JERUSALEM (Nov. 13)
Israeli circles are confident that the anti-Zionist and pro-PLO resolutions adopted by the General Assembly Monday will be ineffective for all practical political purposes–provided that the United States remains steadfast in its refusal to deal with the PLO and honors the pledges it made to Israel under the terms of the Sinai accord signed with Egypt in September.
Observers here pointed out that the General Assembly resolutions are recommendations only and that any tangible steps to implement, them have to be approved by the Security Council where the United States and the other permanent members–France, Britain, USSR and China–have veto power. The U.S. has pledged to Israel that it will oppose any effort to change the terms of reference of Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338 under which the Geneva peace conference was established.
Although the General Assembly voted for PLO participation in any Middle East peace-making forums, including the Geneva conference, the Geneva terms of reference, embodied in the December, 1973 invitation issued by the co-chairmen states–the U.S. and USSR–specifically give the parties to the conference the right to discuss and approve any additional participation.
In the interim accord package, the U.S. specifically committed itself to oppose the PLO and deny it recognition until the PLO agrees to accept Resolutions 242 and 338 and recognizes Israel’s right to exist. Thus, the observers pointed out, the Egyptian-sponsored resolution inviting PLO participation in peace talks remains meaningless as long as Israel and the U.S. do not consent to it. The same applies to the Soviet call to the U.S. to have the PLO invited since that cannot be enforced without Israel’s consent, they said.
DEFIANCE AGAINST RESOLUTION
Meanwhile, defiance of the UN’s anti-Zionist resolution identifying Zionism as a form of racism, continued to mount all over Israel. School children began distributing a half million “I am a Zionist” badges today which have been printed by the government information service. A similar number of badges will be ready by Sunday. Several cities, led by Jerusalem, have changed streets named for the UN to “Zionism Street” and Tel Aviv University changed its name for a day to “University of Zionism.”
School children and their parents demonstrated throughout the country against the resolution. A group of demonstrators chanted anti-UN slogans outside of the UN headquarters in Government House here last evening. One protestor climbed on the roof and replaced the UN flag with an Israeli flag but UN officials promptly restored their own colors.
Education Minister Aharon Yadlin instructed all schools to devote part of the school day to lessons on the history and significance of Zionism. Likud MK Elimelech Rimalt introduced a draft bill in the Knesset to amend Israel’s “basic laws” by defining the State of Israel as the outgrowth and culmination of Zionism.
Ashkenazic Chief Rabbi Shlomo Goren assailed the UN resolution as a “racial, vicious and criminal act” that struck at the roots of the Jewish faith and the Biblical vision of the return to Zion. Mrs. Rose Matzkin, president of Hadassah, said that the UN resolution “will never make us Jews turn racist.” She pledged that the Hadassah Hospital would “continue to serve all men and women regardless of race, religion or creed.”
Commentators and the public derived comfort from the fact that every democracy in the world voted against the anti-Zionist resolution, and the Third World bloc, once a rubber stamp of Arab actions against Israel in the UN and its various agencies, was in this case dramatically split. Commentators pointed out that the most important non-aligned states-those outside the Communist or Arab blocs–either opposed the resolution or abstained.
EFFECT ON SABRA POPULATION
The anti-Zionist action at the UN also seems to have had a salutory effect in Israel. It reminded Israel-born youth that Zionism was not merely some vague ideology out of the past that belonged to their parents or grandparents and applied only to Jews in diaspora countries. The attacks on Zionism and its equation with racism suddenly jolted Israeli youngsters into the realization that whoever tried to eliminate Zionism was trying to eliminate Israel and posed a direct threat to their own future lives.
That new appreciation of the relevance of Zionism to themselves was reflected in the massive outpouring of high school and university students in the past few days. At least 10,000 high school pupils packed the Tel Aviv municipal plaza to hear former Premier Golda Meir address them on Zionism and the world they live in.
The UN resolution means that once again a sword hangs over the future of the Jewish people, Mrs. Meir said. She told the youths that it was up to them to demonstrate that Jewishness and Zionism were one. She observed that if Israel had a million more Jews, no nation would dare support resolutions such as the one passed this week and no one would pay attention to the perpetrators of such resolutions.
Thousands of college youth rallied at the Tel Aviv University campus where they applauded the re-naming of Mexico House “Mexican Zionists House.” Thousands more youngsters demonstrated at Ramat Gan where the central plaza was re-named “Zionist Plaza.” The World Maccabi Union called on all of its branches and affiliates throughout the world to seek through their respective governments to have the UN resolution rescinded.
The Association of Americans and Canadians in Israel will deliver petitions to their respective embassies in Tel Aviv next week congratulating the two governments for their stand against the anti-Zionist measure. Rallies were held Tuesday night in Jerusalem. Tel Aviv, Beersheba and Haifa.
The Foreign Ministry’s staff committee has asked all Ministry personnel at home and abroad to wear “I am a Zionist” badges. The badges have been distributed here and were mailed to all Israeli missions abroad. But the overseas staffs were cautioned that wearing the badges did not apply where security considerations took precedence.