Press Release (25 October 1995)

It is most unfortunate and regrettable that Mr. Rudolph Guiliani, following his callous mistake at the Lincoln Center Concert in honor of the 50th Anniversary of the United Nations during which he instructed a deputy to request the departure of H.E. Mr. Yasser Arafat, Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization and President of the Palestinian National Authority, has persisted in the hateful and ignorant stance he has taken, despite outrage at this decision and his actions and statements thereafter.

Mr. Guiliani continues to maintain that Mr. Arafat went to the concert uninvited, which is absolutely false as the invitation was made by United Nations Protocol, and the tickets were picked up from the New York City Host Committee, under the name of Palestine. In addition, Mr. Guiliani wrongly maintains that Mr. Arafat and his entourage left following the request made. This is also not true because Mr. Arafat made a point of staying since the concert was an integral part of the United Nations program. Mr. Arafat left Lincoln Center at approximately 9:50 pm, more than forty minutes after the uncivil request was made and because of previously scheduled engagements.

It is apparent that Mr. Guiliani is pandering to the vote of certain extremists through such actions, regardless of the mainstream's view with regard to the matter, including that of the American Jewish community. He has crossed the line into the international realm, in which he is obviously inexperienced and lacking in diplomatic skills, and is out of touch with the political realities and norms of today, including those adhered to by the United States administration.

Mr. Guiliani has chosen to follow his own line and political agenda, in disregard of the overwhelming negative reaction to his statements, and this is most untimely and untoward. His actions are unbecoming of a mayor of this great city of New York as it plays host to the United Nations and its celebration in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the organization.

We are determined not to let the foolish position and behavior of one man overshadow the political success on all levels that was achieved during Mr. Arafat's visit to the United Nations and New York.