UNITED NATIONS (Dec. 9)
Israel sharply criticized a decision of the United Nations General Assembly Friday to postpone until next year its debate on terrorism. The postponement was accepted by the United States. A year ago Secretary of State William P. Rogers urged here forceful measures and proposed a treaty text on the problem. Secretary General Kurt Waldheim had proposed that the UN act to combat terrorism after Palestinian terrorists killed 11 Israelis at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich.
The formal reason for the delay was that there was insufficient time for debate by the Assembly’s Sixth (legal) Committee before the session is to end Dec. 18 but sources said there was no hope for progress this year.
Israeli Ambassador Shabtai Rosenne said that the Israeli delegation felt the decision indicated “the helplessness” of the UN and “the utter lack of will” which, he said, the UN had demonstrated by not taking “any worthwhile and effective steps to combat the evil of international terrorism.” He said there was no justification for the Sixth Committee and the General Assembly “to have lent themselves to the burial of this agenda item after a session which looks very much like a filibuster.”
Yaakov Morris, Israeli delegation spokesman called the postponement “an additional blatant example of the parliamentary bias and composition of the United Nations as a whole,” which, he said, was “manifest in all matters related to the Middle East conflict–no single issue affecting Israel can be discussed today in the world organization in an equitable, fair or objective manner. Items such as terrorism–an obvious weapon of terror warfare by the Arabs–in violation of all civilized conventions, is not discuss sable for the same reasons.”
Only four delegates–from Bolivia, Portugal, Uruguay and West Germany–expressed regret that action on terrorism was shelved. Japan approved of the postponement, the Soviet Union proposed the terrorism item be erased from the UN agenda, and the British and others contended that there was no point to a debate on the issue since no progress could be made.