WASHINGTON (Mar. 11)
A resolution warning the United Nations against any action that would bar Israel from the General Assembly, was introduced today in both houses of Congress by Sen. Daniel Moynihan (D. NY) and Rep. Jack Kemp (R. NY).
The resolution would suspend U.S. participation in the General Assembly and withhold U.S. funds if Israel “or any other democratic state” is “expelled, suspended, denied its credentials or in any manner denied its rights and privileges in the General Assembly.”
Moynihan stressed that if this happened, the U.S. would still remain in the Security Council since it would want “to maintain our veto.”
The announcement was made at a Capitol Hill press conference which was also attended by Sen. John Warner (R. Va.) and Rep. Jonathan Bingham (D. NY). “This is to me a resolution that will prevent the UN from committing suicide,” Bingham said.
STRONGER MEASURE THAN EARLIER ONE
The resolution introduced today is stronger than one proposed last month by Rep. Tom Lantos (D. Calif) which does not mention Israel by name and does not specify what action the U.S. would take. The Lantos resolution said any UN action to prevent a democratic state from exercising its rights in the UN “will have the most serious and harmful consequences for further Congressional support for the UN.”
Moynihan noted that the State Department supports the Lantos measure which it helped draft. He said that Powell Moore, Assistant Secretary of State for Congressional Relations, sent a letter to Sen. Charles Percy (R. III.) chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, in which he said: “We believe it would not be wise for the Administration to declare specifically in advance what the U.S. response would be to a successful challenge to Israel’s right to membership in the UN.”
URGES U.S. TO SEND ‘EXPLICIT MESSAGE’
But Moynihan declared, “We think it is unwise” not to tell “what our action would be.” Kemp said the U.S. should send “an explicit message” that would be “tough enough to defer any action” against Israel or any other democratic nation. Warner pointed out that Israel has taken several actions in the last 18 months that some in the U.S. have not condoned. But, he said, part of the reason for Israel’s actions was that it felt isolated and partially abandoned.
Warner said adoption of the Moynihan-Kemp resolution would be a move to “shore up” the U.S. commitment to Israel and thus prevent Israel from taking certain unilateral actions “which could jeopardize world peace.”
Lantos, in introducing his resolution, said that if it had contained an “automatic trigger cutting off U.S. funds, it would not have received the support of the State Department nor would it have a good chance to be adopted by Congress.
However, both Moynihan and Kemp stressed that they believed their resolution would be passed. They noted that any U.S. action would probably be for a short period.