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New U.N. Resolution Against Israel is Milder Than Originally Proposed

October 25, 1990
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The Security Council voted unanimously Wednesday evening to censure the Jewish state for its refusal to cooperate with a U.N. probe of the Oct. 8 shootings on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

While Israeli leaders were sure to be disappointed with the U.S. decision to support the resolution, they could take comfort from the fact that some of the most potentially damaging sections of the original draft were removed in a last-minute makeover before the vote.

That was due largely to the efforts of two of the permanent Security Council members, Britain and the United States, both of which had refused to support the resolution in its original form, according to U.N. sources.

The original draft put forth last week by some Arab and non-aligned members of the Security Council, invoked Article 25 of the U.N. Charter, under which member states agree to accept and carry out Security Council decisions.

The implication, Israeli officials said, was that Israel could be subjected to sanctions if there were no change in the Israeli government’s decision not to cooperate with the U.N. investigation mandated in the Security Council’s Oct. 12 resolution condemning the violence on the Temple Mount.

The resolution still contains strong criticism of Israel for its refusal to receive the U.N. delegation that was to investigate the Oct. 8 shootings, in which 21 Arabs were killed and about 150 injured by Israeli police. But the language is milder and less threatening than the original.


The resolution, however, does little to ease tension between Israel and the United States. Since the Temple Mount shootings, Israel has found itself at odds with its staunchest foreign supporter.

The United States, trying to balance its close ties to Israel with its need to maintain Arab support for sanctions against Iraq, has spent the past few days lobbying Israel to reconsider its refusal to cooperate with U.N. Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar in sending an investigation team.

In Washington, the State Department confirmed Wednesday that President Bush had sent Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir a letter “urging the Israeli government to find a way to let the secretary-general’s mission in.”

Department spokeswoman Margaret Tutwiler said the United States wants the Security Council to return to discussing Iraqi aggression in the Middle East, but council members said they would not address that issue until the resolution against Israel was acted upon.

The president’s efforts apparently have not succeeded.

In Jerusalem, Israel Radio reported Wednesday that Shamir remains adamantly opposed to cooperating with the U.N. investigation, despite the request from Bush.

Israeli officials say the chief concern is that the investigation would undermine Israel’s claim to sovereignty over East Jerusalem, which it annexed in 1967 and views as an inseparable part of its capital.

Instead, Israel has offered to submit the findings of its own investigation of the shooting incident, which should be completed by the end of the week. But that offer has been rejected by the U.N. secretary-general.

An Israeli official explained his government’s reasoning this week during a talk in New York with members of the American Jewish Committee.

“Would the United States allow the United Nations to investigate an event in Washington? Would France let them into Paris?” asked Uriel Savir, the Israeli consul general.

(JTA correspondents David Friedman in Washington and David Landau in Jerusalem contributed to this report.)

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