UNITED NATIONS (Jul. 18)
Israel charged today that the Security Council, which opened a debate on its three member commission’s report on Israeli settlements in the administered territories, is being manipulated “by the enemies of peace.”
Declaring that the report is “one-sided and distorted” Yehuda Blum, Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations, told the Council that the settlements “are only one aspect of the complex role, and any attempt to detach it arbitrarily from the wider context is a distortion of reality.”
Blum explained that the overall context of the Israeli-Arab conflict is reflected in Security Council Resolution 242 which includes “the legitimate security requirements of the State of Israel, which are directly relevant to the question of settlements.” He said this aspect was ignored in the commission’s report.
In its recommendations to the Security Council the commission urged the Council to “launch a pressing appeal to the government and people of Israel, drawing again their attention to the disastrous consequences which the settlement policy is bound to have on any attempt to reach a peaceful solution in the Mideast. “The report also recommended that “Israel should be called upon to cease on an urgent basis the establishment, construction and planning of settlements in the occupied territories.”
The commission was established by the Council last March 22 after a complaint by Jordan and its members are representatives of Zambia, Bolivia and Portugal. Israel has not cooperated with the commission and when it visited the Middle East in June it did not allow its members to enter the country and the territories in question.
In his address before the Council today, Blum said that the commission’s conclusions were determined in advance and the report accepts the view of “Israel’s avowed enemies as though they constituted hard and objective evidence.”At the conclusion of his speech, Blum declared that in view of the circumstances “Israel will have nothing to do with this debate, whatever its cause and outcome.”