UNITED NATIONS (Oct. 18)
Breaking a tradition that has been in existence for about 20 years, the General Assembly will not condemn Israel this year for its cooperation with the “apartheid regime” of South Africa.
The decision not to censure Israel for its ties with South Africa comes as the result of several contributing factors, including a vastly different South Africa and Israel’s new relations with the Palestine Liberation Organization.
The group of African states that had moved annually to blast Israel for its relations with South Africa decided not to support the resolution after meeting with the PLO’s permanent U.N. observer, Nasser al-Kidwa.
Kidwa advised the African delegates that the condemnation had no place in light of the changes that have taken place in both South Africa and the Middle East.
Without this support for the traditional anti-Israel resolution, it seems unlikely that any state will even offer the anti-Israel decree, which had been renewed annually for years.
Israel’s U.N. ambassador, Gad Yaacobi, said the change marks “the first fruits” of Israel’s efforts to eliminate long-standing critical resolutions at the United Nations.
It also follows the rapprochement between the United Nations and South Africa now that that country has scheduled its first non-racial elections.
So markedly positive have been changes in South Africa that South African President F.W. de Clerk and African National Congress leader Nelson Mandela were just named co-recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize.