June 16, 1983 | Backgrounder on International Organizations
r 271 June 16, 1983 THE UNITED NATIONS' CAMPAIGN AGAINST ISRAEL INTRODUCT I ON Israel dominates the U.N. agenda. Of the Security Council's 88 sessions last year, 46 were on a topic related to Israel. In the General Assembly and its seven main committees, debates on t he Middle East consumed over one-third of the delegates' time and led to 44 resolutions. The number of times the General Assembly convened Emergency Special Sessions on the Middle East was no less, than five-a number equal to all the Emergency Special Ses s ions held in the U.N.'s first. three decades. Almost weekly somewhere in the U.N. system, Israel finds itself under attack Examples o In July.1982, the Mexico City meeting of the U.N. Educa tional, Cultural, and Scientific Organization passed a number of a nti-Israel resolutions, including one equating Zionism with colonialism and racial discrimination (D.R. #51) and another calling for the rewriting of Biblical history to obliterate the role of the Jews (D.R 126 o On September 24, 1982, Israel's credential s were rejected by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in a highly questionable procedural decision o On September 28, 1982, a similar explusion move was narrowly avoided in the International Telecommunications Union ITU), despite the fact that I T U's Convention, Article 1, recog nizes the desirability of universal participation in the Union o On October 24, 1982, Iran tried to challenge Israel's credentials in the General Assembly. The only country whose credentials have been rejected by the Gener a l Assembly (in a move declared illegal by the U.N. Legal Counsel on November 11, 1970 A/8160]) is South Africa. Yet not even South Africa was branded with the ultimate stigma that is used against Israel--being 2 I declared a Ikon-peace-loving state Those w ords, embodied in a resolution on February 5, 1982, and again on April 28, 1982, resp nate in speeches in the Security Council, the General Assembly and other U.N. forums I Why has the lone democracy in the Middle East become the principal U.N. pariah? Wh y is the U.N so obsessed with Israel To be sure, matters relating to the Arab-Israeli conflict are very important to world peace--as the Soviet invasion of'Afghanistan, the Viet namese invasion of Cambodia, and the Iran-Iraq war. Are the murders of thousan d s in Assam, India, going to be ignored by the U.N.--as have similar cases of genocide in Uganda, Tibet, or Burundi--while the U.N. chastises Israel for its alleged genocide of the Palestinian people Yet they surely are not as urgent--or critical It is not Israel's critical importance that attracts U,N attention It is rather that, under pressure from the Palestine Liberation Organization, the U.N. has been making Israel an inter national whipping boy--discovering Israel and Zionism as the cause of most of t he world's ills.
Jordan asked, rhetorically in the General Assembly Has the world been polarized into an omnipotent race [Jews] and sub servient Gentiles [non-Jews] born into this world to serve the aims of the 'master The Ambassador repeated these charges on December 8, 1980, before the General Assembly, when he accused the Jewish llpeople's cabal, which controls and manipu lates and.exploits the rest of humanity by controlling the money and wealth of the world On September 8, 1974, William F.
Buckley, Jr ., observed on Firing Line that.the U.N. had become the most concentrated assembly of anti-Semitism since Hitler's Germany.Il Said Jeane Kirkpatrick, Permanent Representative of the U.S. to the U.N., at the international meeting of B'nai B'rith in Toronto , Canada, on October 18, 1982 On March 16, 1979, for example, Ambassador Huzem Nuseibeh of Israel is a target, inside the U.N., of a campaign that is comprehensive, intense, incessant and vicious The plight of Israel in the United Nations political system reflects and illuminates some essential elements of that system and of its dynamic, and.so must be taken especially seriously. They have implications far beyond the issue at hand, implications.far beyond Israel.
For the reverberations of the U.N.Is anti-Se mitic and anti Israeli cacophony translate as well into venomous animosity against the U.S. and the values of freedom and democracy, indeed against the cause of peace for which the U.N. was originally founded 3 The U.N.'s vendetta against Israel is an iro nic twist of history: for was not the U.N. born from the ashes of the Holocaust, to insure that such horror would never again happen?
Though explicable, the U.N.Is war against the Jews cannot con tinue without bringing to an end the hope that the U.N. can provide a forum for rational discussion and peaceful settlement of conflict THE U.N. MACHINERY VERSUS ISRAEL The General Assembly The campaign against Israel in the General Assembly erupted most dramatically with the passage of resolution 3379 (XXX) of November 10, 1975, which condemned Zionism as a form of racism.
The measure carried by 72 to 35 with 32 abstentions. Senator Daniel Patr ick Moynihan, U.S. Permanent Representative to the U.N. at the time, chronicled the political maneuvers culminating in that act, engineered by the so-called non-aligned nations led by a coalition of Arabs and Communist bloc statesol Efforts to denounce Zi onism as racism had started as early as 1962, when Ahmad Shukairy of Saudi Arabia had termed Zionism IIa blend of colonialism and imperialism in their ugliest forms recommending that the U.N. Ilexterminatel' the Zionist movement.
Said Shukairy Nazism is no w planted in the shape and in the image of Israel in the Middle East.'I2 Three years later, the USSR proposed an amendment to the Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, which would Ilcondemxi anti-Semitism Zionism, Nazism," and some other noxious flisms.113 On June 19 1967, Soviet Premier Aleksei Kosygin developed, for the first time in earnest at the U.N., the theme of the relationship be tween Israel and Nazism.4 From 1967 to 1972, about two dozen resolutions on the Middle East, nearly a l l rabidly anti-Israel, were adopted in the General Assembly, with the Arabs trying to erode Western support for Israel. Between 1973 and 1978, over eighty anti-Israel resolu tions were passed. The crescendo intensified, until the number Daniel P. Moynihan , with Susanne Weaver, A Dangerous Place (New York: A Berkeley Book, 1980), Chapter 9.
See The- General Assembly's Seventeenth Session, Plenary Meetings, October 9, 1962, p. 4
37. William Korey, Director of International Policy Research for B'nai B'rith, points out in his book, The Soviet Cage Anti-Semitism in Russia (New York: The Viking Press, 19731, p. 127 that the Shukairy incident "was isolated and quickly rebuffed Korey believes rather that "the [Zionism is a form of racism] campaign was brought by the USSR to the U.N."
Moynihan, op. cit., p. 193.
