Question of Palestine home
10 January 1983
THE SITUATION IN THE MIDDLE EAST
REVIEW OF THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE
DECLARATION ON THE STRENGTHENING OF
REPORT OF THE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON
ENHANCING THE EFFECTIVENESS OF THE
PRINCIPLE OF NON-USE OF FORCE IN
PEACEFUL SETTLEMENT OF DISPUTES BETWEEN STATES
REPORT OF THE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON THE CHARTER
OF THE UNITED NATIONS AND ON THE STRENGTHENING
OF THE ROLE OF THE ORGANIZATION
Letter dated 4 January 1983 from the Permanent Representative of
Israel to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General
I wish to draw Your Excellency's attention to statements made on 20 December 1982 by a number of Arab and other delegates in explanation of their vote on draft resolutions A/37/L.45/Rev.1 and A/37/L.48 under the agenda items entitled "Question of Palestine" and "The situation in the Middle East".
These statements are as revealing as they are disturbing, inasmuch as they unequivocally indicate that the countries in question persevere in their well-known attitude regarding the very right of existence of the State of Israel.
In expressing reservations with regard to the fourth peeambular paragraph of draft resolution A/37/L.45/Rev.1, which refers to the "right of all States in the region to existence within internationally recognised boundaries" the representative of Iraq stated:
"A State, in terms of international law, envisages sovereignty within certain limited and recognised boundaries. It does not apply to an entity bent upon constant expansion at the expense of the rights of the States and the peoples of the region ..." (A/37/PV.112, p. 6)
"[Israel] is an aberration and [the representative of Israel] should not expect his entity to be treated as a normal State in this Organization.' (A/37/PV.112, p. 8)
The representative of Iran stated:
"We maintain our reservations regarding such objectionable phrases as 'all parties' or other phrases which imply or presume a status for the Zionist usurping elements . . . which imply any legality or legitimacy for the Zionist entity. We only support this or any other draft resolutions in so far as they ... condemn the Zionist usurpers and recognize the eight of the Palestinian people to repatriation and the restoration of their sovereignty over the State of Palestine, which is now under the occupation of an "illegitimate forgery called Israel." (A/37/PV.112, p. 11)
The representative of Iran expressed his reservations concerning operative paragraph 4 of draft resolution A/37/L.48 in the following words:
"My delegation wonders why this specific paragraph is so clear about where the withdrawal is to be from but not about where it is to be. We therefore believe that that should be clearly specified. That is, this operative paragraph should contain words indicating that the Zionist usurpers must withdraw from the land of Palestine and go back to their countries of origin." (A/37/PV.112, p. 36)
The representative of Democratic Yemen was also at pains to clarify his vote on draft resolution A/37/L.45/Rev.l:
"Regarding the fourth preambular paragraph, my delegation would like to state that our vote does not in any way imply any implicit recognition of Israel, which was established through terrorism and aggression and which continues to exist on the basis of expansionism and racism at the expense of the rights of the Palestinian people and the other Arab peoples." (A/37/PV.112, p. 11)
Similarly, the representative of Libya stated that:
"The fourth preambular paragraph of draft resolution A/37/L.45/Rev.1 implies indirect recognition of a racist , aggressive entity based on terrorism and the policy of expansionism. In addition to its warlike usurpation of Palestine . . . we feel that the Zionist entity is a racist entity . . . and that it must not be accorded any legitimacy." (A/37/PV.112, p. 21)
With regard to draft resolution A/37/L.48, the Libyan representative had the following to say:
"This vote does not imply any change in the policy of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya . . . nor does it mean that any international legitimacy is accorded to the aggressor Zionist entity which occupies the occupied Arab territories." (A/37/PV.112, p. 47)
It is also worth noting that some of the speakers quoted above, as well as others, stressed the inherent contradiction between the above-mentioned fourth preambular paragraph of draft resolution A/37/L.45/Rev.l and the resolutions adopted by the Arab Summit Conference held in Fez from 6 to 9 September 1982. This is particularly noteworthy in view of the fact that those same resolutions were referred to by a number of delegates to the thirty-seventh session of the General Assembly as the "Fez Peace Plan" which allegedly recognizes by implication the existence of Israel.
It is obvious that this is not the interpretation given to the "peace plan" in question by some of its signatories. Thus those speakers who perceived the contradiction between the provisions of the Fez resolutions and the fourth preambular paragraph indicated the authentic intent behind that so-called peace plan. Hence, the representative of Syria stated in reference to the fourth preambular paragraph:
" . . . that paragraph is not in harmony with the Arab position stated on 9 September 1982 at the Twelfth Arab Summit Conference, held at Fez. Indeed, it is in contravention of paragraph 7 of the communiqué issued by that Conference. That Conference defined the Arab position vis-à-vis the Middle East and the basic principles for the solution of that problem.
"In addition, the fourth preambular paragraph of the draft resolution paves the way for recognition of the Zionist entity, which occupies Palestine . .." (A/37/PV.112, pp. 9-10)
More specifically still, the representative of the United Arab Emirates asserted with regard to the same preambular paragraph:
" . . . my delegation does not approve of some of the wording in the fourth preambular paragraph, which indirectly refers to recognition of the existence of Israel, a State based on aggression and occupation. we feel that the reference in that paragraph goes beyond the decision taken at the latest Arab Summit Conference, held in Fez, and especially paragraph 7 of the final cornmuniqué of that Conference. If that paragraph had been put to a separate vote, my delegation would have voted against it, in accordance with the principles maintained by my country with regard to the question of Palestine - principles that were emphasized at the Arab Summit Conference in Fez." (A/37/PV.112, p. 23)
It is certainly not without significance that no representative of any of the participating States of the Fez Conference saw fit to enter any reservations with regard to the various statements quoted in this letter.
It is thus somewhat astonishing that, in the course of the debate and the vote in the General Assembly, certain representatives should have referred to the Fez resolutions as an indication on the part of its participants to reconcile themselves at long last to the legitimacy of Israel and its existence.
I have the honour to request that this letter be circulated as a document of the General Assembly, under the items entitled "The situation in the Middle East", "Review of the implementation of the Declaration on the Strengthening of International Security", "Report of the Special Committee on Enhancing the Effectiveness of the Principle of Non-Use of Force in International Relations", "Peaceful settlement of disputes between States" and "Report of the Special Committee on the Charter of the United Nations and on the Strengthening of the Role of the Organization", and of the Security Council.
(Signed) Yehuda Z. BLUM
Permanent Representative of Israel
to the United Nations
* Reissued for technical reasons.