UNITED NATIONS (Aug. 30)
The United States has once again declined to block the Security Council from adopting a resolution condemning Israel for its deportation of Palestinian activists.
The resolution was adopted 14-0 Wednesday, with only the United States abstaining.
The measure is almost identical to a Security Council resolution adopted July 6, when the United States also abstained from voting.
But the latest resolution differs from July’s in one important aspect.
It “deplores” Israel’s expulsion Sunday of five Palestinians from the West Bank, while the previous resolution said only that the Security Council “deeply regrets” the deportations.
In July, the United States indicated that the word “deplores” was unacceptable language by signaling that it would veto the resolution if it used that word.
The Bush administration now has toughened its stand against deportations, apparently because Israel did not heed the first resolution.
“Israel has proceeded less than two months later with the deportation of five additional Palestinians,” Thomas Pickering, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, told the council prior to the vote.
“It is in this context that my government will not oppose the resolution before the council today, but will abstain,” he said.
‘ALL OTHER MEANS HAVE FAILED’
Pickering referred to a statement on the deportations issued Tuesday by the U.S. State Department. In that statement, the department’s deputy spokesman, Richard Boucher, also used the word “deplore” in describing the U.S. reaction to the expulsions.
Rayed Monsur, the Palestine Liberation Organization representative attending the session, called the wording of Wednesday’s resolution an “improvement” over that used in July.
In remarks to the Security Council before the vote, Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, Johanan Bein, defended Israel’s action.
He said deportations occur “only after the most careful consideration and upon the conclusion that all other means have failed in curbing the violence and preventing grave risks to public safety.”
He added that “an unfortunate but all too obvious conclusion emerges from a comparison of the quick action taken by the Security Council today and the absolute inability of this council to respond in an effective manner to the indiscriminate slaughter perpetrated by Syria and its proxies in Lebanon.”
Wednesday’s resolution was sponsored by Algeria, Colombia, Ethiopia, Malaysia, Nepal, Senegal and Yugoslavia. The same nations drafted the resolution condemning Israel in July.
The Security Council convened Wednesday at the written request of Qatar, which asked for an urgent meeting of the council on behalf of the Arab bloc at the United Nations.