UNITED NATIONS (Jul. 13)
The Arabs are planning a major diplomatic offensive against Israel during the upcoming 43rd session of the United Nations General Assembly.
According to diplomatic sources here, the Arab countries and the Palestine Liberation Organization will step up their anti-Israeli rhetoric during the three-month session of the annual conclave, and will press the world body to pass harsher resolutions against Israel in view of the continued unrest in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
Diplomats said that the number of countries who will support critical resolutions against Israel may increase sharply in the upcoming assembly. because of the uprising in the territories that began Dec. 9.
Israel has been under fire not only from its arch enemies but also from traditional friends such as the European countries.
“It is going to be a very difficult session for Israel, no doubt,” a member of Israel’s mission to the United Nations told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.
“We are aware of the fact that the European countries are critical of Israel’s policies in the territories, and this is going to be reflected in their public speeches and probably in their pattern of voting on resolutions criticizing or deploring Israel,” the diplomat said.
The General Assembly is scheduled to open here on Sept. 20. Thousands of diplomats and high-ranking officials, including scores of heads-of-state and premiers from all over the world, will attend the meetings at the glass palace on the west bank of Manhattan’s East River.
PERES TO HEAD DELEGATION
Foreign Minister Shimon Peres is expected to head the Israeli delegation, which will include — in addition to the five permanent members of the Israeli mission to the United Nations — eight additional delegates for the duration of the assembly.
Ambassador Yohanan Bein is the acting chief delegate of Israel, a post he assumed following the resignation March 30 of Ambassador Benjamin Netanyahu, who is now a candidate on the likud list for the next Knesset.
The diplomatic sources predicted that the disturbances in the territories will intensify with the opening of the General Assembly session in New York.
“The PLO knows the importance of keeping the issue of the unrest in the territories on the mind of the international community, and there is nothing better to achieve this goal than increasing the violence in the territories while the leaders of the world are gathered at the U.N. to discuss the world’s problems.” one of the sources said.
Although resolutions adopted by the General Assembly are not enforceable, the broader support that anti-Israeli resolutions may gain this year can further harm Israel’s standing in the international community, the sources pointed out.