Fri, Nov 28, 2003 - Page 6 News List

Israel accuses UN of hypocrisy, pulls its resolution

REUTERS , UNITED NATIONS

After an uphill struggle, Israel withdrew a resolution on protecting Israeli children from terrorism, with its ambassador accusing the UN of hypocrisy, duplicity and double standards.

Ambassador Dan Gillerman said on Wednesday amendments from Egypt and others in a General Assembly committee amounted to a "hostile takeover" of his draft resolution, subverting its purpose, shifting its focus and erasing every reference to Israeli children.

"Today we put the United Nations to the ultimate moral test," Gillerman told a news conference. "It failed this litmus test miserably. This demonstrated just how far the hypocrisy, duplicity and double standard policy of the General Assembly and its committees go."

At issue was Israel's first introduction of a resolution since 1976, a draft condemning Palestinian suicide bombings against Israeli children. It was meant to mirror a resolution adopted last week by the panel 88 to four with 58 abstentions demanding protection for Palestinian children.

Amendments proposed collectively by Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Senegal, South Africa, Sudan and others would have substituted "Middle East" for "Israeli" children and inserted language condemning "foreign occupation" and "violation of international law."

Gillerman signaled that Israel, the target of hundreds of critical resolutions, was changing strategy and taking the offensive instead of just responding with speeches in the 191-member assembly that is traditionally sympathetic to the Palestinian cause.

"Israel will no longer sit back and be the target of Israeli-bashing," he told reporters. "We will try to do things differently, much more proactive and even aggressive."

Nasser al-Kidwa, the Palestinian UN observer, in a separate news conference, called the Israeli draft an attempt to divert from the unique situation of Palestinian children.

He said Palestinian children were deprived of every right included in a 1990 UN treaty on the rights of the child beginning with the right of statehood up to the right of physical protection.

"The case is broader and has no comparison with Israeli children," al Kidwa said. "That is why it did not have any chance. What we need is a different set of policies. We need to end Israeli occupation."

This story has been viewed 2346 times.
TOP top