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Provisional agenda (S/Agenda/1896)
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 Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United Republic Tanzania, United States of America.
2. Request by the Libyan Arab Republic and Pakistan for consideration of the serious situation arising from recent developments in the occupied Arab territories:
The meeting was called to order at 4.45 p.m.
The agenda was adopted.
Request by the Libyan Arab Republic and Pakistan for consideration of the serious situation arising from recent developments in the occupied Arab territories:
1. The PRESIDENT (interpretation from French): In accordance with the decisions which we adopted at the 1893rd and 1894th meetings, I shall now 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 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 when it is their turn 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. The PRESIDENT (interpretation from French): I should also like to inform the Council that I have just received a letter from the representative of Iraq in which he requests to be invited, in accordance with rule 37 of the provisional rules of procedure, to participate without the right to vote, in the discussion of the item on the agenda. If I hear no objection I propose, in accordance with the usual practice of the Council and the relevant provisions of the Charter, to invite the representative of Iraq to participate without the right to vote in the discussion in the Council.
At the invitation of the President, Mr. Zahawie (Iraq) took a place at the side of the Council chamber.
3. The PRESIDENT (interpretation from French): I call on the first speaker, the representative of Saudi Arabia, in exercise of the right of reply. I invite him to take a place at the Council table and I give him the floor.
4. Mr. BAROODY (Saudi Arabia): Mr. President, I assured you last night [1894 the meeting] that I would resume my statement today because the time was short and I did not want to keep you late. On the other hand, I am afforded the opportunity of replying to Mr. Herzog, although several of my colleagues have already done so. However, I believe that they were too involved with the incidents—or, as we call them, the latest events—in Jerusalem rather than with going to the core of the problem. Therefore, my statement will be a continuation of the statement I made last night as well as a reply to Mr. Herzog.
5. Mr. Herzog and, to a lesser extent, almost everyone who has spoken in the debate has been going around in circles without in the least getting dizzy. It is true that the item before the Council revolves around the recent events in Jerusalem, but these recent events are but a small symptom. And even if the Zionists today were to make amends, the cause of the trouble in Jerusalem and the whole of Palestine would remain with us until justice prevailed. There can be no peace in that unhappy land until the Zionist leaders once and for all realize that they cannot survive in that region unless the rights of the indigenous people of Palestine are restored. Otherwise, there will be no peace.
6. Without even a vestige of bitterness or rancour, once again I feel impelled to bring to the attention of the Council irrefutable facts about the whole problem and how it may be remedied. Remedied by whom? I shall tell you later, but primarily by the Zionists, who for over half a century have caused all the trouble not only to themselves but also to the people of Palestine—nay, to the whole Arab world and now the Moslem world and even to the Governments of the countries that helped them. And in good time I shall let you know of those Governments that helped them.
7. Let us therefore dispassionately examine the major arguments on which the Zionists have built their case.
8. First, there is the historical argument. The Zionists claim that Judaism flourished in Palestine. This is true. The Kingdoms of Judah and Israel were established there and lasted for a few centuries before the Romans destroyed the Temple in 70 A.D. Incidentally, another temple had been destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon and, by the way, the Babylonians were Semites. Why? Because the Jews are Jews. Those Zionists were innocent. I do not know but I hope that some of these boys, our own Jews, are here. They will understand if they are our own Jews.
9. Nebuchadnezzar, as the Council knows, took many of the leaders, but not all the Jews, as is claimed. How could he remove all the Jews? He took the leaders and the influential into exile. And who does not know the very touching story of Esther in the Old Testament? But Esther was fictional. The story of Esther was a novelette; it had no basis in fact; it was written during the days of the Maccabees, 200 years before Christ, who tried to rally the Jews in order to try to regain their nationhood. How do we know? Because we know all the wives of Ahasuerus, the King of Babylon, and almost all his concubines—almost all because there were perhaps some secret relations. There is nothing wrong with secret relations with a few concubines on the side. Esther and Haman and all these figures in the Bible did not exist in fact. On what do I base my statement? On the work of Jewish and Gentile scholars. I am not inventing this. But, never mind, these things happen. Nowadays there are many fictitious stories told about heroism so as to rally the people to a cause. So I do not say that there was something radically wrong about the Maccabees trying to revive the spirit of nationalism.
10. As I said, the Kingdoms of Judah and Israel were established there and lasted a few centuries until the Romans destroyed the Temple in 70 A.D., which brought about the dispersal of many Jews. But the farmers, the small shopkeepers, whether they were Jews or Gentiles, remained there. Who left? The influential and the affluent. But the bulk of the Jews of that period remained in Palestine.
11. The Zionists wish to forget that the Oriental Jews—in other words, our Jews—originated in western Iraq, as I told the Council last night, in what was called Mesopotamia. And they wish us to forget that Palestine had been inhabited by the Canaanites who are mentioned in the Bible. When they came from western Mesopotamia, or Iraq, as we call it now they moved southward to the land of Canaan. these Canaanites, incidentally, were Semites. They were tribes of the area, the brothers and the cousins of our Jews.
