Question of Palestine home
4 October 1985
PROVISIONAL VERBATIM RECORD OF THE TWO THOUSAND
SIX HUNDRED AND FIFTEENTH MEETING
Held at Headquarters, New York,
on Friday, 4 October 1985, at 3.30 p.m.
Mr. WALTERS (United States of America)
Australia Mr. WALKED
Burkina Faso Mr. BACILLI
China Mr. HANG Jiahua
Denmark Mr. BIERRING
Egypt Mr. KHALIL
France Mr. de KEMOULARIA
India Mr. VERMA
Madagascar Mr. RABETAFIKA
Peru Mr. ALZAMORA
Thailand Mr. KASEMSARN
Trinidad and Tobago Mr. ALLEYNE
Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic Mr. OUDOVENKO
Union of Soviet Socialist Republics Mr. TROYANOVSKY
United Kingdom of Great Britain and
Northern Ireland Mr. Sir John THOMSON
This record contains the original text of speeches delivered in English and interpretations of speeches in the other languages. The final text will be printed in the official
Records of the Security Council
Corrections should be submitted to original speeches only. They should be sent under the signature of a member of the delegation concerned,
within one week
, to the chief Official Records Editing Section, Department of Conference Services, from DC2-750, 2 United Nations Plaza, and incorporated in a copy of the record.
The meeting was called to order at 4.05 p.m
ADOPTION OF THE AGENDA
The agenda was adopted
LETTER DATED 1 OCTOBER 1985 FROM THE PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF TUNISIA TO THE UNITED NATIONS ADDRESSED TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE SECURITY COUNCIL (S/17509)
: In accordance with decisions taken at previous meetings on this item, I invite the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Tunisia to take a place at the Council table; I invite the representative of Israel to take a place at the Council table; I invite the representative of the Palestine Liberation Organization to take a place at the Council table; I invite the representatives of Afghanistan, Algeria, Bangladesh, Cuba, the German Democratic Republic, Greece, Indonesia, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Jordan, Kuwait, Lesotho, the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Malta, Mauritania, Morocco, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, the Syrian Arab Republic, Turkey, Yemen and Yugoslavia to take the places reserved for them at the side of the Council Chamber.
At the invitation of the President, Mr. Caid Essebsi (Tunisia) an
Mr. Netanyahu (Israel) took places at the Council table; Mr. Terzi (Palestine Liberation Organization) took a place at the Council table; Mr. Zarif (Afghanistan), Mr. Ibrahimi (Algeria), Mr. Wasiuddin (Bangladesh), Mr. Malmierca Peoli (Cuba), Mr. Ott (German Democratic Republic), Mr. Dountas (Greece), Mr. Kusunaatmadja (Indonesia), Mr. Rajaie-Khorassani (Islamic Republic of
Iran), Mr. Masri (Jordan), Mr. Abulhasan (Kuwait), Mr. Makhele (Lesotho),
Mr. Treiki (Libyan Arab Jamahiriya), Mr. Gauci (Malta), Mr. Ould Boye (Mauritania)
Mr. Filali (Morocco), Mr. Chamorro Mora (Nicaragua), Mr. Ononaiye (Nigeria),
Mr. Yaqub Khan (Pakistan), Mr. Shihabi (Saudi Arabia), Mr. Sarré (Senegal),
Mr. El-Fattal (Syrian Arab Republic), Mr. Halefoglu (Turkey), Mr. Al-Eryani (Yemen
and Mr. Golob (Yugoslavia) took the places reserved for them at the side of the
: I should like to inform the members of the Council that I have received a letter from the representative of Viet Nam, in which he requests to be invited to participate in the discussion of the item on the Council's agenda. In conformity with the usual practice, I propose, with the consent of the Council, to invite that representative to participate in the discussion, without the right to vote, in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Charter and rule 37 of the Council's provisional rules of procedure.
There being no objection, it is so decided.
At the invitation of the President, Mr. Le Kim Chung (Viet Nam) took the place
reserved for him at the side of the Council Chamber
: The Security Council will now resume its consideration of the item on its agenda.
I should like to draw the attention of members of the Council to the following documents: S/17523, letter dated 2 October 1985 from the Chargé d'Affaires
of the Permanent Mission of the United Republic of Tanzania to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General; and S/17532, letter dated 3 October 1985 from the Permanent Representative of Brazil to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General.
Members of the Council also have before them photocopies of a letter dated 4 October 1985 from the Permanent Representative of Mongolia to the United Nations, transmitting, in Russian, the text of a statement by the Foreign Ministry of Mongolia. That communication will be issued as document S/17533 at 0600 hours tomorrow.
The first speaker is the representative of Nigeria, who wishes to make a statement in his capacity as Chairman of the Group of African States for October. I invite him to take a place at the Council table and to make his statement.
(Nigeria): On behalf of the African Group at the United Nations in New York, I wish to express heartfelt appreciation to you, Sir, and to the other members of the Security Council, for this opportunity to address the Council.
It is a matter of the utmost regret and serious concern to us that so soon after the historic meeting of the Security Council to commemorate the fortieth anniversary of our cherished Organization - a meeting at which Council members rededicated themselves to upholding the enduring principles and laudable tenets of the United Nations Charter - there should remain a disturbing cause for convening the Council. It is none the less worth noting that this meeting is a welcome testimony to the dedication to the preservation of peace and security and an expression of concern about an unnecessary and unjustified threat to peace and security.
The Security Council has been convened against the backdrop of a mindless attack launched by a State Member of our Organization against the territorial integrity and sovereignty of another Member State. A situation in which the State of Israel can decide to launch an aerial bombing attack and cause the destruction of the lives and property of people in another country, without regard to international opinion or the provisions of the Charter of our Organization, calls for serious reflection and appropriate action.
The Israeli air raid on Tunisia vividly demonstrates the impulsive readiness of the Government in Tel Aviv to resort to brutal force in pursuit of its goals, regardless of whether such a measure contradicts all known standards of behaviour for civilized States and is in conflict with the principles of the Charter of the United Nations.
The African Group at the United Nations vigorously condemns this barbaric and unjustified attack by Israel against the independent and sovereign State of Tunisia. We condemn without reservation the spurious attempt by the Government of Israel to justify this sordid attack and this violation of the principles of State sovereignty by insisting that the attack was targeted not at the Tunisians but at the headquarters of the Palestine Liberation Organization.
For a variety of reasons, the outrage committed by Israel against Tunisia must alarm the international community, whose security this Council has a duty to guarantee and uphold. The Israeli attack does not set a precedent in the Middle East: since 1948, when the State was established, Israel has unleashed a combination of violence, terror and naked force not only against the Palestinians but also against its Arab neighbours under the pretext that those States provided refuge to individuals and groups opposed to its existence. For several years the systematic annexations of Arab lands and the resettlement of Israelis in those lands have continued unabated in spite of international condemnation of such activities as is evident in several resolutions of the General Assembly and the Security Council.
In 1981, in a brazen violation of Iraqi sovereignty, Israel raided that country's nuclear reactor and pleaded that it had caused that havoc because it perceived the construction of the reactor as posing a threat to the Israeli nation. In 1982 it mounted an attack against Lebanon in an ostensible bid to secure its northern border and rid Lebanon of Palestinian freedom fighters. The rape finally succeeded in undermining Lebanon's sovereign rights and caused thousands of deaths and untold economic and social dislocation among the inhabitants of that country. There is no question that for far too long Israel has taken the international community for granted.
However, Israel seems to be taking an unduly longer time to realize that the application of force in whatever form can never guarantee it peace in that region. Rather, the use of force or the threat of its use only reinforces the general insecurity of all States in the region, including Israel.
The Israeli raid in Tunisia has, without doubt, further complicated the peace process in the Middle East and abysmally reversed the fruitful prospects just beginning to glimmer. By perpetrating this act of terror against a Member State of the Organization of African Unity and the United Nations, Israel has demonstrated the extent to which it will go to agrees upon the sanctity of independent and sovereign States.
We note with regret and disappointment that the Israeli Government has been able to persist in its defiance of world opinion and treat the decisions and resolutions of this Council and the General Assembly with utter disregard because of the unlimited political, diplomatic, economic and military support it receives from a member of this Council. Especially worthy of mention is the continuous supply of weapons of aggression that a founding Member of our Organization and a permanent member of this Council makes available to Israel on a scale far in excess of its security needs. The African Group is appalled at the open support given to the Israelis by President Reagan, support which, according to the
of 3 October 1985, surprised and pleased the Israelis. Through this open support the United States Government has demonstrated unmitigated though predictable prejudice in support of Israel's unjustified behaviour without compassion and feelings for the innocent lives lost in the course of the air attack.
The perception of the African Group as well as of the majority of other States is that the Palestinian question stands at the core of the problem of the Middle East and that until the problem of the restoration of the inalienable rights of the oppressed people of Palestine is solved genuine peace and stability will not be restored in that region.
On behalf of the African Group, we convey sincere condolences to the Government and the people of Tunisia, who have placed their country at risk in order to discharge the lofty obligation to uphold the cause of freedom and provide a haven for all persecuted people. We commend their indomitable courage. We also salute the courage of the Palestinian people and assure them of our continued support in their legitimate struggle.
We call upon the international community not only to denounce the intransigence and atrocities of Israel and the complicity of its backers but to recognize fully those explosive elements which greatly jeopardize the cause of international peace in the Middle East and take appropriate and speedy measures to deal with them. We demand that the proposal endorsed in General Assembly resolution 38/58 C of 13 December 1984, which requests the holding of an international peace conference on the Middle East, be implemented without further delay. We believe that such an international conference would greatly assist the United Nations to achieve a comprehensive, just and lasting solution to the Middle East problem.
: I thank the representative of Nigeria for the kind words he addressed to the Council.
The next speaker is the representative of the German Democratic Republic. I invite him to take a place at the Council table and to make his statement.
(German Democratic Republic): Permit me at the very outset, Sir, to congratulate you on your assumption of the presidency of the Security Council for the month of October. In doing so, my delegation expresses the hope that the questions to be dealt with by the Council under your presidency can be brought to a positive solution.
