Thursday, September 29, 2005
Bolton: Anti-Israel bias still a problem
Some headlines and summaries from JTA
Breaking the pattern of anti-Israel bias at the United Nations requires “continued vigilance,” the U.S. ambassador to the international body said.
Testifying Wednesday at a session of the U.S. House of Representatives’ International Relations Committee, John Bolton said there was some improvement in U.N. attitudes, but bias against the Jewish state remains an issue.
“The problem of anti-Israel bias in the United Nations, I’m sad to say, continues. It’s a fact. There are a number of things that we need to do on that score,” Bolton said. “It will require continuing vigilance.” Bolton said some countries at the United Nations want to raise the issue of Israel’s presence in the Shebaa Farms, a tiny patch of land on the Israel-Lebanon border controlled by Israel under U.N. certification.
The Hezbollah terrorist group has used Israel’s presence in the Shebaa Farms to continue its attacks since Israel withdrew from Lebanon in 2000, but the United Nations examined Lebanon’s claim to the area and found it baseless.
Pentagon wants Israeli arms-oversight law
The United States wants Israel to pass legislation mandating U.S. oversight of Israeli arms sales.
Members of the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee who met this week with Pentagon officials would not discuss the proposed agreement, which would allow Israel to resume full military cooperation with the United States. The Pentagon suspended aspects of the relationship in recent years because of Israel’s sales of military equipment to China.
Most significantly, Israel has been frozen out of the development of the Joint Strike Fighter, a state-of-the-art combat aircraft. Members of the Knesset committee said they expected both sides to approve the agreement, but expressed concern that the appearance of the United States dictating Israeli legislation would encounter popular resistance in Israel.
Israelis warn of Iran strike
Israeli lawmakers on a visit to Washington hinted that Israel one day could resort to military force to prevent Iran from attaining nuclear weapons.
Delegates from the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee who held talks with senators and members of Congress warned that if the United States does not rein in Iran’s nuclear program, Israel will.
“We sacrificed 6 million Jews because the Western world did not understand what Hitler intended,” said delegate Yosef “Tommy” Lapid. “We are not willing to sacrifice another 6 million Israelis because the world does not understand the mullahs of Iran.”
The committee, a parliamentary body, does not speak for the Israeli government. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has said that Israel has no plans to attack Iran.
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