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Adoption of the agenda
Request by the Libyan Arab Republic and Pakistan for consideration of the serious situation arising from recent developments in the occupied Arab territories:
Letter dated 19 March 1976 from the Permanent Representatives of the Libyan Arab Republic and Pakistan to the United Nations addressed to the President of the Security Council (S/12017)President: Mr. Thomas S. BOYA (Benin).
Present: The representatives of the following States: Benin, China, France, Guyana, Italy, Japan, Libyan Arab Republic, Pakistan, Panama, Romania, Sweden, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United Republic of Tanzania, United States of America.
Provisional agenda (S/Agenda/1895)
1. Adoption of the agenda
2. Request by the Libyan Arab Republic and Pakistan for consideration of the serious situation arising from recent developments in the occupied Arab territories:
Letter dated 19 March 1976 from the Permanent Representatives of the Libyan Arab Republic and Pakistan to the United Nations to the President of the Security Council (S/12017)
The meeting was called to order at 11.25 a.m.
The agenda was adopted.
Letter dated 19 March 1976 from the Permanent Representatives of the Libyan Arab Republic and Pakistan to the United Nations addressed to the President of the Security Council (S/12017)
1. The PRESIDENT (interpretation from French): In accordance with the decisions which we adopted at the 1893rd and 1894th meetings, I invite the representatives of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization to take their places at the Council table and the representatives of Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, the Syrian Arab Republic and Yugoslavia to take places reserved for them at the side of the Council Chamber on the understanding that, as is customary, they will be invited to take a place at the Council table whenever wish to speak.
At the invitation of the President, Mr. Herzog (Israel) and Mr. Terzi (Palestine Liberation Organization) took places at the Council table and Mr. Abdel Meguid (Egypt), Mr. Sharaf (Jordan), Mr. Baroody (Saudi Arabia), Mr. Allaf (Syrian Arab Republic) and Mr. Petric (Yugoslavia) took the places reserved for them at the side of the Council chamber.
2. Mr. OVINNIKOV (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) (interpretation from Russian): The Security Council has met in an urgent meeting to examine the serious situation which has arisen in the occupied Arab territories.
3. We note with satisfaction the fact that at this meeting, as at a number of previous meetings, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) is represented. In the first place, this is fully in accordance with the united will of the Arab countries as expressed at the 1974 Rabat Conference of Heads of State and Government, and, in the second place, it fully confirms the principled nature of the position taken by the Council on this issue.
4. In welcoming to the Security Council the new Permanent Representative of the United States, Ambassador Scranton, we should like to express our hope that the United States delegation will co-operate with all members -of the Council in seeking a just solution of the issues now being examined by the Council. Unfortunately, we cannot fail to note that the request of the United States delegation again to put to the vote the long-since-resolved issue of inviting the representative of the PLO is far from the well-known postulate of even-handed treatment. What is more, this is a unilateral action which ignores the existence in the Middle East of an entire people—the Arab people of Palestine.
5. The issue before the Council is extremely clear, as is indicated in the letter of the representatives of the Libyan Arab Republic and Pakistan of 19 March [S/12017]. It is a question of a whole series of completely impermissible actions by the Israeli occupation forces. The recent actions of the Israeli forces with respect to the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the recent expropriation of lands occupied by Arabs in Jerusalem, the creation of Israeli settlements in Arab lands—all of this has aroused mass protests by the Arab population. This is in no way a religious problem. The scale, the force and the stubbornness of the demonstrations of the peaceful Arab population show something more, namely, the resolution of the people of the occupied Arab territories to stand up to the attempts of Israel to annex the occupied lands.
6. As is known, the Israeli occupying forces have answered the peaceful protests of the Arab population with violence. They have opened fire on the demonstrators and undertaken mass arrests and are frightening the civilian population with their armed force.
But this once again only shows that the struggle in the occupied Arab lands is growing and that the current events in the West Bank of the Jordan are a reflection of a very severe crisis with which the ruling circles of Israel are confronted in the occupied Arab lands.
7. Thus it is a clearly political problem. Indeed, the acts of the Israeli authorities are a clear violation of human rights in the occupied Arab territories, and the alienation of the native Arab population from its history, civilization and culture by the Israelization of the school curricula is an anti-human act. But the essence of the matter is that as long as the Israeli forces are not withdrawn from all the Arab territories occupied in 1967, the situation will not radically change.
8. The delegation of the Soviet Union decisively condemns the highly arbitrary acts of the Israeli occupation authorities against the Arab population and considers that an end should be put to such acts once and for all. Israel must be compelled to respect the appropriate decisions of the Security Council and the General Assembly.
9. At the same time, the serious situation which has arisen as a result of the actions of Israel in the occupied territories is once again evidence of the need for a cardinal solution of the whole Middle East problem. The Israeli troops must be withdrawn from all the Arab territories occupied since 1967. The legitimate national rights of the Arab people of Palestine must be guaranteed, including its inalienable right to create its own State. The security of all States in the Middle East must be guaranteed, as well as their right to an independent existence and development.
10. As was noted by the General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, Mr. Brezhnev, in the report of the Central Committee to the twenty-fifth Congress of the Party:
"There is no war in the Middle East at present. But neither is there peace, let alone tranquility. And who would venture to guarantee that hostilities do not erupt anew? This danger will persist as long as Israeli armies remain in the occupied territories. It will persist as long as the hundreds of thousands of Palestinians driven from their land are deprived of their legitimate rights and live in appalling conditions, and as long as the Arab people of Palestine are denied the possibility to create their national State."
11. In the opinion of the Soviet delegation, the guarantee for creation of truly normal condition's for the population of the territories occupied by Israel can only be the liberation of those territories and full withdrawal of all Israeli forces from them.
12. Mr. LECOMPT (France) (interpretation from French): The facts before the Council arise from a situation which has been before the United Nations since the 1967 conflict. Indeed, the occupation of Arab territories as a result of that conflict and its prolongation could not but lead the United Nations to take up the fate of the populations compelled to submit themselves to a de facto authority. This is a humanitarian preoccupation because it falls within the-purview of respect for the fundamental human rights-of this people. But it is also a political concern, because it is clear to the international community that one of the fundamental factors in a settlement in the Middle East must be the evacuation by Israel of occupied Arab territories.