12. In my statement yesterday evening I told the Council that Jerusalem had been populated by Semitic people 2,500 years before Joshua captured Jericho and later Jerusalem. I also time and again have proved that after the destruction of the Temple by the Romans in 70 A.D. many of the Jews embraced Christianity, and later Islam when Byzantium abused Christianity and used it merely as a means of ruling a people which finally freed themselves from its yoke. This is the historical argument.
13. Now we come to the religious argument, which the Zionists referred to. This argument is predicated on two premises. The first premise is that God gave Palestine to the Jews. And the second is that since, as we mentioned, Judaism flourished in that region, therefore the Jews had title to the land. This argument is false because it is a concept based on fundamentalistic beliefs, and even in the day of electronics neither Jew nor Gentile has found the means to communicate with God to verify whether this took place or not—whether God gave title to the Jews as mentioned. God does not parcel out land to every Tom, Dick and Harry. But the Zionist take certain passages from the Bible for their own purposes, in order to build up an argument and brainwash the innocent Jewish people with misconceptions. Why do they not cite King David?
14. Incidentally, yesterday, in a slip of the tongue, I said that David was the son of Solomon. It was the other way around. Solomon was the son of David. Also, I should have said York instead of Norfolk as having been at one time the capital of William the Conqueror, who came from Normandy and slew King Harold in 1066. My memory falters a little sometimes. It was York, not Norfolk, which was the seat of the rule of William the Conqueror. So I apologize to our British colleague for that slip. We all make mistakes and I am the first to stand corrected.
15. What did David say? "The earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof. He did not say that there was an exception—Palestine.
16. The Zionists want us to think that they have a monopoly on God, and every country is fighting that monopoly. All right, those were the tribal days when religions were expressed in allegories, in parables, in figures of speech, in metaphors, with literary flourish. But do these Zionists sitting here believe that God actually gave them Palestine and that they have a monopoly on God? Good Lord.
17. Here in the United States there is the Sherman anti-trust law. Why do you not do something about that? They cannot monopolize the deity. And after all the concept of God varies. The fundamentalists gave Him human qualities. The liberals, many of whom are staunch believers, think that it is a moral order, ethics, something that cannot be defined. And, after all, there are many people who have different concepts of the Creator of the universe, or the forces of nature. Those Zionists have many learned men physicists, engineers and scientists—and they come and sell their poor people the idea that God gave them Palestine, as if He gave it to them on a platter. This is fiction.
18. Finally, there is the ethnic argument, which the Zionists have resorted to time and again. This argument is based on the allegation that the Jews all over the world constitute one people. I have told them time and again a religion need not and quite often does not determine a people. It is customs, traditions, what is called a way of life and, even more, common interests that determine a people. Here in the host country there is, an American people, but it has diverse origins: Dutch, English, Irish and, since Theodore Roosevelt, Puerto Ricans—and at one time Cubans, but they got themselves freed. It is diversified. And the Zionists want to tell us that there is only one Jewish people, and out of all Jews they are the people whose forbears never set eyes on Palestine because they were descended from the Khazars, who came from the northern tier of Asia and skirted the Caspian and came and settled in what is today southern Russia, and in the eight century A.D. embraced Judaism. They had been pagans. I wish they had remained pagans. I wish I were a pagan with them, too. Then there would not have been any problem.
19. Similarly, Saint Augustine was instrumental in converting the British to Christianity. What is Christianity? It is a Semitic religion. Does that make Semites of the British who are Christian? No. Those Khazars are no more Semites than I am Chinese or Latin American. There is no one pure people; there are religions and nationalities. We have had two world wars with Christian fighting Christian, And I would recall that in the days when they flourished, Judah and Israel fought each other. They were our Jews, not the Khazar Jews, who had nothing to do with Semitism.
20. Yes, Judaism is a Semitic religion. So is Islam a Semitic religion. So is Christianity a Semitic religion. But that does not make Semites of our Moslem brothers in Africa who.are not of Arab origin, nor of the Moslems in Indonesia or in Pakistan. The fact that they have a Semitic religion does not make them Semites. Nor do I believe that the representatives of France and the United Kingdom would claim to be Semites—if they are Christians, that is; I do not think they are Jews. But those Zionists who were not born in Palestine—in fact have never seen Palestine—claim that they are Semites. That is fiction; it is not true. They are fooling themselves.
21. I derive a lot of my research from Jewish scholars who rise above petty politics. The Jews are not one people. I know French Jews who are as French as any Frenchman who is not a Jew. I know American Jews—not Zionists, because I have nothing to do with Zionists—who are as American as apple pie.
22. The Zionists try to brainwash these Jews. They say to them, "You are Jews and you should come to Israel and become Israelis". They do not want to do that. Leave them alone. Religion is something between a person and his conscience. Leave them alone. They are happy. They have prospered everywhere they have gone—not because the Jews are a favoured people of God or the chosen people, as they are called, but because they are a minority. Like all minorities, they have faced a challenge and they have achieved success. Their parents tell them, "Look, you belong to a small minority in the world. Educate yourselves. We will pay if we can. Be somebody."
That is laudable. Indeed, minorities sometimes produce great people—not because God favours them over others, but because they make the effort.