Our appreciation also goes to the President of this body for the month of September, the esteemed Ambassador of the United Kingdom, Sir John Thompson.
It was with indignation and repugnance that the German Democratic Republic has received the news of the criminal raid by the Israeli air force on the headquarters of the Palestine Liberation Organization in Tunis. The people and the Government of the German Democratic Republic most strongly condemn this serious act of aggression by Israel, directed not only against the Palestinian people but also against the sovereignty and territorial integrity of an Arab State, the Republic of Tunisia.
My delegation would like to express its condolences and sympathy to the Government of Tunisia and to the Palestine Liberation Organization and, through them, to the families of the Tunisian and Palestinian victims who were killed in the criminal Israeli raid.
As the Chairman of our regional group, Ambassador Oudovenko, rightly pointed out yesterday this new Israeli attack is another link in the chain of numerous acts of aggression and State terrorism and a flagrant disregard of all norms of international law and the principles of the United Nations Charter. Just when the overwhelming majority of the Member States of the United Nations has resolutedly condemned the Israeli practices in the occupied Arab and Palestinian territories, which are illegal under international law, the world is being confronted with a new monstrous crime committed by the Israeli rulers. All that at a time when, on the occasion of the United Nations fortieth anniversary, State representatives are reaffirming the principles of the United Nations Charter and pointing out the urgent need to do everything in order to preserve international peace and security and to settle international conflicts by peaceful means.
There can be no doubt as to who bears the responsibility for the tense situation in the Middle East and for the denial to the Palestinian people of its legitimate rights. It is the ruling Israeli circles and their imperialist backers who oppose a comprehensive, just and durable solution to the question of the Middle East and Palestine.
The acts of aggression and State terrorism committed by these forces against sovereign Member States of the United Nations and against the Palestinian people enjoy the sympathy and unqualified support of the main imperialist Power. Is it not characteristic that this criminal Israeli raid against Tunis - denounced immediately all over the world - should have found approval only in Washington?
What Israel and the imperialist forces have in mind is to revive the policy of separate deals, to delete the question of the Middle East and Palestine from the agenda and to perpetuate the illegal occupation of Arab territories.
Joint and resolute action by all peace forces must put an end to these plans and practices. Therefore, it is only natural that the non-aligned countries in their latest communiqué demanded that the Security Council impose sanctions against Israel.
Finally, I should like to read out the text of a message sent by the General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Socialist Unity Party and Chairman of the Council of State of the German Demoratic Republic, Erich Honecker, to the Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization, Yasser Arafat:
"With indignation and repugnance the German Democratic Republic has received the news of the latest brutal act of aggression committed by the Israeli rulers against the Palestine Liberation Organization. That assault, trampling underfoot all standards of international law, gives the lie to the pleasant-sounding averments of peace from Israel and the imperialist quarter who support it in the pursuit of its aggressive policies.
"Be assured, dear Comrade Arafat, that the German Democratic Republic stands in solidarity at the side of the Palestine Liberation Organization and of the entire Palestinian people.
"Accept my best wishes for the successful continuation of the just struggle of the Palestinian people under the leadership of its sole legitimate representative, the Palestine Liberation Organization."
: I thank the representative of the German Democratic Republic for his kind words addressed to me.
The next speaker is the representative of Yugoslavia. I invite him to take a place at the Council table and to make his statement.
(Yugoslavia): The international community has decided to use the fortieth General Assembly for a rededication to the principles and purposes of the United Nations Charter and to the policy of dialogue and negotiations.
The wanton bombing of Tunis by Israeli armed power is a heavy blow to these efforts and is an act of naked and arrogant aggression against the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of non-aligned Tunisia and a flagrant violation of the United Nations Charter.
The Security Council and the United Nations are now faced with a new example of State terrorism by Israel that is opening floodgates for the forces of lawlessness and disorder in international affairs and for the forces of domination.
Now is the time to stop and think. Where is the implicit or explicit nod of approval of this aggression by Israel going to take us?
Interpretations have been put forward that this attack was performed in self-defence. It should be stated, we believe, that the United Nations Charter cannot be interpreted depending on the moment and interests and whims of any Power. Such logic would lead to anarchy, since it would justify the use of force and inaugurate the return to the policy of "might is right" with all its consequences for the independence of all.
I should like to say again that any aggression is illegal and that no allowance can be made in this regard for any Power and no new set of rules can be introduced for any region.
The unprovoked bombing of Tunis, the capital of a non-aligned and peace-loving State, a country dedicated since the inception of its independence to the principles of peaceful coexistence, is a most glaring disclaimer that there are any positive changes in the policy of Israel.
Those who have sent the Israeli bombers flying on their death mission, far away from the border of their country, should remember that neither the Tunisian people nor the Palestinian people can be bombed into submission or forced to change their adherence to self-determination, independence and sovereignty. And, as a matter of fact, no people can be cowed into submission.
The Palestine Liberation Organization, the sole and legitimate representative of the Palestinian people, under the Chairmanship of Yasser Arafat, with their determination to win in their struggle for self-determination, for national independence and for the establishment of their own State, is indestructible.
Their struggle is just and they do enjoy our full support. The spokesman of the Federal Secretariat for Foreign Affairs of Yugoslavia has pointed out that this ruthless attack reflects the continuity of the policy of aggression, of occupation and of the notorious practice of terrorism to which Israel persistently resorts against the Arab countries and especially against the Palestinian people, in spite of the sharpest opposition from and condemnation by the international community.
The spokesman further said that the flagrant violation of the sovereignty of Tunisia was aimed against the security of countries in the region and world peace. At the same time it was, the spokesman said, calculated to thwart the efforts of the Arab countries and the wider international community in seeking a just and lasting solution to the Middle East crisis and the Palestinian question.
In this context the members of the Council may want to recall that the non-aligned and other countries of the Mediterranean region have of late been investing strenuous efforts in making the Mediterranean a region of peace and co-operation.
At their meeting here in New York a couple of days ago the Foreign Ministers of countries members of the Non-Aligned Movement strongly condemned Israel for its totally unjustified attack on Tunisia. They stated that the target of the attack was the premises of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in a vain attempt to destroy the heroic Palestinian resistance. They expressed deep distress at the heavy loss of life among Tunisian and Palestinian civilians and the damage to property, and they affirmed their sympathy, solidarity and support to the Government and people of Tunisia and to the PLO in the face of this aggression.
The Foreign Ministers renewed the call for the imposition of comprehensive mandatory sanctions against Israel under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter.
The United Nations - and in particular the Security Council - is duty bound to meet its responsibility, to act to bring about respect for the principles of the Charter and to see to it that the acts of aggression are met with adequate measures.
Only a week ago yesterday the Security Council held its commemorative meeting on the occasion of the fortieth anniversary of the United Nations. At that meeting the members of the Council pledged that the Security Council would become a more efficient body for the maintenance of international peace and security. We feel that against the background of that meeting the Security Council will not fail to act in order to prevent the repetition of an act such as the one we are discussing here today in the Council.
: I thank the representative of Yugoslavia for his kind words addressed to me.
The next speaker is the representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran. I invite him to take a place at the Council table and to make his statement.
(Islamic Republic of Iran): I begin my statement with verses from The Holy Koran which is the guideline for the Palestinians, and I hope it will remain so, for them and for all Moslems
the Zionist enemies:
"Leave is given to those who fight because they were wronged - surely God is able to help them...
"Who were expelled from their habitations without right, except that they say `Our Lord is God.' Had God not driven back the people, some by the means of others, there had been destroyed cloisters and churches, oratories and mosques wherein God's name is much mentioned. Assuredly God will help him who helps Him; surely God is All-strong, All-mighty." (
The Holy Koran, XXII:39-40
The present meeting of the Security Council is convened again to examine a Zionist attack, this time on Tunisia. This act of aggression has taken place precisely at a time when the United Nations is celebrating its fortieth anniversary. My sincere congratulations to the United Nations. The present debate as such gives evidence of how disgraceful the Zionist base's occupation of Palestine is, that it has made a mockery of the same international body that, nearly 38 years ago, forged an identity card for that illegitimate artificial entity.
Even if they had any sort of claim, the Zionist aggressors could have presented it to the international body instead of making a mockery of the entire body of international law. At least this could have been done to show a minimum respect for the fortieth anniversary of an Organization that forged the identity card for that illegitimate entity.
In the invasion of Lebanon the Zionist base always tried to find some silly justification in alleged sniper shots coming from the Palestinian camps in South Lebanon. But Tunisia is too far away to fit such an excuse. Someone reasonable should ask the lawless occupiers of Palestine why they bombard innocent civilians in Tunisia.
The answer, however, is quite clear: the Zionist base, thanks to the American strategic alliance, has attacked residential areas in Tunisia in order to destroy the lives of innocent Palestinian people and Tunisian people and to demonstrate that the international body which once offered an identity card for that illegitimate, lawless régime is still prepared to condone its crimes. It has attacked Tunisia to convince our Arab brothers that the United States is not a reliable friend, but only an age-old enemy in fancy dress.
It has attacked Tunisia further to convince our Tunisian brothers that they should never rely on United States friendship any more than a sheep can rely on the friendship of a wolf.
It has attacked Tunisia to show that the Palestinians are never immune - never - from the Zionist occupiers of Palestine, no matter how far they keep their distance. It has attacked Tunisia to give another lesson to those Palestinian leaders who have been deceiving themselves with humiliating talks concerning direct negotiations with the Zionist criminals occupying Palestine.
They have attacked Tunisia in order to convince King Hussein of Jordan - who the Camp David signatories have been using as a means of gaining acceptability for that treacherous accord and as an instrument for paving the way to betraying the cause of Palestine and providing recognition and safety for the lawless occupier of Palestine - that his negotiations cannot alter the aggressive policies of the Zionist base or, as the enemy spokesman said, the attack on Tunisia has no effect on the negotiations.
I wish our Arab brothers could learn a lesson from this attack, and from so many attacks like it. I wish they could learn a lesson from the occupation of Lebanon. I wish that they had been awakened to what the Zionists have been doing to them. I wish they could show a minimum of readiness for meeting the challenge of the liberation of Palestine. I wish they could make a distinction between their friends and their foes.