U.N.G.A. Official Records, Fifth Emergency Special Session, Plen 1526.of anti-Israel resolutions 4 reached 44 during 1982 alone. None of these resolutions criticizes terrorist attacks on Israel or mentions the Arab threat to I~rael Rather, there is a sus tained effort to delegitimize the very idea of a Jewish state linking it with I'imperialism I' I'colonialism, I' and I'racism commissioned a study of Israeli-South African relations.
Soviet Union charged t hat there is I'criminal cooperation of these two racist regimes.lt6 had been buying diamonds from DeBeers, the South African company with ties all over the world.7 Committee failed to study the relations of other countries with South Africa--it would indi c ate that Israel's share of South Africa's total 'foreign trade was only two-fifths of one percent infinitely smaller than the share of Arab and many other coun tries. On September 2, 1977, the Kenyan Daily Nation reported that !'Arabs On April 30, 1976, t h e Special Committee against Apartheid The Never mind th.at the Soviet Union itself It could well be asked why the are buying South African gold like hot cakes I The U.N.'s 1976 study condemned Israel for selling nuclear arms to South Africa, a charge it h as never been able to prove.
Section I11 of the study is entitled I'Military and Nuclear Col 1aboration.Il Yet no evidence is presented. It seems, as Ambassador Yehuda Blum, Israel's Permanent U.N. Representative observed on November 24, 1978, that this l' collaboration exists only in the title and in the table of contents of the Committee's report, presumably because the Committee no longer expects anyone to read the report or take it seriously.It8 of these charges. The March 1982 U.N. Chronicle reports th at the General Assembly in resolution 36/172 M (104 for, 19 against, 17 abstentions), strongly condemned the continuing and increasing collaboration by Israel with South Africa,'especially in the military and nuclear field.
Israel. Whenever the U.N. votes to inquire into allegations of misdeeds by Israel and to create fact-finding bodies to examine the facts and verify the conditions, Israel stands condemned by the very resolution that orders the inquiry.. The allegations are Lack of evidence has not stopp e d the perennial reiteration I Double standard is standard U.N. procedure when it comes to By way of exception, Resolution 619 (VII) adopted by the General Assembly on December 21, 1952, lamely took note of a complaint by Israel urging Arab states "to desi st from policies and practices of hostility I A/31/PV.51, p. 6 Moskowitz, The Roots and Reaches of United Nations Actions and Decisions The Netherlands: Alphen aan den Rijn, 1980 pp. 154-170, esp. p. 160.
See Edward Jay Epstein, The Rise and Fall of Diamonds (New York and Schuster, 1982).
A/33/PV.58, p. 976 For detailed discussion and context, see Moses Simon 5 I set forth as proved facts, and members of the fact-finding bodies are blithely appointed despite their. known bias.
The U.N.'s attack on Israel became a virtual war when PLO Chief Yasser Arafat addressed the General Assembly on November 13, 19
74. There he boasted of the PLO's determination to destroy Israel, a U.N.,member. On November 22, the PLO was admitted to observer status in the U.N by Resolution 32
37. This immedi ately followed Resolution 3236 (XXIX) which in effect reiterates the PLO program against Israel. Commenting in the Lebanese newspaper al-Balaqh on January 5, 1975, Arafat remarked This resolution comprises the liquidation .of Zionist existence The General Assembly, through such moves, has given an enormous political advantage to the PLO. U.N. diplomats noted that giving the PLO permanent observer status violates the original purpose of the U.N which had granted the honor only to states or regional organizations of states.1 been given such an honor.
Never had a terrorist group The boost to the PLO accelerated through the creation of the Palestine Committee appointed by Resolution 3376 on November 13 19
75. Though. allegedly impartial, that Committee provides its members with a platform for issuing statements supporting the PLO a nd its position. The Committee members do not conceal their support for the PLO. The Yugoslav delegate, for example, acknow ledged that he 'Iwould be guided by the interests of the PLO. If In light of the bias of the Committee, no Western or Latin Ameri c a n countries-except Cuba-=have agreed to serve on it after its creation, the Palestine Committee prepared a report Shortly 9 e 10 11 A careful reading of General Assembly Resolution 2443 (XXIII) of December.19, 1968, for example, shows unmistakably its pre judgement of the issues by the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Population of the Occupied Territories.
The membership of thexommittee, moreover, appointed by the President of the General Assembly, consisted of Ceylon, Somalia, and Yugoslavia, none of which had diplomatic relations with Israel. See also.Harris 0.
Schoenberg, "The Implementation of Human Rights of the United Nations,"
Israel Yearbook on Human Rights, Volume 7, 1977, esp. pp. 33, 36-37, 43.
The representative of the United Kingdom, for instance, emphasized that his government considered the U.N.'s move to be "a fundamental departure from [previous] practice," and to "bring into question the nature of the U.N. as it has hitherto been accept ed A/PV.2296, pp. 23-25.
A/AC.l83/L.Y, p. 3. strategy outlined in a political platform adopted by the Fourth Fatah Conference in May 1980 seized by Israeli soldiers in the headquarters of the Kastel Brigade of the PLO near Sidon, Lebanon. That platform re solves that the PLO should "act so as to turn the UN resolutions re garding Zionism as a type of racism and racial discrimination into practical measures against the Zionist'imperialist colonial base in Palestine See Raphael Israeli, ed., PLO in Lebanon: Selected Documents (London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1983 p. 18 The creation of the Palestine Committee is part of a 6 with the active assistance of the PLO, which in effect called for the dismemberment of Israel. Given me automatic anti-Israel majority i n the General Assembly, its acceptance was a foregc%e conclusion In fact, the Chairman of the Committee told the General Assembly on November 15, 1976, that Itthe mandate of the Committee was neither to resolve the question of the Middle East nor to reaffi r m the rights of Israel, but to define ways and means to ensure recognition of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people.It The Security Council Like the General Assembly, the Security Council has. yet to condemn an Arab attack on Israel In 1953, af t er an Israeli retaliatory raid on the Arab village of Qibya, the Security Council expressed lithe strongest censureit of Israelis action.12 This was the first resolution in which the Council tried to curb Israeli reprisals without dealing with the Arab at t acks that may have instigated them. 'The U.S. has repeatedly objected to this double standard. Complains Ambassador Kirkpatrick The U.N. is permitted to give aid to national liberation movements, but the I state [of Israel] is not even allowed to defend i tself.IilR The anti-Israel campaign at the Security Council is increas ingly assuming the character of General Assembly debates.
