Israel, Critical of Youth Assembly, Abstains on Resolution Commending Assembly

Israel, critical of “the manner in which the World Youth Assembly was conducted,” abstained yesterday on a 16-point resolution that briefly commended the assembly’s efforts. The General Assembly’s Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural) approved the resolution by a vote of 98 to 0, with four abstentions–Israel, Costa Rica, Malawi and Portugal. Ambassador Netanel Lorch of Israel explained to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that the Youth Assembly was conducted “in a manner that was certainly not conducive to youths’ respect for human rights.” Israeli delegates to the Youth Assembly in July complained then that its operations were controlled by Soviet, Arab and pro-Arab blocs. Ambassador Lorch recalled that several delegates “were refused the floor and physically prevented from speaking.” He said that Israel thus felt constrained to vote against the resolution, even though “it has many positive elements.” One plank in the resolution recommends “effective steps to combat propaganda in favor of unjust wars, as well as to combat racist, Nazi and similar ideologies.” Another plank endorses “liberation movements of peoples still under…military occupation.”

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