The fleet that has provided fuel to the Zionist planes has been running on Arab oil. The F-16s that have carried out the operation are the products of America, the friend of the Arab world. It is the same friend that is ready to help Arab countries if the situation in the Persian Gulf gets out of control - that is how they express it. It is the same friend that has openly, verbally and practically, expressed and actually demonstrated its unreserved support for the Zionist base.
It is really time to awaken to the fact that the Zionist occupiers of Palestine can never and must never be tolerated and that their American supporters must never be thought of as friends.
It is sad indeed that our Arab brothers are so proud of their Arab nationalism and almost forgetful of Islam, which binds them to hundreds of millions of Moslems all over the world. It is sad that they always rely on the enemy. It is sad that they remain irresponsibly aloof to their inevitable confrontation with the Zionist base. It is sad indeed that they are always proudly in the bosom of their enemies.
We must call on them again and again to remind them that "Verily God loves those who fight in his cause in battle array as if they are a solid armoured structure." (
The Holy Koran, LXI: 4
The road before the Moslems of the Middle East is clear. It is clear that concessionary, submissive approaches to the enemy are wrong and merely a stab in the back of the Moslem combatants.
As for the Security Council we, too, believe that the attempt made some members of the Council, as embodied in the present draft resolution, is helpful. We support it, but only we support it. We also know that this case, like many other cases, might be obstructed by a veto. Furthermore, the Security Council can never demonstrate any more sympathy with the victims of Zionist aggression than now. And such sympathetic, honest attempts - no matter how many and how sincere - will always remain abortive as a result of United States support for the aggressor.
The only reasonable avenue left to the Moslem world is to return to Islam and to abide by the Quranic dictum "Make ready for them whatever forces and strings of horses you can, to terrify the enemy of God and your enemy and others beside them that you know not; God knows them and whatever you expend in the way of Allah, shall be repaid you in full, you will not be wronged." (
The Holy Koran, VIII: 60
) Many members of the Security Council, and those among the audience as well, have already learned these Quranic verses because I have recited them on every occasion.
The Moslem world needs to establish its united Islamic front against global arrogance. Tunisia is a Moslem land, and aggression against it is aggression against the entire Moslem
The Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran, while supporting any draft resolution that supports the Palestinians and the Tunisian victims of this attack, is of the opinion that political action will remain impotent unless we make ready for the enemy "all the forces and strings of horses" and calls upon all Moslem nations, particularly those in the Arab world, to join in a united Islamic front.
That is the only remedy. We also advise those traitors who have been dreaming and murmuring recently of direct negotiations with the Zionist enemy to open their eyes and realize what they are doing before it is too late.
I thank the representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran for his kind words addressed to the Council.
: The next speaker is the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Indonesia, Mr. Mochtar Kusumaatmadja. I welcome him and invite him to take a place at the Council table and to make his statement.
Mr. KUSUMAATMADJA (Indonesia)
: I should like to extend my warm congratulations to you, Sir, upon your assumption of the presidency of the Security Council for the month of October. I am confident that with your rich experience and your diplomatic skills you will be able to guide the proceedings of the Council in a constructive manner.
I should also like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to Sir John Thomson, the Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom, for his able
leadership during his term as President of the Council for September.
This urgent meeting of the Security Council has been convened to deal with yet another wanton act of aggression by Israel against the territory of a Member State. Indonesia views with utmost gravity the Israeli air attack directed at Hamman-Plage on the outskirts of the capital city of Tunisia, resulting in the deaths of more than 60 innocent civilians, the wounding of nearly 100 and extensive destruction of the area. My delegation expresses its sympathy and solidarity to the Government and people of Tunisia who have been victimized by that cowardly act.
Clearly, the bombing constitutes yet another futile attempt in Israel's unrelenting efforts to destroy the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), the sole and legitimate representative of the Palestinian people. This crime can only be characterized as State-sponsored terrorism, the barbarity of which cannot be justified under any circumstances. Indeed, even if we were to entertain Israel'slame justifications, the magnitude of its action is wholly disproportionate to any so-called provocation.
The fact of the matter is that in carrying out that dastardly act and then immediately taking responsibility for it, without any expression of remorse and regret over the death of so many innocent people, Israel again demonstrated its utter disregard for the most basic rights of others, particularly the right to life. Moreover, the assault on the PLO headquarters must be viewed in the context of its avowed war of annihilation against the Palestinians, whether in Lebanon or in the territory of its other neighbours, in the occupied territories or, this time, in a country that is 1,500 miles from its border. The potential ramifications of this unprecedented action must be clear to us all, for Palestinians are today dispersed throughout the world in numerous Arab and non-Arab countries. The broader question is, therefore, whether the international community is prepared to countenance a policy of aggression against any State where Palestinians may reside.
Neither the circumstances nor the details are in dispute. Nor are the norms of international law and civilized behaviour, which have been blatantly violated, in question. Clearly, Israel has again flouted at will the most fundamental tenets of the Charter - namely respect for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of States, the non-use of force, non-intervention and non-interference. We are therefore astonished to note that some quarters appear to be reluctant to condemn what is undeniably a clear case of lawless behaviour.
On its part, the Indonesian Government condemns the Israeli attack and expresses total solidarity with the Government of Tunisia in its demands for reparations and for concrete guarantees that Israel will desist from the perpetration or the threat of such acts.
The Tunisian tragedy is but one more example of Israel's perverted sense of immunity from international accountability. In this regard, my delegation cannot but note that such an attitude is inherently related to the Council's inability adequately to exercise its authority in enforcing its decisions in the past. For Israel seems to be convinced that it will always be shielded from any Council sanction by its friends and protectors.
At this critical stage it is the solemn duty of the Council to make an adequate answer to Israel's challenge to the United Nations Charter, by responding with appropriate measures and actions.
It appears clear that Israel's resort to force is also designed to thwart any efforts to reach a just and lasting peace in the Middle East. My delegation believes that that was a basic consideration in its decision to commit aggression against Tunisia, because every time the United Nations has sought to embark on a fresh initiative to establish a structure for comprehensive negotiations Israel has consistently frustrated those efforts through stepped-up repression of the Palestinian Arabs and aggression against its neighbours.
Indeed, the search for a lasting solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict has become locked into a most depressing pattern of moving from one crisis to the next, without our ever being able to move any distance from the impasse that has persisted, or has been allowed to persist, over this problem. In the meantime, far from giving new opportunities for a solution, continued delay has led to added complications and even more dangerous dimensions to the conflict, as evinced by the crisis of which the Council is presently seized.
My Government, therefore, has always been acutely aware of the need for all of us to persevere along the only sensible path towards a peaceful and comprehensive settlement, which is through a process of negotiation involving the one piece of international machinery which we have collectively created and designed for that very purpose: the United Nations.
The members of the Security Council, having barely a week ago, at a special ministerial session, unanimously reaffirmed their resolve to enhance the efficacy and functioning of the Council, are now called upon to give concrete expression to those commitments. The international community would like to see whether the Council can now move beyond mere words to an effective exercise of its authority under the Charter.
: I thank the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Indonesia for the kind words he addressed to me.
The next speaker is the representative of Nicaragua; I invite him to take a place at the Council table and to make his statement.
Mr. CHAMORRO MORA
(Nicaragua) (interpretation from Spanish): You have assumed the presidency of this important body, Sir, in the very month when we celebrate the fortieth anniversary of our Organization.
It is barely a week since the Security Council held a commemorative meeting to consider the item "United Nations for a better world and the responsibility of the Security Council in maintaining international peace and security". In addition to hearing the statements of the 15 members of the Council, we listened very carefully to the statement made on behalf of all the Council's members by the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, who presided over that meeting, in which he said:
"The members of the Council ... acknowledged that the high hopes placed in the Organization by the international community had not been fully met and undertook to fulfil their individual and collective responsibility for the prevention and removal of threats to the peace with renewed dedication and determination."
He also said in that important statement:
"They agreed to employ appropriate measures available under the Charter when considering international disputes, threats to the peace, breaches of the peace and acts of aggression." A little earlier he had said that the members were also aware of "the special rights and responsibilities of its permanent members." (
S/PV.2608, p. 127
Today, Sir, as the representative of a permanent member of the Council, you are presiding over our debates, which are taking place as a result of acts of aggression that threaten, and are a direct breach of, international peace and security. It is our firm hope that impartiality will prevail here, and that we shall honour our commitment to consider, and in this specific case to apply, the measures provided for in the Charter.
Here I wish to express my congratulations to Sir John Thomson on his presidency of the Council during the past month.
On 1 October this year the Non-Aligned Movement met at the ministerial level at United Nations Headquarters, as it has been our custom to do every year. We had no idea whatever that that meeting would have to turn into an expression of solidarity with brothers in the Movement who were to become the victims of barbarous and unjustified acts of aggression committed by those who, flouting the law as usual, continue to endanger international peace and security with impunity.
We had learned about the event that morning, through international cables, but we were particularly moved by the statement made to our Movement by Mr. Beji Caid Essebsi, the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Tunisia, who reported to us this unjustifiable act of aggression committed in cold blood by Israel against the sovereignty and territorial integrity of his country, and also against our brothers in the Palestine Liberation Organization, with the genocidal aim of destroying its heroic resistance.
That same day, we learned of official statements made by the United States Government that the attack perpetrated by Israeli aircraft, 1,500 miles away from Israeli territory - an attack which caused the death of many Tunisian and Palestinian civilians - was legitimate and justifiable. In trying to justify the attack, President Reagan said that nations had the right to take retaliatory actions against terrorist attacks. He thereby justified State terrorism, disregarding the right of peoples to determine their own future and to oppose those who refuse to recognize the changes demanded by history and reality.