13. Each one of us here knows, either through instinct or through experience, that any occupation engenders resistance on the part of local populations and inevitably leads the occupying Power to resort to force. Imposed order sows the seeds of resistance to it. Rights recognized by international conventions are violated. The frustration of passions imperils efforts to achieve a settlement. But in the case before us this threat is even more serious because of the unique religious element involved and because of the reactions which this arouses in all peoples sharing the same belief. The very name of Jerusalem is fraught with passions and conviction, each equally legitimate in their apparent contradiction.
14. I do not wish to refer to the numerous recommendations and decisions that have been adopted by the major bodies of the United Nations calling upon the occupying Power to respect in Jerusalem and in the occupied territories the principles of international law and of the Charter. In 1968 and again in 1969 and 1971, the Security Council adopted resolutions inviting Israel to postpone all legislative and administrative measures that might tend to modify the status of Jerusalem. For its part, the General Assembly, considering at each of its sessions the problem of the occupied territories as a whole, declared:
"that changes carried out by Israel in the occupied Arab territories in contravention of the Geneva Conventions... are null and void"
and it called upon Israel
"to rescind forthwith all such measures and to desist from all policies and practices affecting the physical character or demographic composition of the occupied Arab territories" [resolution 2949 (XXVII)].
15. In the particular case of Jerusalem, there can be no doubt that all legislative and other measures taken by the Israeli authorities to facilitate and accelerate through a de facto occupation the process integrating a part of the Holy City are in flagrant contradiction to all of the resolutions of the United Nations. what appears serious to us in this policy of fait accompli is that not only does it contradict those resolutions and international law but it also exacerbates feelings and aggravates tensions in the Middle East and compromises the chances of achieving a peace settlement.
16. The Israeli authorities have, admittedly, given us many assurances that they would make every feasible arrangement to protect the Holy Places and to ensure free access to all other religious places, in respect for established customs. With regard to the recent events which involved the Temple esplanade and led to the present turbulence, we recognize the fact that these authorities have attempted to counteract the effects of 5 a legal decision the implementation of which would have caused the worst disturbances, within both the Islamic and the Jewish community. They have also agreed to appeal this decision. The Israeli Supreme Court has, indeed, confirmed the validity of the action taken by the Israeli authorities to preserve the status quo. But, as my delegation already stated in the Council in 1969 [1483rd meeting], the problem, despite its fundamental religious aspects, is not merely administrative or social in nature. It is above all political and legal. It is the future of Jerusalem which is basically involved. This future cannot be decided unilaterally, but rather must be decided by all interested parties.
17. It is obvious that the situation which led to the recent incidents in the occupied territories and the resultant repression will be solved only within the framework of an over-all settlement. Any initiative to modify the status quo can only further complicate the search for this settlement. No one can ignore the fact that Jerusalem, a holy city for three religions, the city of three types of prayer, the city of the Holy Sepulchre, of the Dome of the Rock and of the Wailing Wall, is one of the most sensitive points of any settlement. It is particularly essential for the Government that is at present exercising authority to refrain from any action that might have irreversible consequences.
18. Aware of the emotions and fears expressed by the Islamic countries, France hopes that Israel will understand how much the international community is devoted to the preservation of the universal character of Jerusalem, that is to say, its Jewish, Christian and Islamic vocation. In general, France insists, as it has at each session of the General Assembly, that the rights of the population in occupied territories must respected in the provisional situation that they are experiencing. This is a requirement stipulated by the principles of international law. But Israel must also "demonstrate elementary political caution, because within the framework of an overall settlement it will have to coexist with its neighbours. That coexistence could be compromised very seriously if the populations once they are finally set free should continue to feel deep resentment vis-a-vis the former occupier.
19. Our efforts here, despite the distressing circumstances surrounding our discussion, must be designed to ensure that all actions which increase tension and compromise the chances for a settlement that the peoples in the region and the entire international community aspire to will be brought to an end. The resolution which we will adopt must first and foremost be an appeal to wisdom and to reason. It is in the deepest interests of the Israeli authorities that this appeal be heard.
20. Mr. HUANG Hua (China) (translation from Chinese): Recently a series of incidents in Israeli-occupied territories has attracted people's attention. In the first place, with the abetment of the Israeli authorities, the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem was violated. This aroused the just resistance of the Arab people in the occupied territories. Furthermore, the Israeli authorities sent police and armed forces to Jerusalem and other cities on several occasions to suppress the mass demonstrators, resulting in casualties. This is another, new crime committed by the Israeli Zionists against the Arab people. The Chinese delegation expresses its indignation at and condemnation of this.
21. These incidents are by no means accidental. Their root cause lies in the illegal Israeli occupation of Arab and Palestinian territories. As pointed out by the representatives of Pakistan and other countries and the representative of the Palestine Liberation Organization, these incidents have once again revealed that, in defiance of General Assembly and Security Council resolutions, the Israeli Zionists are doing their utmost to change the status of Jerusalem and even the status of all the occupied territories in an attempt to perpetuate their occupation there. This can never be tolerated. Therefore, we hold that the Council should adopt a resolution strongly condemning the Israeli Zionists for their atrocities and resolutely supporting the Arab people in their struggles in the occupied territories.
22. I should like to take this opportunity to reiterate the following: the Chinese Government and people will, as always, firmly support the Palestinian and other Arab peoples in their just struggles for the restoration of their national rights and the recovery of their lost territories, until they win their final victory.
23. The PRESIDENT (interpretation from French): The next speaker is the representative of Egypt. I invite him to take a place at the Council table and to make his statement.
24. Mr. ABDEL MEGUID (Egypt): While the Council is debating the dangerous situation in the occupied Arab territories, we are faced today with another flagrant violation by Israel. It is definite proof of Israeli expansionist policy and demonstrates Israel's clear intention to perpetuate its occupation of Arab land.
25. Just yesterday, 22 March, the news agencies reported from Jerusalem that Mr. Gad Jacoby, Minister of Transport of Israel, stated in his report to the Knesset that his Ministry will start right away the preparatory work for building a deep-water port on the Mediterranean in so-called Yamit. Such an act cannot be considered as anything except another null and void and illegal measure aimed at perpetuating Israeli occupation. It is clear also that Israel, by such acts, is destroying all chances and potentialities for peace.
