UNITED NATIONS (Jul. 29)
The General Assembly’s special emergency session on the Middle East was characterized as “much ado about nothing” by Israel’s Ambassador to the UN, Yehuda Blum, who stated that the session was “not a success” for the Arabs despite its adoption of anti-Israel resolutions.
The Israeli envoy told a press conference following the voting today that the anti-Israel measures received 112 votes compared to 117 for similar resolutions during the last regular meeting of the General Assembly. This was the case despite the fact that the resolution adopted today was watered down and contained no calls for sanctions or other actions against Israel.
Blum called the special session a waste of time and money. He said the large sums spent on the emergency session could have been better spent to feed the children of Cambodia or the starving peoples in Africa. He repeated his charge that the special session was illegal because it was called in contravention of General Assembly rules. He noted that it by posed Security Council Resolution 242 and made no reference to Israel’s right to exist. “The aced to negotiate is taboo, peace is taboo” in the resolutions, Blum declared.
DISAPPOINTED WITH EEC ABSTENTION
He said it was “regrettable” that the nine European Economic Community (EEC) member states saw fit to abstain rather than vote against the resolutions and implied that the reason was the impending visit to the Middle East of Foreign Minister Gaston Thom of Luxembourg who is president of the EEC Council of Ministers.
Blum said Thorn would be received cordially in Israel if his mission is “broadened.” He explained that he meant if it was not strictly based on last month’s Venice declaration by the EEC heads of state, which mandated Thom’s fact-finding trip to the Middle East.
Referring to another matter, Blum charged that the UN Secretariat has joined the Security Council and the General Assembly in anti-Israel action. He said that UN Secretary General Kurt Waldheim “squarely put himself on the side of our Arab opponents” by saying that he favored a Palestinian state.
Asked what the difference was between “Jewish terrorism” in the pre-State period in Palestine and the terrorism of the Palestine Liberation Organization today, Blum replied that efforts by the Jewish “underground” in the Mandate era were aimed only against the British occupying power. If civilians were injured, it was accidental and regretted, he said. In contrast, Blum said, the PLO “concentrates almost exclusively on civilians, women and children.”
He said the PLO has a “preference for children” not only against Israelis but Jewish children as evidenced by the terrorist attack on a group of Jewish youngsters in Antwerp last Sunday in which one was killed and 20 wounded. The PLO operates an “anti-Jewish campaign” which it “masquerades” as a national liberation movement, he said.