In various regions of the world, separated from each other by thousands of kilometers, the United States has been making possible and undertaking similar actions against the Arab peoples, the front-line States and Nicaragua. That proves that this major Power is the centre for the co-ordination of the terrorist actions of its henchmen. At the meeting of the Co-ordinating Bureau of the non-aligned countries held on 26 July in New York, as well as at the most recent ministerial meeting, held in Luanda, Angola, my country vehemently denounced the threats by the United States of new terrorist attacks and the so-called surgical operations or selective bombing operations. We said on both occasions that such threats were not directed solely against Nicaragua, but in fact constituted a danger to other non-aligned and third-world countries.
Furthermore, in an attempt to justify such criminal acts, which violate the international legal order, President Reagan has for some time now been speaking about the existence of a confederation of terrorist States.
The facts we are examining today make clear, once again, who the terrorists are and who is defending them, who the true members of that "Country Club of Terrorism" - the Washington/Tel Aviv/Pretoria terrorist axis - are.
Violations of airspace and territorial waters, military manoeuvres, threats of takeovers and illegal occupation of territory, selective bombing, the use of neighbouring territories as bases for aggression and for the training of mercenaries, acts of sabotage, air strikes and naval attacks, the mining of ports: all these are forms of United States aggression against Nicaragua; and they are the same tactics used by Israel and South Africa against the Arab nation and the front-line States.
The concept of self-defence has been well defined for a long time now in international case law and doctrine. Unfortunately for the world, today shyster lawyers resort to sophistry and fanciful interpretations to support their claim that there is legal and moral justification for barbarous actions such as those that have occurred in Tunisia, in Angola and in Nicaragua.
Let us reflect. Let us heed the calls of the small nations which, in order to defend their sovereignty and territorial integrity, have recourse to this organ, which has pledged itself to the prevention and elimination of threats to the peace. Let us heed the call of the Secretary-General - recently repeated to this very Council - for the use of preventive measures necessary for the strengthening of this body and the maintenance of international peace and security, which are constantly threatened by the existence of hotbeds of tension, which seem to be increasing.
We take this opportunity to offer to the delegation of Tunisia and to the people and Government of Tunisia our heartfelt condolences on the loss of life of innocent persons caused by the criminal attack, and our firm and active solidarity. We offer our condolences also to the Palestine Liberation Organization, the sole representative of the heroic Palestinian people, whose just struggle will not be tarnished or deterred by dastardly and criminal actions such as the one recently perpetrated.
The Security Council must show through deeds the renewed commitment that was solemnly expressed in the statement by last month's President; and, echoing the declaration by the Non-Aligned Movement and the calls of the international community, must take the necessary measures - none other than those envisaged in Chapter VII of the Charter of our Organization. Otherwise, the credibility of this Council will be undermined and this fortieth anniversary celebration by our Organization will be dishonoured.
: The next speaker is Mr. Syed Sharifuddin Pirzada, Secretary-General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, to whom the Council at its 2613th meeting extended an invitation under rule 39 of its provisional rules of procedure. I invite him to take a place at the Council table and to make his statement.
: I thank you, Mr. President, and the other members of the Security Council of the United Nations for providing me the opportunity to participate in the deliberations of the Council in my capacity as the Secretary-General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, which comprises 45 members. I should also like to congratulate you on your assumption of the office of the presidency of the Council for the month of October.
The present meetings of the Security Council have been convened to consider the Tunisian complaint regarding the unprovoked and savage air attack by Israel on a residential area of Tunis, where some offices of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) were also located, in violation of the sovereignty andterr itorial integrity of Tunisia. The wanton Israeli aggression against a peace-loving member of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, of the Non-Aligned Movement and of the United Nations was so grave a matter that I thought it was essential for me to travel immediately to New York to participate in the debate on the issue.
It was only a few days ago, on 26 September 1985, that the Security Council held a high-level meeting at which its members reaffirmed and renewed their commitment to work for international peace and security and to make the Organization more effective and enhance its role and authority. The violation by Israel of the norms of conduct between States, of the Charter of the United
Nations, of international law and of morality, which has resulted in the death of so many innocent civilians and which has come so shortly after that solemn occasion, is a challenge to the international community which must be given an adequate and appropriate response.
It is evident that the attack by Israel against Tunisia and against the PLO offices in Tunis was motivated solely by Israel's determination that the peace process initiated by the Arab States and the PLO in their search for a comprehensive and durable peace in the Middle East should be frustrated. The flimsy pretext that the attack was undertaken as a reprisal for the death in Cyprus of three Israelis cannot bear objective scrutiny. It is sufficient to note that the Palestine Liberation Organization has disclaimed responsibility for the murders. Many news stories and commentaries which appeared regarding the attack also agreed that it had not been carried out by the Palestine Liberation Organization. The attackers themselves have stated that they do not belong to the PLO. It is clear, therefore, that the Cyprus incident has been used as a ploy to attempt to justify a pre-planned and premeditated attack against the sovereignty of a Member of the United Nations, in an effort to block any movement towards peace in the Middle East.
This act of aggression by Israel is not an isolated incident. The history of Israel is replete with similar actions by the Zionists, which have been aimed at frustrating all efforts towards peace. Ever since its creation, Israel has time and again committed aggression against neighbours, against other Arab States and against the people of Palestine. Israel's occupation of the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and the Golan Heights, its attack against civilian Iraqi nuclear installations and its aggression in Lebanon are all examples of a deliberate policy. Israel does not desire peace. It thrives on the continuation of conflict and tension. Peace would foreclose its expansionist designs. Peace appears to Israel to be a threat to its existence, because it would not then be able to use the pretext of the state of hostility with the Arab countries to obtain the colossal economic and military assistance it receives at present. It has, therefore, systematically rejected and defeated every effort to promote peace in the Middle East. One recent example is its rejection of the United Nations decision to hold an international conference on the Middle East with the participation of all parties concerned and some members of the Security Council.
Israel thus stands exposed as the root cause of the conflict in the area. It has demonstrated by its actions that it is an aggressive, expansionist and annexationist régime. Its arrogance and intransigence have been fully and amply manifested in its blatant disregard of the decisions of the United Nations and other international organizations. That arrogance stems from the encouragement and support Israel continues to receive from certain quarters, despite its total disregard of international law and morality and its public threats of aggression against Arab and other Moslem countries.
It is a perverted, twisted and strange logic whereby the oppressed people of Palestine, who are struggling against heavy odds to regain their national rights, are termed terrorists, and their oppressors, who have forcibly scattered them to various parts of the world and who continue relentlessly to hound them, are seeking to hoodwink the world by using such lofty concepts as self-defence to cloak their terrorism, aggression and naked and brutal use of force.
The Organization of the Islamic Conference has consistently held that the root cause of the problem in the Middle East lies in the denial of the inalienable right of the Palestinian people to return to their homes, to exercise their right of self-determination and to establish a State of their own in Palestine under the leadership of the Palestine Liberation Organization, the sole authentic representative of the Palestinian people, as recognized by the United Nations and other international organizations. Until such time as the rights of the people of Palestine are restored to them, peace will not return to this war-torn region. Furthermore, no lasting and durable peace can be established without the withdrawal of Israel from all occupied Palestinian and Arab territories, including the Holy City of Jerusalem.
Immediately upon receipt of the news of this savage attack against the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Tunisia, I issued a statement on behalf of the Organization of the Islamic Conference expressing our deep sense of indignation and outrage at this barbarous and criminal act. I also called upon the Security Council to meet immediately in order to invoke and apply appropriate measures, including censure, condemnation and sanctions, as provided for in the Charter of the United Nations, against the Israeli régime. It is a matter of gratification to the Islamic world that the Security Council responded to that demand immediately.
This Zionist crime of unprovoked naked aggression undermines the very basis of international law and morality. It provides proof of Zionist perfidy and exposes the Zionist entity as a major threat to international peace and security. We therefore expect that the Security Council will fulfil its primary responsibility under the United Nations Charter and condemn the Israeli raid against Tunisia. It must also consider the imposition of sanctions, as provided for in the Charter, to bring the arrogant Israeli régime to its senses. The whole world is watching the debate in the Security Council, and the Council's stand against this act of terrorism will to a large extent determine the respect the United Nations will enjoy among its Member States in the future. If the Security Council cannot act on the fortieth anniversary of the United Nations, when many Governments have reaffirmed at the level of their Heads of State their determination to utilize the machinery of the United Nations to maintain international peace and security, its failure will be seen as a major blow to the prestige of the Organization.
Before concluding, I should like to place on record the support and solidarity of the whole Islamic world towards Tunisia and the people of Palestine. We offer our deepest sympathy and condolences to the families of those who have lost their lives, and we fully support the demand of the Foreign Minister of Tunisia for reparations from the Zionist entity for the death and damage it has caused by committing this outrage against the sovereignty of a State Member of the United Nations.
: I thank Mr. Pirzada for the kind words he addressed to me.
The next speaker is the representative of Malta. I invite him to take a place at the Council table and to make his statement.
(Malta): I congratulate you, Sir, on your assuming the heavy responsibilities of President for this month, and sincerely wish you every success.
I thank the members of the Council for allowing me to speak, and apologize for intruding on their valuable time.
I wish also to compliment the members on the successful meeting of the Council held at the Foreign Minister level on 26 September and in particular to praise the dedication of Sir John Thompson, Ambassador of the United Kingdom, for having first initiated and then nurtured and so ably put the finishing touches on that collegial enterprise. My admiration also goes to his distinguished Foreign Minister for the excellent summing-up at the end. The success of that meeting portends, I firmly believe, a good omen for the future. I hope it will be pursued actively in the future.
It is therefore all the more regrettable that the current debates in the Council send us back almost to square one.
In truth the events under discussion are tragic in more ways than one. They are, of course, naturally tragic because of the heavy loss of life inflicted and the value of property destroyed, detailed in the opening statement made by the Foreign Minister of Tunisia. To all the victims of violence Malta expresses its deepest sympathy.
The events are tragic because they manifest once again the easy, lavish availability of, and almost automatic recourse to, military means in the Arab-Israeli conflict.
They are tragic because of the short-sightedly pernicious nature of the militaristic action-reaction phenomenon which predominates, with little or no regard for its long-term repercussions, and with even less regard for the consequent erosion of the sacrosanct principles of international behaviour. They are tragic because they manifest the ruthless indifference of the Israeli authorities to the genuine pleas of the dispossessed and dispersed Palestinians for realization of their just aspirations.
