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December 21, 1973 - Image 12

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1973-12-21

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

By EDWIN EYTAN
JTA European Bureau Chief
GENEVA (JTA) — Geneva
is not only a geographic lo-
cation but also the symbol of
"a spirit" and a certain old-
fashioned form of interna-
tional cooperation.
It also has marked a num-
ber of resounding interna-
tional failures, such as the ill-
fated League of Nations, the
Indochina peace conference
and the summit meetings.
It first entered modern
history in November 1917
when President Woodrow
Wilson told Swiss statesman
William Rappard that the
world should set up an inter-
national organization, the
League of Nations, and locate
it in Geneva "to try and
imitate the concept of mutual
friendship and cooperation
shown by the Swiss, French,
Germans and Italians who
together built a state."
Though America never did
join the league, Wilson be-
lieved till his death that the
world, through sheer physical
contact, eventually would
imitate the Swiss example.
In 1926, the league official-
ly decided to build for itself
"a fitting headquarters."
The Swiss government offer-
ed the site, the Ariana Park,
which had been donated to
the Geneva canton by a
Swiss art collector, Gustave
Revilliod, in 1890.
The foundation stone was
laid in 1929 after 377 archi•
tects submitted over 10,000
projects. While 1,000 workers
labored on the building, the
league lived its own dramas
and turmoils: Hitler and
Mussolini described it as
"the world melting pot of
rot"; the emperor of Ethi-
opia came, in vain, to ask for
help from the Italian inva-
sion; Benes to plead that his
country, Czechoslovakia, "is
not the name of an infec-
tious disease"; and Ro-
mania's Titulesco to try to
preserve at least a sem-
blance of hope in the Bal-
kans.
The building was com-
pleted in 1937, and the
league's general assembly
met there for the first time
with war looming on the
horizon. The league, soon to
disintegrate in the fires of
the Second World War, was
never to enjoy the luxurious
and beautiful piece of archi-
tecture which it had built for
itself.
Practically every civilized
country contributed some-
thing: the chamber's ceiling
decorated by Spanish painted
Jose Maria Sert; France had
given the two huge gilt
bronze doors leading to the
assembly hall; Finland and
Italy, the lobby's marble;
H u n g a r y, the reception
room's furniture; and New
Zealand, the wood for the
president's office.
The building regained part
of its luster in the summer
of 1954 when the interna-
tional conference for peace
in Indochina met there.
After 71/2 years of bitter
fighting, the Indochina peace
agreement was finally signed
in the evening of July 20,
1954. The leaders of the 19
countries which had attended
the conference, expressed
thir confidence that "a last-
ing and secure peace has
finally been concluded."
A few months later, Amer-
ican "experts" and "ob-
servers" arrived in South
Vietnam while North Viet-
namese forces crossed the
republic's border. The Indo-
chinese war had become the

Vietnam operation and was
on again.
Geneva and the world had
another chance a year later,
when the heads of state of
Russia, America, France and
Britain met in the "Palais
des Nations" for their sum-
mit conference on July 18,
1955.
President Eisenhower met
his former comrade, Marshal
Zhukov, and Israeli Premier
Moshe Sharett to plead with
all to try to put a stop to
rising tension in the Middle
East. It was in Geneva that
Sharett secretly met the
French foreign minister and
reached the first formal
agreement for French arms
sales to Israel.
Since then, Geneva and its
"spirit" receded. All the
other major conferences
were held elsewhere. Its
chance has come as Arabs
and Israelis meet there.
Both the United Nations
and the Swiss authorities live
in fear of a possible terrorist
attack. Special UN security
guards have been flown to
Geneva from New York, and
the Swiss government plans
to mobilize a regiment of
paratroopers to guard the
UN building and the routes
leading to and from the air-
port. Hundreds of police will
guard the hotels where the
delegates will stay.
The
Israeli
delegation,
which already numbers near-

ly 100 people including ad-
ministrative staff, has taken
over an entire hotel in the
center of the city.
The heads of the delega-
tion, including Foreign Min-
ister Abba Eban himself, will
be staying at a hotel some
10 miles from the city.
Both the Americans and
the Swiss fear that an at-
tempt against Secretary of
State Henry A. Kissinger
might be made, and un-
precedented security meas-
ures have been taken around
the building.
The Egyptians include a
large number of international
law experts.
One of the top men in the
delegation is the former
Egyptian ambassador in
Paris, Ibrahim el Eirun,
known as Egypt's foremost
authority on international
law.
These appointments tend to
support the belief that Egypt
plans to put the forthcoming
discussion on a legal basis—
namely, to approach the
whole issue of the Middle
East conflict from the juri-
dical angle: United Nations
resolutions, Security Council
rulings and cease-fire agree-
ments.
The United Nations Secre-
tariat has also brought to
Geneva a number of legal
experts normally stationed in
New York to interpret UN
resolutions.

Kollek Describes to Detroiter
the Value of Library in Crisis

Nothing could appear to be
more remote from the un-
settling events of war than
a library. Yet, wrote Jeru-
salem Mayor Teddy Kollek
to Detroiter Irwin T. Holtz-
man:

I "By helping underpri-
vileged youth and adults, by
improving the worst slum
neighborhoods in the coun-
try, by promoting interre-
ligious and intercommunity
activities, by providing cul-
ture for those who cannot
otherwise afford it, we must
continue to create a better
life for the residents of Jeru-
salem, especially those who
have suffered directly in this
war."

"From the very beginning
of the war, we have kept our
libraries open, and yesterday
(Oct. 20) I took a few hours
to visit around the libraries.
each of which was buzzing
with activity. Sometimes we
Brotherliness
do not realize how much of
When
the year has been
the parents' tension filters
down to the children and for prosperous, people become
young and old alike, a few brotherly toward each other.
quiet hours in the nearby —Midrash Bereshit Rabba.
library, lost in the world of
books, can do more than any f
tranquilizer."

What prompted the letter,
reprinted in Bookman's
Weekly, was a gift by the
Detroit builder to the Jeru-
salem Public Library for the
acquisition of Hebrew and
Arabic books. Holtzman is a
collector of modern Ameri-
can, Soviet and Israeli litera-
ture.
Mayor Kollek wrote that
there have been especially
high casualties among Jeru-
salemites "because part of
the Jerusalem Brigade (local
residents in the reserve)
happened to be stationed on
the Suez Canal on Oct. 6
and suffered the brunt of the
first enemy attack which
caused so many casualties
at the very beginning of the
war.

"Moreover, because many
families in Jerusalem are so
large and closely knit, the
sorrow of dead and wounded
has touched a great number
of homes in Jerusalem."
Looking to the future,
Kollek said "We must try to
anticipate and meet the
needs of a society with
fatherless children and griev-
ing wives and parents .. .

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

Golda 4th Most Liked 12—Friday, Dec. 21, 1973
in Magazine Contest

`Spirit of Geneva' Gets Another Chance

WASHINGTON — Israeli
Prime Minister Golda Meir
placed fourth in Good House-
keeping Magazine's "Most
Admired Woman" competi-
tion.
Pat Nixon came in first,
followed by Mamie Eisen-
hower, Rose Kennedy, Mrs.
Meir, Lady Bird Johnson,
Shirley Temple Black, Pa-
tricia Neal, Princess Grace
of Monaco, Dr. Joyce Broth-
ers and Julie Nixon Eisen-
hower,

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