23. It really makes one wonder when the Zionists say that the Arabs are anti-Semites. They forget that the Arabs are the Semites of the region. And none other than these Khazars call us anti-Semites. Anyone who opposes the Zionist movement is anti-Semitic. As I have said time and again, anti-Semitism flourished in Europe. The Jews there had different habits, different ways. Religion permeated the lives of all the people. They were regarded as strangers and were discriminated against—wrongly discriminated against. They were disabled; they could not do anything. That is why they became such good financiers. They had to lend money, and they became bankers. There is nothing wrong with that. And then, when they were allowed to learn professions, they distinguished themselves in medicine, in science. They are sometimes even more successful because they belong to a minority.
24. But the Zionists want to inculcate every Jew everywhere with the idea that he is superior, that he belongs to the chosen people. There is nothing wrong with exclusivity in theory, but it is wrong in practice. It leads to chauvinism, to self-righteousness, to a sense of superiority. We are all made of the same cloth. But the Zionists use these false arguments in their effort to indoctrinate Jews all over the world. Even the Communists owe a lot to the Jews. And now the Zionists say that communism is against the Jews, that the Soviet Union is against the Jews. Nothing pleases them. They want their own way all the time. I am sorry; you cannot have your own way all the time.
25. This argument about the hostility of the entire world towards the Jews is false. Many Jews who are not so conscious of their religion as to wish to set themselves apart are liked; they are human beings, just as we all are. They are not superior.
26. We said that Zionism can be equated with racialism, and that is true. There is no such thing as a pure race. All this is fiction. It is true that there are different colours, but even the colours are mixed up: the whites, the blacks and the yellows. But the Zionists say, "We are exclusive; we are above the others". That is passe; it is finished. Religion can no longer be used as a motivation for political ends. And, as I said yesterday, even ideologies can no longer be used for political ends. Unfortunately, nationalism is still being used for political and economic ends: beat the drums, hoist the flags, and people march off to war like sheep being taken to the slaughterhouse.
27. The Zionists are trying to use a noble religion, Judaism, in order to brainwash, to inculcate, to indoctrinate every Jew in the world with the idea that he should feel himself apart. He may be in the happy position of being a Mendelssohn or an Offenbach, but all Jews should not be made to feel superior.
At one time they tried to influence Einstein in Princeton. I knew him when he was in Princeton.
I am not going to quote what he said when I was in Princeton—not as a student, by the way; I lectured there for one year. I know what went on.
28. All this is finished. For the sake of the Jews, and for your own sakes, stop it. You cannot always depend on those Powers that are helping you. Indeed, some of them do not really wield any world power.
29. How fortunate are the British that they ceded power to the Americans and to the Russians. No wonder our Chinese colleagues call the Russians and the Americans super-Powers. The British and the French and the Italians are still Powers to contend with. But the British are fortunate to have extricated themselves from the empire, because the empire benefited only a small circle of people, and the blood of the British was shed to kill and get killed for the benefit of relatively few British.
30. And you Americans—the host country—it is only 200 years since you fought a war with the British; you are great to be sending a delegation to get the Magna Carta. You say, "Well, you see, we forgot all about that war of liberation." Get the Magna Carta, but do not get stuck on that Magna Carta. The Magna Carta is only a few centuries old. We had prophets in our area that were greater than the Magna Carta, but I am not going to say that we are greater than you—no, because ethics, morality and religion should teach people modesty, and not make one supercilious.
31. Therefore, how is it that these Zionists still are making so much hubbub in the world? Very simple: as I said, minorities are usually aggressive, and the Zionists have been a minority for a long, long time. So they knew where they could use power for own benefit: nowadays, in the mass media-and I am not going to say in what countries; you know the countries where they control the mass media, or a good part of the mass media.
32. Then they submersed themselves in banking and they began to pay for the campaigns of politicians: There is a country where 75 senators out of 100 toe the line and say Zionism is necessary. Necessary for what? To victimize the indigenous people of Palestine? And what business, as I have asked time and again, did Balfour's England and Truman's America have to interfere in our part of the world, which is 3,000 miles away from England and 6,000 or 7,000 miles away from the United States? You had your Monroe Doctrine, Governor Scranton. What made you get entangled? Oh, I know: Teddy Roosevelt. I used to tell Mrs. Roosevelt, his niece: "Your uncle got us into trouble". Why? He took Cuba and the Philippines and he started to throw his chest out. Why? Because you became wealthy. But you can become wealthy and still be aristocrats in spirit. And many of you are.
33. What have we Arabs done? Did we come across the Atlantic and dictate to you or to the British about partitioning Palestine? I was present at Lake Success. What have we done to you that you should support the Zionists? We do not want you to be against the Jews; we would like to be with the Jews ourselves if they behaved as a people really imbued with religious sentiments that would like to live in Palestine. But for them to have a flag and to lord it over us? What for? To preserve the balance of power because the Russians, might take the Middle East? Let them come; they with be in trouble if they do come, I can assure them of that. But they are very sagacious, those Russians, and were even before they had communism. Do you know what they did? They made you fight a war in Korea and in Vietnam, and they looked on. They watched the whole thing—not because they are communists, but because they still predicate their policies on the old national interests of States.
