U.S. Vetoes UN Resolution Condemning Israeli Policy Toward Arafat

(September 16, 2003)

The United States vetoed a Security Council resolution, backed by Islamic and nonaligned nations, demanding that Israel back off its threat to deport the Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. Eleven Council members voted in favor of the measure, while Britain, Germany and Bulgaria abstained.

The resolution, sponsored by Pakistan, South Africa and Sudan, had three stated aims: a demand for a halt to violence in the area, “including all acts of terrorism, provocation, incitement and destruction”; a demand that Israel cease its threats to deport or assassinate Mr. Arafat; and an expression of support for the peace plan known as the road map.

The resolution expressed concern at “the escalation in extrajudicial executions and suicide bombing attacks, all of which have caused enormous suffering and many innocent victims.”

U.S. Ambassador John D. Negroponte said the resolution was impossible to support in part because it failed to “take a clear stand against the actions” of three leading Palestinian terrorist groups.

What the resolution failed to mention, Mr. Negroponte said, was “a robust condemnation of acts of terrorism; an explicit condemnation of Hamas, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad and the Aksa Martyrs Brigades as organizations responsible for acts of terrorism; and a call for the dismantlement of infrastructure, which supports these terror operations.”

Source: New York Times, (September 17, 2003)