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UN Human Rights Unit Adopts Several Anti-israel Resolutions

September 17, 1980
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

— The United Nations Subcommittee on the Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities concluded its four week session here yesterday with the adoption of several strong anti-Israel resolutions. The subcommittee has become a version of the UN Human Rights. Committee which is directed against Israel, South Africa and Chile. It benefits from an automatic majority — the Arab, Communist and Third World bloc — which can pass any resolution however irrelevant.

The Israeli Ambassador to the UN in Geneva, Yoel Barromi, said that during this meeting, the committee entered into purely political issues which are not part of its mandate. It called on Israel to release all Palestinian political detainees or prisoners and to ameliorate the conditions of all prisoners held in Israeli prisons with a view to meeting international standards The U.S. delegate voted against the resolution. Britain, France, India and Nigeria abstained.

The Israeli delegate stated before the vote that conditions in Israeli prisons are better than those in many other countries. The same resolution also condemned Israel’s alleged violation of the UN Charter specifically the declaration calling for the protection of all persons from torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

The conditions in the prison located in the Negev were specially degrading the committee said. Another resolution called for the appointment of three members of the subcommittee to visit Israeli prison and report an conditions. There were 17 votes in favor of this resolution and four abstentions. The U.S. delegate abstained although the Israeli delegation had hoped he would vote against it. The Syrian delegate also abstained because he thought the resolution was not strong enough.


The Israeli delegate had sent a letter before the vote stating that the proposal will be rejected in view of the look of objectivity shown by the subcommittee in the course of its proceedings, and that Israel will not accept the visit of the experts

The subject of Jerusalem was widely discussed during the meetings, as they were the first to be held following the adoption of the Jerusalem law by the Knesset. The resolution on Jerusalem urged the Israeli authorities to withdraw from all the occupied Arab territories including the holy city of Jerusalem and to stop immediately all excavation and work aimed at the destruction of the essential physical character, demographic composition, historical structure and status of the holy city of Jerusalem.

The American delegate voted against the resolution and the French abstained. The Israeli delegation did not participate in the vote as it was held during Rosh Hashanah. Ambassador Barromi sent a letter to the president of the committee stating that Israel would not be present because of the holiday.

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