They are tragic because as soon as a new spring of hope has stirred in the Middle East, Israel has invariably and repeatedly resorted to military means to blow those hopes sky high.
All this, it must be said with regret, arises from the inverted logic that Israeli leaders apply mainly to the cause, but also to the symptoms, of the question of Palestine. It is as manifest in Israeli actions in the field as it is in statements made by their representatives here, the latest only confirming this unyielding attitude.
And, finally, it is also tragic because of the indifference or actual opposition of influential countries so far to the crying need for concerted action to encourage, promote and guarantee a comprehensive solution.
Once again I cannot but recall that a prescription for peace has lain before the Security Council for almost 10 years, being lethargically discussed at periodic intervals under pressure from the Assembly but, so far at any rate, mostly ignored, and consequently not offering sufficient encouragement to peaceful progress, which is so sorely absent in the Middle East.
My country feels exceptionally strongly on this issue, mainly because fundamental principles of justice and peace are at stake but also because of the adverse repercussions of the unresolved issue on our volatile region in the Mediterranean. The latest incident only confirms our worst fears.
A comprehensive statement by the Foreign Minister was made two days ago in the Parliament of Malta, from which I shall now quote the most relevant extracts in free translation from the original Maltese:
"This act not only gives rise to our concern but, on the basis of contacts and reports reaching us, we join others in strongly condemning this aggressive act against a country far removed from the centre of conflict, a friendly country and a staunch ally of Malta and of the people of Palestine, to whom we have given support in their quest for an independent homeland.
"This incident should also open the eyes of all Maltese to the consequential perils of this act of aggression against Tunisian territory and against Tunisian and Palestinian people.
"In the face of this act, and taking into account the geographic distance which separates Israel from Tunisia, we have to remain constantly alert and to co-operate with those who are searching not only for those responsible for this horrible act but also for those who may have assisted in its execution.
"It seems impossible that this act was carried out by a single country from its own territory - that is, from Israel. It is likely that assistance was also provided. Everyone should therefore help to apprehend the perpetrators of this offence against international law and basic moral principles; those responsible should be apprehended.
"I would like to add that the Maltese Government not only condemns what has happened but would also point out the dangers of allowing the conflict in the Middle East to spread to North Africa. We join other non-aligned countries who wish to ensure that similar acts of piracy do not spread and engulf others and that such acts are not repeated.
"In conclusion, we cannot accept any type of exception or justification for any country to take the law into its own hands in such a manner, or for any other country to condone or excuse such aggression. The facts available simply do not allow of such excuses."
For all these reasons, and for almost a decade, we have worked assiduously and objectively in helping to forge an international consensus on the essential parameters for a comprehensive and peaceful solution. The details are on record. They have already gained overwhelming support. But they need the final touch that heals, that overcomes stalemate, that endows legitimacy and provides the assurances that encourage overdue concessions and mutual recognition.
This latest tragic incident throws us back but only reinforces our determination to work for peace.
One of your visits to my country, Mr. President, coincided with a landmark in Malta's history. It was then a great period of trial. At that time, the island was a heap of rubble, victim of seemingly endless aerial bombardment. The civilian population was within hours of mass starvation. The arbiters of our destiny at that time finalized plans for the military evacuation of the island. The civilian population was to be left to fend for itself. It was then our darkest hour.
But the people remained steadfast in their determination to survive and to secure peace. And their fervent prayers were answered. Their finest hour also had come.
As suddenly as it had started, the deafening crescendo of clash and clamour ceased. The rain of fire from the skies was extinguished. The dust from the rubble settled and was replaced by brilliant sunshine, which extended over the starving population the warmth of peace and serenity. An almost forgotten silence pervaded the island, until church bells rang the joyous signal that the strife was over, that relief was at hand.
On that same day, therefore, dawned our contemporary history. Gradually, but determinedly, we have turned away from war ever since. We have removed the scars, put our past behind us and dedicated ourselves exclusively to the cause of peace and economic progress, not only at home but also in our region. As a result, the countries that attacked us, as well as those that defended us in the past, are among our best friends and our biggest trading partners today, and many new friends have joined their ranks. As it was for Malta, so I hope, it will be with the Arab-Israeli conflict. The vision of peace, born in the Middle East, must be sustained. When the rightful indignation over this latest incident expends itself, let us all together pick up the strands of hope and of peace through the Security Council.
I am pleased to note that the draft resolution before the Council meets all Malta's preoccupations. It only remains, therefore, for me to appeal to all the members of the Council, to the parties directly involved and, particularly, to the Israeli leaders finally to turn away from their bitter past and present policies, to proceed to the conference table under United Nations auspices, to build together the foundations of peace and security for all, to render fundamental justice to the Palestinian people. Only through this enlightened approach can the peace which we all desire be attained. No country can afford to stand aloof from this process. Malta undertakes to continue to exert its best efforts until success is achieved.
: I thank the representative of Malta for the kind words he addressed to the Council and to me.
The next speaker is the representative of Mauritania. I invite him to take a place at the Council table and to make his statement.
Mr. OULD BOYE
(Mauritania) (interpretation from Arabic): Mauritania feels, Sir, that you are supremely well qualified to preside over the deliberations of this Council and we wish you the fullest success in the conduct of the deliberations during this month. We feel that your extensive experience in international affairs, is a guarantee of success in our work.
I should like to congratulate your predecessor, the Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom and also the Foreign Secretary of the United Kingdom, on the exemplary way in which they conducted the work of the Council last month.
The Council is meeting today at the request of a sister country, Tunisia, in order to discuss the treacherous Israeli attack against its sovereignty and
territorial integrity. Tunisia is an independent State Member of the United Nations well known for its wisdom, its love of peace and its neutrality. Mauritania most vigorously condemns that Israeli aggression and deems it to be contrary to international rules and customs.
My country wishes to affirm its total solidarity with Tunisia, not only because it is a sister Arab African Moslem country but also because we maintain close relations with Tunisia and have concluded special agreements with it which require that we make common cause with it in times of trouble.
The Israeli aggression against Tunisia was followed very quickly by a surprise attack against our sister country Angola by the racist South African forces. Those two régimes have given the international community proof of their collaboration in all spheres and of their repeated acts of aggression against both neighbouring and other peoples and States. Those two régimes undoubtedly pose a threat to international peace and security.
Mauritania urges the African States, the non-African Arab States and all peace-loving countries to unite to form a common front against the racist Zionist aggression of Israel and South Africa.
Throughout its history Israel has disregarded the resolutions of the Security Council and the General Assembly. By attacking Tunisia on Tuesday, 1 October, it showed yet again that it has no serious thoughts of peace and that it finds its true role in aggression and warfare. While the entire international community was exploring ways of achieving peace, Israel chose that precise moment to violate the sovereignty of an independent Arab Member State of the United Nations, thus giving fresh proof of its arrogance and its total disregard of the principles of the United Nations and of international law.
That act of aggression was just one more in a long list of such acts of aggression against Arab States and peoples. Israel violated the sovereignty of Iraq by bombing a nuclear reactor designed for peaceful purposes. It invaded Lebanon, spreading destruction in that peaceful country. It occupied and annexed the Syrian Golan Heights. It attacked Uganda and several times made incursions into Egypt. All this it did to block all progress in the Arab or African countries. Israel has continued to occupy Palestine and to press ahead with its expansion in Palestine, to the detriment of the Palestinian people.
It now alleges as grounds for its attack against Tunisia the presence of Palestinians in that country, Palestinians who were in fact driven out of their homeland at bayonet point by the Israelis and are now being relentlessly tracked down, wherever they may be, to be eliminated physically. Despite the odious nature of the crimes it has committed for this purpose, the Israelis will never succeed in conquering the Palestinian people or burying their cause.
We all recognize the rights of individuals to life, dignity and independence. Our recognition of those rights must be given more concrete form. We must therefore call upon justice-loving and peace-loving countries - and particularly those countries that bear special responsibilities under the United Nations Charter - to show solidarity with Tunisia. Israel is a dangerous military Power equipped with nuclear weapons. The great Powers must do whatever is necessary to put an end to Israel's aggression and extremism.
Israel may well commit further acts of aggression that will jeopardize international peace and security - such an eventuality certainly cannot be ruled out. No one can say that the next target will necessarily be one of the Arab States. Perhaps tomorrow Israel may try to take on other States, States that have a long record of respect for human rights and of providing asylum for refugees. History is full of examples of individuals and peoples who have upheld human rights. The founding of the United Nations itself was a firm endorsement of such rights. The best position to be taken on the subject is one in keeping with international law. It is only on that basis that respect for the eternal human values can be upheld.
Mauritania urges the Council vigorously to condemn the Israeli aggression against Tunisia and to compel Israel to pay fair compensation and reparations for the damage caused. We also urge the Council to adopt whatever measures are necessary to prevent a recurrence of such acts in future.
: I thank the representative of Mauritania for his kind words addressed to me.
The next speaker is the representative of Bangladesh. I invite him to take a place at the Council table and to make his statement.
(Bangladesh): Mr. President, I wish to thank you and, through you, the other members of the Council for their response to our delegation's request to participate in the present deliberations. Permit me to extend to you, Sir, our warmest felicitations on your assumption of the presidency of the Security Council for the month of October 1985. It is indeed a historic month, coinciding as it does with the observance of the fortieth anniversary of the founding of the United Nations. The relationships between our two countries are marked by close bonds of friendship and co-operation. We are confident that under your able and proven stewardship the Council will achieve fruitful and constructive results.
May I also take this opportunity to convey our deep appreciation to your predecessor, Ambassador Sir John Thomson, the Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom, for the admirable manner in which he guided the work of the Council during the past month. We wish also to pay a special tribute to Sir Geoffrey Howe, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs of the United Kingdom, for the exemplary skill with which he presided over the special commemorative meeting of the Security Council last week.
