NEW YORK (Jun. 19)
Juliana Geran Pilon, an anti-Communist refugee from Rumania, thinks the U.S. Congress should hold hearings to determine how United Nations money is spent supporting the Palestine Liberation Organization. She also thinks that if UN attacks against Israel continue, the U.S. should consider boycotting General Assembly discussions on the Middle East.
Pilon’s views and her charge that virtually all of the UN’s official machinery has been used in an anti-Israel campaign mounted by the Arab states and their Third World and Eastern bloc allies, are contained in a report by The Heritage Foundation, a Washington-based conservative think tank. The report was released at a luncheon last week, hosted by the American Jewish Congress.
Pilon, described as an expert and veteran UN-watcher, said Israel dominates the UN agenda to a remarkable degree. “Of the Security Council’s 88 sessions last year, 46 were on topics related to Israel. In the General Assembly, debates on the Middle East consumed nearly one-third of the delegates’ time and led to 44 resolutions. The number of times the General Assembly convened emergency special sessions on the Middle East was no less than five–which is equal to all the emergency special sessions held in the UN’s first three decades,” Pilon reported.
GROWING WORSE EACH YEAR
According to Pilon, the “systematic” campaign to discredit and isolate Israel in the UN is growing worse each year, despite U.S. opposition. The U.S. should continue to protect Israel from unfair attacks by UN agencies, she said, and in cases of serious violations against Israel, the U.S. should drastically reduce its voluntary contributions to those agencies by as much as one half of the present amount.
Pilon said UN attacks on Israel go beyond propaganda. “It is reflected in the very composition of the decision-making bodies,” she said, noting that Israel is excluded from the Economic Commission of Western Asia (ECWA) in violation of UN rules. ECWA is composed entirely of Arab states.
The UN Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization (UNESCO) passed a resolution in 1974 excluding only Israel from full participation in its regional activities, Pilon recalled. Other UN agencies that have undertaken campaigns against Israel include the World Health Organization, the international Labor Organization, the International Telecommunications Union, the UN Relief and Works Agency and the Human Rights Commission, Pilon said.
The UN bloc-voting mechanism has contributed to the UN attacks on Israel because most countries are bound to support the policies of the blocs to which they belong, Pilon said, adding that “In what became a watershed, the Western bloc in 1973 increased the frequency with which they abstained on resolutions attacking Israel instead of backing Israel.”