Non-aligned nations call for a freeze on Israel

by: Ali Baghdadi

Protesting the biased and bankrupt United States policy which is based on appeasement of Israel, the Non-aligned Movement (NAM) has made it clear that the international community has a stake in keeping peace and tranquillity in the world; that it has objections to the hostile and aggressive policies of Israeli leaders; and that it resents the fact that the U.S. is the sole blind supporter of Israeli policies. The NAM has rejected Israel's belligerent policy and stood in solidarity with the Palestinian people. It called on its 113-member states in early April to freeze ties with the Jewish state in order to force it to end a Middle East peace impasse stemming from its settlement and expansionist policies.

"In view of the urgency and the seriousness of the situation, the ministers call on NAM countries, as a first step, to freeze relations with Israel," NAM said in a special declaration at the end of a two-day meeting, April 7-8, of its foreign ministers in New Delhi.

The statement was issued hours after the group called for a special emergency session of the UN General Assembly to demand that Israel stop a Jewish settlement in Arab East Jerusalem and all other settlement activities.

After the conclusion of a meeting with President Clinton, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu emerged from the White House boasting about his intentions to go ahead with his settlements plans in East Jerusalem and elsewhere in the still-occupied Palestinian territories. He blamed the victims of Israeli aggression in justifying his reason for his refusal to talk peace. He wanted Arafat to do what Israel with U.S. assistance could not do--stop the Palestinian resistance. While Israel refuses to abide by the Fourth Geneva Convention, which prohibits the change of status or expropriation of occupied lands by the occupier, Mr. Netanyahu demanded that Palestinians must play by the rules.

President Clinton, a captive of the Zionist lobby, has no desire to nudge Israel forward towards achieving a just and lasting peace in the Middle East.

The United States used its Security Council veto twice last month to block resolutions calling on Israel to abandon its building plan which violates the UN charter and international law. The newly appointed UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan, suggested the convening of a special session of the UN General Assembly to pick up the pieces after the failure of all efforts made to convince Israel to honor its commitments. There is no veto in the General Assembly. However, its resolutions have been ignored by Israel.

The conference also demanded an end to the veto power and called for reforms by expanding the UN Security Council membership which is currently dominated by Western powers.

Speaking in Washington before talks with President Clinton, defiant Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu scornfully and arrogantly dismissed those who challenged "our right to build apartments" in East Jerusalem.

The NAM statement called on member states to "use all available measures to ensure Israel's compliance with the terms of reference of the Madrid Conference and the land-for-peace principle and its full implementation of all agreements, undertakings and commitments reached by the concerned parties on all tracks during the peace talks."

"The ministers also affirmed that failure by the Israeli government to respond positively would require NAM members to take further appropriate measures," the declaration added.

Peace talks have been derailed and violence has erupted nearly every day since Israel broke ground for 6,500 new Jewish homes on a hilltop in Arab East Jerusalem, captured by Israel in 1967.

The NAM have made it clear. Israel has failed to honor its agreements with the Palestinians. One cannot compromise on the right of people to sovereignty and to territorial integrity, and one cannot compromise on agreements that have already been signed and principles that have already been agreed upon. 

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