Dec. 1 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. Ambassador John Bolton said
Nations General Assembly demonstrated its irrelevance today by adopting
six resolutions on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, including
non-binding calls for Israel to withdraw from the West Bank and Golan
The General Assembly, consisting of all 191 member
passed resolutions very similar to measures introduced annually by Arab
nations for at least 30 years. The U.S. was joined by no more than
seven other nations in rejecting the resolutions, which won up to 160
``These resolutions are purely symbolic,'' Bolton told
the UN. ``It is one reason why many people say the UN is not really
useful in solving actual problems. We have been making enormous
progress toward solutions in the Arab-Israeli conflict, and that
progress has benefited from UN participation, but it does not benefit
from needless repetition of meaningless resolutions in the General
Bolton, who has pressed UN member governments to
reduce the number
of General Assembly resolutions, said it was up to them to ``decide
they want to do things that are relevant.''
Palestinian Ambassador Riyad Mansour said the
made a difference in the Middle East conflict because ``a very powerful
country is shielding Israel from living up to its obligations under the
Arab governments complain that the U.S. protects the
Jewish state in
the Security Council by blocking what would be binding resolutions
against Israel. The U.S. has vetoed six resolutions on the Middle East
Mansour said the General Assembly measures are more
because they deal with what the Palestinians consider Israel's
violations of international law. ``If the UN is not in the business of
upholding international law, we want to know what kind of business it
is involved in,'' Mansour said.
The resolutions refer to Israel's ``illegal settlement
demand that Israel cease construction of its barrier of walls and
fences around the West Bank, and say Israel has violated Security
Council resolutions on the questions.
Israeli Ambassador Dan Gillerman said the Palestinians
``hijacked'' the anniversary of the UN's partition of Palestine,
creating Israel on Nov. 29, 1947.
``It is very disappointing that the very positive
changes in the
region, such as Israel's withdrawal from Gaza, seem to have absolutely
no effect on this ongoing tedious ritual,'' Gillerman said. ``Taking
this day year after year and repeating this sorry ritual is rather
pathetic. It shows that as far as the Palestinians are concerned, there
is no present or future, only the past happening over and over again.''
To contact the reporter on this story:
Bill Varner in United Nations at firstname.lastname@example.org.