GENEVA (Jun. 25)
For the first time in 25 years, the International Labor Organization closed its annual General Assembly without adopting an anti-Israel resolution.
Moreover, its report on the rights of Arab workers in the Israeli administered territories, while charging Israel with many violations, also credited the Israeli civil administration with promoting economic development and providing educational services.
Those acknowledgements were cited by Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva, Yitzhak Lior. He said the report submitted this year by ILO Director-General Michel Hansenne “displays a greater appreciation of the realities in the territories than have previous reports.”
Hansenne said, “I am happy to see the spirit of cooperation manifested by Israel regarding our educational vocational training amongst Palestinian workers.”
He reiterated the suggestion he made last year that Palestinian trade unions be recognized and permitted to organize freely.
His report was based on the findings of an ILO delegation that visited Israel and the territories earlier this year.
Lior stressed that “it is only in the interests of maintaining good relations with the ILO that we receive the delegation and give them free access to our country.”
The envoy noted that Israeli efforts to improve conditions “are carried out in spite of frequent acts of blind terrorism committed against Israelis and Palestinians alike.”
He protested “against the blatant singling out of Israel as an object of special debate” by the U.N. agency.