34. We should have a new approach in the world, lest the human species become extinct. What business have you to interfere in one another's spheres or influence? You consider us in the Middle East—I am addressing our American friends—as a sphere of influence: economic, we hope, not political unless your CIA [Central Intelligence Agency] is doing something covertly which we do not know about. I hope not. I will take issue with my good friend Mr. Bush if it is.
35. Why interfere? Why give billions to people who are irking us, the Arab and Moslem countries from Morocco to the Gulf to the confines of China? What have we done to you? "Ah, those poor Jews suffered at the hands of Hitler. Hitler was a European. Nobody condones what Hitler did. But why should we pay the price? And when will you stop?
36. Now, of course, I do not expect any American in this year—it is an election year—to do anything that will irk the Zionists, because the mass media are with them, they handle the campaign money, and there are 40 charitable Zionist organizations that ask some of the Congressmen to make "speeches, and they give cash. How do I know? Some of the people who got the cash told me. I am not inventing this. Mammon, Mammon, for Heaven's sake. And it is in the Bible: No man can serve two masters. ... Ye cannot serve God and Mammon."
37. For some reason, I have always liked the Jews—our Jews—because they are sentimental; they are emotional. But those Zionists are calculating Eastern European Jews. I am not saying this in a nefarious sense. They are disciplined. And, as Mr. Herzog mentioned, we in the Arab world fight lone another; of course we do. The Arabs fight one another, just as the Europeans sometimes fight one another. There is nothing strange about fighting one another. It is wrong and we should not do it, but we not perfect. This does not mean we should accede to what the Zionists want.
38. So those Zionists have convinced themselves that they have a case, and the Europeans and the Americans, and more so the Western Powers, believe that the Zionists have a case and a grievance because at one time they had been persecuted. But by dint of what logic should we be made to pay for the excesses of a Hitler or of those who persecuted the Jews before Hitler in the Middle Ages? By dint of what logic?
39. Zionism is a colonial movement of European origin and has nothing Semitic about it. And I will argue this point with any of you. It is a colonial movement. At a time when we have removed the yoke of colonialism in Africa and in Asia, here comes a new form of colonialism. They are misguided; I feel sorry for them. The Zionists have repeated this to the Jews and to themselves. They remind me—in order to relieve the tension—of Johah in a folklore story of our region. Johah was a jokester; he was always happy. One day he saw people running in one direction. He did not know why they were running; there were two or three, chasing one another maybe—I do not know why. So somebody asked: "Why are those People running?" And he said: "Don't you know? There is a wedding at the end of the street, and there is an open banquet for all who come." So people ran; and then they were telling each other: "There is a banquet." Finally, Johah said: "Good Lord, maybe there is a banquet." And he began to run in the same direction.
40. The Zionists are like Johah, but it is not ludicrous; it is a tragedy. Their leaders began to inculcate the Jews everywhere with the idea: you are the chosen people of God; God gave you Palestine; we are an exclusive race. They have repeated it so much that finally they end up believing it, like Johah who believed that there was a wedding at the end of the street even though he had invented the whole thing. Now, please—I address a few words to the Zionists across the table—knock some sense into your heads before you continue to indoctrinate your innocent coreligionists with something that may get them into trouble.
41. This morning [1895th meeting] Mr. Herzog dismissed all the arguments of my colleagues from the Arab world. How did he put it? This is vicious diatribe, this is rhetoric, he said. Those who live in glass houses—I am paraphrasing—should not throw stones at others. You cannot solve problems by resorting to such hackneyed similes and metaphors.
42. I can go on and on and tell you more about this movement of which I have been seized, as I have said, since 1922. But you are intelligent and the Zionists are intelligent, although, as I have said, they have indoctrinated themselves. It is high time that they faced the facts and did not go by those refutable arguments.
43. And what does the press here say once in a while? "Oh, they have nuclear weapons now." Nuclear weapons, so what? And some of those countries that belong to the West say: "Should there be another embargo, we will show those Arabs." And, my dear Governor Scranton, do you know how some of them call us here? "Ayrabs", not Arabs. We are "Ayrabs". They do not know how to pronounce our name. Where were you Americans, British and Europeans when we had three empires and we got drunk with power and fell—and rightly so. You were barbarians. Now you call us "Ayrabs". We want your prosperity. If you are prosperous, we will be prosperous. We do not want to hurt anybody. "May the material blessing we have not be turned into a curse", is what we pray.
44. But let me tell you, the Arabs have throughout history been through many vissicitudes for 6,000 years, and in Arabia many of us still live in tents. Come and burn our oil. We will burn it if you do not. We will go back to the tents and live happily there without your gadgets and electronics. Use your electronics to communicate, if you can, with God Almighty to verify the misconceptions of those Zionists, not to lord it over us.
45. I see that you, my friend from Panama, are pleased. You will get the Canal free; it will be international waters soon. And Jerusalem and Palestine will also become a land—I hope in my lifetime, before I make my exit from this world—for Jew and Gentile, as well as for those who do not believe. Perchance if they go there and hear how people revere the land, whether Jew or Gentile, they will be touched by the devoutness and piety of the people but not by the use of Judaism as a motivation for political and economic ends.
