WASHINGTON (Dec. 4)
If the United Nations wants to play a role in the Middle East, then it must first repeal its 1975 resolution equating Zionism with racism, two former U.S. ambassadors to the United Nations said Sunday.
Sen. Daniel Moynihan (D-N.Y.)., who was the U.S. representative to the United Nations when the General Assembly adopted the resolution, and Jeane Kirkpatrick made this challenge on NBC-TV’s “Meet the Press” program Sunday morning.
“Let the other side take the first step,” Moynihan said. “They have used the United Nations as a place to delegitimate the existence, the right to existence of the State of Israel.”
But he said if the resolution is repealed, “a lot of things are possible.”
Both Moynihan and Kirkpatrick indicated support of the decision by Secretary of State George Shultz to bar Yasir Arafat, chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization, from entering the United States to address a General Assembly debate on the Palestinians.
They particularly noted the appearance at the recent Palestine National Council meeting in Algiers of Mohammed (Abul) Abbas, a close associate of Arafat who masterminded the hijacking of the Italian cruise liner Achille Lauro. During that incident, Leon Klinghoffer, a wheelchair-bound New York Jew, was shot and thrown overboard.
Shultz’s decision has been condemned by all the members of the United Nations except for Israel and the United States. The U.N. General Assembly voted 154-2 on Friday to move its debate to Geneva, so that Arafat can address it.
SHULTZ DEFENDS DECISION
In an appearance Sunday morning on ABC-TV’s “This Week with David Brinkley,” Shultz said his decision was the right one.
“As people get further and further from it, and look back on it, I think they are going to come around and see how important it is for us to be very clear and very firm in our attitude toward terrorism,” he said.
Shultz said he had allowed other PLO members to enter the United States for the debate and not Arafat, because “Arafat must know about, condone and lend support to the terrorist activities taking place, particularly of the Fatah organization, of which he is the chairman.”
The secretary said that while he welcomed “some signs of movement” by the PNC at its Algiers meeting, the major progress seen by some is “not a reasonable interpretation” of the political document issued by the PNC.
He said a section listing the U.N. resolutions the PNC supports does not mention Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338. He said that in another section, in which the PNC calls for an international conference for peace negotiations, there is “heavily conditioned acceptance” of the two resolutions.
It was on this “that people have this notion that they have recognized Israel’s right to exist,” Shultz said. “You have to strain yourself pretty hard to find it.”
Shultz said that what is necessary is for the PLO “to say it straight out that they have accepted Israel’s right to exist, that they accept 242 and 338 and they flatly renounce the use of terrorism in all of its forms.”