UN resolution -- Jerusalem isn't the only problem
A thorough analysis of the full text of UN Security Council Resolution 465, adopted on March 1, makes it clear why the affirmative vote of the US delegation seriously undercut the American-backed Camp David negotiating process, sowed widespread confusion concerning our Middle East policy goals, and undermined Israel's confidence in the US as a fair-minded negotiator.Skip to next paragraph
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The subsequent disavowal of the American vote by President Carter does not undo all the damage, for the resolution contains several pernicious elements in addition to the clauses concerning Jerusalem and the dismantling of settlements to which the President objected in his statement of clarification. The presence of all these elements contrary to previously accepted American policy should have prompted not merely an abstention but a threat of veto.
Following are some specific examples:
1. This was the first time the US voted for a UN Security Council resolution speaking of "the Palestinianm and other Arab territories occupied since 1967" (emphasis added). This distinction gives support to the PLO contentin that the West Bank and Gaza district should form part of an independent Palestinian state and are not to be equated with other Arabm territories, such as Sinai or the Golan Heights, occupied from Egypt and Syria.
Resolution 465 thus interprets and in effect amends Resolution 242 in ways that are contrary to the stated American policy of opposition to a separate West Bank Palestinian state not linked to Jordan and contrary to the commitment made by the US to Israel on Sept. 1, 1975, to veto any changes in 242 that would adversely affect Israel. This commitment was reaffirmed by President Carter at the time of the signing of the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty last March.
Furthermore, this phrasing prejudges the ultimate issue of sovereignty over the West Bank (Judea and Samaria) and Gaza, which are matters that the Camp David accords left for decision at the end of the five-year autonomy period. It is thus not surprising that the news of the US vote was initially hailed by the PLO in Beirut.
2. The call to Israel "to dismantle the existing settlements" goes far beyond stated American policy. United Nations Representative Donald McHenry's expressed reservation that it was "impractical" to dismantle the settlements was woefully inadequate. President Carter added that this call was "neither proper nor practical." He stated that "the future disposition of existing settlements must be determined during the current autonomy talks."
even this goes beyond previous American policy. The Carter administration has strenuously attempted, without success, to get Israel to agree to a moratorium on the erection of newm settlements during the time of the autonomy talks. (Israel did agree to a three-month freeze during negotiation of the Egyptian-Israeli treaty). The fate of existing settlements in the West Bank was at most considered a subject for discussion in the negotiations among Israel, Egypt, and Jordan and the proposed self-governing authority regarding a final Israeli-Jordanian peace treaty at the end of the five-year period.