46. And now, for the last time this afternoon—because others have to speak—I will say: Live there, if you want to do so in peace. The core of the question is not Egypt or Jordan or Syria, but the Palestinian people. They will fight until doomsday to regain their land, and any Arab or Moslem nation which does not help them will be considered a traitor by the people. Do the Zionists not have a lesson? See what has happened? Who would have thought that two world wars would liberate the African and Asian peoples from foreign yoke?
47. One last word before it is too late. Those Americans may get tired of you; the people will get tired. They will get tired of the Arabs too, but we can afford it—120 million—you cannot afford it. We like you as Jews and we warn you as Zionists to beware lest the invisible Creator of the world chastise you.
48. Mr. SCRANTON (United States of America): First of all, may I say to you, Mr. President, that I am very grateful personally for your kind comments at the opening of this hearing and likewise for your extraordinarily calm and measured leadership in this question, which, of all those facing us, is among the most passionate.
49. Likewise, I am equally grateful to all representatives who have been kind enough to give me the kind of welcome that is very warming to the heart. I hope that I can live up to some of the very kind things that have been said.
50. On purpose I have been here personally for each and every representative who has spoken and I plan to be here, if I possibly can, for all the other speakers on this very difficult problem—with one exception. To him I have already personally apologized and should like to do so publicly. Yesterday, in the middle of the comments of the representative of Egypt, I had to get up and leave because I was scheduled to be at a small luncheon for the Ambassador from Japan, whom we are very sorry to have leave the Council. But I did read what he had to say, and I was here for his reply this morning.
51. Now I too would like to indulge, for just a couple of minutes, in some personal comments from notes, very well aware that it is impossible for a barbarian to equal the gentleman from Saudi Arabia, with his inimitable wit and remarkable eloquence and, most important of all and truly and seriously, his very extraordinary knowledge of history. But nevertheless I shall try, because I want to make it meaningful and personal. Just a few comments about what has happened here so far in these deliberations.
52. First of all, I still am quite concerned, and say so openly, at the decision that was taken concerning procedure, not—and I want this thoroughly under-stood—because the United States Government or far as I can make out, any other Government here" did not want the Palestine Liberation Organization to be heard. Quite the contrary; we did, and we welcome the hearing. But I am concerned personally because I think that unless a major international body of deliberation abides by rules it writes for itself we can in the future regret it, and I can see on the horizon the number of times that could be forthcoming when forgetting rules and simply doing what the majority wants—whatever the majority may be—could later come back to haunt that majority. I think it is very important for us to have rules of procedure and to abide by them.
53. Secondly, with regard to the event which is purported to have initiated the recent difficulties the West Bank and Jerusalem, there were many references made by other speakers about media reports, some of them based on hear-say, on what other persons had said. This is natural and understandable, but it does lead us away from what is extremely important, and that is the facts—important in any kind of deliberation but particularly in a deliberation which has to do with such a very emotional part of the world, more so, I suspect, than anywhere in the world, because of its long and enduring varied cultures, the remarkable differences and extraordinary religions, and the other emotions that are there in such depth.
54. Events have taken place over the last several years which have deeply hurt us all: terrorist raids and equally senseless retaliations and reprisals. These and other events have meant human killing, and a good deal of it, and last but by no means least, very intense and very wide-spread human suffering. It seems to me that it is our responsibility in this international body not to add fuel to those fires as they individually or collectively arise, but to do everything we can to lessen tensions, to deal with facts, and to help in every way possible to bring peace there and everywhere else in the world.
55. As several of you have said, and said correctly, in my judgement, the big issue here is not each of the events to which I have referred, as deplorable as they may be. The big issue is the question of the occupied territories and the people that are there vis-a-vis Israel's right to be and to be secure—to which, as everyone knows, we Americans are strongly and deeply dedicated.
56. Yesterday, when I left this room, I went to that small luncheon and sat next to a very lovely woman, and we were discussing this very major issue, and she said to me, rather yearningly, "Can it ever be resolved?" That is clearly the major question here, and the one to which we should be devoting all our efforts. My answer to her was something quite simple and simple to say, it is very difficult to do.
57. And one last personal comment to you all. I really would greatly appreciate it, over the next few weeks and months that I am here, if any one of you and all of you would be kind enough to talk with me in the corridors or at the social functions or any-where else so that I can get as deep and penetrating an understanding as possible of what each of you and your Governments are thinking and wanting about his, the most critical problem, I think, that besets world.
And now for some written comments.
At the outset it is especially noteworthy, I think, that Israel has joined in our deliberations, and my Government warmly welcomes Israel's decision to do so. For the events that have brought us together today are a corollary and a consequence of the tragic dispute that has occupied the Council with such regularity over the years. As such, they raise two categories of issues that we must have in mind if we are to deal with them constructively.
60. First is the question of bringing to an early end the situation that gives rise to these disturbances and to other forms of violence in the Middle East. So long as the situation persists, we can expect continuing tension and occasional violence, however much we might and must regret it. It is not necessary for me to be labour this point; surely it is evident to all of us.
61. The occupation of territories in the 1967 war has always been seen by the world community to be an abnormal state of affairs that would be brought to an end as part of a peace settlement. In resolution 242 (1967), adopted shortly after the end of the 1967 war that led to the occupation, the Council established the basic bargain that would constitute a settlement. This bargain was withdrawal of Israeli forces in return for termination of all claims or states of belligerency and respect for and acknowledgement of the sovereignty, the territorial integrity and the political independence of all States in the area and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force.