It is unfortunate that as the United Nations observes the fortieth anniversary of its founding one of its Members, Israel, in flagrant violation of all norms of international law and the principles and purposes of the Charter of this great world body, has once again unleashed an act of aggression against the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of another Member State. This time the victim of the premeditated Israeli aggression is a friendly and peace-loving country, Tunisia, which is more than 1,500 miles away from the Israeli borders. The latest Israeli act of aggression is by no means an isolated incident but constitutes yet another link in the long chain of Israeli policies of relentless expansion, occupation and unabated aggression against the Palestinian people and Israel's Arab neighbours. Preceding speakers, particularly the Foreign Minister of Tunisia and the Head of the Political Department of the Palestine Liberation Organization, have in their statements already given a comprehensive account of this totally unjustified and blatant Israeli attack.
Bangladesh, along with the entire peace-loving world, has received this news with deep shock and anguish. My Government, through an official statement issued in Dhaka on 2 October 1985, has condemned the dastardly Israeli attack against Tunisia in the strongest possible terms and has demanded that international action should be taken to prevent recurrence of such acts of international terrorism by the Zionists. In a message addressed to His Excellency President Habib Bourguiba of Tunisia, the President of Bangladesh, His Excellency Lt. General Hussain Muhammad Ershad, stated:
"The Government and the people of Bangladesh are deeply outraged by the barbaric and murderous assault of Israel on the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the brotherly Republic of Tunisia. The Zionist entity must bear full international responsibility for this crime against peace and against humanity. The Government and people of Bangladesh are with you and the brave people of Tunisia in this hour of trial."
The unprovoked Israeli attack against a peace-loving sovereign State Member of the United Nations cannot be based on any moral or legal justification. On the contrary, it testifies to Israel's intransigence and arrogance and to its utter lack of respect for the principles and purposes of the United Nations Charter. We cannot accept the Israeli argument that it has the right to attack any State at any time on the basis of its self-conceived self-defence.
The international community must firmly oppose the propagation of such a new doctrine of State terrorism. The latest Israeli act of deliberate aggression must be condemned in clear and categorical terms and Israel should be asked to pay appropriate reparations. At the same time, we should take all necessary measures to prevent the recurrence of such acts of aggression.
The latest Israeli attack is yet another manifestation of its relentless drive to eliminate the Palestinian people and their sole and legitimate representative, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). But our heroic Palestinian brothers have demonstrated beyond any shadow of a doubt during the past four decades that the Israeli policies of repression, subjugation and forced exile will not deter them from the restoration of their inalienable rights to freedom and national independence.
The Government and the people of Bangladesh have reiterated their firm support and solidarity with the Palestinian people and their sole and legitimate representative, the PLO.
In another message addressed to Mr. Yasser Arafat, Chairman of the PLO, President Ershad stated:
"I have learned with shock and dismay of the bombing attacks carried out by the Israeli enemy on the PLO headquarters in Tunis. I strongly condemn this gross violation of the territorial integrity of a brotherly Moslem country by the enemies of Islam and mankind. This despicable act perpetrated on the peace-loving people of Tunisia and the PLO, which have been waging a struggle for achievement of its legitimate rights, militates against all international norms of civilized conduct and amounts to a gross violation of
the United Nations Charter.
"Please accept my sincere condolences for the loss of precious lives."
A number of speakers have already pointed out that the motive behind the latest Israeli act of aggression is to jeopardize the recent initiatives for the restoration of peace in the Middle East. Israel, in the face of a growing international consensus in favour of the Arab and Palestinian cause, has once again resorted to the use of force to heighten tension in the region with a view to frustrating the current international effort peacefully to resolve the problems in the Middle East. We salute our Arab brothers who, in the face of such unprovoked aggression and relentless expansion, have demonstrated the utmost restraint and statesmanship and have made every possible effort to obtain a durable peace in the Middle East.
It is now universally recognized that any meaningful effort to bring peace to the region must be based on a just, lasting and comprehensive solution of the problems in the Middle East. It is also clearly evident now that the problems in the Middle East can only be solved through a concerted international effort under the auspices of the United Nations. My delegation therefore attaches particular importance to the early convening of the proposed international peace conference on the Middle East and we fully appreciate the Secretary-General's current initiative to that end.
The latest Israeli act of aggression is clearly a breach of all norms of international law and the principles and objectives of the United Nations Charter. The Council must therefore act firmly and resolutely to prevent the recurrence of such acts of international terrorism. The failure of the Council in the past to implement its own decisions and resolutions has only encouraged Israel to intensify its policies of aggression against the Palestinian people and its Arab neighbours, thereby threatening international peace and security every now and then. The time has now come for the Council to reassert its authority through concrete and firm action.
: I thank the representative of Bangladesh for his kind words addressed to me.
The next speaker is the representative of Saudi Arabia. I invite him to take a place at the Council table and to make his statement.
(Saudi Arabia) (interpretation from Arabic): I should like at the outset, Sir, to congratulate you on your assumption of the presidency of the Security Council for this month. Our knowledge of your qualities and experience assures us that under your presidency the Security Council will achieve the aspirations of a world striving for righteousness, freedom and the implementation of international law.
I should also like to express my appreciation to your predecessor in the presidency, Sir John Thomson, for the competence and wisdom with which he directed the proceedings of the Council.
I shall now focus on the core of the subject before us. Tunisia, an independent sovereign State and a constructive Member of the United Nations, has had its air space violated by Israeli war planes, which bombarded civilian areas, killed innocent people and destroyed homes.
The reason cited is a false pretext and the justifications given jolt the conscience of humanity. A Member of the United Nations has attacked with war planes the land and the people of another State Member of the United Nations under the pretext of avenging acts that took place in a third country. Does there exist even in the law of the jungle a rule more dangerous than this for the security of the international community? I should like to ask the international community whether, while Israel commits these crimes, any country in the world remains safe from aggression if we fail to adopt actions to deter the recurrence of such an act and impose penalties for its perpetration? Is there any country, large or small, that can claim immunity from such aggression? Does there exist a crime greater than this in the violation of law and attacks upon others? Does there exist a crime greater than this, for the prevention of which the Charter was formulated?
The problem today is the flagrant act of aggression against Tunisia. I do not wish to dwell in detail now on the problem of Palestine and on the whole series of Israeli crimes pertaining to it. I should like to ask, however, what option has henceforth been left for the Palestinians to resort to while the Israeli authorities claim that they are fighting the Palestinians everywhere - including women and children - and while malicious forces are endeavouring to block all roads to peace available to them.
That the aggression against Tunisia is a crime punishable by law there is no doubt, except in the eyes of those who do not wish peace to prevail, and that it is a dangerous act that threatens every State in the world community is a fact known to all of us.
We have stressed in the past, and we reiterate once again, that the most dangerous form of terrorism is State terrorism. It is an arrow that rebounds to the heart of its perpetrator. Israel perpetrates it freely and with impunity, but for how long can it continue to do so?
If Israel is exposed to retaliatory acts by the Palestinians, whose country it has occupied and who are fighting to liberate their homeland, it is Israel that has been the original and continuous aggressor against them and their country. But when Tunisia, or any other country in which the Palestinians seek refuge, becomes a target for Zionist aggression, that constitutes an escalation of aggression and terrorism that threatens many countries in the world where Palestinians, or any other people seeking their freedom, are living.
It is the other ugly face of racism that the United Nations is fighting in South Africa and elsewhere, and it matches the terrorist acts committed by South Africa, and by those who practise international terrorist piracy. It is the real face of Zionism, as a theory and practice, from the days it began its onslaught on the Arab and Islamic nation in the land of Palestine, its first victim. Then it began to expand into the neighbouring areas, and now it has reached North Africa, by virtue of the advanced weapons it receives, in order to practise the most heinous forms of aggression.
If Tunisia, a peaceful State which adheres to international norms and which is thousands of kilometers away, cannot be safe from Zionist terrorism, what country can be safe?
What is the responsibility of the international community, which is represented here today? The maintenance of peace and security is a basic duty of the United Nations as well as a primary responsibility of the Security Council, and upon it rest the other objectives of co-operation that we are all trying to achieve.
The Council should assume the responsibility for upholding the law and protecting mankind from this dangerous form of aggression, so that mankind can be saved from this cancerous disease.
The opportunities for peace in the Middle East that are presented now are the main cause of this crime and the target of its perpetrators. While we condemn the Israeli entity and its acts, designs and crimes, as well as the Zionist way of thinking and its explanations and justifications, we hope that the Member States represented on the Council will not hesitate to take a firm and proper stand that complies with the Charter, so that the Council will not have to answer to history in having to bear the responsibility of encouraging these crimes and the responsibility of retreating from its commitments.
Two hundred million Arabs constitute a large nation, and it would be a mistake for Israel, having made war its choice, to believe that it can win in the end.
We call upon the Council to make peace its choice today, and to express the civilized world's opinion by implementing international law and putting an end to such crimes.
We stand with the people, Government and State of brotherly Tunisia; we support it fully, and we call upon the international community to rise to its responsibilities in maintaining peace.
We in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia share with our brothers in Tunisia, with the Palestinian people everywhere and with all States and peoples striving for peace and justice their indignation over these crimes. We hope that the Council's stand today will open the doors to a just peace.
A State based on injustice lasts but an hour, whereas a State founded on righteousness lasts for ever.
: I thank the representative of Saudi Arabia for his kind words addressed to me.
The next speaker is the representative of Afghanistan. I invite him to take a place at the Council table and to make his statement.
(Afghanistan): I congratulate you, Sir, on your assumption of the presidency of the Council for the month of October. We wish you success in the discharge of your responsible duties.
I should also like to pay tribute to Ambassador Sir John Thomson for the manner in which he conducted the business of the Council in September.
The Security Council is called upon once again to consider yet another serious breach of international law by an entity which has been found guilty on umpteen other occasions of violating the fundamental norms of international law. This time it is the territorial integrity and sovereignty of a peaceful Arab country, Tunisia, which has been subjected to a flagrant violation by that arrogant entity. The international community is offered yet more irrefutable evidence of the criminal policy of State terrorism perpetrated by the Zionist entity against the Palestinians in particular and the Arab world at large. That evidence proves beyond any shadow of doubt the aggressive and warmongering nature of Israeli ruling circles, which recognize no legal or moral boundary in the pursuit of their expansionist goals.
