A UN strategy to slap Israel

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Israel is now unlikely to be expelled from the General Assembly after all, Monitor correspondent Louis Wiznitzer reports. Here's why: Several delegations not so much inclined to shelter Israel as they are willing to save the United Nations from impending disaster have worked out a clever strategy to keep Israel in.

When the question of Israel's credentials comes up at the General Assembly next Monday, a delegation is expected to ask that the matter be considered an ''important question,'' which requires a two-thirds majority rather than the simple majority needed for procedural matters.

It will be argued that while, superficially, the question of Israel's credentials is one of procedure, it is in fact an ''important question,'' since it's politically loaded and concerned with future US participation in the UN. Many third-world delegations are expected to vote in favor of making this an ''important question.''

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The Arab countries could then vote for Israel's expulsion and express their anger without fear of wrecking the UN - since it is highly unlikely a two-thirds majority favoring Israel's expulsion could be assembled, according to observers here.

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