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U.S. Opposes Four Pro-PLO Resolutions -
Abstains On Jerusalem Draft

by David Horowitz
(The Jewish Press, Friday, December 20, 1996)

The U.S. alone sided with Israel in opposing four major pro-PLO resolutions adopted by the General Assembly as the month of a cold December broke upon the world. Dramatically, the 51st session opened with an onslaught on Israel and appeared to close with a similar attack.

Although instigated by the vicious anti-Israeli Committee on the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, the four draft resolutions were sponsored by Afghanistan, Algeria, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Djibouti, Egypt, Indonesia, Jordan, Kuwait, Malta, Mauritania, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates and Yemen.

The special draft resolution on Jerusalem under the caption "Situation in the Middle East", was the only draft the U.S. did not side with Israel. The UN text on this draft read: "By the terms of a draft resolution on Jerusalem (document A/51/L.30), the Assembly would determine that the decision of Israel to impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration on the Holy City of Jerusalem was illegal and, therefore, null and void and without validity. It would also deplore the transfer by some states of their diplomatic missions to Jerusalem in violation of Security Council resolution 478 (1980), and their refusal to comply with the provisions of that resolution. The Assembly would once more call upon those states to abide by the provisions of the relevant UN resolutions, in conformity with the Charter of the UN."

The UN press release, dated 4 November, reported on the four resolutions as follows:

  • The draft resolution on the Palestinian Rights Committee was adopted by votes of 104 in favour to 2 against (Israel and the U.S.), with 46 abstentions.
  • The draft resolution on the Division for Palestinian Rights was adopted by 107 votes in favour to 2 against (Israel and the U.S.), with 46 abstentions.
  • The draft resolution on DPI (Department of Public Information) was adopted by 157 votes in favour to 2 against (Israel and the U.S.), with 3 abstentions (Fiji, Federated States of Micronesia, Marshall Islands).
  • The draft resolution on a peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine was adopted by 152 votes in favour to 2 against (Israel and the U.S.), with 4 abstentions (Costa Rica, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Marshall Islands).
Voicing his strong objections to these one-sided resolutions, the U.S. spokesman, Prezel Robinson, declared that: "My government opposed the four resolutions on the question of Palestine. Three of them promoted institutions whose activities and approach to the Middle East peace process were unbalanced and outdated. The terms of those resolutions drained away $7 million each year which could better serve the cause of economic development in the West Bank and Gaza. Money which now funded the activities of obscure committees and departments which claimed to be dedicated to the welfare of Palestinians could make a real difference in the lives of those people."

He said the U.S. urged support for the activities of other UN bodies - such as the Special Coordinator, the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), or the UN Development Program (UNDP) - which directly benefitted the Palestinian people. The resolution on the peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine injected the Assembly into issues which were under direct negotiations between the parties. That was both inappropriate and unhelpful. The U.S. had, therefore, voted against the four texts.

The Representative of Turkey, A Mr. Tuluy Tanc, appeared to be the only one who raised the issue of terrorism, reminding the enemies of Israel that there was another vital issue involved in connection with the Palestine question. Declared he: "Although Turkey supported the draft resolution on the peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine, that text did not reflect all the obstacles on the road to lasting peace and stability in the Middle East. One of the fundamental threats to the peace process was terrorism. There was an urgent need for countries which had lent their support to terrorism to immediately stop that unlawful practice and refrain from using terrorism as an instrument of foreign policy."

Since the four pro-PLO, pro-Arab and pro-Islamic resolutions were based on the several out-moded "Rights of the Palestinians" Committees which dominate the annual Assembly debates year in and year out. Ms. Yael Rubinstein, speaking on behalf of Israel, let the Assembly know that: "Israel had opposed the existence of those bodies since their inception. They had obstructed dialogue and understanding through a one-side and distorted portrayal of the Arab-Israeli conflict. They stood in contradiction to the very principles upon which the peace process was based. They also expended valuable resources which should be devoted to more constructive activities, such as supporting social and economic development that would benefit Palestinians."

She said that "the draft resolution on DPI asked that Department disseminate information on all activities of the UN system relating to the question of Palestine. That, too, was a needless expenditure of valuable resources which could be put to better use."

The battle that began in Biblical days continues! But with Netanyahu as Prime Minister, and Israel remaining faithful, the promises of Hashem will prevail!

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