Israel outraged by Non-Aligned Mov't

Final document praises 'heroic Lebanese resistance to the Israeli aggression.'

September 20, 2006 00:33
1 minute read.
Israel outraged by Non-Aligned Mov't

Shinawatra 298.88. (photo credit: AP)

A Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) "final document" praising Lebanon for its "heroic resistance to the Israeli aggression" has irked government officials in Jerusalem because some countries with close bilateral ties with Israel are a part of the movement and, as such, ostensibly signed off on the resolution. According to the 143rd clause of the 280-clause final document, "The Heads of State or Government expressed solidarity with and support for the Government and people of Lebanon, hailed their heroic resistance to the Israeli aggression, and emphasized the primordial importance of Lebanon's national unity and stability." Among the NAM members are India, Thailand, Ethiopia, Kenya, the Philippines, Honduras and Guatemala, all countries with which Israel has strong relations. "This is clearly unacceptable, and totally out of line with the good bilateral relations we have with some of the NAM countries," one government source said. "Israel will pursue this topic with the members of this movement." Israel has relations with about 90 of the 118 NAM members. The official said that while it was doubtful the foreign ministers of many of the countries even read the massive document and were aware of its content, these types of blatantly one-sided anti-Israel documents created a poisonous overall atmosphere. "A document like this is used by all those who want to censure Israel, saying 'look what a 118-country movement has to say,'" the official said. He added that it gave a "kosher certificate" to the most blatantly anti-Israel rhetoric. Officials at the Indian, Thai, Ethiopian and Filipino embassies in Israel did not respond to questions about the resolution and whether it reflected their governments' policies. As expected, other clauses in the document that dealt with Israel and the Palestinians were extremely critical. For instance, clause 135 "strongly condemned Israel's continuation and escalation of its military aggression against the Palestinian civilian population in the Gaza Strip" and said that "such unlawful actions by the occupying Power constitute grave breaches of international law, i.e. reported war crimes, for which the perpetrators must be held accountable and brought to justice." The only sliver of a silver lining to the whole document was the fact that a call to the member states to bar entry to "Israeli settlers" did not make it into the final resolution, but was included in a side document, a Declaration on Palestine, that does not carry the same weight within the movement as the summit's final document.

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