26. On 13 January I stated the following in very clear terms before the Council:
"Israel is still playing a dangerous game in defiance of international law, the Charter of the United Nations and the Geneva Convention of 1949, as well as United Nations resolutions, by establishing settlements and colonies that to date number 59 in Sinai, the Golan and the West Bank. One of these settlements is called Yamit, is conceived as a city and is situated inside Egyptian territory to the south of the Gaza Strip."—I repeat, inside Egyptian territory to the south of the Gaza Strip.—"It is incredible that Israeli leaders still believe that by such settlements they can constitute established facts in the occupied territories and encourage more immigration from abroad." [1871st meeting, para. 24.]
27. Upon clear instructions that I have received today from my Government, I should like to state in very clear terms that Israel bears all the responsibility for such a policy and for acts which endanger the whole process of peace. Therefore Egypt asks that the Council adopt a resolution and take firm action in order to force Israel to stop such plans immediately. Egypt holds Israel fully responsible for the dangerous consequences of its expansionist policy, which runs counter to the declared objective of the international community to reach a just and lasting peace in the Middle East.
28. Yesterday the Council heard a long statement by the Israeli representative [1894th meeting]. I must confess that he did not astonish us. As usual, his statement was full of distortions, false allegations and simple acrobatic semantics. As I anticipated, he used at length the argument of the appeal to the Supreme Court to demonstrate his Government's good will. I think that my statement yesterday [1893rd meeting] sufficiently refuted that argument, which could deceive no one.
29. If I proceed to refute all the false and unfounded allegations which he threw at everybody, I am afraid I will take much of the Council's time. Besides the Council has dealt with the subject several before and already knows the true facts on which based its unanimous resolutions condemning Israel? policy. For that reason I shall confine my remarks! answering some of these allegations and distortions.
30. First, the Israeli representative tried yesterday, as he has tried several times before in the General Assembly, to allege that there are major difference among Arab countries. To dispel any notion he still could have about this matter, I want to assure him that all the Arab countries, including Egypt, are united and will continue to be united in their goal to liberate their occupied territories and to enable the heroic Palestinian people to exercise its inalienable rights. I had hoped that the October war of liberation was enough of a lesson to Israel and to him, but unfortunately it seems that they have not yet drawn the necessary conclusions. So trying to play on Arab differences is of no use whatsoever.
31. Secondly, Egypt was the first to support the Palestinian people and its sole representative, the Palestine Liberation Organization, by all means, material and otherwise, and it will continue to support the PLO. Instead of ignoring.facts and reality, Israel has to face them on the soil of Palestine itself.
32. Thirdly, the Israeli representative claims that Israel's occupation in the West Bank and Gaza is a benevolent one and that Israel has done a lot for the inhabitants of those areas. Concerning Gaza, if that were so, how could he justify the fact that the first major uprising in the occupied territories after the 1967 aggression was in Gaza? It was so intense that the occupation authorities imposed a total news blackout about the situation there and prevented foreign correspondents from going to Gaza to see for themselves. How could he justify that Gaza is still under direct military rule and that military patrols constantly roam the streets of Gaza and the refugee camps, arresting people at random?
33. I need not recite here the record of Egypt in Gaza, but United Nations authorities are witness to the fact that Egypt was spending more than $30 million in Gaza every year. Students in Gaza got, and still get, their education in Egyptian schools and universities free. Egypt believes that Gaza must be returned to its lawful owners, the Palestinian people; so any measures undertaken by Israel in the Strip are null and void.
34. Furthermore, if the Israeli representative is so sure about his claim that the people of Gaza and other parts of the occupied territories are content with Israeli rule, why did his Government bar the Special Committee on the investigation of Israeli practices from visiting the occupied territories and verifying the situation for themselves? I dare him to say yes if he is so sure that the people in Gaza and the West Bank are happy with Israeli occupation. What about the reports and decisions of the Commission on Human Rights, the Red Cross, Amnesty International, church leaders, distinguished correspondents, even the Israeli Human Rights Commission and many others? If the Israeli representative is so sure, let him invite the Special Committee.
35. Fourthly, the Israeli representative tried in vain to distract the attention of the Council from the plight of the inhabitants of the occupied territories by alleging that minorities in the Arab world are mistreated. I should like him to understand that we in Egypt have no minorities: every inhabitant, whether Moslem, Christian or Jew, is an Egyptian citizen, equal before the law, and enjoys the same rights.
36. One last word of advice to the Israeli representative: the world is now so accustomed to Israel's distortions of facts and to its false allegations that there is no need to belittle the intelligence of Council members any more.
37. The PRESIDENT (interpretation from French): The representative of Jordan has asked to exercise his right of reply. I invite him to take a place at the Council table, and I give him the floor.
38. Mr. SHARAF (Jordan): The statement yesterday by the representative of Israel [1894th meeting] was a revelation to all members of the Council. It was less of a revelation to the people who live in and belong to the area, who have been at the receiving end of Israel's policies and practices. In the bitter, long, angry and disjointed statement by the Israeli representative yesterday there was still a unifying theme, and this unifying theme is at the very root of Israel's approach to the problems in the area, to its problems with its neighbours and to the problems with the people which was the first victim of its activities and actions, the Palestinian people.
39. The unifying theme which permeated Israel's statement yesterday, the underlying assumption, was that, in the Israeli Zionist mentality, there is one reality; others do not exist. The whole of Israel lives within its own fantasy, lives within its own obsession. In this mentality, no others exist; others do not exist physically, their rights do not exist. And there is in this mentality and this "logic" no reciprocity of rights, no reciprocity of obligations and no existence for the other party.
40. The practical implementation of this obsession and mentality has been reflected in the activities of Israel—of the Zionist movement. When it descended upon Palestine it did not feel the existence of the human environment within which it lived. For Israel, the human environment was merely a physical barrier. Hence the violence which was at the root of the establishment of Israel, hence the physical displacement of the Palestinian people which had for centuries inhabited its own homeland.
41. One very revealing fact which reflects this is what the Israeli representative said yesterday: that Jerusalem was always dominated by foreigners. In the Israeli mentality, in the Zionist mind, people who have lived in Jerusalem, inhabited it, whose possession it is and who have lived there for centuries did not exist. What existed was the spiritual association of the Jews with Jerusalem of several thousand years ago.