PLO seems omnipresent at the Council indeed, illegally-the PLO is invited to participate in Security Council proceedings under Rule 37 of the Council's Rules of Procedure, which applies only to UN Ilmember states rather than the relevant Rule 39 which applies to Iiothertt entities. In the Council, of course, the PLO routinely attacks Israel.
Harassment of Israel seems to be one o f the Councilts prin cipal functions. Like the General Assembly, the Council condemns Israel prior to investigation of a case. In March 1976, for example, a complaint was brought against Israel by Pakistan,and Libya involving a case of Jews who had attemp t ed to pray on the Temple Mount. The Jews had been arrested by Moslem police, and the case was in the courts of Israel when it was brought before the Council, in what appeared to be a flagrant attempt to incite Moslem religious hatred draft resolution, pre j udging the issue, before Chaim Herzog, the Israeli Permanent Representative at the time, had a chance to answer. Recalls Herzog The Most inappropriately The Council proceeded to prepare a Even before I spoke, a draft resolution prejudging the issue was be i ng discussed by Security Council members who were well aware that the entire allegation was a l? S/3139/Rev. 2 l3 Speech on October 18, 1982, in Toronto, Canada, before the International Meeting of B'nai B'rith 4 7 lie. To prepare a judgment before both s i des have been heard is a travesty of the basic principles of justice 15 But the most dangerous aspect of the Council's work, as in the General Assembly, is the responsibility it lends to harsh rhetoric, like referring to Israel as !Ithe Nazi regime Repre s entative Mohamed A. Sallam of Yemen does so routinely-as, for example, on February 11, 1983, when he spoke of Israel as !!the state of the Zionist gangs Equally available for wide dissemi nation in all the nations of the world is the speech by the PLO rep r esentative Zehdi L. Terzi, who at the same Security Council session condemned Ifthe military troops of the Judeo Nazis and the Judeo Nazi Junta that sits in Tel-Aviv, that Junta that repre sents the Irgun Zwei Leumi, those who collaborated with Hitler's h ordes--yes, those troops marched on Beirut.II Hence the Big Lie is given a platform.
The Secretariat Though the PLO is not a state, it is well represented on the U.N. staff. There are 22 Secretariat staffers identified as Palestinians; of the 52 listed as llstatelessll most are Arabs16 and many are Palestinians. According to the PLOIs U.N. represen tative Terzi, members of the PLO fill the quotas of other Arab nations, such as Jordan. Meanwhile, Israel is severely under represented on the U.N. staff. Thoug h entitled to seven to eighteen professional posts, Israel fills only f0ur.l The infiltration of Arabs in key positions at the U.N. is not,without political implications. James Jonah, Assistant Secretary-General for Field Operational and External Support A c tivities and former head of U.N. personnel in an interview with The Heritage Foundation, noted that his predecessor as head of U.N. personnel, Muhammed Ghareb of Tunisia, had managed to place Arab friends in many units of the U.N. Secretariat in charge of personnel. As a result, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and other Arab nations are represented far beyond their share of contribution to the U.N. budget I The focus of the U.N.Is anti-Israel activity is the Special Unit on Palestinian Rights, established on D e cember 2, 1977 through Resolution 32/40B front. Admitted Political Affairs Officer A.W. Siddiq, employed by the Unit, in an interview with The Heritage Foundation IIEveryone working in the Unit believes in the ideals of the PLO The Unit is widely viewed a s a PLO l5 Chaim Herzog, Who Stands Accused? Israel Answers Its Critics (New York l6 A/C .5/37/L 2. Document of "limited" circulation. l7 Random House, 1978), p. 128 For a comparison with overrepresented nations, many of them Arab, see Juliana Geran Pilon, "Americans at the U.N.: An Endangered Species,"
Heritage Backgrounder No. 274, February 14, 1983. He stated that his colleagues 8 there was nothing in the PLO program that he or would not fully support. Siddiq added that he thought this was in full accord with'the majority opinion at the U.N.
One of the Unit's first tasks was to prepare a purportedly historical study Ilemphasizing the national identity and rights of the Palestinian people.l# The Report18 contains g laring distor tions. In Part 11, p. 72, for example, it states that Israel failed to comply11 with Security.Counci1 Resolution 242 calling on Israel to withdraw from territories occupied in 19
67. In truth, however, Resolution 242 calls for Israeli withdr awal only in the context of a comprehensive settlement. It is rather the PLO that has failed to accept Resolution 242 In a comprehensive critique of the studies produced by the Unit, Professor Julius Stone from the University of Sydney lists distortions a n d even lies intended to prejudice the case against Israel. l9 Professor Stone writes that it is "highly improper (for the U.N to commission, publish, and disseminate, as views of the or anization itself, partisan theorizing in support of one side 8 Agreei n g with Stone, the.U.S. Congress enacted legislation that withholds the 25 percent U.S. contribution from both the Palestine Committee and the Special Unit, which further the Palestinian cause. The.Unit, however, has not suffered. A copy of its budgetary r e quirements for 1982, for instance indicates that.the 1982 Regional Seminars cost over $2.5 million.21 Yet certainly-prior to April 1983-the State Department failed to withdraw theBfull 25 percent of that amount.22 There is no question about the purpose of these Regional Seminars., as a reading of the papers indicates. Never is the Israeli case presented. The report of the Sixth U.N. Seminar held April 12-16, 1982, in Valetta, Malta, for example, states its "Programme of Actioni1 as follows A sophisticated c ampaign should be launched in Western Europe to promote the Palestinian cause, and to do it at all levels--the media, trade unions, youth and women's organizations, non-governmental organizations I and religious institutions l8 U.N. Document ST/SG/SER. F1 l9 A/35/316,S/14045, July 3. 1980 2o Julius Stone, Israel and Palestine Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 19811, p. 6.
Assault on the Law of Nations 21 A/C. 5/36183, December 4, 1981 22 23 See Juliana Geran Pilon Blinking at the Law, the State Department Helps the PLO," Heritage Executive Memo 20, April 19, 1983.
Special Unit on Palestinian Rights Document 82-19921, p. 8.
