UNITED NATIONS (Jul. 21)
Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Yehuda Blum, declared today that the emergency session of the UN General Assembly which opens here tomorrow to discuss Palestinian rights is the climax of “a grotesque force” that has been in preparation for at least tow years.
Addressing a press conference here on the eve of the session, he charged that the meeting is “illegal” and clearly “in violation of the rules of procedure of the UN” and therefore, any resolution emanating from the emergency session will be illegal as well. Israel had engaged in a vain last-minute effort in major world capitals to forestall the session. But a majority of the member nations canvassed by the Secretary General supported it. The U.S. remained appeased.
A working paper in preparation for the upcoming debate calls on Israel “to completely with draw its forces from all the accepted Palestinian and other Arab territories, including Jerusalem” and urges that such withdrawal begin no later than Nov. 15, 1980. The working paper is a prelude to a draft resolution.
SAYS SESSION WAS PLANNED IN HAVANA
Blum pointed out that the “emergency” of the meeting is a “protracted emergency” that was planned in Havana last year at the meeting there of the non-aligned countries. According to the plan, the Security Council was called into session in April for the specific purpose of drawing a U.S. veto of a resolution endorsing Palestinian statehood. On that pretext, the General Assembly has been called into emergency session, Blum explained.
He emphasized that the “emergency” meeting was not called forthwith but was planned to be held almost three months after the Security Council veto. The Israeli envoy explained further that the illegality of the emergency session, from the formal point of view, is technical since the April Security Council meeting did not fulfill the essential prerequisite for an emergency as defined by the UN Charter.
He noted that the Charter says that an emergency meeting can be called only after the Security Council has debated an issue under the terms of Chapter 7 of the Charter dealing with a breach of peace and sustains a veto. The April meeting of the Security Council did not meet these conditions, Blum said, since the issue under debate was Palestinian rights, a subject not covered by Chapter 7 of the Charter. Therefore, Blum declared, there is no emergency.
He said that Israel will not attend the opening session of the debate tomorrow because of Tisha B’av, the Jewish day of mourning. It will attend the Wednesday session when Blum said he will explain to the General Assembly why its meeting is not legal.
Meanwhile, the Jewish Labor Committee (JLC) in a wire today to President Carter, asked him to “totally reject the specious and obvious attempt by some nations to circumvent the Camp David process” at the General Assembly session. The wire, signed by JLC president Don Slaiman, called on Carter to instruct the U.S. Ambassador Donald McHenry “to totally reject” instead of abstain on any resolution emerging from the session.