Since then and throughout this period the inhabitants of the occupied territories, of Jerusalem, have not existed for the Israelis. This alone explains Israel's actions towards the people and the population there. It did not exist in their mind.
42. It is by that logic that the Israeli representative spoke yesterday of Jerusalem's being divided and Jerusalem's being reunified by Israel in 1961. It was divided by Jordan in 1948 because Jordan intervened to prevent its division, to prevent its take-over by the Israelis, the Zionists, in 1948. The fact that the Israeli expansionist thrust in 1948 stopped in the midst of Jerusalem does not mean that Jerusalem was divided by Jordan. It means that Jerusalem was divided by Israel and that the natural and normal thing was for Jerusalem not to be divided, because the natural and normal thing for Jerusalem was that the Zionists should not take it over exclusively, that Jerusalem should remain a centre of pluralism, of universal existence for everybody and of the unity of spiritual attachment to it.
43. If Jewish spiritual attachment to Jerusalem is justified, so too Moslem and Christian attachment of a spiritual character to Jerusalem is justified and legitimate. But this cannot be translated into a unilateral physical take-over of a city which belongs first and foremost to its own inhabitants—and its own inhabitants were and continue to be Arabs. They are the inhabitants who have inherited Jerusalem for successive generations for the last several centuries. That is at the root of the problem of Jerusalem. So when Israel speaks of Jerusalem having been divided by its own people—meaning their defence of it against being unilaterally taken over—it is the same as when Israel speaks of its own reunification of Jerusalem, meaning extra expansion and complete take-over of Jerusalem. That is symptomatic, and that is the spirit and the mentality that have caused Israel's problems with its neighbours.
44. By the same token and as an expression of that same basic approach to the Arab problem—if one wants to call it "the Arab problem", which would be paraphrasing the Israeli mentality—again, as the Israeli representative assured us yesterday, there was no ruling by the Supreme Court on Al-Aqsa Mosque. Again, the culture of the Arabs, the inhabitants, the non-Israelis, and their physical monuments do not exist. There was a ruling regarding the Temple Mount and, therefore, the Israeli representative was literally justified in saying that there was no ruling on Al- Aqsa. But Ai-Aqsa is there. In the Israeli fantasy and fanatical obsession, Al-Aqsa did not exist and only the Temple Mount existed; but no, Al-Aqsa Mosque is a monument of a physical character with a deep transcendental spiritual existence which is there. It has significance for millions of people and it is there physically.
45. By the same token and as an extension of this mentality which does not recognize reciprocity of rights, which unilaterally accords to Israel rights which it denies to the others, Israel looks at and scrutinizes the so-called record of Jordan in Jerusalem between 1948 and until it was taken over and occupied by Israel in 1967. Again, it is a very distorted lense through which the Israeli representative looked. If I may borrow an expression from yesterday's "friendly" New York Times, which spoke of the people in the Council looking at the Israeli problem through what it called "a crazy prism", it is a "crazy prism".
46. In Israel's obsessions with what it calls its own rights, in Israel's obsession with its own claims, in Israel's obsession with its own existence and the non-existence of others, there is of course no mutuality and reciprocity of rights. Israel could take over Jerusalem in 1948 and displace the people who lived in so-called West Jerusalem, which was predominantly owned by Arabs but where many Jews lived in brotherhood before 1948 with the Moslem and Christian Arabs; it could divide Jerusalem, cut off the water to Jerusalem, displace the Arabs who lived in West Jerusalem and force them out, destroy their own cultural and religious institutions, and pound with mortar fire the walled Old City—but all that meant that there should be no reaction on the other side. Israeli citizens could continue to claim the right of access to what they regard as their own institutions to which they have attachment and spiritual association, and at the same time, Israel would not recognize the rights of the others whom it displaced and whose mosques and churches it destroyed.
47. In 1948, as part of the arrangements by the United Nations, the proposal was addressed to Jordan and Israel to make arrangements, pending an overall political solution, to allow freedom of access and of worship to all faiths on both sides. Jordan, together with the other Arab parties, accepted that; Israel rejected that offer by the United Nations and its Conciliation Commission for Palestine. Hence the restrictions by the Jordanian Government on Israeli citizens—not on Jews because they were Jews—entering Jordan or that part of Jerusalem which was under Jordanian administration and the fact that Jordan continued to pursue that policy in the absence of reciprocity on Israel's part which Jordan would have been willing to accept.
48. Naturally, during 1947 and 1948 there was destruction in Jerusalem, and that destruction was caused by Israel's onslaught which extended to synagogues, churches and mosques. Hundreds of mosques and churches in what became Israel in 1948 were wiped out by the Israelis and desecrated and held in derision. The famous Mamillah Cemetery, the Islamic cemetery in Jerusalem, was completely wiped out. It was a 1,000-year-old historical monument, a cemetery which at that time we believed to be as precious to us historically as Arlington is to the American people and perhaps even as the Kremlin or parts of it are to the Soviet people. Israel repeatedly did the same after the second take-over of the rest of Jerusalem in 1967 to the quarter of Moslem Saints—which we call Hai Al-Magharbah—a holy religious quarter, which was completely bulldozed.
49. The Government of Jordan at least has never pursued a policy of systematic destruction or mutilation of historical, religious and cultural institutions and monuments. Israel, as part and parcel of its mentality and policies, pursues a policy of complete change, destruction and wiping out of existence of the culture of the other party. The monuments cemeteries, churches and any symbol of the cultural continuity and existence of the people who inhabited that area who were not Jewish were not respected and had no sanctity in the eyes of Israeli Zionist chauvinism.
50. Jordan is proud of its record in Jerusalem and in the West Bank. During the period in which that part of Palestine was held in trust, Jordan merged its history and future and destiny with that of the Palestinian people on the West Bank. Jordan is proud of the record of constructive brotherhood and openness and prosperity in Jerusalem and around it.
51. In the Islamic tradition there is respect for the religions of Christianity and Judaism. That is part and parcel of Islamic tradition, dogma and doctrine, and in no way could it be affected or undermined by the fact that Israel is an exclusive and exclusivist Jewish State which carries the religious banner and hides behind it an extreme and dogmatic fanaticism.
