Lawmakers Urge U.N. Chief to Lead Fight to Repeal Zionism Resolution

Seventy members of the U.S. House of Representatives are urging U.N. Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar to lead the fight to rescind the 1975 General Assembly resolution that denigrated Zionism as a form of racism.

“While we know that your calling is to implement U.N. policy, you have a profound effect on its content and direction,” they said, in a letter organized by Reps. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) and Benjamin Gilman (R-N.Y).

The lawmakers refereed to Perez de Cuellar’s May 13 statement that the resolution is a “wrong and unfair interpretation of what Zionism is.” They urged him to “speak out about the detrimental nature of this resolution.”

The House last week passed a foreign aid bill calling on the Bush administration to use “every available means to obtain rescission” of the resolution.

But neither the United States nor the Israeli government has decided to actively seek the resolution’s repeal when the 46th U.N. General Assembly convenes in late September.

“We have to make sure that once this kind of an issue is going to be introduced on the agenda, we are going to win,” an Israeli diplomat explained.

There are “no indications than anyone in the administration in the United Nations or the secretary-general is actively pushing this resolution on the agenda,” he said . But he said securing Perez de Cellar’s backing is not a prerequisite for seeking repeal.

The diplomat conceded that any repeal of the resolution could create new pressure form world governments on Israel to accede to an enhanced U.N. role in Israeli peace talks with Arab countries and Palestinian representatives.

But the diplomat said Israel has never taken the stance that repeal would automatically persuade Israel to allow the United Nations to play an active role at a peace conference.

Meanwhile, the United Nations was silent earlier this month on the 10th anniversary of the U.N. resolution that condemned Israel’s June 7, 1981, attack on Iraq’s planned nuclear reactor at Osirak.

As is the case with the Zionism resolution, Congress is ahead of the administration and the Israeli government in calling for an immediate repeal of that resolution.

The Foreign Aid Authorization Bill passed by the House states that the U.S. administration should seek the resolution’s repeal.

The bill says Israel engaged in a pre-emptive strike against the reactor, which it called a ” legitimate and justifiable exercise of self-defense.”

The bill also states that there is “no evidence” that the Israeli strike “delayed efforts to resolve the Arab-Israeli conflict.”

The Israeli diplomat said no speeches were given this June at United Nations about the resolution, which he indicated is unlikely to be repealed given its lock of prominence.

He said that the lack of fanfare marking that resolution’s 10the anniversary was positive in a way, because U.N. members refrained from engaging in another “ritual of condemnation” of Israel.

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