It was with horror and deep indignation that the international community learned of the barbaric air raid by the Israeli Air Force on the premises of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in Borj-Cerdia on the outskirts of Tunis, murdering 67 Palestinians and Tunisians, including women and children, injuring scores of others and inflicting severe material losses. That horrendous act of aggression and terror is undoubtedly part and parcel of the overall Israeli strategy physically to annihilate the sole and legitimate representative of the Palestinian people, the Palestine Liberation Organization, and to make a reality of Zionist hallucination of the so-called greater Israel.
The chronology of events in the recent history of the region clearly testifies to the fact that Israel, by virtue of its deeds and actions, is an outlaw, aggressive and non-peaceful entity. It is more than clear, however, that Israel's blatant defiance of United Nations resolutions could not have resisted the pressure of world public opinion had it not been for the unlimited political, economic and military support rendered to it by United States imperialism.
Because it is pouring billions of dollars' worth of sophisticated weapons into the Israeli war machine, it is in fact the United States itself that has been engaged in a protracted war against the Palestinian and other Arab nations. It is precisely such unconditional assistance by the United States that has enabled Israel to invade first one Arab country and then another, to continue its illegal hold on the Palestinian and Arab territories it has occupied since 1967, and to escalate its repressive actions in the occupied territories against defenceless populations.
The United States once again demonstrated its culpability in the Israeli actions by making an effort - albeit futile - to legitimize the recent Israeli aggression. It is indeed the support for Israel by the United States that constitutes the stumbling block on the way to the achievement of a just, comprehensive and lasting solution to the Middle East problem. Not only has Israel's intransigence rendered fruitless the efforts by the international community to bring peace to that war-torn region of the world, but Israel has put up additional barriers which have made the achievement of such a peace much more complicated.
While vehemently condemning Israel's wanton act of aggression against Tunisia and the Palestinians residing in Tunis, the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan believes that this totally unjustified action should serve as a sad reminder of the grave tragedy that has befallen the valiant people of Palestine. Driven away in an inhuman fashion from their land and property, Palestinians in the diaspora have been denied security even hundreds of miles away from their occupied land.
It is our strong belief that unless a solution is found to the question of Palestine, there cannot be any possibility of bringing peace to the Middle East. The question of Palestine lies at the heart of the Arab-Israeli conflict, and it can be resolved only if the Palestinians effectively exercise their inalienable rights, including the right to establish their own national State in Palestine. The repeated failures of the attempts to find a solution through partial or separate deals dictate, forcefully and convincingly, the need to seek a comprehensive settlement.
We must not allow the present state of affairs to continue any longer. The United Nations, and this Council in particular, must exert every effort to pave the way to the convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East, as called for in United Nations General Assembly resolution 38/58 C. In the meantime, the Security Council should adopt effective mandatory sanctions against Israel under Chapter VII of the Charter, with a view to restraining the Zionist perpetrators of the recent savage air bombing of Palestinian and Tunisian premises in Tunis.
I should like to express our sympathy for and solidarity with our Palestinian brothers and the people and Government of Tunisia.
In conclusion, I wish to thank the Council, through you, Mr. President, for the opportunity afforded my delegation briefly to present its views on the item under discussion.
: I thank the representative of Afghanistan for the kind words he addressed to me as President of the Security Council.
The next speaker is the representative of Viet Nam. I invite him to take a place at the Council table and to make his statement.
Mr. LE KIM CHUNG
(Viet Nam) (interpretation from French): At the outset, I should like to congratulate you, Sir, and extend to you my best wishes on your assumption of the presidency of the Security Council for October.
I thank all the members of the Council for giving me the opportunity today to participate in the discussion of the aggression perpetrated by Israel against the headquarters of the Palestine Liberation Organization in Tunis.
The whole world is shocked and outraged by the bombing attack perpetrated by Israel in cold blood and without any provocation against a densely populated area of Tunis, the capital of the Republic of Tunisia, an independent and sovereign country and a Member of the United Nations. Nothing could possibly justify such an act, committed in flagrant violation of the rules of international law and the principles of the United Nations Charter. Despite one isolated and pitifully discordant opinion characterizing this act as legitimate and an act of self-defence, enlightened international opinion has unanimously characterized it as a criminal act of aggression and international terrorism. The exceptional seriousness of this outrageous raid has, indeed, been clearly brought out by previous speakers in this Council. I therefore need not dwell on it now.
I shall limit myself to informing the Security Council that on 2 October last, the spokesman of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam made a statement on this subject that I now have the honour to read out to the Council:
continued in English
"On 1 October 1985 a large number of Israeli aircraft brazenly violated the airspace of the Republic of Tunisia, frenziedly bombing the PLO headquarters in a suburb of Tunis, causing heavy losses of life and property to the Tunisian and Palestinian peoples. This is a criminal act of aggression against the independence and sovereignty of the Republic of Tunisia and against the Palestinian patriotic forces, in gross contravention of international law, and insolently challenging the Arab, African and non-aligned countries and the peace- and justice-loving forces throughout the world.
"With the connivance of the United States and other reactionary forces, Tel Aviv is further intensifying its policy of aggression and barbarous terrorism against the Palestinian liberation movement, as well as its policy of threats and pressures designed to prevent support from the Arab countries for the just struggle of the Palestinian people for their fundamental national rights.
"The people and the Government of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam most vehemently condemn the above brazen act of aggression committed by the Israeli authorities against the Republic of Tunisia and the barbarous act of terrorism against the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), and firmly demand that Israel immediately end all its acts of aggression and expansion in the Middle East and strictly respect the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Tunisia and of other Arab countries as well as the legitimate national rights of the Palestinian people.
"The people and the Government of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam once again reaffirm their resolute support for the struggle of Tunisia and other Arab countries against Israeli Zionist aggression and expansion. We give our equally firm support to the just struggle of the Palestinian people under the leadership of the PLO for their sacred inalienable national rights and for
genuine, lasting peace in the Middle East."
continued in French
Given the exceptional gravity of the act of aggression perpetrated by Israel against the Republic of Tunisia, my delegation calls upon this Council to condemn it vigorously and to adopt the effective measures which are at its disposal to prevent similar crimes from being committed in the future.
: I thank the representative of Viet Nam for the kind words he addressed to me.
I propose now, with the concurrence of the members of the Council, to suspend this meeting.
The meeting was suspended at 6.25 p.m. and resumed at 7.20 p.m
: The Minister for Foreign Affairs of Tunisia, His Excellency Mr. Beji Caid Essebsi, has asked to speak, and I now call upon him.
Mr. CAID ESSEBSI
(Tunisia) (interpretation from French): At the end of the fourth meeting in this highly encouraging debate, during which many representatives, in addition to those who are members of the Council, have spoken, I wish to express my gratitude to you, Mr. President, and to your colleagues for having once again allowed me to speak.
My first concern is to convey to all speakers the heartfelt gratitude of my country as well as its warm congratulations. Tunisia is proud to have encountered here such great solidarity on the part of brotherly and friendly countries, a solidarity resulting from its policy of peace, friendship and co-operation, which it has followed ceaselessly since its independence and which it continues to pursue with the majority of nations. Tunisia is also proud of having in a way given the international community an opportunity to hear the voice of legality and morality, the voice of the higher principles of law and justice. The Charter has entrusted the Security Council with the noble and formidable task of being the vigilant guardian of those principles.
Is there any need for me, as the representative of Tunisia, to review those obvious facts which characterized the aggression of which my country has been the innocent victim, or, above all, to review the false allegations, which clearly are aimed at distorting those facts both within and outside the Council - with the aim, albeit unstated, of fooling international opinion and legitimizing a criminal act that nothing could ever justify? I believe that the international community as a whole has already passed judgement on these allegations through the statements made by their representatives over these past two days.
However, to those who still have some doubts or who seemingly take a hopelessly partisan position, I wish to say the following.
First, it was not the military staff headquarters of the Palestine Liberation Organization that was attacked by Israeli aircraft at Hammam-Plage, near Tunis, but a clearly defined urban area, where many Tunisian families live and where a small number of Palestinian civilians had found refuge after their terrible ordeal during the Israeli aggression against Lebanon. Today we know that 68 civilians were killed and more than 100 were wounded. For once, the well-known Israeli intelligence services have proved not to be so clever. As for the so-called Force 17, which has been blamed for the attack at Larnaca, its headquarters were elsewhere, and not within the territory of my country. That has been admitted by Israeli officials themselves - and I express my gratitude to the representative of Egypt for having given the Security Council the reference to the written texts submitted by the Israeli delegation itself, which make this perfectly clear.
Secondly, the Palestinian leadership in fact has been given Tunisian hospitality. Everyone is well aware of that. I would even say that no one has objected to it - quite the contrary. I hope that I have made myself perfectly . But I would add that we are speaking here of political leadership, of the legitimate representation of the Palestinian people, of that genuine interlocutor with which discussions must be held if there is a real will to achieve a viable settlement in the Middle East. None the less, Tunisia has not become a military base, and,
, has not become a terrorist base. No act of terrorism has been perpetrated from Tunisian territory. No Tunisian has been implicated in any such act.
Thirdly, it is at the very least wrong to attach to an Article of the Charter a meaning that is diametrically opposed to the meaning which it undoubtedly has. In fact, Article 51 gives a Member of the United Nations the inherent right of self-defence in the precise case where an "armed attack" has occurred against it. What kind of armed attack is involved here? Is it an armed Tunisian attack against Israel? It is clear that, given the present balance of power, that can only be ruled out. But we are indeed talking of an armed attack - an armed Israeli attack, officially claimed by the Israeli Government, for which Tunisia unfortunately today has no other means of retaliation than that within the framework of the right of self-defence given it by the Charter.
