The General Assembly on Wednesday rejected an Arab effort to deny Israel its seat in the world body.
The motion to disapprove Israel's credentials, introduced by Kuwait and 17 other Arab states, failed on an 80 to 41 vote. There were 22 abstentions. Of the Arab nations, only Egypt, Jordan and Oman declined to back the move.
At a news conference later, Israeli Ambassador Benjamin Netanyahu pronounced the vote a "significant defeat for the Arab bloc." The defeat came after the assembly declined to take action Monday on a proposed invitation to Palestine Liberation Organization Chairman Yasser Arafat to address the current 40th anniversary session.
Kuwaiti Ambassador Mohammed Abulhasan said, "Israel's record and actions confirm that it is not a peace-loving member state, that it has persistently violated the principles contained in the (U.N.) charter."
He said Israel has "challenged, rejected and disdained" Security Council resolutions.
Netanyahu took the floor with a slashing counterattack calling Arab proposals for an international conference on Mideast peace with PLO participation an "absurd contradiction."