UNITED NATIONS (Jul. 29)
A resolution demanding that Israel withdraw from all territories it has occupied since June, 1967 “including Jerusalem” and that this start by Nov. 15, 1980, was adopted by the General Assembly today by a vote of 112-7, with 24 abstentions.
The United States, Israel, Australia, Canada, Norway, Guatemala and the Dominican Republic voted against the resolution. The same countries — except Norway and the Dominican Republic — voted against a second resolution calling on the General Assembly’s Committee on the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People to study why Israel has not complied with UN resolutions in the past dealing with the Arab-Israeli conflict. That resolution was adopted by a vote of 112-5 with 26 abstentions.
Just before the vote, one paragraph of the first resolution was amended to declare that “Israel should fully comply with all UN resolutions relevant to the historic character of the holy city of Jerusalem.”
Israel’s Ambassador to the UN, Yehuda Blum, said the amendment adopted just prior to the voting was in violation of General Assembly rules. But, he said, he would not call for a vote on that because he knew very well how the General Assembly would vote.
The countries abstaining on the first resolution included the nine members of the European Economic Community, Japan, Portugal, Paraguay, Austria, Bahamas, Burma, Honduras, Liberia and the Scandinavian countries except Norway which voted against the first resolution and abstained on the second. The only non-Communist European countries that voted for the resolution were Greece and Spain.
ISRAEL REJECTS ENTIRE EMERGENCY SESSION
In his speech before the voting, Blum said that Israel rejects the resolutions and the entire special emergency session of the General Assembly because it was “illegal and preposterous. “Blum declared that “while it (the special session) has not advanced the cause of peace, it has dealt another blow to what remains of the UN’s prestige and authority.”
He noted that there are many problems in the world and observed that it is “no panacea to the world’s ills by advocating hostile, one-sided reso- lutions against my country.” He said the resolutions were aimed at destroying the peace talks which, he declared, will go on.
U.S. Ambassador William Vanden Heuvel, the Deputy U.S. Representative to the UN, said the U.S. voted against the resolution because it failed to take into consideration the rights of all sides in the Middle East and “contradicts and undermines” Security Council Resolution 242. Vanden Heuvel declared that resolutions which do not take into account the legitimate rights of both sides cannot be accepted by both sides and thus do not contribute to the peace process.
CANADA TERMS RESOLUTION UNREALISTIC
Canada’s Ambassador, Michel Dupuy, said Resolution 242 is the cornerstone of a comprehensive solution of the Arab-Israeli conflict. He said that Canada favors a just solution for the Palestinian people and that the Palestinians are entitled to political self-expression in a defined territory. He said that Canada was concerned about the effects of Israeli settlements on the West Bank and changes being made in Jerusalem because they do not encourage Palestinians to come to the peace talks.
But, Dupuy declared, the resolution was not balanced, contained an “unrealistic timetable” and undermined the negotiations now going on in the Middle East which Canada hoped would be concluded soon.
The Canadian envoy said Canada believed the General Assembly should be acting on resolutions that “facilitate” the resolving of disputes, which is not what the General Assembly is doing now.
Zaire’s Ambassador, Kamondo Wa Kamando Wa Kamondo, said that while Zaire voted for the first resolution, it did not vote for the second because it was “ambiguous” and unnecessary inasmuch as everyone knows why Israel did not comply with past UN resolutions. He said Zaire’s support of the first resolution did not undermine Resolution 242 because that was still in effect.
Several of the speakers who voted for the resolutions, as well as those who abstained or voted against them, stressed that Resolution 242 is still the cornerstone of a Middle East peace settlement.
Eight delegations were absent during the vote for the main resolution. They were Central African Republic, Comoros, Dominica, Equatorial Guinea, Molawi, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and South Africa.