I 9 It also urges the Secretary-General to ensure that the Special Unit has all the help it needs to It,g$ve m aximum publicity to the just caGe of the Palestinian people.i1 On August'16-27, 1983, the Unit (n0.w Division) is scheduled to stage its most extravagant flsem'inarfl on Palestinian Rights.
One of the PLO's most ardent supporters at the U.N Lucille Mair of Jamaica, has been named Secretary-General of the International Conference on the Question of Palestine, to be held at U.N.
Education, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) head quarters in Paris. Bernard D. Nossiter writing in The New York Time s, on March 19, 1983, reports that the French ltgovernment is said to fear that the conference will attract a host of virulent anti-Israeli figures, including some sought by Israel for ter rorist acts.Il Yet the conference will be heavily subsidized by th e U.S which pays 25 percent of the U.N. budget. For out of the nearly $6 million demanded for the conference, nearly $4 million is supposed to come from the Department of Conference Services, and nearly $600,000 from the Office of General Services and Depa rtment of Public Information (DP1)--primarily the latter.24 The DPI will be putting out the I'newsletter" of the Conference--which has DPI head Yasushi Akashi rather concerned.
In an interview with The Heritage Foundation, Akashi admitted however, that there was little he could do about this.
The DPI, indeed, plays a most important role in the U.N.Is propaganda campaign against Israel, through its dissemination of mountains of press releases, speeches, and seminar Irstudiesf1 of dubious scholarly value.
O ctober 1982 issue of U.N. Chronicle, an official DPI publica tion, which Yasushi Akashi describes as %ery unfortunate.Il Though maintaining that the issue did not prove DPI "bias against Israel,Il Akashi concedes that the publication contained "tech nical and editorial errors." The Chronicle story of Israel's operation in Lebanon depicted the Israeli forces in graphically pejorative terms, whereas all action initiated by the PLO was reported in studiously neutral terms. On page 18, for instance a picture o f Damur, Lebanon, is captioned: "The town had 16,000 people in early June. A month later only ten people remained in its ruins.Il winter of 1976, when the PLO killed hundreds of its Christian inhabitant This distortion, which was never corrected, was distr i buted world wide in an official U.N. publication Perhaps the most severe recent instance of DPI bias was the The truth is that the town had been destroyed in the 24 A/C.5/37/4, p79. 25 For an interestingly similar mistake in the U.S. media, see Marshall J .
Breger Who Ran the Show: Editors or Reporters?" American Jewish Congress Monthly, February/March 1983, p. 9 10 Another case of DPI support for the PLO occurred on November 30, 1981, when Yasushi Akashi provided a TV crew for the PLO to produce a film for the U.N.'s annual Palestinian Solidarity Day.
One U.N. public information official admitted to Michael Berlin reporter ?or The Washington Post, that the use of the crew and its props was I1illegal and a violation of U.N. rules.lI Berlin also-noted that t he-filming used as a backdrop a sizable Pales tinian flag and a map of the Middle East that focused on a coun try identified as I1Palestine" while omitting Israel completely.
Even opponents of apartheid do not demand that South Africa be wiped off the fac e of Ue earth In an interview with The Heritage Foundation, Akashi de clined to comment whether the U.N. treats Israel unfairly. He did, however, admit that he sometimes has sleepless nights over the exhibits presented by the U.N. in celebration of Palest inian Solidarity Day. Asked what he would do differently, Akashi smiled: llYou'll be very surprised how little power I have."
This is also the impression of some diplomats who have indicated that Akashi may be manipulated by membe rs of his staff sympa- thetic to the PLO and against Israel OTHER U.N. ORGANS Economic Commission of Western Asia (ECWA The U.N.'s attack on Israel goes beyond propaganda. It is reflected in the very composition of the decision-making bodies.
Since the bl oc system permeates every facet of work in the organization, and since Israel belongs to no bloc or group of nations, it is practically impossible for it to be nominated to any U.N. body, including three of the major U.N. organs-the Security Council, the Economic and Social Council, and the Trusteeship Council.
Israel's exclusion from ECWA, a body established on August 9, 1973, is illegal. It violates Article 1, Paragraph 3, of the U.N. Charter, which calls for international cooperation in eco nomic, socia l, cultural, and humanitarian matters Ilwithout dis tinction as to race, sex, language, or religion,11 as well as Article 2, Paragraph 1, which states that the U.N. Itis base'd on the principle of the sovereign equality of all its members.lI Yet ECWA is c o mposed entirely of Arab states regional economic commission to exclude a member state from its region, but Israel is still obligated to contribute to the ECWA budget ECWA was the first On May 9, '1975, according to Resolution 12 (11 ECWA accorded the PLO o bserver status and invited it to participate in and avail itself of the Commission's services. At its third session, in May of 1976, the ECWA initiated two projects to be conducted "in close cooperation with the PLO Israel also footed. the bill for that a d venture a 11 .I U.N. 'Educational, Cultural, and Scientific Orqanization (UNESCO Despite recognition by UNESCO s .1964 General Conference of the fundamental principle whereby every Member State has the right and duty to participate fully and regularly in t he Organi zation's regional and international activities in 1974 UNESCO passed a resolution excluding only one state--1srael--from full participation in UNESCO's regional activities. The Soviet Union meariwhile, was 8'empowered11 by that resolution to par t icipate in two UNESCO regions: Asia and Oceania; and Europe. Exclaimed the Lebanese delegate Israel is a state which belongs nowhere because it comes from nowhere.t126 The main justification given for the exclusion of Israel in 1974 was Israel's alleged r e fusal to preserve the cultural heri tage of Jerusalem. The facts, however, fail to support the allegati~n In the wake of the public pressure and U.S threats to suspend its contribution to the UNESCO budget, Israel was allowed to join the European region o f UNESCO in 19
74. But harassment has not stopped. Israel has been repeatedly censured for its archeological excavations, despite reports by interna tionally respected experts that Israel is not damaging the cultural heritage of Jerusalem.
On May 15, 1981 , UNESCO Director-General Amadou Mahtar M'Bow was authorized to negotiate an agreement of cooperation with the Islamic States Broadcasting Organization (ISBO ISBO's activ ities are virulently anti-Israeli and anti-Semitic. One 30-part radio series, for ex ample, is intended to confront the "Zionist racist, and colonialist dangers threatening the Islamic nations."