62. My Government has committed itself to do all it can to bring about this settlement—in the words of resolution 338 (1973), to implement resolution 242 (1967) in all its parts and to further negotiations between the parties concerned under appropriate auspices aimed at establishing a just and durable peace in the Middle East, which is what we are here for. We are engaged at this moment in an effort to regain momentum, as all members of the Council know, in the negotiating process that has brought some unusual progress and that must bring more.
63. The second focus of our consideration must be the conduct of the occupation itself. Together with the request for this meeting, the letter of complaint circulated by the representatives of the Libyan Arab Republic and of Pakistan [S/12017] identifies three issues the administration of the Holy Places, the situation in Jerusalem, and Israeli actions in regard to the civilian population of the occupied territories, including the Israeli settlements in the occupied territories.
64. The position of the United States on these issues is clear and of long standing. I propose to review it today once more to point out that there are proper principles and procedures under international law and practice which when applied and maintained will contribute to civil order and, over the longer, run, will facilitate a just and lasting peace.
65. First, there is the matter of the Holy Places and practice of religion in the occupied areas. The deep religious attachment of Moslems, Jews and Christians to the Holy Places of Jerusalem has added a uniquely volatile element to the tensions that inhere in an occupation situation. The area known to Moslems as Al-Haram Al-Sharif and to Jews as the Temple Mount is of particular sensitivity. Israel's punctilious administration of the Holy Places in Jerusalem has, in our judgement, greatly minimized the tensions. To my Government the standard to be followed in administering the Holy Places is contained in article 27 of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War.1 All parties to the Arab-Israel conflict are signatories of the Convention. Article 27 prescribes, inter alia:
"Protected persons are entitled, in all circumstances, to respect for their persons, their honour, their family rights, their religious convictions and practices, and their manners and customs."
With regard to the immediate problem before us—a ruling by a lower Israeli court which would have the effect of altering the status of Al-Haram—it is our view that Israel's responsibilities under article 27 to preserve religious practices as they were at the time the occupation began cannot be changed by the ruling of an Israeli court. We are deeply gratified that the Supreme Court of Israel has upheld the Israeli Government's position.
66. The status of the Holy Places is, of course, only one facet, however important—and it is very important—of the problem of the status of Jerusalem itself. The United States position on the status of Jerusalem has been stated here on numerous occasions since the Arab portion of that city was occupied by Israel in 1967. Ambassador Yost said in 1969:
"The part of Jerusalem that came under the control of Israel in the June 1967 war, like other areas occupied by Israel, is occupied territory and hence subject to the provisions of international law governing the rights and obligations of an occupying Power." [1483rd meeting, para. 97.]
Ambassador Goldberg said in 1968 to the Council:
"The United States does not accept or recognize unilateral actions by any States in the area as altering the status of Jerusalem." [1424th meeting, para. 45.]
67. I emphasize, as did Mr. Goldberg, that as far as the United States is concerned, such unilateral measures, including expropriation of land or other administrative action taken by the Government of Israel, cannot be considered other than interim and provisional and cannot affect the present international status nor prejudge the final and permanent status of Jerusalem. The United States position could not be clearer. Since 1967 we have restated here, in other forums and to the Government of Israel that the future of Jerusalem will be determined only through the instruments and processes of negotiation, agreement and accommodation. Unilateral attempts to predetermine that future have no standing.
68. Next I turn to the question of Israeli settlements in the occupied territories. Again, my Government believes that international law sets the appropriate standards. An occupier must maintain the occupied areas as intact and unaltered as possible, without interfering with the customary life of the area, and any changes must be necessitated by the immediate needs of the occupation and be consistent with international law. The fourth Geneva Convention speaks directly to the issue of population transfer in article 49: The occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies. Clearly, then, substantial resettlement of the Israeli civilian population in occupied territories, including East Jerusalem, is illegal under the Convention and cannot be considered to have prejudged the outcome of future negotiations between the parties on the location of the borders of States of the Middle East. Indeed, the presence of these settlements is seen by my Government as an obstacle to the success of the negotiations for a just and final peace between Israel and its neighbours. The real issues of peace and stability in the Middle East are very difficult indeed, and unilateral acts, such as civilian population transfers, have been taken which serve to inflame emotions on both sides.
69. I welcome the opportunity this meeting of the Council has provided to review the issues involved in the administration of the Holy Places, the status of Jerusalem and, in addition, the question of Israeli settlements in the occupied territories. Now, as for prospective action by the Council, my Government will apply three tests. First, do the facts and judgements on which the draft resolution is based correspond to the actual situation? Secondly, will the Council's action in practice advance the proper administration of the areas involved? Thirdly, and most important of all, will the Council's action help or hinder the peaceful settlement process, the framework for which was established by resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973)?
