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Senate Bill Urges Repeal of Resolution Condemning 1981 Israeli Attack on Iraq

A majority of the Senate supports a resolution urging the Bush administration to seek the repeal of a U.N. Security Council resolution condemning Israel’s pre-emptive strike against Iraq’s Osirak nuclear reactor in June 1981.

If Israel had not destroyed the reactor, “there is a strong possibility that Saddam Hussein would have had nuclear weapons in hand” when Iraq invaded Kuwait last year, said Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.), who introduced the resolution Wednesday.

The resolution has 53 co-sponsors, but Specter hopes to enlist even more supporters before it comes up for a vote, one of his aides said.

The resolution points out that Israel’s “legitimate and justifiable exercise of self-defense” in 1981 “may have saved the lives of millions of people, including thousands of U.S. servicemen and women deployed in the Persian Gulf region after Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait in 1990.”

A similar resolution was included in the Foreign Aid Authorization Bill adopted last month by the House of Representatives.