UNITED NATIONS, N.Y (Apr. 8)
Adoption of the American-British joint resolution censuring Israel for its retaliation raid against Syrian gun positions and calling upon Israel “to scrupulously refrain from such action in the future” was considered here today as certain when the voting of the 11-member Security Council takes place tomorrow. However, it was believed that the resolution would be adopted by the narrowest of margins.
The vote on the resolution was postponed until tomorrow at the request of Ambassador Michael S. Comay, chief of the Israel delegation at the United Nations. The resolution was presented by the U.S. and British delegations for a vote on Friday. Mr. Comay told the Council he would comment on the resolution but wanted first to consult his Government. He is scheduled to be the first speaker when the Council reconvenes tomorrow morning.
The Anglo-American draft condemned Israel, not by direct expression of censure but by “reaffirming” a resolution adopted by the Council on January 19, 1956, after a series of sessions that opened in December of 1955. Those sessions followed an Israeli retaliatory raid against Syria earlier in December, 1955. In the 1956 resolution, Israel was not only formally “condemned” but was also threatened with “further measures” — meaning sanctions–if it failed to heed the Council’s orders to halt “retaliatory” actions.
Opening mildly by “deploring the hostile exchanges” between Syria and Israel “starting March 8,” thus accepting in part Israel’s contentions that Syrian provocation had preceded the March 17 raid, the resolution continues by declaring that the Council now “reaffirms the Security Council’s resolution of January 19, 1956, which condemned Israeli military action in breach of the General Armistice Agreement, whether or not undertaken by way of retaliation.” The Armistice Agreement mentioned is the 1949 pact between Israel and Syria, calling a balt to Israel’s defensive war of liberation.
Spelling out still further its anti-Israel nature, the Anglo-British resolution declared that the current Council “determines that the Israeli attack of March 16-17, 1962, constitutes a flagrant violation of that resolution (of 1956) and calls upon Israel scrupulously to refrain from such action in the future.”
The resolution then formally endorses certain recommendations made to the current Council by Maj. Gen. Carl C. von Horn, chief of staff of the UN Truce Supervision Organization, who was summoned to attend the Council’s sessions last week in person. Specifically, the resolution endorses the UNTSO chief’s demands that Israel permit the use of a United Nations patrol boat on Lake Tiberias, and that Israel reactivate its membership in the Israel Syrian Mixed Armistice Commission.
Israel had already rejected the use of the UN patrol boat on the lake because the lake is entirely in Israeli territory. Israel has also explained it had been boycotting the Mixed
Armistice Commission, since 1951 because Syria had tried to use that body as part of its program of biting into Israel’s sovereignty.
SOVIET DELEGATE SUGGESTS U.N. SANCTIONS AGAINST ISRAEL
Another clause of the resolution did equate Israel and Syria by calling upon “both parties ” to abide scrupulously by the cease-fire which General von Horn had arranged on March 17. That clause urged both sides to observe the cease-fire not only in deeds but also by avoiding threats.
However, Ambassador Charles W. Yost, of the United States, who had introduced the resolution, made it clear in his comments before the Council that he held Israel more responsible for the occurrence than Syria. He said it was “particularly” Israel that had made it impossible for the UN military observers to establish all the facts surrounding the Syrian-Israeli imbroglic.
As finally presented, the resolution still did not meet with the complete favor of either the Russians or the Syrians, Platon D. Morozov, of the Soviet Union, told the Council the draft did not go far enough in condemning “armed aggression” by Israel against Syria. He suggested that sanctions be considered against Israel now.
Syria had managed to get Mr. Yost to delete from an earlier draft of the resolution a clause which would have accused both Syria and Israel of “disregarding” UN efforts to halt armed conflict. But Syria was still insisting that its own resolution–introduced by the UAR–should be adopted, condemning Israel in terms much sharper even than the Anglo American draft. However, there was little possibility that the Syrian draft, even if it came to a vote, would pass.
Only France, through its delegation chairman, Armand Berard, came to Israel’s defense during the current Council debate, Regretting Israel’s raid, M. Berard had insisted that no condemnation resolution be adopted, requesting instead that the Council take full account of Syria’s provocations and try again to bring both parties together for a final peace settlement.
All the other delegations had, in one way or another, condemned Israel. Chile, Ireland, Ghana and Venezuela had expressed some sympathy for Israel’s position in the face of provocations, but it was considered certain that they would vote for the resolution as presented by Mr. Yost.