UNITED NATIONS (Dec. 12)
The General Assembly last night renewed its call for an international peace conference on the Middle East, with the participation of the Soviet Union and the Palestine Liberation Organization and asked Israel and the United States to reconsider their opposition to such a conference.
The call was made in a resolution adopted by the Assembly at the conclusion of its debate on the Question of Palestine. The vote was 121 in favor to three against — Israel, the U.S. and Canada — with 23, mainly Western countries, abstaining.
The Assembly adopted three other resolutions on the issue of the Palestinians last night. The U.S. and Israel voted against all the resolutions.
One of the resolutions endorsed the recommendations of the Palestine Rights Committee, which includes a call for the establishment of an independent Palestinian state and the recognition of the PLO as the sole representative of the Palestinian people. The vote on this resolution was 127-2 (Israel and the U.S.), with 21 abstentions.
Another resolution expressed continued support of the United Nations Division on Palestine. The vote on this resolution was 130-3 (Israel, the U.S. and Canada), with 17 abstentions.
The fourth resolution requested the UN Department of Public Information to continue disseminating information on the question of Palestine. The vote was 131-3 (Israel, the U.S. and Canada), with 15 abstentions.
SAYS ARAB CONTENTION NOT SUPPORTED BY HISTORY
Ambassador Binyamin Netanyahu of Israel, speaking after the vote, said that to justify their implacable antagonism towards Israel, the Arab countries had repeatedly contended that the Jews had seized Palestine from the Arabs who had lived there for centuries. But, he claimed, that contention was not supported by history because for thousands of years the Jews had lived in Palestine.
The Israeli Ambassador said that the Palestinian refugee problem had been created largely by Arab armies who forced the Palestinians to leave their homes when they attacked Israel in 1948.
Netanyahu also charged that the call for an international peace conference was a “ploy” to legitimize the PLO. He said peace was possible if the Palestinians, Israel and Jordan come to the negotiating table as Israel and Egypt had done. The Arabs should recognize Israel “by right and not on sufferance,” he said.
RESOLUTIONS CALLED UNBALANCED, UNFAIR
Jeane Kirkpatrick, U.S. Ambassador to the UN, said she voted against the resolutions because they were unbalanced and unfair. The U.S. has sympathy for the Palestinians but the resolutions last night were an “outrageous” interference in the affairs of the U.S., she declared.
She noted that the resolution that called for an international peace conference also charged Israel with not being a peace-loving nation, and said that this was inconsistent. She said that Israel has the right to expect fairness from the UN.