Rebecca Lesses

Rebecca Lesses

Associate Professor and Jewish Studies Coordinator, Jewish Studies
Faculty, School of Humanities and Sciences
Faculty, Medieval and Renaissance Studies
Faculty, Women's and Gender Studies

Richard Wilson column 5

add one richard wilson no. 2 - U.S. Ambassador Arthur Goldberg rejected Kosygin's charge of a British-U.S. conspiracy on behalf of Israel. He rejected also Kosygin's linking of Vietnam, Cuba, and the German problem with America's "aggressive" intentions. Goldberg will speak today on the U.S. version of the lightning war in the mideast.

His speech was filled with grim warnings against U.S. policy in Vietnam and elsewhere as leading toward nuclear war. He accused the U.S. of having "cast aside all camouflage" to conduct an aggressive war in Vietnam. "Certain states," he said, make continuous attempts to interfere in the internal affairs of independent countries and peoples, extend their military bases and fleets all over the world, while the Soviet Union follows a consistent policy of letting every people enjoy the right to establish an independent national state of its own.

Kosygin's delivery, according to Russian linguists, was drab and uninspired as if he were expressing himself by rote, and not out of dedication to a cause he hoped to win. The odds are strongly against adoption of a resolution he proposed to condemn Israel and make her pull back.

Because there was no more than the usual Moscow radio type of invective, attention turned to Kosygin's apparent willingness to respect the U.N. charter and use the world organization in lieu of force.

He spoke also of Moscow's opposition to local wars, which was considered to be some kind of deviation from the Khrushchev policy of wars of national liberation.

Eban undertook to demolish Kosygin as would a courtroom lawyer dealing with a guilty defendant. The Israeli foreign minister moved from point to point to deny Israel's responsibility for beginning the war and insisted that it was not Israel, but Syria, Egypt and Jordan which attempted to "draw the noose" around Israel and exterminated it as a state.

He envisioned a new state of affairs with the Arab states recognizing Israel's right to live, with communication between them. "What is now often described as a wedge between Arab lands would become a bridge," he said. The middle east would become a busy center of air communications, radio, telephone and postal communications. There would be economic cooperation in agricultural and industrial development, a "united" Jerusalem with no more gun emplacements and barbed wire.

"A call to the recent combatants to negotiate the conditions of their future co-existence is the only constructive course which this assembly could take."

Neither the Russians nor the Arabs will recognize "co-existence" with Israel. The suggestion that everything should go back to where it was before the fifth of June is "totally unacceptable," Eban declared. "What the assembly should prescribe is not a formula for renewed hostilities, but a series of principles for the construction of a new future in the middle east." That can only be done by "frank and lucid" dialogue between Israel and the Arab countries, he said. Other arrangements would be mere "patchwork" and the basis for a new war, according to Eban.

Eban's speech, dwelling on the history of the incidence of war, brought to attention omissions in Kosygin's history, particularly the withdrawal of the U.N. emergency force in the Gaza Strip, and the blockade of the Gulf of Aqaba, which Kosygin did not mention. Eban pictured Israel as facing the greatest threat to its existence in its history hemmed in by hostile armies ready to strike and bombarded by predictions of her ultimate extinction. "From these dire moments Israel emerged in five heroic days from awful peril to successful and glorious resistance," he said.

Eban outlined Russia's supply of arms to the Arabs, 2000 tanks, 700 fighters and bombers, 540 field guns, 695 anti-aircraft guns, 170 rocket launchers, and much more. The Soviet army trained the Egyptian army, he said. If Russia had put into Egypt one-half of what it spent on its arms supplies it could have cured Egypt's economic ills, he said. He called Kosygin's comparison of Israeli forces to the "Hitlerite horde" as "obscene."

The general assembly will meet again today at 10:30 a.m. eastern daylight time to hear Ambassador Goldberg.  Some 35 speakers have notified the secretariat they wish to be heard.

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