Israel Not Surprised by Mexico’s Vote; Agreement Had Been Reached on Vote Before Assembly Action

Mexico’s vote last night came as no surprise to Israel government officials. These officials had been saying privately for 10 days now that it had been agreed with Mexico that Mexico would vote in favor of the International Women’s Year Conference declaration, but would make a statement dissociating itself from the anti-Zionist clauses. This, officials said here today, was precisely what the Mexican delegate had done–and therefore Israel had no complaints.

Mexico’s Foreign Minister. Emilio Rabasa, who visited Israel last week on a reconciliation mission, following Mexico’s earlier vote in the General Assembly for the resolution equating Zionism with racism, had explained his country could not oppose the women’s declaration since it had been the host country for the women’s conference. Israel accepted this rationale. Officials here now say the test of the Mexico-Israel reconciliation would come in the future: Mexico has pledged never to support a Zionism-equals-racism resolution again.

But while the Mexican vote came as no surprise in government circles, it most certainly took the press and the members of Knesset by surprise. The two mass circulation newspapers, Maariv and Yediot. Achronot headlined the vote, by implication condemning it as a stab in the back. And in the House, Likud leader Menachem Beigin, and Yossi Sarid, the young leftist Labor Party member, presented urgent motions to the Knesset agenda, Government officials were making urgent efforts to–belatedly–inform the Knesseters–and American Jewish leaders–of their expectation all along that Mexico would not the way it did.

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