Another program, a 19-part color TV series, is designed to expose Ifthe conspiracies that the Jews engineered against I~lam UNESCO not only allows the PLO to influence educational programs for the Palestinian Arabs, but gives the PLO financial help to improve its propaganda machinery.28 moreover, was invited to address a UNESCO session on October 27 19
80. There he vowed that the Palestinian flag w ould !!fly high on the sacred hi1.1s of Jerusalem The rhetoric has escalated since. UNESCO delegates in Mexico City, on July 3, 1982, heard Omar Massatha, head of the PLO delegation, condemn Israel as "the worst and most superficial world power history ha s ever known."
Massatha called, for war recognized by the U.N Yasser Arafat For the rifle...is a legitimate means 26 PV,18C/UR.42 (prov.) Paragraph 36, p. 16, Doc. 11, B.8. 27 For a fine discussion of UNESCO actions on Israel, see the Documentary Study of the Politicization of UNESCO prepared by Daniel G.
Partan, Professor of Law at the Boston University School of Law, for the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, November 1975, particularly Chapter 2 21 C/5, Approved Programme and Budget 1981-1983, #1037 , 8, p. 23. 28 12 There is a positive by-product of UNESCO's anti-Israel campaign it prevents UNESCO from harassing Western media more than it does. Leonard Mathews, President of the American Associ ation of Advertising Agencies, commented that UNESCO Iti s so pre occupied with attacking Zionism and the Israelis that, while it may be reprehensible, at least they are not talking about the communications industry.1129 World Health Organization WHO At its 1976 meeting in Geneva, without any evidence WHO condem n ed Israel because of the allegedly poor health administra tion in the West Bank territories occupied by Israel WHO then appointed a committee of inquiry consisting of delegates from Romania, Indonesia, and Senegal. After inspecting the area, the delegates concluded that Ifmedical care in the Arab territories occupied by Israel has shown slow but steady improvement in the nine years since the 1967 war By a 65-18 vote (with 14 absten tions WHO refused to consider the committee's report--evidently displeased w ith its conclusion.30 International Labor Organization (ILO Cornel1 University Economist Walter Galenson has observed that "the case of Israel typifies the use of the ILO as a plat form from which to harass a member state without recourse to the Organizat i on's own machinery for handling complaints. In 1974, for example, the ILO condemned Israel for alleged viola tions of trade union rights, racism, and discrimination--prior to any investigation. When Israel asked the ILO.to probe the charges, a Norwegian l aw professor was appointed. Before the investigation could begin, however, his mission was cancelled because the Arab states complained that they were not consulted.
In April 1978, an ILO mission did visit Israel and issued a report mildly critical of Isra eli labor practices. Only lack of a quorum in the ILO conference plenary prevented the passage of a Soviet-backed resolution which implied, for one thing, the non existence of the state Israel. The campaign against Israel con tinued at ILO, prompting Mich a el A. Boggs, an advisor to the U.S labor delegate, to observe Accompanying the introduction of Israel and the Middle East conflict into the ILO were all the racist dia- tribes that must have characterized the Third Reich forty years ago This'kind of rheto r ic and even 29 Remarks made at a luncheon hosted by B'nai B'rith International September 14, 1982 30 For .a discussion of the event, see Herzog, pp. 131-132 31 Walter Galenson, The International Labor Organization: Mirroring the U.N.'s Problems, (Washingt o n, D.C The Heritage Foundation, 1982 p. 17. 13 physical threats have been typical of the Arab League's tactics at the ILO since the first anti-Israel'resolu tion passed in 1974.32 In 1981, several Arab states attempted to have Israel's ILO credentials rej ected. Poland's credentials, meanwhile, are left intact--despite the martial law regime's suppression of.
Solidarity, Poland's free trade union.
Other U.N. Agencies A campaign against Israel is evident at other U.N. agencies.
Last September, for instance, the International Atomic Energy Agency rejected Israel's credential The International Tele communication Union (ITU) came close to expelling Israel in 1982.
It appears that the threat of U.S. withdrawal of support to the ITU ma y have been the only factor preventing Israel's expulsion from the Union. Meanwhile, the ITU never chastises those who defy the ITU's principal function of avoiding interference be tween radio stations of different countries: the ITU never condemns the un relenting use of radio jamming by Communist countries.
Throughout the U.N. system, Israel is a victim of a double standard. Examples The 35-member Ad Hoc Committee on International Terrorism Resolution 3034 [XXVII December 18, 1972 established in the after math of the massacre'of Israeli athletes by the PLO in Munich, excluded At the 1975 World Conference of the International Women's Year held in Mexico City, the Declaration of Mexico on the Equal ity of Women and their Contribution to Development and Peace contained several derogatory references to Zionism, and called for .its elimination. Attempts to raise the question of barbaric sexual mutilation of girls practiced in a number of African and Arab countries were quashed.35 The Program of Action for the Se cond Half of the U.N.
Decade for Women, held in Copenhagen in 1980, endorsed the Zionism is a form of racism" Resolution of 1975, and urged the U.N. to ''provide assistance in consultation and co-operation with 32 33 Michael D. Boggs, "The ILO Back on the Track," The American Federationist, November 1980, p. 14 Denial of Israel's credentials by the IAEA General Conference Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress, September-27, 1982.
American Jewish Year Book, 1978, p. 50.
See Jacques Givet, The Anti-Zionist Complex (Englewood, New Jersey: SBS Publishing, Inc 1982 p. 98 34 Shabtai Rosenne, Israel and the U.N Changed Perspectives, 1945-1976 35r. 14 the PLO, the representative of the Palestinian people delegations expressed outrage at the l1divers i onil of the Confer ence from its main purpose action, the Canadian delegate criticized the Conference for fail ing to discuss women's issues in anything approaching a meaning ful fashion He complained, Ifwe were limited to [a] discussion of the political f ramework of the Middle East Israel was accused of making an Ilillegitimate use of water re sources in Pa1estine.I' As Israel is one of the most advanced countries in the world in the area of water use, the Israeli delegate asked for the floor to respond t o the charges. Joined by several Third World countries, the Arab delegates left the flodr. 3 Several In voting against the program of In March 1977, at the U.N. Conference on Water Resources Established primarily to alleviate the refugee problem in the Mid d le East, the U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) gradually was infiltrated by the PLO. Though UNRWA has provided emergency assistance for Palestine refugees it has received little help from Arab na tions. In 1979, Arab states were paying a mere 5 percent of UNRWA's budget (rich Kuwait paying less than one-half of one percent, half as much as Israel in 1981, the Arab contribution increased but only to 9.5 percent.38 percent.
