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Assembly Resolution Not Total Defeat for Israel; Seen As ‘non-event’

December 15, 1971
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Israeli officials sought today to emphasize the bright side of their country’s defeat in the General Assembly last night. Although only six countries–all from Latin America–joined with Israel in opposing the Afro-Asian-European resolution, 46 states refused to back it, either by abstaining or by being absent, the informed sources said.

Thus, they said, while the margin of victory for the Arab view was wider this year than on last year’s Afro-Asian proposal, the passages condemnatory of Israel had to be weakened to insure greater support.

Israel officials are calling the new resolution a “non-event,” because it neither established new negative effects nor new positive effects. They stress that while Israel came out on the very short end of the vote, its aim in the Assembly–with its large pro-Arab bloc–is to prevent damage to the Israeli cause rather than to achieve new support for it.

The sources note that the reference to possible anti-Israel sanctions was toned down; intermediary Gunnar V. Jarring’s Feb. 8 aide-memoire, stressing total Israeli withdrawal, was undercut by amendments; and in effect implicitly criticized; the definition of the Jarring mission was unaltered; and there was no “ultimative” cast to the resolution, as there was last year when the cease-fire was limited to three months and Secretary General U Thant had to submit a progress report in two months.

In addition, the Israelis say, Egypt “let down” the Palestinians by concentrating on the Arab-Israeli conflict and not seeing to it that the resolution contained support for the Palestinian “liberation” cause. Finally, the Israelis believe–despite contrary reports–that Egypt will in fact not seek a Security Council imprimatur on the Assembly’s recommendatory resolution because it is really not ready for war or because of the current highlighting of the Indo-Pakistani crisis or because of a combination of these and other factors.

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