Israel's parliament today denounced the U.N. Security Council resolution against Jewish settlement in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip, and explicitly condemned the United States' support of the measure despite President Carter's assurances that it was unintended.
The Knesset voted along party lines on two resolutions condemning the U.N. action, one offered by the ruling rightist Likud government and the other by the opposition Labor alignment. The government motion, which reaffirmed in strong terms what Israel sees as its right to settle anywhere in the occupied territories, was adopted by a vote of 52 to 37. The opposition parties voted for their own, almost identical, resolution.
Despite apparent efforts by Washington to close the books on the Security Council affair, Prime Minister Menachem Begin termed as "barbaric fantasy" the U.N. call for dismantlement of Jewish housing in East Jerusalem, which was annexed by Israel after the 1967 Six-Day War.
"Let all the members of the Security Council record that Jerusalem is one city, all of it under Israeli sovereignty, our eternal capital. There will be no partition, directly or indirectly," Begin said in the parliament's debate before the vote.
Referring to Carter's explanation that U.S. approval of the resolution occurred because of a breakdown of communications, Begin said, "It goes without saying that we accept what the president of the United States says word for word and with all due respect.
"But, I must ask frankly, was that mistake in referennce to one line and one paragraph in the resolution which is hostile to Israel and contradicts the Camp David agreements . . . what about the other paragraphs which mention Jerusalem, which also contradict the Camp David agreements?" Begin asked. "Had that paragraph, that one line, not been included, would there have been justification for a vote in support of that resolution which is an absolutely repugnant one?"
Of the U.N. resolution as a whole, Begin declared, "Under no conditions shall we accept it, or any part, sentence or paragraph of it. It is not binding upon us."
Despite the harsh rhetoric during the debate against the U.N. action, Israeli officials were quietly turning their attention to what they regard as a potentially more threatening development -- the increasing number of European nations that are openly calling for Palestinian self-determination.
France, West Germany, Britian, Ireland and Belguim recently have expressed support of Palestinian self-determination and Israeli ambassadors in Europe have been instructed to impress upon their host governments Israel's concern that such statements undermine the Camp David peace agreements.
"This worries us a great deal, since Palestinian self-determination means nothing else than a Palestinian state, and we regard a Palestinian state as a mortal danger to Israel," a Foreign Ministry official said today. He said he believed the European swing toward "crossing the line" was connected to recent moves by Britain to amend U.N. Security Council Resolution 242 to include the notion of Palestinian independence.
Resolution 242 calls for Israeli withdrawal from "occupied territories," but does not mention self-determination for Palestinian Arabs of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
Israel formally protested to France yesterday over President Valery Giscard d'Estaing's call during a visit to Kuwait for Palestinian self-rule. The protest was handed to the French ambassador here, Marc Bonnefous.
Begin referred to Giscard's statement in his Knesset speech today, saying that in the 1930s "that Satan" (Adolf Hitler) spoke of the right of self-determination for the Germans in the Sudetenland. This led, Begin said, to the "notorious" 1938 Munich agreement, ceding the Czech territory to the Germans.
"I think we have a perfect analogy here," Begin said. "Certain countries with a strong and extortionist aggressor at the expense of a small nation. Therefore, they use the term 'self-determination,' while totally corrupting its meaning."