Officials Admit Chain of Errors Responsible for Snafu in Dealing with Mexico’s Vote at the UN

Government officials admitted today that a chain of errors and omissions resulted in the failure to communists an understanding reached between Israel and Mexico over the latter’s vote in the General Assembly Monday night in favor of the International Women’s Year Conference declaration which included two paragraphs condemning Zionism.

The understanding that Mexico was obliged to vote for the declaration since it had hosted the Conference last summer but that the Mexican delegation would dissociate itself from the anti-Zionist clauses, was reached with Mexican Foreign Minister Emilio Rabasa who was in Jerusalem on a reconciliation mission two weeks ago.

But this understanding was not made known beforehand either to Israel’s Ambassador to the UN Chaim Herzog or to American and Canadian Jewish leaders who met with President Luis Echeverria in Mexico City Dec. 12 and received a commitment from him that Mexico would not support future anti-Zionist measures at the UN. The result was that Herzog and the American Jews sharply condemned the Mexican vote.

The Knesset was also kept in the dark. While the Jewish Telegraphic Agency and other selected news media were informed of the understanding, they were asked by the government not to report it in order to avoid embarrassing Mexico. The JTA first reported Israel’s understanding with Mexico on Dec. 16.

Government sources said that a cable was sent to Herzog in advance of the voting explaining the situation but the Ambassador either did not receive it or did not have a chance to read it. Herzog and Rabasa met in New York but, apparently due to an oversight, the understanding reached in Jerusalem was not alluded to, the sources said. Meanwhile, Mexico’s non-participation in the UNESCO Council’s anti-Zionist vote in Paris yesterday was seen here as an affirmation of Mexico’s promise henceforth to have no part in condemnations of Zionism.

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