UNITED NATIONS (Oct. 30)
Israeli Ambassador Chaim Herzog denounced a General Assembly resolution censuring Israel for establishing settlements in occupied territories as a “Nuremberg decree-type” resolution which called for Jew-free areas and forbade Jews to settle on land they owned simply because they were Jews.
The Assembly, by a vote of 131-1 with seven abstentions, adopted the Egyptian-inspired resolution Friday afternoon. Israel was the only country voting against, the United States was one of the abstainers and the nine-member European Economic Community nations were among those voting in the affirmative. Ten countries did not answer the roll call for the voting.
(In Jerusalem, Premier Menachem Begin said Israel would not consider itself bound by the resolution. The decisions of the General Assembly, he said, “are merely recommendations. The attitude of the Israeli government towards settlements has been made clear repeatedly to everybody and nothing has changed. “Government officials said the passage of the resolution harmed prospects of peace in the Mideast and only scored points for Arab propaganda.)
YOUNG EXPLAINS U.S. ABSTENTION
U.S. Ambassador Andrew Young told the Assembly that the U.S. had abstained because it had to maintain a policy of strict neutrality due to its role as co-chairman of the Geneva peace conference. He noted, however, that, on the whole, the resolution was consistent with the U.S. position of condemning Israeli settlements as illegal. He recalled in his statement that the U.S. has viewed the settlements as prejudging the territorial aspects of final peace treaties and also complicated the negotiating process.
Herzog said Israel had been condemned for an action it had proved to the Assembly to be legal under international law. (See Daily News Bulletin Oct. 27). Moreover, he said, Israel was condemned for actions that did not cost a single life and did not displace one single Arab from his land. While condemning Israel, the UN continued to ignore such major issues as international terrorism, the invasion of Ethiopia, the annexation of parts of Chad by Libya, the war in the western Sahara, the slaughter in Lebanon, the killings in Cambodia and the oppression in Cambodia, Herzog declared.
He welcomed the U.S. abstention, noting that this showed the U.S. had addressed itself to the Israeli arguments and thereby accepted the principle largely ignored by the UN, of giving a fair hearing to both sides. Herzog denounced the West European countries for not showing “independence of thought and objectivity.” He said those countries had not listened to Israel’s legal defense before deciding their positions.
In addition to the U.S., those countries abstaining were: Nicaragua, Papua-New Guinea, Costa Rica, Fiji, Guatemala and Malawi. The 10 not attending the session were: Albania, Chad, Cambodia, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Gambia, Ghana, Grenada, Seychelles and South Africa.