52. By the same logic, and as a continuation of the same attitude of completely ignoring the rights of others, the Israeli representative yesterday invoked relations among the Arab countries—inter-Arab-relations, relations between Jordan and the Palestinian people or some of their representatives and organizations.
53. The problem before the Security Council is not inter-Arab relations; it is the right of any single Arab Government to come to the Council and ask it to look into a complaint lodged by that Arab Government against another Arab Government. In such a case the Council is entitled to look into that matter according to its rules, practices and traditions. But that is not the situation. There is no comparison whatsoever between differences and even conflicts within the Arab world between Arab countries or sectors of the Arab people and the situation of alien occupation. Certainly, in the long history of Jordan and its association with the Palestinian people and the history of our modern existence as an independent State, we have had troubles; we have had conflicts; we have had restlessness. We belong to an area of the world which is undergoing a period of transition and which, like the rest of the third world, is groping for new institutions, for new ideals and for rejuvenation, moving from the old to the new. In this process we are bound to have our inner dialectical problems, our conflicts, our internal debate. This has occurred in Jordan. It is a symbol of the thriving, the forward movement of our country. It is also a reflection of the deep elan in the Arab world, the determination to move ahead in spite of the fact that it is at times agonizing. So we have had our difficulties in Jordan, as have other countries, but we were honest in dealing with those problems; we were genuine in dealing constructively them. And, above all, they were domestic problems. It is the same when there are disturbances with the United States, when there are disturbances in Pakistan or when there are disturbances in Israel regarding issues of a domestic nature. The situation in Lebanon has nothing to do with, and cannot be compared with, the situation that prevails in the occupied territories.
54. But in his statement yesterday the Israeli representative pursued the same logic when, in a most cynical way, he invoked an argument which we had thought had by now, in this chamber and in all chambers of the United Nations, become anachronistic and totally unacceptable. He invoked the alleged benefit that has accrued to the people of the occupied territories as a result of the blessings of Israeli occupation. This is a most cynical argument. It is anachronistic and outmoded and totally unacceptable within the United Nations and the new era of the Charter. How can any country justify its continued occupation on the basis of the alleged benefits it is giving the people under its occupation? Such justification was repeatedly rejected in the Council when it was invoked by the representatives of white racism in Africa. It was completely rejected when the whole institution of colonization and colonialism collapsed in the world.
55. What benefit has been accruing to the people of the occupied territories? The people have been exploited; their institutions have been manipulated; their economic relationship with Israel is one of exploitation; exports from the occupied territories to Israel proper practically do not exist. Imports from Israel to the occupied territories amount to five times as much as exports. What is this situation of prosperity existing in the occupied territories, economically and otherwise? Is it the implanting of over 60 — nearly 65-—settlements in various parts of the occupied territories, in Gaza, in the Golan, in the West Bank, in and around Jerusalem? How can this be regarded as respect for the human rights of the people in the occupied territories and compliance with international law and international practice?
56. One could continue analysing the statement made by the Israeli representative, but that would add very little to the present debate in terms of enlightening the membership of the Council or in terms of adding any constructive note to the debate. I have exercised my right of reply simply to point out what I started with: that the Israeli statement is a revealing statement; it reflects ah Israeli obsession with its own claims and what it thinks is right, and the total absence of any recognition of mutuality and reciprocity with the others. Hence the whole policy of Israel regarding its neighbours and in the occupied territories. They are thought of as non-existent. The Palestinians were a human barrier which was removed in 1948. They form another human barrier at the moment, because there are more than a million people in the occupied territories, and they cause a problem for Israel. According to this mentality and this obsession, the religious monuments of the people of the occupied territories have no sanctity. According to this mentality and this obsession, these people have no cultural identity, no national rights and no human rights.
57. But regardless of the merits of the Israeli arguments, the Council is entitled to ask a question of Israel which even the friends, the dwindling number of friends, of Israel are entitled to ask and have been asking of it: what it the alternative? Israel can claim that it is preserving human rights in the occupied territories; it can probably even manage to gag or distort the information media in many sectors of the world regarding its atrocities in the occupied territories and its suppression of the people of the occupied territories. But you are all, even the friends of Israel, entitled to ask the Israeli representative what Israel offers as an alternative. Is Israel offering a continuous, endless, indefinite occupation of the occupied territories? This is the central issue. During the last nine, nearly ten years, what has Israel offered in terms of a peaceful exit from the occupied territories, in terms of a constructive solution? It has closed every avenue for a political settlement. It has closed every road to hope of the people in the occupied territories that ultimately there would be an Israeli exit and withdrawal in the context of peace. So what is Israel offering the Council other than this diatribe, this vehement and ugly attack on Jordan, on the Palestinians and on the rest of the Arab countries and even on the Arabs as a culture, when the Israeli representative implies that the Arabs are almost inherently racist, inherently anti-Jewish, inherently enemies of the world? What does Israel have to offer other than saying this? There is an occupation, which has to end. Israel is in a continuous state of military relationship, of hostility, towards its neighbours and the human environment within which it is supposed to survive. This is the problem Israel has to address itself to and cannot ignore, and the Council is entitled to hear answers to this question.
58. It does not help the Israeli representative to involve himself in an unending romantic poem regarding the sentimental attachment Israel has to the Holy Places, because as individuals all people who have religious, sentimental and spiritual attachments to the Holy Places are justified in that—but this is not a title deed for physical acquisition, nor is it in any way a cover or a justification for ruthlessness of policies and for violence.
59. The Council is entitled to ask Israel the relevant and important question: what is Israel offering as an alternative to the continuing situation? It does not help for the Israelis to engage in attacks on the domestic situation in various Arab countries or criticize their institutions or point out what they claim are cultural deficiencies or deficiencies in their political or social institutions. All these are irrelevant to the issue before us, which is that of Israel's continued occupation of the occupied territories and the need for Israel to end this occupation and to offer a constructive solution, which, so far, it has avoided.
60. The PRESIDENT (interpretation from French): The representative of the Palestine Liberation Organization has requested to be allowed to exercise his right of reply, and I now call upon him.