The U.S. share is nearly 34 In the late 19 70s, UNRWA became increasingly involved with the PLO. In its December 1982 issue, the U.N. Chronicle.reported that Olof Rydbeck, UNRWA's Commissioner-General, admitted that a U.N. investigation llfound evidence of misuses of-the [Agency's Siblin Training] Center [near Sidon, Lebanon] before June 1982 beginning probably at the end of 1979 or early 1980.1'39 investigation revealed that PLO military personnel had been permitted to occupy rooms near the Center's dormitories, arms were stored in a basement, and the premises had been used to provide military training. The U.N., however, passed no resolu tions condemning this blatant misuse of a U.N. agency to house the enemies of a member state and give them a military base The 36 "The U.N. Decade for Women Progr a ms of Action and Conventions adopted at Mexico (1975) ,and Copenhagen (1980 unpublished, pp. 3-5 30th Annual Report, U.S. Contributions to International Organizations Report to the Congress for FY 1981, U.S. Department of State Publication 9276, September 1982, pp. 22-23 U.N. Chronicle, December 1982, Volume XIX, Number 11, p. 94 A Brief Discussion of the Major Decisions 37 Discussion in Herzog, Who Stands Accused? p. 131 38 39 I 8 15 Human Rights Commission (HRC The U.N.'s campaign to isolate Israel is pe r haps best illus trated by the HRC It started as early as March 1968 in the HRC and then later that year at the International Conference on Human Rights held in Tehran. At issue was the alleged oppressive condition of the Arabs in the Israeli occupied terr itories.
Though the U.N. found time to criticize Israel in 1968, it was silent as Soviet tanks rolled into Prague. Since 1968, the question of Arab human rights in the occupied territories has become a fixture on the HRCIs agenda.
In the meantime, a genocide took place in BurundiI4* with no Emergency Special Session1' or any other session in the U.N.
That year also, Israeli athletes were massacred by the PLO at the Munich Olympics--again, with not a murmur from the U.N. except for a general condemnation o f lIterrorism.'l Observes Allan Gerson, a member of the U.S. Mission to the U.N., about the U.N.'s attack on Israel for its human rights record It is disgusting that the majority of the nations self-righteously against Israel have human rights records tha t are among the world's most shameful I I The double standard extends to the other side of the refugee problem: the HRC has ignored the plight of Jews in Arab coun tries.42 In Syria, Jews have been denied free movement or con tact with the outside world. I n Iraq, the Jewish community has been Ilpolitically, physically, and mentally crippled. But no one points a finger at the Arab states for their stingy support of the refugee program or for their contributing to the creation of the refugee problem WHY IS TH E U.N. AGAINST ISRAEL?
Bloc Voting The U.N. bloc voting practice has contributed enormously to the U.N. attack on Israel. Many countries are pledged to support the policies of the blocs to which they belong. Such a system 40 Stanley Meisler Holocaust in Bu rundi, 1972," in Case Studies on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, Vol. V (The Hague, Netherlands Martinus Nijhoff, 1976), pp. 225-238 See also Allan Gerson, "State Department Reporting on Human Rights Viola tions p 24 Maurice M. Roumani, "The Case o f the Jews from Arab Countries: A Neglected Issue," Case Studies on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms Vol. V pp. 69-100 41 The Case of the West Bank," Middle.East Review, Winter 1980-81 42 43 Ibid .s P- 93 16 encourages Itdealslt between blocs, and cur i ous coalitions. 44 Explains Ambassador Kirkpatrick the waters at the U.N. are not only muddied but churned up by the participation of parties that have no direct interest in settling the Arab-Israeli conflict and, in many instances, are committed precisel y to its perpetua tion and intensificati~n Certain African Third World diplomats concur tative of the Ivory Coast M. Amara Essy told The Heritage Foundation that in his opinion, the bloc voting mechanism galvanizes radicalism in the U.N., especially on Mid d le East issues Special Represen The U.N. voting record vis-&-vis Israel is striking In what became a watershed, the Western bloc in 1973 began to ab stain more frequently on resolutions attacking Israel, rather than backing Israel In the past decade, the s ituation has deteriorated further. As Victor Gauci, Rapporteur of the Division for Palestinian Rights, pointed out in his December 1982 report With minor annual fluctuations, dependent on the actual texts of the draft resolutions [of the General Assembly t he affirmative vote [on issues relating to the.Middle East] has gone up from 93 [against Israel] in 1975 to 127 in 1982 while] the combined negative and absten tion vote has been reduced from 45 in 1975 to.2 in September of 1982.46 Soviet Intentions Thoug h the Soviet Union originally supported Israel's mem bership in the U.N it has shifted dramatically, particularly since 19
67. The anti-Israel movement offers the Soviets an anti-Western, anti-U.S. propaganda weapon and, according to U.S representative to the Human Rights Commission Richard Schifter it allows them to divert attention from issues like Afghanistan.
By its opposition to Israel, moreover, the Soviets can pose as an ally of the Third World. On October 19, 1982, the S0vie.t party organ Pravda re ported the Arab efforts to expel Israel from the IAEA with the comment form and in This step would be justified both in 44 See Arieh Eilan, "Soviet Hegemonism and the Nonaligned," Washington Quarterly, Winter 1981, and "[The Soviet Union and] Conference D iplomacy," Washington Quarterly, Autumn 1981.
Division of Palestinian Rights, Volume .V, Bulletin No. 12, December 1982 no. 83-03533, p. 11 In Foreign Broadcast Information Service, October 19, 1982, p. H1 45 Kirkpatrick, The Reagan Phenomenon, p. 112 46 4 7 17 The most striking evidence of Soviet use of the U.N. forum against Israel came in the 1975 I'Zionisrn is a form of racism resolution. Carl Gershman of the U.S. Mission to the U.N told The Heritage Foundation that he believes the 1975 U.N. Zionism res o lution was a result of an eight-year campaign by the Soviet Union." AS early as June 9, 1967, in remarks made to the Security Council, the USSR's chief delegate, Nikolai Fedorenko denounced Israel's advance into Syria as following in "the bloody footsteps of Hitler's executioners,1148 a charge repeated by Premier Aleksei N..Kosygin ten days later before the General Assembly.49 Thus, a Soviet prime minister identified Israeli policy with Hitlerism.
