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Israel Won’t Participate in Debate It Sees Endangering Peace Process

Israel charged at the Security Council last week that a debate on Palestinian rights is taking place because the enemies of peace in the Middle East “attempt to subvert the ongoing peace process in the Middle East, which has now entered its second phase.”

Warning that “the Security Council now stands in danger of being exploited by the enemies of peace,” Yehuda Blum, Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations. also said that Israel “will have nothing further to do with this debate, whatever its course and outcome.”

The Security Council was called into session Friday to discuss a report by the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights at the Palestinian People. The committee is composed of 23 countries, 19 of which do not have diplomatic relations with Israel. The committee, which was established by the General Assembly in November, 1976, is recommending the establishment of a Palestinian state, the return of the Palestinians to their “homeland” and Israel’s withdrawal from Arab territories.

Blum charged that the committee’s recommendations were “a thinly disguised formula for the dismantling of the State of Israel in stages.” He also said that the recommendations ignored Security Council Resolution 242 and failed even to mention the concept of negotiation. “This debate is manifestly designed to obstruct the peace process. The cause of peace is better served by non-participation in these proceedings. Therefore, and in keeping with its consistent position vis-a-vis the Palestine committee and all its works, Israel will have nothing further to do with this debate, whatever its course and outcome.”