61. Mr. TERZI (Palestine Liberation Organization): I listened with very great care to the diatribe of the representative of Tel Aviv. I read his statement this morning in the verbatim record of the meeting, and I refer to the following sentence: "Words fail me as I contemplate this barren and futile discussion" [1894th meeting, para. 58]. That was his statement. Mr. President, my organization has accepted your invitation to participate in this discussion because we believe and we know that much could be achieved through this discussion. It is not a barren and futile discussion; otherwise we should have saved you the trouble of spending so much time listening to us here.
62. My nostalgia and love for Jerusalem were aroused yesterday. I could not help it; I was born in Jerusalem. I was raised in Jerusalem and I was even accepted as a Knight of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. There is so much for me in Jerusalem. It is my home town; it is home for me, and I shall keep up my struggle until I return to Jerusalem.
63. In his statement yesterday the representative of Tel Aviv avoided completely the issue we are considering here. We are not considering a court ruling; we are considering the situation arising from the practices of the forces of occupation. He completely avoided that. Be that as it may, he spoke about the court ruling and tried to insult the intelligence of the persons around this table. Before us we have a plan, and it reads "AI-Haram Al-Sharif'. The Zionists wish to change the name to "Temple Mount". It is their practice to alter the status and the names of places in Palestine. We may note that around the compound of Al-Haram Al-Sharif there are four walls, with gates and openings, and the site of the prayer incident what is referred to as an incident—is within those walls. So the violation, according to this plan provided by the representative of Tel Aviv, happened within the walls of Al-Haram Al-Sharif. I should like to request you, Mr. President, to have this document made a document of the United Nations.
64. We have been asked to be gratified at the benign occupation, at the benevolence, at the advancement. Yet the demonstrations for seven weeks against the occupation belie those statements. A child was shot at and killed, and yet we are asked to believe and thank and be grateful to the occupation authorities. I recall that something like 30 years ago Muslim's forces of occupation in Ethiopia were trying to convince the world to be happy that the Italians,
their civilization—with all due respect—were there to civilize the Ethiopian people and the people of Libya. This theory is not acceptable. The world has arisen and has awakened to fight for its liberation. If some nation is a little more developed or much more developed than another, it is here we are meeting to benefit from one another and not to make the world accept what is known as benign occupation.
65. However, what shocks me most in the statement is this sentence: "I think that it is time that the world awoke to the inherent destructiveness of the Arab purpose in the world today" [ibid., para. 108] That is preposterous. I am sure that if Adolf Hitler were living today he would have applauded that statement. Who else but a racist would think with that mentality—that a people has inherent characteristics? But after all, we all know that the Zionist representative is racist by nature.
66. The PRESIDENT (interpretation from French)The representative of the Syrian Arab Republic has asked to speak in exercise of his right of reply. I ask him to take a seat at the Council table, and I call upon him.
67. Mr. ALLAF (Syrian Arab Republic): The Zionist representative did nothing in his very long statement yesterday but confirm the arrogant and racist nature of his regime. In fact, exactly as predicted, the representative of the Israeli occupiers found it strange that the Security Council should turn its attention to what is going on in the West Bank and the rest of the occupied Arab territories—little children slain by the soldiers of occupation, youths savagely beaten and arrested, curfews imposed without interruption on Arab towns and villages. Nothing should cause the concern of the Council because, according to the representative of the alien forces of occupation, all that is part of the normal state of existence under occupation. The Arabs of the occupied territories are very happy, as he said, and prospering under the occupation. Those students, workers, men and women roaming through the streets and confronting the Zionist soldiers and paratroopers and hoisting the flag of their martyred homeland are no more than incited youngsters who have been misled by the Palestine Liberation Organization.
68. Even if we could swallow the lie that the tens of thousands of students, workers, men, women, boys girls are merely incited and are reacting to the provocations of the PLO, what about the mayors and own councils of the towns and villages of the occupied territories? What about the thousands of businessmen, shopkeepers, doctors and teachers who are going on strike in protest against the Zionist occupation? And if the PLO is really able to cause all that uprising and revolt, then that is the best certificate given by the Zionist regime of the fact that the PLO is really the and legitimate representative of the Palestinian people.
69. What is important is that the representative of the Zionists did not refer even once in his very long statement to the real cause of all that is going on in the occupied territories. He did not mention military occupation at all, as if what is going on is a normal situation which, if no disturbances at all were taking place, would not necessitate any action or consideration by the Council. On the contrary, the representative of Israel attempted to divert the attention of world public opinion and proceeded, as the representative of the PLO said, to insult the intelligence of Council members and of all those who listened to his long statement.
70. He spoke about what was happening in Lebanon and asked why the Council was wasting its time considering what was happening in the occupied territories rather than what is happening in Lebanon.
71. Why does the representative of Israel shed crocodile tears about what is happening in Lebanon? Has he forgotten the Phantom aircraft of his regime that repeatedly bombarded the refugee camps in Lebanon and the artillery of the Zionist forces that repeatedly bombarded and shelled the southern sector of Lebanon and the peaceful villages there? What is happening in Lebanon is a civil conflict, and many other nations in the world have had such difficulties in similar painful stages of their history. The great American nation, the great French nation, the great Italian nation, the great Soviet nation—they all passed through more painful and much more dangerous situations than what is now happening in Lebanon. We ^hope that the outcome of what is happening in Lebanon and the peace which all the Arabs are trying to restore there will lead to a situation of well-being and freedom like that now being enjoyed by the nations that I have just mentioned.
72. The representative of Israel should be the last to speak about Lebanon or about an alleged incident in Damascus in 1965, because the records of the Security Council and the General Assembly are filled with condemnations of Zionist acts of aggression against inhabitants and against towns and villages, completely razing towns like Quneitra. Two weeks ago we received a bulky document of 244 pages containing resolutions, most of which condemned Israel for its attacks and continued aggression against the Arab countries.
73. As for the joke with which the representative of Israel began his statement yesterday, I do not know how to take it. Should I take it as a compliment to the Syrians or as an insult? We Syrian Arabs are proud to have the same qualities as those persons who are followers of Judaism. We are equally proud and honoured to bear also the same qualifications and characteristics of those who are the followers of the Christian religion. But what we would not be proud of would be to have the qualities of followers of Zionism.
