UN Council Resolution on Violence in Lebanon Singles out Israel

The Security Council voted 12-0 with three abstentions today to adopt a resolution deploring acts of violence and intervention in Lebanon but only Israel was singled out for blame. The United States, the Soviet Union and East Germany abstained. The Council action culminated a debate on the situation in Lebanon that began April 13 at the request of Lebanon.

Speaking directly after the vote, Israel’s Ambassador to the UN Yehuda Blum, declared that the resolution and the Security Council’s debate which led up to it were “marked by a striking lack of balance and also by selective conscience.”

Privately, Israeli sources expressed “surprise” that the U.S. had only abstained in what they felt was a one sided resolution singling out Israel for censure. They pointed out that the resolution failed to mention the terrorist attack on Kibbutz Misgav Am on April 7 which originated in Lebanon and was the reason for the incursion of Israeli forces into south Lebanon two days later. The resolution also did not mention the various terrorist groups of the Palestine Liberation Organization active in Lebanon.

U.S. Ambassador Donald McHenry said the U.S. abstained because the resolution is “unbalanced” inasmuch as it failed to mention the use of Lebanese territory to perpetrate acts of violence against Israel.

The resolution stated, in part, that the Security Council strongly deplores “any violation of Lebanese sovereignty and territorial integrity; Israeli military intervention into Lebanon; all acts of violence in violation of the general armistice agreement between Israel and Lebanon; provision of military assistance to the so-called ‘de facto forces’. ” The de facto forces is the UN term for the Christian militia led by Maj. Sood Haddad.

The resolution also deplored “all acts of interference with the United Nations Truce Supervisory Organization; all acts of hostility against UNIFIL or in or through the UNIFIL area of operations as inconsistent with Security Council resolutions” and “obstructions of UNIFIL’s ability to confirm the complete withdrawal of Israeli forces from Lebanon.”

STATEMENT BY THE U.S.

McHenry, in his statement explaining why the U.S. abstained, said: “In this situation the United States regards this resolution as an unbalanced and inadequate responsible the problem. The important objective is agree on practical measures to improve the conditions for UNIFIL’s operations and to assure full cooperation with UNIFIL. At the same time, the resolution does not directly acknowledge the fact of cross border terrorism against Israel which is one of the essential elements of the threat to peace in the region. Tragedies like that at Misgav Am are not referred to even by reference. We will therefore abstain.”

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