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Behind the Headlines Fireworks Expected at UN Assembly

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Diplomatic sources at the United Nations predict that the 33rd session of the United Nations General Assembly, which opens Sept. 19, will be marked by stepped-up anti-Israeli resolutions, especially if the Camp David summit turns out to be a success.

“In case of a real progress in Camp David it is very likely that the issue of Zionism will be brought up again by Arab extremists who would aim at torpedoing the continuation of any progress toward a peaceful solution of the Arab-Israeli co conflict, ” a high-ranking diplomat explained. He also pointed out that the Soviets would support new attacks on Zionism, noting that it was the USSR which stood behind the anti-Zionist drive recently at the World Conference to Combat Racism and Racial Discrimination in Geneva.

In the opinion of UN diplomats and observers, the focus of the anti-Israel forces at the world organization this fall will be the alleged cooperation and relations of Israel and South Africa. Yehuda Blum, Israel’s new Ambassador to the United Nations, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that he believes that new, harsher series of resolutions condemning Israel’s economic and military ties with the Pretoria government will be adopted by the Assembly. “It is clear that this Assembly is not going to be easy for Israel, “Blum said, adding: “But we are going to speak out loud and clear not only on behalf of Israel, but on behalf of the entire House of Israel.”

A NUMBER OF MAJOR ISSUES

During the three-month Assembly the Mideast issue will also occupy the Security Council at least on three occasions, when the mandates of the UN peace-keeping forces in the Sinai, the Golan Heights and south Lebanon will expire.

The most important test, if progress has indeed been made in negotiations between Israel and Egypt, would come at the end of October when the three-year mandate of the United Nations Emergency Force (UNEF) expires and the Security Council will be asked to vote on its renewal. Egypt’s consent or refusal to extend the mandate could be a major indication if the Mideast is heading towards peace or war.

The extension of the mandate of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) would come before the Security Council at the end of this month. Sources at the UN said that one of the obstacles for the continued operation of the force in the refusal of a few countries to continue to contribute troops for UNIFIL in view of the tense situation in the area.

Less clear than all is the position of the Syrian government on extending the mandate of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF), which separates Israeli and Syrian forces on the Golan Heights. Diplomats say Syria’s decision will be influenced by the extent of its involvement in Lebanon and the result of the Israeli-Egyptian peace efforts.

Despite the grim prospects for Israel at the upcoming Assembly, Israeli diplomats stress that it will be a mistake to dismiss anti-Israeli resolutions without “fighting back.” They point out that the UN is an international arena from which Israel can publicize its views and attitudes and, by doing so, reduce the harm of the anti-Israeli resolutions.

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