74. The representative of Israel said that everything said about the ruling of the Jerusalem court regarding the desecration of the Al-Aqsa Mosque was false and a big lie, and he presented the Council with a map showing that the site of the prayer incident in May 1975 was only the courtyard of Al-Haram Al-Sharif. As stated by a colleague who spoke before me, Al-Haram Al-Sharif is Al-Haram Al-Sharif, whether in its main building or in its courtyard, unless Israel really means to do in Al-Haram Al-Sharif what it did for the Al-Ibrahimi Mosque, that is, to divide Al-Aqsa also and give part of it to the Jews and prevent the Arabs from praying in its courtyard.
75. All we heard from the Israeli representative were repeated arguments which have time and again been refuted by Arab and non-Arab representatives in the General Assembly and the Security Council. The real issue is the occupation through aggression of Arab territories and the denial of the national rights of the Palestinian people. As long as Israel does not realize that its aggressive occupation is the reason for all that is happening, there can be no peace in the region for Israeli soldiers and no peace in the world.
76. The Arabs of the occupied territories have decided to declare 30 March as "Homeland Day", and the Council of the Arab League has decided to consider that day as a day of solidarity with the struggle of the Arab people in the occupied territories. We appeal to you, Mr. President, and to the other members of the Council, to contribute to that solidarity by adopting a resolution condemning Israeli repression in the occupied territories and requesting Israel —pending the speedy termination of its aggressive occupation—to cease all its measures and acts against the Arab inhabitants of the occupied territories.
77. The PRESIDENT (interpretation from French): I call on the representative of Israel in exercise of his right of reply.
78. Mr. HERZOG (Israel): As I listened to the vicious diatribe from most of the speakers thus far, it occurred to me that never has the injunction requiring those people who live in glass houses not to throw stones been so applicable. Here one has a group of nations practising everything that they have attributed to Israel, violating every human and natural law in the conduct of their own affairs, engaged in racism as an integral part of their legal system, guilty of massacres, of mass arrests and characterized one by the other as a mass prison. This is the characterization of Syria in a semi-official Egyptian newspaper, Al-Gumhuriya, in an article only a few months ago, on 9 November 1975, headlined "Syria is one big prison". These are countries which deny any elementary human rights, countries such as Jordan and Egypt which did not do in the West Bank or Gaza what they had in their power to do and what they ask Israel to do today, countries which are actively engaged in all forms of mediaeval, Byzantine types of suppression, torture and oppression and international intrigue which defy description; countries which carry out a continuous and persistent policy of the prosecution of minorities, countries whose conduct in respect of the basic principles of natural law and humanity is a disgrace to mankind, countries such as Yugoslavia, in which we learned the other day that a lawyer was sent to gaol for defending his client.
79. Indeed, if I mention Yugoslavia, it is because the internal problems in that country must truly be grave if the representative of Yugoslavia feels obliged to divert attention from them by propelling himself to the forefront on every occasion when an anti-Semitic or anti-Israel free-for-all is taking place.
80. I could go on, but this whole cynical exercise is so disgusting that it hardly merits the time we are taking.
81. Let me give you a bit of advice, Mr. President. If you want to know the true character of these countries, read what each one of them says about the other. There is a saying in Arabic to the effect that no one knows your secrets except your God and your neighbours. The Arab neighbours know each other so well that I do not have to elaborate in any way on what they say about each other for you to understand their nature.
82. I was very moved by the concern of the representative of the Soviet Union for the religious rights of the Moslem community in Jerusalem. At least he might have limited himself to the falsehoods in the Arab accusations levelled against us. But he goes even further and talks of the use of Israeli forces in Al-Aqsa Mosque. May I express the hope here—which, I am sure, is reflected by millions of Moslems throughout the world—that his intervention indicates a major departure in Soviet Government policy in regard to the practice of religion.
83. The representative of the Soviet Union talked about the "anti-human" act involved in attempting to influence school curricula in Jerusalem. I pointed out that these curricula are Jordanian and not Israeli or Christian, in accordance with the desire of each church. I am deeply moved by the solicitude of the representative of the Soviet Union for freedom of education which, I would like to believe, indicates a new development in the Soviet Union's approach to this freedom.
84. These two departures prompt me to express hope that the Soviet Union will now change its attitude and its behaviour towards the Jewish people in the Soviet Union and towards its discriminatory behaviour in respect of Jewish freedom of religion and that it will, since he considers attempting to impose school curricula an anti-human act, remove all disabilities from Jewish education in the Soviet Union and will allow our people to maintain their own curriculum and their links to our ancient heritage. The Soviet Government's attitude to its Jewish population should exercise it before it begins to meddle in other affairs. Indeed, were the Soviet Union to cease meddling in the Middle East, we might achieve peace. Let me quote President Sadat of Egypt on the role of the Soviet Union in the Middle East, as reported in an Egyptian newspaper only a few weeks ago:
"The USSR communicates things to certain-Arab sides in order to turn us one against each other. It is resorting to the policy of turning the regimes against each other as usual. It is turning Syria against Egypt and Egypt against Syria; Syria against Iraq and Iraq against Syria; Egypt against Libya and Libya against Egypt—and the process is going on."
85. The representative of Egypt asked why the United Nations Special Committee on the territories is not allowed to visit the territories. He knows as well as I do. He knows that at the time that Committee was appointed the Government of Israel said it would only co-operate with that Committee if, in addition to examining Israeli practices in the territories, it would examine Arab practices against Jewish populations in Arab countries. This was refused, and that is the reason why we refused to have anything to do with that Committee.
86. I was deeply moved by the moving concern of the Egyptian representative for the Palestinian Arabs, but frankly I am perplexed. I have been reading his President's interviews and speeches of late. I read them all, and I detect a certain dissonance between his remarks and those of his President with respect to this issue. I am quite convinced that many of the representatives here will join me in envying him his freedom of action.
87. He talks about Gaza. Let me quote from a Saudi Arabian newspaper published in 1966, from a resident of Gaza quoted in this newspaper at a time that the Egyptian occupation was in force:
"Gaza is the only remnant of our seized country-I wish it had also been taken so that we could at least know that the one who profanes our honour, hurts us and tortures us is the foreign Zionist oppressor, Ben Gurion, and not an Arab brother named Abdel Nasser. Consider the attitude of Nasser's administration to us and you will find that the Jews under Hitler did not suffer as we do under Nasser. First of all, in order to leave our camps and go to Cairo or to Alexandria or other cities, we have to go through a long drawn-out process. Anyone who requests a travel permit must undergo an inspection and suspicion is cast on his loyalty, scheming and unscrupulous investigators are liable to land in prison anyone who asks for a travel permit."
