JERUSALEM (Feb. 10)
The Knesset voted 61-3 today to condemn the United Nations for the resolution the General Assembly adopted last Friday demanding sanctions against Israel because of its annexation of the Golan Heights. There were 42 abstentions, all by the opposition Labor Alignment.
The bitter debate which preceded the Knesset vote reflected the basic split over the Golan Law between the Likud coalition and the Labor opposition. Although Knesset opinion was virtually unanimous that the UN measure, which branded Israel a non-peace-loving nation and called for its isolation in all spheres was harsh and unwarranted, Labor refused to join the coalition forces in support of a resolution that it felt further justified the Golan action.
Labor insisted on adding to the resolution of condemnation a phrase urging the government to avoid initiatives that would harm the State. It has been Labor’s contention, ever since the Golan Law was adopted last December 14, that it was needless, ill-timed and made Israel vulnerable to worldwide condemnation.
Labor’s abstention was angrily challenged by Foreign Minister Yitzhak Shamir for jeopardizing a national consensus on the issue. “Somebody in the Alignment regards national unity and national consensus as dirty words,” Shamir said.
Yesterday’s debate in the Knesset was marked by a futile attempt to reach agreement on a joint resolution that would reflect a united front of the coalition and opposition. Abba Eban, who speaks for Labor on foreign policy matters, called the coalition demand for a joint resolution “totalitarian.” He was answered by Likud MK Eliahu Ben-Elissar who blamed Labor for weakening Israel’s position-in the world.
WZO DENOUNCES UN RESOLUTION
Meanwhile, the World Zionist Organization Executive adopted a resolution of its own today calling on the Jewish people to reject the UN resolution, to strengthen the unity of the Jewish people in support of Israel and to resist schemes to undermine Israel’s existence.
The resolution declared that “by the automatic majority of the bloc of countries which six years ago identified Zionism as a form of racism,” the UN General Assembly again has attempted to undermine the very existence of the Jewish State.
“Such a shameful resolution, which is characterized by hostility to Israel, exposes anew the anti-Zionist tendencies of the majority in the UN which uses that institution as an anti-Israel tool,” the WZO said. “Our response to the UN resolution is more unity among the Jewish people and a rallying to strengthen and build the State of Israel.”