GENEVA (Aug. 31)
The U.N. Human Rights Commission has passed a resolution praising progress in the Middle East peace process and calling on all U.N. member states to extend economic assistance to the three-month-old Palestinian governing authority.
At the same time, the 53-member commission rejected a second resolution that condemned Israel for committing human rights abuses in the administered territories.
It marked the first time since 1968 that Israel was not condemned for its practices in the territories.
The second resolution had been sponsored by Syria, Lebanon and Cuba.
“They have been given a lesson that their negative attitude (toward Israel) is no longer accepted,” Yitzhak Lior, the Israeli ambassador to the U.N. in Geneva, said in reaction to the defeated resolution.
“Israel is no more on the defensive at U.N. forums,” said an American delegate.
Explaining the defeat, delegates to the commission said that African states are no longer willing to back Syria’s anti-Israel positions and that instead they are siding with Israel in the hope that Jerusalem will be more helpful to them in the future than Damascus.