70. Mr. DACTU (Romania) (interpretation from French): Before taking up the problem now under consideration by the Council, I too should like to carry out a pleasant duty and extend a friendly greeting to the new Ambassador of the United States, Mr. William Scranton. I should like to associate myself with you Mr. President, and with my colleagues who have spoken before me in wishing Mr. Scranton a very cordial welcome on behalf of the Romanian delegation, as well as our wishes for success. I should like to tell him that it will always be a pleasure for us to develop the most earnest and constructive co-operation, both personally and officially, in our joint activities in the active, patient and tenacious search for positive solutions to the important problems which come before the Council, as he very rightly said a few minutes ago, so as to lessen tensions and to help to bring peace everywhere.
71. Having studied the letter of 19 March to the Council President from the representatives of the Libyan Arab Republic and Pakistan, and after having listened to their statements as well as to those made by the representative of the Palestine Liberation Organization and the representative of Israel, the Romanian delegation would like to make the following statement.
72. The events in Jerusalem and in other towns of the West Bank are the outcome of the occupation of Arab territories by Israel in 1967. The situation created in the Arab territories occupied by Israel is not the internal affair of Israel, but a question which concerns the international community as a whole, since these are territories occupied as a result of an international armed conflict. In conformity with international law, these territories are not part of the State of Israel. That is why the Romanian delegation believes that the present debate in the Security Council is fully warranted. The Organization has repeatedly affirmed the principle that the territory of a State cannot be subjected to military occupation resulting from the use of force, nor can it be the object of acquisition by another State as a consequence of recourse to the threat or use of force.
73. Romania considers that the occupation of foreign territories is in complete contravention of the principles contained in the Charter of the United Nations and the provisions of other basic documents of the world Organization. Moreover, and we have proof of, this, the occupation of foreign territories engenders states of tension, entails the danger of new conflicts, and constitutes a permanent source of the violation of human rights. It is for these reasons that Romania has always emphasized the need to evacuate occupied Arab territories and to find a just solution to the problem of the Palestinian people by enabling it to make its own decisions, to establish an independent State and to enjoy all the rights which flow from that condition.
"74. The events which have recently taken place in Jerusalem and in other parts of the occupied Arab territories show that with the passage of time the situation becomes more complicated and more serious. The question now being considered by the Council is not new. If previous resolutions of the Council on the subject had been implemented, if the Israeli authorities had respected the recommendations adopted unanimously by the United Nations, we should not have had to meet once again today.
75. Romania disapproves of the actions and the measures aimed at changing the status of the occupied territories, since it believes that neither Israel nor anybody else has the right to change by force the situation in those territories. It is necessary for the Israeli authorities to respect the resolutions of the United Nations which state that it is inadmissible to change the demographic characteristics of the city of Jerusalem. My country is strongly in favour of the observance and implementation of resolutions concerning the respect of human rights in the occupied Arab territories. At the same time, we are aware that a total solution to the situation we are now debating can be attained only after a political settlement of all the problems facing this region is reached, namely, the withdrawal by Israel from territories occupied in 1967 and the solution of the problem of the Palestinian people. In that connexion, I should like to recall the position of my country, which considers that in order to arrive at a political settlement of the conflict in the Middle East it is necessary for Israel to withdraw its troops from all the territories occupied during the 1967 war, to recognize the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, including the right to establish its own independent State, and to achieve a just and durable peace which will ensure the existence, the territorial integrity and the right to free and independent development for all the States of the region, including the Palestinian State to be created and the State of Israel.
76. We consider that the Palestinian people is an essential party to the Middle East conflict and that without the participation of the Palestine Liberation Organization it will not be possible to find a lasting solution. That is why we welcome the presence of its representative in this Council debate. To disregard the interests and the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people would only perpetuate and worsen the conflict, with unforeseeable consequences for the peace and security of the region and of the whole world.
77. Romania is convinced of the need to intensify even more the efforts made within the context of the United Nations and substantially to increase the contribution of the Organization and of the Security Council to the solution of the conflict in the Middle East. As we affirmed in the debate which took place in this chamber in January of this year, the Secretary-General, Mr. Kurt Waldheim, should be encouraged to renew his efforts towards peace in the Middle East [1879th meeting].
78. The Romanian delegation believes that the Council should, after the present debate, request the Israeli authorities to put an end to demographic and other changes in the. occupied territories and to cease acts of repression and all other measures of persecution against the Palestinian population.
79. In conclusion, I should like to say that Romania supports the proposals aimed at creating and maintaining the proper conditions to allow for the continuation of diplomatic efforts to establish a just and lasting peace in the Middle East. One of the essential goals of these efforts is in fact that of enabling the Palestinian people to exercise its legitimate national rights so that it too may live a free and independent life.
80. The PRESIDENT (interpretation from French): The representative of Yugoslavia has asked to speak in exercise of the right of reply. I invite him to take a place at the Council table and to make his statement.
81. Mr. PETRIC (Yugoslavia): In exercising my right of reply, I should like simply to state the following. It is very reassuring that the United Nations, the overwhelming majority of its Members and the international community as a whole have so far not permitted Israel to take refuge in labelling as anti-Semitic the just condemnation of its aggression, occupation, annexation and State terrorism and the insistent and ever-growing demand for its withdrawal from occupied Arab territories and for the implementation of the inalienable Palestinian rights. There is no way in which the defence of the Charter and the condemnation of its wholesale violation and of the non-implementation of all relevant United Nations resolutions can be simply deflected by the transparent device of labelling them anti-Semitic.
