the
vice-presidencey of the World
Court. He came back here last
winter as he had left — one of
the toughest of Israel's enemies.
Now that he is president of the
Assembly, he says he is "neutral"
on all issues at controversy. How
far that professed neutrality will
stretch, when it comes to Israeli-
Arab issues, remains to be seen.



The third man on the dais is
an Indian. An expert in the
international civil service, Nara-
simhan certainly knows how to
be, act an dstay neutral. Indeed,
under the late Dag Hammar-
skjold, he had shown sympathy
for certain human rights prob-
lems involving the Jewish peo-
ple as a whole (as distinct from
Israeli issues, which were then
outside his immediate sphere).
But one cannot help remember-
ing that the disappointing Prime
Minister of India, Jawaharlal
Nehru, is adamantly opposed to
Indian diplomatic relations with
Israel, identifying himself as one
who fears to offend Nasser and
the Arab leaders.
Step down from the high ros-
trum• and what do you find?
You look up the vice-presidents
of the Assembly. There are 13
of these dignitaries. They were
elected by the Assembly as a
whole on the very opening of
this year's session. Among the
13, you find representatives of
the following member states: Jor-
dan, Romania, the Soviet Union.
One is an Arab. Three of the 13
are outright anti-Israel. Among
the 13, not one place was found
for Israel. Israel, indeed, was
not even among the nominees.
* * *
The president of the Assembly,
the 13 vice-presidents, and the
chairman of the seven standing
committees make up what is
called officially the General Com-
mittee, a body that functions as
the entire Assembly's steering
committee. Let us, therefore,
look at these chairmen. They
represent, - respectively, these
countries: Sudan, Ecuador, Po-
land, India, Guatemala, The
Netherlands, Greece. You notice
which is first — Sudan. The gen-
tleman in question is His Excel-
lency Omar Abdel Hameed
Adeel, now chairman of the Po--
litical and Security Committee.
That committee — known here
as the First Committee — is the
most powerful, the most import-
ant in the General Assembly.
That's the committee that deals
with the weightiest problems af-
fecting the entire world — mat-
ters like disarmament, atomic
energy, most of the toughest is-
sues involved in the Cold War.
Adeel has been here since 1959.
Among the posts he has held
have been: Vice-president of the
Assembly; vice-president of the
EconOmic and Social Council; a
member of a number of import-
ant subcommittees dealing, among
other matters, with the Congo
and Angola. And here is one of
his past posts that should make
you hold your hat. Back in 1956,
the UN held an international
Conference on the Abolition of
Slavery. Who do you suppose at-
tended the parley? None other
than Adeel. Everyone knows
that, among the countries where
slavery is still practiced, are two
Arab states. One of them is
Sudan (the other is Saudi
* * 'I
As of this writing, not a single
Israeli has yet been chosen for
any major elective post in the
entire procedural framework of
the Assembly. By the time this
is in print, there may be one.
Each of the seven committees,
has, in addition to the chair-

man (who is chosen by the As-
sembly as a whole) two other
principal officers — a vice-
chairman and a rapporteur. In
one of the committees — the
Second, dealing with economic
and financial affairs — an Israeli
was run for the vice-chairman-
ship. Madagascar, Upper Volta
and Colombia sponsored the
name of Miss Hava Hareli, a
member of Israel's permanent
mission here and a member of
Israel's delegation to this year's
The Arabs, aided by their pals
from the Soviet bloc, ganged up
on her. Indonesia, Tunisia and
Nigeria sponsored a counter-
candidate — a Pakistani.
The best the bitter-enders
could achieve in their campaign
against Miss Hareli was to put
through a resolution delaying
the vote for vice-chairman. In
spite of the fact that the Assem-
bly faces a very heavy agenda,
and that both Sir Zafrulla• and
Mr. Thant have appealed for ex-
peditiousness in all procedures
—the Second Committee was
stymied for many days, due to
the Arab delaying tactics in re-
gard to Miss Hareli's candidacy.
* *
That's the picture as of this
point. Now, take off those blue

glasses and re-read the opening
paragraph of this week's contri-
bution from your UN beat.
Things are not really as tough
as they seem to be. But the sur-
face view from the press bridge
is certainly not one to evoke
cheers from this corner.

A development fund cam-
paign to raise $65,100,000 was
launched this year by Brandeis
University, funds will be used
as endowment to • provide a
stable financial base for pres-
ent and future Brandeis pro-
grams. Advanced gifts thus far
total more than $20,000,000.

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