The USSR's anti-Israeli, anti-Zionist campaign in the General Assembly is coupled with a vigorous pro-PLO stand.
Soviet Union has encouraged the I'strugglesI' of the PLO as a l'national liberation movement,1f50 and has been instrumental in gaining the U.N. support, both political and fin ancial, for such radical movement The Western Vulnerability While the USSR's intentions in attacking Israel and Zionism are fairly clear, the motives of the Western European reluctance to defend Israel are complex. One high-level official from the U.S. Mi s sion to the U.N. observes that "some Europeans are not terribly worried about Israel's survival. Particularly those with close economic ties to the Arabs wish it would just go away so their economic relations with the Arabs would go unhampered 48 49 U.N. Security Council Official Records, 22nd Year, S/PV.1352 and S/PV 1352 (June 9, 1967).
Kosygin stated gauleiters in the occupied regions, the Israeli government is establish ing an occupation administration in the territories it has seized See U.N.G.A. Official Records, Fifth Emergency Special Session, June-July 19
67. Cited and discussed in William Korey, The Soviet Cage, p. 127.
The Soviet Union's efforts to have the U.N. recognize "national libera tion movements," started by.Soviet Premier Nikita Kh-rus hchev in 1960 culminated in Resolution 2105(XX) of December 20, 1965, which recognized the legitimacy of the struggle of the peoples under colonial rule to exercise their right to self-determination and independence, and invite[d all states to provide mat erial and moral assistance to the national liberation movements in colonial territories This was followed in 1970 by an endorsement of using "all the necessary means at their disposal" to achieve their ends (Resolution 2708(XXV) of December 15).
The enormous dimensions of Soviet-PLO cooperation are evident from PLO documents recently captured by Israeli forces. See Raphael Israeli, ed PLO in Lebanon, Ch. V The Communist Bloc Connection pp. 33-1
68. For a' comprehensive picture of the PLO-Soviet as well as PLO-neoNazi connec tion, see Claire Sterling, The Terror Network (New York and Winston, Reader's Digest Press, 1981 Ch. 15, pp. 272-285 In the same way as Hitler's Germany used to appoint 51 Platt, Rinehart 18 Yehuda Millo, Counsellor at the Israeli Missi o n to the U.N states that !Ithe Western Europeans like to vote in a bloc, and do not judge the Israeli case on its merits year's European voting pattern on issues regarding the Middle East, for example, indicates a Western European 65 percent agree ment wi t h Arab nations and a mere 13 percent agreement with Israel An analysis of last A survey of major Western diplomats reveals some of the reasoning for the European voting pattern heir tone is cau tiously anti-Israeli, decidedly pro-Palestinian and occasiona lly openly pro-PLO.
A British diplomat, who preferred to remain unidentified admitted that, particularly since 1973, the Europeans have become more sympathetic toward the Palestine cause due to Ita combination of real influence of the Arab world and strong er support for the Palestinian people.Il Though he denies that the Europeans wish Israel did not .exist,lr he notes that !'we have to accept that most Palestinians support the PLO," and points to Israeli moves, like the settlement of territories on the We st Bank and Gaza strip, as clear and serious violations of international law."
West German Permanent Representative to the U.N., Guenther von Well, also admitted to The Heritage Foundation that since 1973 the Europeans have maintained Ita fairly constant a ttitude toward Israel. He added, however, that "The Arab-Israeli con flict has probably gone in the wrong direction in the U.N. and too much harm might already have been done He confirmed the wish of.the members of the European community to vote w'ith one voice Commenting on the proposition that the U.N. might be exacer bating the 'Middle Eastern conflict, a high-level diplomat from Ireland agrees that "there is something to the idea that group pressures can exacerbate prob1ems.I' He cited several reasons w hy he thought Israel had become a pariah at the U.N., for example that llanti-colonialism is a strong theme; it is now easier to identify Israel with the bad guy it is no longer little David against big Goliath Regarding the PLO, he said It is very debata ble whether the existence of the PLO is such a bad thing."
He noted that the Europeans are leaning toward accepting the PLO as the spokesman for the Palestinians.
Another West European diplomat, who wishes to keep even his country of origin a secret, noted that Israel has not respected any' U.N. resolutions, including 2
42. After denying that !!any of Israel's expansionist actions are justified either politically or morally,Il he attacked Israeli Ambassador Blum personally saying If a delegate comes to th e U.N. neutral toward the Jews he becomes anti-Semitic only by looking at Blum, who is a very ugly fellow, and by seeing his behavior The diplomat admitted that Ambassador Blum was very cordial in private. 19 The U.N.Is Political Culture The Western diplo matls criticism of Bl personally was echoed by both an African diplomat and an Arab.
U.S. diplomat at the U.N. said of Blum: "He is lucky that he can speak the truth; we sometimes have to be a bit more cautious."
Indeed, Blum delights in exposing the U.N.?s political culture attacking countries whose record on human rights is dismal com pared with Israel's, and assailing the double standard prevalent But a senior at the U.N.
Members of the Israeli mission do maint ain close contact with delegates from Europe, Africa, Asia, and Latin America. In private, many African diplomats complain about pressure tactics by Arab countries delegates that the Arabs monopolize the U.N. agenda with.attacks on Israel, leaving too lit t le time for other issues of much greater interest to African nations--many of whom feel much friendlier toward Israel than their voting record might indicate There is widespread resentment among black Israeli U.N. diplomats Yehuda Millo and Judith Dranger point out that Israel is llmuch more immersed-even in the Middle Eastern environment than the U.N.'s voting record might indicate The relations between Israel and other nations in the region, that is, should not be judged by U.N. rhetoric alone. Ambassado r Blum told Heritage that the thought !Ithe U.N. is a good platform for propaganda, but it has not real influence.Il He agreed, however that Ifthe damage done by such documents as the Zionism resolution of 1975 cannot be ignored."
