UNITED NATIONS (Nov. 25)
The United Nations General Assembly by a vote of 90-16 with 30 abstentions yesterday endorsed the Report by the Committee on the Eagleton of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People which recommended that Israel evacuate from all occupied territory by June 1, 1977.
The 20-member committee’s report also recommended that all Arab refugees displaced since the Six Day War be permitted to return to their homes and those who became refugees between 1948 and 1967 be allowed to return or receive compensation for lost property. The report also called for the creation of a Palestinian State on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip under the leadership of the Palestine Liberation Organization. The General Assembly resolution urged the Security Council to consider as soon as possible the report’s recommendation. The Council rejected the report earlier this year after the United States vetoed it.
The U.S. voted against the Assembly resolution, as did Israel, Canada, Great Britain. The Netherlands, Norway, Luxembourg, Iceland, West Germany, Australia, Denmark, Belgium, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Haiti and Nicaragua.
Among those who abstained were Italy, France, Austria, Japan, Ireland, Finland, Portugal, New Zealand, Mexico, Sweden, Ivory Coast, Malawai, Nepal, Fiji. Botswana, and Lesotho. Eight countries did not participate including Argentina, Brazil, Honduras, Zaire, and the Central African Republic.
REPORT IGNORES ISRAEL’S RIGHTS
Prior to the vote, Israeli Ambassador Chaim Herzog again denounced the report by the 20-member committee as inspired by the PLO and declared that the Assembly cannot impose the report’s recommendations on Israel. He said:
“We reject out of hand this report which serves only to move the area away from peace. ignoring as it does Israel’s rights, ignoring as it does the fact that no dictated solution will be accepted by Israel, ignoring as it does the centrality of the process of negotiation in solving any conflict, and being in fact nothing more than a rewrite as part of the PLO Palestine Covenant.”
Herzog called the General Assembly’s methods of dealing with the Middle East “a tragedy of international proportions.” He said that “by taking a subject which can only be solved by compromise and bringing it to the type of discussion which we are obliged to listen in the Assembly, the United Nations Organization has been maneuvered into the forefront of those elements who would sabotage every effort in the Middle East towards peace. By allowing small groups of irresponsible extremists to dictate to the UN, the tragedy of the Middle East conflict is being prolonged.”
WILL NOT COMMIT NATIONAL SUICIDE
Stressing that Israel believes that a solution can be arrived at on the basis of Resolutions 242 and 338, Herzog declared: “We will not be dictated to. We will not agree to any attempt to impose solutions. We have no intention of committing national suicide. We will not accept any alternative to the concept of the process of negotiations.”
The Israeli envoy concluded his remarks by quoting from Premier Yitzhak Rabin’s address in Jerusalem earlier this week in which he urged the Arabs to hold face-to-face talks with Israel for peace, and especially noted that Egyptian President Anwar Sadat had spoken with everyone except Israel of his desire for peace with the Jewish State.
More anti-Israeli resolutions are expected next week when the General Assembly begins a debate on the Mideast Monday. In addition, the Special Political Committee is expected to submit four anti-Israel resolutions to the Assembly and other committees may also do the same.