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The United Nations and Israel

UN Conference to Draft Anti-Zionist Resolutions

By Janine Zacharia
July, 01 2001

WASHINGTON - South African President Thabo Mbeki, who delivered a message from PA Chairman Yasser Arafat to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in their meeting in Washington last week, told Sharon there was nothing he could do as host of next month's UN World Conference Against Racism to ensure that provocative resolutions against Israel are not issued, diplomatic sources here say.

Mbeki and Sharon met last Wednesday in Washington before Sharon returned to Israel following a meeting with President George W. Bush. It was not immediately clear what specific message Mbeki, who spoke to Arafat by phone a day before meeting Sharon, delivered.

Sources say among the issues discussed were implementation of the Mitchell Report, Israel's reluctance to transfer tax revenue collected from the Palestinians to the PA, and closures.

Asian and Middle East delegates to the late August conference to be held in the South African city of Durban are preparing language similar to the 1975 UN resolution that classified Zionism as a form of racism and discrimination. The resolution was repealed in 1991.

Sharon asked Mbeki "to work to moderate the resolutions." But Mbeki said the resolutions were being drafted in Geneva and his hands were tied, according to diplomatic sources briefed on the exchange.

"The South Africans can do more," said one diplomatic source. "The resolutions being worked on are very problematic." Secretary of State Colin Powell has suggested he will boycott the conference if the "Zionism is Racism" push is not halted. It has been reported that the US has stayed away from two earlier conferences on racism because of disputes over Zionism.

©2001 - Jerusalem Post

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