Middle Eastern conflict a ppear to mean, it is possible to twist them and create an Orwel lian Big Lie. Walter Berns, the John M. Olin Distinguished Scholar in Constitutional and Legal Studies at the American Enterprise Institute and U.S. representative to the U.N. Human Rights Co m mission, noted that !!the U.N. is the only international institution where it is taken for granted that people do not always speak the truth." Under these circumstances, diplomats will cast votes implicitly approving words that threaten the very existence of another member state while shrugging their shoulders that Ifit does not matter." Yet words, particularly when legitimized by an international forum, do matter The U.N.'s political culture does appear to exacerbate the When words do not mean quite what t hey IMPACT OF THE U.N.'S WAR AGAINST ISRAEL Words that are systematically misused eventually will dis credit not the object of their abuse but the agent who perpe trated the abuse. The principal casualty of the U.N.'s attack on. Israel may well be the U.N . itself. The British Ecmnomist, on October 23, 1982, congratulated the U.S. when it responded to the Arab expulsion of Israel from the International Atomic Energy 20 Agency (IAEA) by threatening to halt the U.S. share, of contribu tion to IAEA In Arab eye s ," said the Economist, "the U.S. may appear to be simply defending Israel: In fact, it is defending the whole U.N. system.Il For the anti-Israel campaign defies not only rules of fair play and principles of justice but-the very ideals of the U.N Charter. This is also the perception of the U.N. Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar, who told The Heritage Foundation that the problems of the Middle East require more than Ilrhetoric and confrontationf1 in order to be resolved.
Just as important, the barrag e of anti-Israel resolutions leave their mark on Western perceptions of Israel. The Western media in particular have become more hostile to Israel during the past decade. David Horowitz, President of the U.N. Correspon dents' Association, told The Heritag e Foundation that "there is no doubt that the one-sided U.N. resolutions have had a consider able influence on the media and on Western public opinion.I1 Correspondingly, the.PL0 has gained stunning respectability considering its role as the leading world terrorist group.
Br.itainfs John Laffin asks in the subtitle of his 1982 book The PLO Connections: IlHow has the wealthiest, most bloodthirsty terrorist organisation in the world become accepted-even re spectable?lI The answer, he believes is primarily the U.N.
Terrorism by the PLO, he 'writes, has increasingly become almost justified in the West, which "is a logical development of the reception of Yasser Arafat at the U.N. Nobody wants to admit that a man received into the General Assembly is a terrorist or that he represents a terrorist organization IS2 I The general shift of Western opinion against Israel notwith standing, the U.N.'s unfair attack on Israel has galvanized sentiment in the U.S. against the U.N In October 1975, as the U.N. was working on declaring Zionism a form of racism, the U.S.
Senate, by unanimous vote, warned that the U.S. would not stand for such a disgrace cosponsored by 436 members. On November 11, the House and Senate unanimously adopted identical resolutions, which not only con demned the action of the General Assembly in passing the resolu tion the day before, but also opposed participation by the U.S. in the Decade for Action to Combat Racism and.RaciaJ Discrimina tion, now poisoned by the resolution The House passed a similar resolution 52 John Laffin, The PLO Connections (London: Transworld Publishers, 1983).
See also journalist and scholar Hillel Seidman's view that Kurt Waldheim former U.N. Secretary-General placed the stamp of U.N. legitimacy on international terrorism, of which the PLO is the most abhorrent agent in his United Nations: Perfidy and Perversion (New York: M.P. Press Inc 1982) p. 67. 21 There were other moves, too, involving the specialized agencies. The U.S. withdrew temporarily from the International Labor Organization (ILO) in.1977, in response to the politiciza tion and the double standard there.
UNESCO has also aroused the ire of U.S. legislators. Sec tion 109 of P.L. 97-241, involving the State Department Authori zation Act for the year 1982-83, prohibit s U.S. funds from being used to pay the U.S. assessed contribution to UNESCO if the agency restricts the free flow of information. An amendment also restricts payments to UNESCO for projects that promote the PLO.
The U.N.'s contribution to the PLO in othe r U.N. organs has aroused congressional concern. Paragraph (a) of Section 104 of P.L. 97-241, passed in August 1982, prohibits the U.S. from contributing its assessment for the Palestine Committee, for the Special Unit on Palestinian Rights, and for proje cts l'whose primary purpose is to provide political benefits to the PLO or entities associated with it In each instance, the U.S. was to have provided25 percent of the cost.
The American people, through their representatives and the President, are making it clear that they will not tolerate the double standard at the U.N., which threatens not only Israel but the values of freedom and democracy as well.
The U.S. Senate and House agreed that the U.S. will not tolerate the U.N.'s attack on democratic states. S. Con. Res 68, unanimously agreed to by the Senate on April 14,.1982, made it' clear "that if Israel or any other democratic state is il legally expelled, suspended, denied its credentials, or in any other manner denied its right to participate in the Ge n eral Assembly of.the U.N. or any specialized agency of the U.N the U.S. should suspend its participation in the General Assembly and withhold its assessed contribution to the U.N. or to the agency involved until the action is reversed. A month later, the H ouse overwhelmingly passed (401 aye, 3 nay, 28 abstaining) a similar measure CONCLUSION The American public is opposed to the U.N.'s double standard against Israel tage Foundation in early 1983, the question was asked Should the U.S. continue to insist th a t U.N. resolutions on the Middle East that criticize Israel also, when appropriate, criticize Palestinian and other Arab actions in that area An overwhelm ing 82.9 percent of the respondents said The U.S. must not tolerate the U.N.'s unilateral attack on I srael. Washington should take strong measures to resist the U.N.'s violations of procedure and the singling out for attack of a beleagured democracy. It should also resist U.N. support for Israel's In a poll by Sindlinger Company for The Heri22 principal e nemy, the PLO n conformrty with.already existing UiS. legislation. Accordingly Congesss should hold hearings to determine exactly.how U.N money is spent in support of the PLO The U.S. should take whatever action is necessary to protest against the Interna tional Conference on the Question of Palestine including withholding funds.
The U.S. should continue to protest against the politiciza tion of U.N. Specialized Agencies and their unfair-often quite unsubstantiated-attacks on Israel serious violators, such as UNESCO, the World Health Organization and the International Labor Organization, the U.S. should reduce its voluntary contributions by as much as one-half the present amount.
If the U.N. does not cease harassing Israel, the U.S should consider boycotting General Assembly discussions on the Middle East. At stake is the very credibility of the U.N. as a forum for mediating conflict in'that crucial area of the world In the case o f the more Juliana Geran Pilon, Ph.D.