Blum Says Israel Fully Supports Humanitarian Concern About Lebanon

Ambassador Yehuda Blum of Israel declared here that Israel “fully supports any genuine humanitarian concern” about Lebanon but that it “rejects and will resist any attempt to abuse humanitarian concerns for the purpose of obtaining political objectives.”

His comment came after the Security Council voted 14-0, with the United States abstaining, in support of a resolution demanding that Israel immediately lift its blockade of west Beirut to permit food and other supplies to reach that area.

Jeane Kirkpatrick, the United States delegate, complained that the sudden introduction of the motion and the quick vote left her no time to consult with her government. The resolution was introduced unexpectedly by Spain during debate Thursday on a French-Egyptian proposal to strengthen the Palestine Liberation Organization and its goal of a Palestinian national state.

The Spanish-sponsored resolution demanded that Israel allow entry into west Beirut aid provided by the International Red Cross and the United Nations agencies.

Mrs. Kirkpatrick said the Spanish resolution was “lacking in balance,” in that the PLO was imposing itself on Beirut but the Spanish resolution called only on Israel for action. She said “a one-sided appeal in a two-sided conflict suggests purposes that are political as well as humanitarian.”

The 15 Council members spent most of the day discussing the French-Egyptian proposal, which would seek to pull back Israeli and PLO forces from Beirut and to provide the framework for a permanent settlement of the Palestinian issue. It would also affirm the right of all Middle East nations to a secure life, language from Council Resolution 242 which is regarded as assuring Israel’s right to exist.

REJECTS CHANGING RESOLUTION 242

Blum said Israel rejected any attempt to change Resolution 242 which “can only undermine the delicate framework on which Middle East peace is based.” He reiterated that “any attempt or initiative aimed at enabling the continuation of the terrorist presence on Lebanese soil must therefore be resisted as being both short-sided and running counter to the true interests of international peace and security in Lebanon itself and in the Middle East as a whole.”

Blum said “the terrorist PLO, this leading component of international terrorism, cannot, should not and will not be a partner to any negotiations, let alone to any international arrangements, concerning the Arab-Israel conflict or any of its aspects.” The French-Egyptian draft proposes “association” of the PLO in such negotiations, he said.

The envoy said “it would have been easier to believe in the genuine humanitarian concern” about the conditions of Lebanese civilians “of many of the speakers here had they not ignored, studiously and with callous indifference, the agony of the Lebanese people over the years.”

Blum said that the PLO had caused “the death of 100,000 Lebanese, the wounding of 250,000 of them and the displacement of more than one million Lebanese.” He added that “when the representatives of the USSR, Poland, etc. became humanitarians, one must pause to think and ponder the real motives of these and similar humanitarians.”

NEXT STORY