Or let me quote Jidda Radio in Saudi Arabia, again during the period of Egyptian occupation:
Let us now examine the Cairo rulers' attitude to the Palestinians. Saudi Arabia opened its doors wide to the people of Palestine at a time when Egypt shut-its door in their faces. We are aware of the laws which prohibit all Palestinians from working in Egypt with or without pay, a condition which is stamped on the passport of every Arab who enters Cairo. On this occasion, we would like to ask Cairo what is this Iron Curtain which Abdel Nasser and his cohorts have lowered around Gaza and the refugees there? The Military Governor in Gaza has prohibited any Arab from travelling to Cairo by air without a military permit, which is valid for 24 hours. Imagine, Arabs, how Nasser, who claims to be the pioneer of Arab nationalism, treats the Arab people of Gaza, Gaza and its miserable people who starve while the Egyptian Governor of Gaza and his officers and soldiers bask in the wealth of the Strip."
88. The representative of Jordan represents the country which was the first in history to bombard the Holy City of Jerusalem. The second time they did it was in 1967, and if you just want to get a measure of the veracity of his remarks, he has talked about Mamillah Cemetery being destroyed. Now, I know that quite a number of people seated in this hall have been to Jerusalem and are very familiar with the Mamillah Cemetery, which is part of the national park in Jerusalem. They pass it every day when they are at the King David Hotel, and each one of you who has been in Jerusalem of late will know that this is a complete and utter falsehood.
Now he talks about the events of 1948. Let me ^ quote from the book published by Colonel Abdullah ; Al-Tal, who commanded part of the Jordanian forces *at that time. In his memoirs, published in 1959 in ; Arabic at Cairo, because in the meantime, as part of normal procedures that we are aware of in the Arab world, he had been obliged to leave Jordan, he says:
"The operations of calculated destruction were set in motion. I knew that the Jewish quarter was densely populated with Jews who caused their fighters a good deal of interference and difficulty. I embarked, therefore, on the shelling of the quarter with mortars, creating harassment and destruction. Only four days after our entry into Jerusalem the Jewish quarter had become a graveyard. Death and destruction reigned over it."
90. The French Consul in Jerusalem, the late Mr. Neuville, whom I knew very well at the time, sent a cable to the President of the Security Council which was read by the President at the 301st meeting of the Security Council on 22 May 1948:
"The Arab Legion has heavily shelled the New City and the Jewish quarters in the Old City during the night. The shelling, which started again this morning, has been going on for about two hours. The destruction of the city is proceeding at an ever-increasing rate." [301 st meeting, p. 28.]
91. So much for what happened in 1948 and for the tales told by my Jordanian colleague.
92. I must say that is very moving indeed to hear the solicitude of the Jordanian representative for the PLO. The fact is that the PLO dare not show their noses in Jordan today. Let me quote from two statements recently made. One was made by Mr. Farouk Khaddoumi, a member of the PLO Executive Committee, only a few weeks ago. He said, "The PLO demands a political and military presence in Jordan, an objective which"—in his opinion—"will necessitate a change of the regime in Jordan." Or Yasser Arafat, who, on 10 November 1974 in a letter addressed to the Congress of Jordanian Students in Baghdad, wrote: "Jordan is ours. Palestine is ours, and we shall build our national entity on the whole of this land after having freed it both from the Zionist presence and the reactionary traitor presence".
93. How completely unreal this whole situation really is. Let me ask the representative of Jordan: When the Syrians stabbed you in the back on 9 September 1970 as your forces fought against the PLO in Amman, from whom did you ask for air support against the advancing Syrian tanks? If you have forgotten, please refresh your memory by reading the Kalb book entitled Kissinger.
94. If the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan is still independent, it is thanks in no small measure to Israel.
95. And as we are already talking about occupation, let me quote from an interview given by Arab inhabitants of the West Bank who came to Lebanon in 1971, an interview in the Beirut daily, Al-Hawadith on 23 April 1971. It was a form of public opinion poll about Israeli rule carried out among the West Bankers visiting Lebanon:
"Those arriving from the West Bank define the situation thus: We have not forgotten nor will we ever forget the type of rule which degraded our honour and trampled the human feelings within us, a rule which they built by their inquisition and the boots of their desert men. We have lived a long period under the humiliation of Arab nationalism, and it pains us to say that we had to wait for the Israeli conquest in order to become aware of human relationships with citizens."
96. Finally, we were asked by the Syrian representative why we were so concerned with Lebanon. Have you ever heard such a cynical question? How revealing it is. Lebanon is bleeding, Lebanon is being torn apart, and we are sitting here engaged in a useless diatribe which can bring no good either to the Israel-Arab problem or to the Middle East or to the peace of the world. From the time of our meeting yesterday morning to our meeting this morning, 150 people have been killed in Lebanon. And yet this world body is cynically ignoring all that is going on there.
97. I wish to make just one remark in conclusion. In the process of solving international problems by means of producing facile slogans—and what is happening in the Middle East is a classic example—the magic formula of the 1967 borders is produced; indeed, it has been produced again this morning. Everybody pulls this solution out of the hat—including my Western friends: if only we would pull back to the 1967 borders, all would be solved.
98. But for 19 years we sat along the 1967 borders until the Arabs attacked in 1967, They talk today of aggression in 1967. They talk of occupied territories. But they very conveniently forget the reasons for the occupation of the territories, the historical facts of 1967. For 19 years we sat along those borders. Did they make peace? Did they negotiate for peace?
99. This is not the problem. If it were, why was not solved long ago? Why should there have been an Arab attack in 1967? The answer is that, I repeat, this is not the problem. It is not a question of territory; it is not a question of Palestinians—although both issues are very important. It is a question of a change of heart in respect of Israel on the part of the countries. Until that change is achieved, no meaningful advance can really be made. I repeat that at the heart of the conflict lies the Arab refusal to recognize the right of the Jewish nation to self-determination and national sovereignty. That is the crux of the problem. That is what we should be dealing with if we really wish to tackle the problem, rather than engaging in this facile and useless diatribe now going on here.