The United States and the Common Market nations today criticized the anti-Israel bias of the Arab draft resolution before the special session of the General Assembly on Palestinian rights, singling out the absence of any guarantee of Israel's continued existence and security.
The resolution, which is undergoing last-minute changes calls for the unconditioned withdrawal of Israel by Nov. 15 from all territories occupied in 1967, including East Jerusalem, and the eventual transfer of the territories to the Palestine Liberation Organization.
Ambassador William Vanden Heuvel, speaking for the United States, called the resolution "totally onesided, and as such totally unrealistic."
Foreign Minister Gaston Thorn of Luxembourg said on behalf of the nine European governments that the "resolution does not at this time appear to be one that will contribute to the search or a comprehensive, just and lasting solution."
Both said they could not support a proposal that does not endorse Security Council Resolution 242 of 1967, which outlines the framework of a Middle East settlement.
It is essential," Thorn said, "that any resolution adopted at this session refer explicitly to Resolution 242 and not contradict it, which would be the case should we confine ourselves to addressing admonitions to Israel and inviting it to negotiate without ordering it the guarantees essential to its existence."
Thorn was gently critical of Israeli actions on the West Bank and in East Jerusalem and gently insisted that renunciation of violence by the PLO is an "essential precondition" for negotiations, in which the PLO "must be involved."
Vanden Heuvel's speech made no change in the basic American position that Palestinian people "should have the opportunity to secure for themselves . . . the right to responsible political expression," and that the Camp David process remains the only viable avenue of negotiation.
The United States made no explicit reference to the PLO, and no explicit criticism of Israel. But Vanden Heuvel called on "those who would foster peace to take no steps that would undermine or to be perceived as undermining the prospect of achieving a negotiated settlement. This admonition applies equally to Israel, the Palestinians, the Arab countries -- indeed to all of us represented here."
The last phrase as close as he got to warning the Europeans not to step on Washington's toes, a reference to Thorn's forthcoming contacts with the PLO and Arab states.