July 14, 1998
Israel's unsolicited role as scapegoat at the United Nations was "sad", and
painted "an unflattering picture of international ethics" PM Netanyahu's
communications advisor, David Bar-Illan, said yesterday.
He was responding to a non-binding Security Council statement criticising
Israel for the recently-announced plan to expand Jerusalem's municipal
"It's hard to relate seriously to the UN, as even the nations that are
friendly to us vote against us in the UN because even they don't take the
UN so seriously," he said.
"On the other hand, we would be very happy if the attitude in the UN was a
bit more fair ..."
Security Council members unanimously endorsed a statement from the council
president calling on Israel and the Palestinians "to avoid actions which
might prejudice the outcome of the negotiations".
The statement called the decision to expand Jerusalem's boundaries "a
serious and damaging development" and called on Israel "not to proceed with
The statement was the result of complaints brought by the PLO observer
mission to the UN. Attempts to have the Security Council pass a binding
resolution denouncing Israel were stymied by the United States.
Bar-Illan said Israel would continue developing Jerusalem for the benefit
of all its residents, stressing again that the plan was based on municipal
considerations, and had nothing to do with the Oslo Accords.
Reacting to the UN statement, the US-based Conference of National Jewish
Organizations said it infringed "Israel's indisputable jurisdiction over
Jerusalem, the eternal capital of the Jewish nation".
"We are appalled by the concurrence of the United States in a UN Security
Council statement which wrongfully detracts from the incontestable
jurisdiction of Israel over the city of Jerusalem," conference chairman
Rabbi David Algaze said in a statement.
"The inalienable and eternal right of the Jewish people's sovereignty over
Jerusalem is deeply rooted in history, religion and international law. We
are shocked that the Clinton Administration would dangerously appease
Israel's enemies by permitting the United Nations to engage in its craven
habit of bashing Israel."