Press Release (29 September 1999)

In his statement before the United Nations General Assembly today, as well as in statements made yesterday to the media, Israeli Foreign Minister David Levy repeated his call for an end to “anti-Israel” resolutions at the United Nations. In yesterday’s comments to the media, Mr. Levy also stated that the U.N. should not be involved in the Middle East Peace Process. Yet, at the same time, he emphasized that Israel should be allowed to join a regional group of the international community.

Ambassador Nasser Al-Kidwa, Permanent Observer of Palestine to the United Nations, made the following statement in response to Mr. Levy’s comments:

As far as I know there are no anti-Israel U.N. resolutions. There are, however, many U.N. resolutions that are anti-illegal Israeli actions, including settlement activities and attempts to change the status and demographic composition of Occupied East Jerusalem. Those resolutions will continue because Israel continues with its illegal actions and because what began as illegal will always be illegal and does not become less illegal with the passage of time. Moreover, other U.N. resolutions will continue to reaffirm the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, in line with the Charter of the United Nations and other instruments of international law and human rights. The U.N. has a permanent responsibility towards the question of Palestine and the international community must uphold international law.

The Israeli Foreign Minister’s statement today at the U.N. did not even mention the Palestinian people, nor did it mention Security Council resolution 242 or the principle of land for peace, which are the basis of the current peace process. Both omissions, in addition to what he stated regarding Jerusalem, make that statement dangerously flawed.

As far as U.N. engagement in the peace process, we find the position of the Israeli Foreign Minister very unfortunate and reflective of the same old anti-U.N. position long-held by Israel, which does not serve Israel to fully normalize its situation and its relations at the U.N. In this regard, we believe that the normal geographic group for Israel is the Asian Group, and we look forward to a different Israeli attitude and to the achievement of a comprehensive and lasting peace in the Middle East, which will remove the obstacles to such a membership.