JERUSALEM (Sep. 26)
The Cabinet made it clear today that Israel does not recognize the resolution on Jerusalem adopted yesterday by a vote of 14-0 by the Security Council ordering a “halt” to changes in the status of East Jerusalem. The Cabinet adopted a resolution by concensus, without a vote, declaring that there was “no justification” for the Security Council’s debate and subsequent resolution on Jerusalem and that “the government of Israel will not enter into discussions with any political factor on the basis of this resolution.” The Cabinet’s resolution was regarded by political observers here as a warning to any mission or emissary of the Security Council that they would not be welcome in Jerusalem and as an attempt to discourage United Nations bodies from trying to make on-the-spot investigations into the situation in Jerusalem.
The Security Council’s resolution, introduced by Somalia, called on Secretary General U Thant to take whatever measures he deemed fit to implement its intent and to report back to the Council. The most likely possibility was that Thant would appoint a representative or delegation to go to Jerusalem although Israel has served notice in advance that it would not admit emissaries for that purpose. The text of the resolution included a Syrian amendment calling on Israel to “rescind all previous measures and actions” to alter the status of Jerusalem. The amendment was adopted 13-0 with the United States and Nicaragua abstaining. Syria, a non-permanent member of the Security Council, abstained in the final vote after withdrawing three other amendments at the behest of other powers.
ISRAEL TO REMAIN FIRM ON JERUSALEM
Officials here believe the issue will not receive much attention in the world. Jordan has achieved its aim of having another resolution on the record. However, no state in the Security Council except Somalia, was sufficiently interested to sponsor the resolution. While the United States voted for it, the American Ambassador, George Bush, made it clear that a return to the pre-June, 1967 status of Jerusalem was undesirable, Israeli circles said, Today’s Cabinet resolution stated that “Israel’s policy with regard to Jerusalem remains unchanged. Israel will continue to persevere in the development of the city for the benefit of all its inhabitants, in respecting the religious rights of all communities and in scrupulously safeguarding the holy sites of all faiths and the freedom of access to them.
According to government sources, the main objection to the admittance of Security Council emissaries to Jerusalem is that it would stir up unrest in the city which has been prosperous and tranquil for some time. Late in 1967, an emissary of the Secretary General visited Jerusalem and reported on the economic integration of the two sections of the city and another emissary was admitted later on. But Israel refused entry two years ago to a UN commission appointed by the president of the General Assembly to investigate the treatment of Arab civilians in Israel-occupied territory. Israel boycotted that commission on grounds that its intent was anti-Israel. The General Assembly refused an Israeli demand that the group inquire as well into the treatment of Jewish citizens in Arab countries.
Yesterday’s Security Council session was marked by an acrimonious exchange between Israel’s Ambassador Yosef Tekoah and the Soviet Ambassador Yakov Malik. The undercurrent of ill-will was established by Malik’s insistence that the session begin Saturday morning, the Jewish Sabbath, A compromise postponed the opening until 5 p.m. but the Israeli delegation did not show up until 7:30. Malik used the occasion to denounce Zionism as a racist concept and Israel as a persistent aggressor. Tekoah said there were some “Stalinist echoes” in Malik’s statement and reaffirmed that Jerusalem was “a living city.” Tekoah stated that Christian and Moslem leaders from various countries had commended Israel for what it had accomplished in Jerusalem as a labor of love.