From: (David A. Guberman)

Here, interspersed with my brief commentary, is the Netanyahu government's response to the Secretary General's Report on Har Homa. Interestingly, but perhaps characteristically, rather than defend the substance of its decision, the government launches ad hominem attacks on its accusers.

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June 29, 1997

Israel is astonished that the main points of the UN Secretary-General's report were communicated to the media even before the report itself was conveyed to the UN member states.

[DAG: Probably, this is a breach of protocol. It's use as the lead point about the report, however, suggests the weakness of the government's substantive position.]

This report was written following an unnecessary and unilateral resolution by the General-Assembly's special emergency session.

[DAG: Does "unilateral" mean anything more than that the Israeli government opposed asking the Secretary General to make the report?]

The very convening of this session raises questions, in light of the numerous grave issues on the international agenda which have not been given the UN's due attention.

[DAG: Which "grave issues" would these be, and why must they be addressed before it is appropriate to address this one? It is absurd to suggest that the UN is wrong to speak about anything unless it speaks about everything.]

This session is yet another expression of the attempt to bypass the peace process and to internationalize the conflict.

[DAG: This is an odd, but characteristic, comment from a government that it working diligently, and unfortunately with success, to destroy the peace process, and which has not objected to internationalization of the conflict in the form of, e.g., U.S. and Egyptian involvement.]

The international community must oppose these attempts, which contradict the principles of the peace process and further hinder the efforts to bring to its renewal.

[DAG: Unsurprisingly, the statement fails to identify which "principles of the peace process" the staement contradicts or to own up to the Israeli government's responsibility--not sole but substantial--for the peace process being in need of renewal.]

The details communicated to the media by the UN Secretariat indicate that this report will join the numerous unilateral documents issued by the UN with regard to the Arab-Israeli conflict. It proves, yet again, that the UN is incapable of serving as an honest broker in the peace process.

Israel urges those member states which value the peace process to reject this report, and to issue instead a firm and resounding call to the Palestinians for their immediate return to the frameworks of direct negotiation set forth in the Madrid Conference and the Oslo Agreements. Such direct negotiations are the only means through which the parties can come to resolve their differences.

David A. Guberman _tov shalom m'eretz yisrael ha'shlema_ Peace is Greater than Greater Israel