82. There is no need for the representatives of Yugoslavia to answer accusations about anti-Semitism. The Yugoslav people, who during their national war of liberation suffered the terrible loss of 1,700,000 dead, were together with the Jewish people, many of whom fought side by side with the other Yugoslavs.
83. I was not surprised to note the repetition of attacks on my country taken from certain mass media here which have been directed against non-aligned Yugoslavia and some other non-aligned countries, particularly in recent months. A very objective television broadcast shown recently in New York about Andrija Artukovic—a leading Nazi quisling condemned as a war criminal, who as a minister of police of the fascist Ustachi organizations was directly responsible for the murder of tens of thousands of Jews and hundreds of thousands of other Yugoslavs during the Nazi occupation of Yugoslavia in the Second World War and who lives undisturbed on the Pacific Coast was not even noted.
84. It is also unfortunate that nothing is ever said about the virtual collusion in the activities of the same quisling fascist emigre circles and the Jewish Defence League against my country and some others. This activity took the form of a recent bombing of the building of the Yugoslav Mission to the United Nations and other forms of harassment of the Yugoslav representatives here. A glaring example of such harassment is also provided by the leaflet sent to my Mission by the Jewish Defence League, in which it said, inter alia, "We applaud all who harass your representatives, diplomats, women and children. We applaud all who smash your windows, deface your buildings, damage your property and interfere in your normal routines."
The leaflet—as at least some of you know—ends with the following address: "Jewish Defence League International Office, Jerusalem, Israel". I have it here.
85. We will not be lectured to about democracy and human rights by those who for so many years, to the revulsion of the whole civilized world—and by "civilized" we mean the really civilized world, the one that respects the Charter of the United Nations and was and is against any aggression—have been perpetrating aggressions, illegal occupation, acts of State terrorism and wholesale denial of fundamental national and human rights.
86. As we have already stated in the Council, there is no democratic aggression, there is no democratic suppression of the people's rights through illegal occupation, there are no democratic bombs that rain down from State planes on civilians, children and women. An aggression, an occupation, a terrorist act does not become more acceptable just because somebody claims that it was committed by a so-called democratic country, and least of all when the perpetrator says this. Yugoslavia has always condemned any aggression, any oppression of peoples in whatever disguise it came and by whatever argument it was justified. In a word, and to conclude, nothing, no polemical tricks, no attempts to lead us astray, no taking refuge in irrelevant and extraneous matter can or should deflect the Council, the United Nations and the world community from insisting on a just and lasting solution for the Middle East crisis, whose persistence brought us four tragic wars and which, if not effectively dealt with now, will lead us into the fifth, with possible catastrophic consequences.
87. We are not a debating society here to score points and excel in debating skills. We are here to search for and find peace in the Middle East. There are two basic requirements for that—the immediate withdrawal of Israel from all the Arab territories occupied since 5 June 1967 and the implementation of the inalienable national rights of the Palestinian people. Israel must cease to obstruct the achievement of the two above essential requirements for the only solution of the Middle East crisis that would guarantee the secure and peaceful existence of every country people in the region, including that of Israel.
88. The PRESIDENT (interpretation from French): I call on the representative of the Soviet Union who has asked to speak in exercise of his right of reply.
89. Mr. OVINNIKOV (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) (interpretation from Russian): I am glad that Ambassador Herzog has appeared here, although possibly, he was preparing a new anti-Soviet tirade. He has had recourse to what is a customary tactic for Israeli representatives. He spoke about anything except the question which is on the agenda. Yesterday [1894th meeting] he recalled Alice in Wonderland in an attempt to draw us into a discussion of problem behind the looking-glass, although they can hardly by said to be relevant. Today [1895th meeting] he had recourse to attempts to intervene in the internal affairs of other countries and insulted all those countries which criticized the position of Israel. Incidentally, by way of a factual amendment, I should like to point out that there was one delegation—the Chinese delegation—to which the Israeli delegation did not reply. But that is just by way of apiece of factual information.
90. Now, with regard to the Soviet Union, the representative of Israel expressed the hope that the Soviet Union would remain outside the situation in the Middle East. Well, that is certainly not an original or novel thought. I could say that the strategic device of Israel is to isolate the Arab countries, victims of Israeli aggression, from their friends, the Soviet Union and other socialist countries, in an attempt to impose humiliating Israeli conditions on the victims of Israeli aggression.
91. If there are people who are inclined to heed the advice of Israel about whom they should choose as friends, that is their business. The Soviet Union imposes friends on no one, but the fact remains that the Soviet Union's just and principled position with regard to the Middle East settlement is the major obstacle to the annexationist plans of Israel, and it is precisely for this reason that the Israeli representative is so furious in his attempts to slander the Soviet Union.
92. My last point is that the substance of the statement of Ambassador Herzog amounted to an attempt to demonstrate that he alone is right and all the others are wrong. He did not notice how in this way he found himself in the position of a lieutenant in the anecdote who was marching along with his regiment and thought that he was the only one was marching in step and that the rest of the regiment was out of step. I suspected that in Israel there were ignorant lieutenants, but, General Herzog, I did not know that in Israel there were illiterate generals; I discovered that today.
1/ United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 75, p. 287.