UNITED NATIONS (Dec. 16)
The General Assembly voted 107-1 with 26 abstentions last night to adopt the blanket resolution of last summer’s International Women’s Year Conference in Mexico City containing two paragraphs condemning Zionism along with racism, colonialism and apartheid as movements to be eliminated Israel was the only country to cast a vote against the overall resolution.
In a separate vote taken on the anti-Zionist clauses–paragraphs 24 and 26–Israel and 23 other countries cast negative ballots, 26 abstained and 83 voted in favor. Eleven countries were absent. (See separate story from Jerusalem for Israel’s reaction,)
The Mexican delegation voted in favor of both the blanket resolution and the operative paragraphs against Zionism. Its votes surprised observers here in view of Mexican President Luis Echeverria’s remarks to American and Canadian Jewish leaders in Mexico City last Friday that his country’s Foreign Minister, Emilio Rabasa “is now at the United Nations to ensure that future votes by Mexico cannot be misunderstood as equating Zionism with racism or opposing the national aspirations of the Jewish people.”
MEXICO OFFERS EXPLANATION FOR VOTE
In a statement before the voting last night, the head of the Mexican delegation, Ms, Aida Gonzalez Martinez, observed that the International Women’s Conference in Mexico had to take into account certain principles which were controversial to certain countries, among them the reference to Zionism, She said her delegation supported the Mexico City declaration as a whole as being of considerable value and noted that because the term Zionism had not been clearly defined, the Mexican delegation to the International Conference had abstained on the paragraphs relating to Zionism.
She added that if Zionism means the realization of the national aspirations of the Jewish people, her delegation’s vote on the whole resolution last night should not be interpreted as an acceptance of the equation set forth in paragraphs 24 and 28 of the declaration, she did not explain, however, why Mexico supported those paragraphs in the separate vote.
LINE UP OF OPPOSITION
In addition to Israel, the countries that voted against the anti-Zionist paragraphs were: Australia, Barbados, Belgium, Canada, Central African Republic, Chile, Costa Rica, Denmark. France, West Germany, Haiti, Honduras, Ireland, Italy, Liberia, Luxembourg, Malawi, Netherlands, Nicaragua, Norway, Paraguay, United Kingdom and United States. The same countries, Plus Bahamas, EI Salvador and Gabon, abstained on the overall resolution.
The countries that abstained on the anti-Zionist paragraphs were: Austria, Bahamas, Bhutan, Bolivia, Colombia, Dominican Republic, EI Salvador, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, Gabon, Greece, Iceland, Ivory Coast, Japan, New Zealand, Papua-New Guinea, Portugal, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Spain, Swaziland, Sweden. Togo, Uruguay and Zaire,
In his statement prior to the voting, Israel’s Ambassador to the UN, Chaim Herzog, announced that his country would vote against both the anti-Zionist paragraphs and the resolution as a whole which incorporated them. He made it clear, however, that the original purposes of the International Women’s Year have the full support of Israel and that Israel would continue its policy of “promoting and maintaining the rights of women.”