GENEVA (Jun. 28)
The International Labor Organization (ILO) rejected an anti-Israel resolution yesterday giving Israel its first victory since 1973 in an agency of the United Nations. Although 211 delegates voted in favor of the draft sponsored by the Arab and Communist bloc countries, there were 139 abstentions which deprived the resolution of the 236 votes required for adoption.
For the first time, many Latin American and Black African nations opposed an Arab sponsored anti-Israel draft. In what observers interpreted as a revolt against the politization of the ILO, Zambia, Sierra Leone, Kenya, Ghana and Liberia cast negative ballots. American sources said this might be a first step toward the return of the U.S. to the ILO which it left last year in protest against politization.
The Arab draft called on the ILO to condemn Israel for its alleged policy of discrimination, racism and violation of trade union freedoms and rights. Robert Hawke, the Australian delegate, urged the plenary to abstain, saying that a vote in favor of the resolution would amount to the verbal elimination of Israel and produce nothing constructive. After the voting, the Syrian delegate charged that the outcome was rigged by the plots of various” petty people” and the “Zionists.”