In those conditions, it is incumbent upon the United Nations to ensure for Tunisia that right of self-defence - and not by the method of cowardly attacks for which the Israeli army has gained an unfortunate reputation, sowing death among innocent persons and destroying homes; but, rather, by vigorous action dictated by international legality and in keeping with international morality. This must be done through a firm condemnation of the illegitimate and unwarranted use of force, through a clear and unambiguous affirmation of the firm will of the international community to prevent and avert the repetition of terrorist acts by a State Member of the United Nations against another State Member of the United Nations, in violation of its territorial integrity and sovereignty. Finally, it must be done by providing just reparations for the damage caused by the heinous crime.
What is at stake is the authority of this Council, the guardian of international peace and security. Above all, what is at stake is the credibility of its members, in particular those who have shouldered the very heavy burden imposed on them by their power and their global responsibilities.
The Tunisian people, wounded both physically and morally, has been unanimous in condemning this criminal act and in expressing its revulsion at the impunity enjoyed by its perpetrators. This outstanding unanimity has been particularly evident in the unequivocal position taken by the Jewish community, which is an integral part of the national community. The Tunisian people will not be able to understand it if the criminal act of which dozens of its sons and daughters were the innocent victims remains unpunished, if its perpetrators are not subjected to the sanctions that should legally be imposed because of their crime. They will not understand it if, at the cost of many human lives and extensive military damage, they are made to pay for the failure of a blind policy which, to distract the attention of the world from the flagrant violations of international law and the right of peoples to self-determination, strikes at random wherever it sees fit. They will understand it even less if they find themselves seriously and unfairly punished for action taken to further the cause of peace at a crucial stage, and with the encouragement of their friends.
Wanting military strength, my country had always believed that its strength derived from the strength of the principles of law and justice which the mighty of this world are supposed to buttress. We venture to believe it still and would like to be able to believe it forever.
At this late stage of the Council's discussion, I believe that the issue before it has been well defined. The opinions of all sides have been stated, and we calmly await the decision of the Council. We hope that it will be commensurate with the Council's responsibilities under the Charter.
: The representative of Israel has asked to speak in exercise of the right of reply, and I call on him.
(Israel): I want to say a few words about the two basic arguments that have been raised against Israel's action taken against the PLO headquarters in Tunisia. The first concerns the violation of territorial sovereignty and the second the disproportionality of the response.
As for the violation of sovereignty, we have said before, and it cannot be overlooked or overstated, that the PLO got in Tunisia an extraterritorial base from which they conducted their terrorist operations. We have struck only at this base and at no other facility, buildings or area. But apart from this, a country cannot claim the protection of sovereignty when it knowingly offers a piece of its territory for terrorist activity against other nations, and that is precisely what happened here. Tunisia knew very well what was going on in this extraterritorial base, the planning that took place there, the missions that were launched from it, and the purposes of those missions: repeated armed attacks against my country and against innocent civilians around the world. Tunisia, then, actually provided a base for murderous activity against another State and, in fact, the nationals of many States who are the objects and victims of this terrorist organization.
The protection of sovereignty cannot be claimed by any Government when it makes available such facilities, especially against the State that must protect itself. To claim otherwise is to make a travesty of the simplest logic. Everyone here knows that any different conclusion would be absurd, and I think - I am convinced - that they would never agree to live with it if it were to apply to themselves.
The second claim relates to proportionality. What are we discussing here: a vendetta; a calculus of a life for a life? If that were the case we should tally the thousands of innocent people who have fallen victim to the attacks of these ruthless killers. But that is not the issue. We are not dealing here merely with punishing the offenders; we are concerned with the prevention of future crimes, and we aim to weaken and to destroy the nerve-centre of world terror. If that centre continues to operate without suffering any hindrance or encountering any opposition, it will spread its tentacles further and further. No one inside or outside this Chamber should be deluded: No place on earth will be immune from its attacks.
So if the question of proportionality is raised, we must take into account not only the thousands who have already fallen victim, but also the many thousands more who will fall if this nerve-centre of terror is allowed to operate undisturbed.
Let me now pose a simple question: Whom are we trying to defend here? Whom are you representatives trying to defend here? Cold-blooded killers of little children, of women, of old men, of innocent travelers, tourists, bystanders, nationals of other countries, who have nothing to do with the issue that these terrorists profess to fight for? These creatures, who are divested of any morality, of any law, of any sense of justice and mercy? These you are defending? For these you are making such a furor - and a furor against those who suffered from their atrocities?
Perhaps you representatives think it is an accident that one of the killers in Larnaca was a British neo-Nazi, that the most fervent foreign recruits in the PLO camps in Lebanon were German neo-Nazis, that Yasser Arafat's model, as he put it, is Haj Amin el-Husseini, who was Hitler's ally in the Middle East and later in Europe. Do you think it is an accident that they worked hand-in-hand with Idi Amin, whose idol was Adolf Hitler? Do you representatives not see that all these people are inspired by the same philosophy that throws morality into the gutter? It is these people whom you are defending. Members of the Council, do no allow civilized people everywhere to cry out, "Shame, shame on such perversion". Do not allow them to feel that the noble trust once placed in this body has been yet again betrayed.
The adoption of this draft resolution would be a victory for terrorism, but would be a new, pernicious gain for terrorism, because it would enable terrorism and political intimidation to command the deliberations of this Council. That indeed would be a turning-point - I would say, more than a turning-point: a profound setback - in the war against terrorism: the propagation of the cripple notion that the victim cannot defend himself and that the terrorist deserves sanctuary.
Many countries which have supported this draft resolution for short-sighted expediency will suffer - and, I am afraid will suffer soon - its unavoidable consequences. But I can assure members of the Council that we in Israel shall never accept it.
: The representative of the Syrian Arab Republic has ask 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.
(Syrian Arab Republic) (interpretation from Arabic): It was my preference earlier on not to exercise the right of reply, because the exercise of the right of reply would actually constitute a dialogue with lies. Quite apart from that, the statement made yesterday afternoon by the Zionist representative does not deserve a reply. There was nothing new in that statement; it was nothing but a boring repetition of the lies we heard a minute ago from the Zionist representative. He twists international law to his liking; he distorts the provisions of the Charter to his liking. Indeed, every time the Security Council considers an Arab complaint against Israel, we hear that boring repetition of the Zionist lies we have heard ever since that strange entity was implanted in the body of our nation, in our Arab homeland.
The objective that the Zionist representative tried to achieve could not be achieved originally by his masters in Washington. They failed to achieve it when in one way or another they gave their blessing to all the acts of Israeli aggression, the latest of which is that against our sister country Tunisia. In spite of all this, I feel it my duty to remind the Council, for the record and for history, that from what we have heard in all the statements we see the accused very clearly. It is very well known. It is Israel, of course. We see its acts of aggression as defined in article 3 of the Definition of Aggression adopted by the General Assembly in a resolution adopted by a consensus that included your country, Mr. President. The act perpetrated by Israel is a well-defined act, an act of aggression.
We would also remind the Council of the Israeli barbarism of which we Arabs have always been the victims and of the criminal hands of the rulers of the Zionist entity in the past and in the present. No matter what their allegiance or their qualities, their hands are stained with Arab blood - Tunisian blood, Lebanese blood, Palestinian blood, Syrian blood, Jordanian blood, even Egyptian blood.
In spite of all this, the representative of the Zionist entity is levelling accusations before this Council, although he represents the accused. In spite of all the statements we have heard from countries of the East, the West, the North and the South condemning Israel's act, the representative of Israel is trying to level an accusation against Syria and Lebanon. Israel's hatred for Syria is due to Syria's opposition to Israel's designs and its ambitions in the occupied Arab territories. What Syria has given and will give to fraternal Lebanon is no secret, and it intensifies Israel's hatred. Israel feels that hatred because of Lebanon's heroic resistance and because, through Arab Syria's support for it, the heroic Lebanese people was able to reject the surrender agreement that Israel and its protectors in Washington tried to impose upon it.
Israel suffered the biggest defeat it has ever known in Lebanon, and Lebanon was just the beginning. It was defeated because of the heroic resistance of the Lebanese people to the Israeli occupation and the agents of that occupation.
What Syria has done is support liberation. What Israel has done is try to drag Lebanon into slavery and humiliation and subjugate the Lebanese people in the south, in the north and everywhere.
We should like to assert to all that, no matter what kind of objectives are declared by Zionism and its agents, Syria is determined to persist in supporting the struggle of the Lebanese people to liberate its territory completely and to reconstruct what Israel has destroyed. The glass from which Sharon sipped on the Beirut hills overlooking the bodies of the victims of Beirut, Sabra and Shatila seemed to contain sweet wine, but it turned out to be bitter wine and poison.
At this late hour some Powers are trying to weaken or block a draft resolution that includes a condemnation of Israel. The delegation of the Syrian Arab Republic does not agree that Israel should go without punishment, without total condemnation. The Syrian Arab Republic calls upon the Security Council to live up to its responsibilities and impose upon Israel sanctions under Chapter VII of the Charter, because the Israeli act against Tunisia was an act of aggression, and it was not the first such aggression. The aggression started with the creation of Israel in 1948.
: The representative of the Palestine Liberation Organization wishes to speak in exercise of the right of reply. I call upon him.
(Palestine Liberation Organization): We have noted with great appreciation the strong condemnation of Israel for its barbaric act of aggression against Tunisia. This unanimous condemnation of Israel should bring a message to the people of Israel that the international community will no longer tolerate such acts of aggression and such crimes against humanity.
I should simply like to ask the Security Council what action it has taken against alien occupation. People under alien occupation have a right and a duty, and that right and duty are to fight and resort to armed struggle against the forces of occupation. In the case of the Palestinian people under occupation, that legitimacy of armed struggle was very clearly spelled out in the resolutions of the General Assembly. What the Palestinian people are doing is exercising a right and carrying out a duty to combat the alien occupation, namely, to combat the Israeli presence on Palestinian territory.
With respect to what was referred to as "terrorism", let me quote from a statement made by the late Albert Einstein. I am sure everyone here knows who Albert Einstein was. He was referring to the Herut party, which is the nucleus of the Likud, the Nazi party in Israel now. Albert Einstein stated the following:
"Within the Jewish community" - the Herut party - "have preached an admixture of ultranationalism, religious mysticism and racial superiority. Like other Fascist parties, they have been used to break strikes, and have themselves pressed for the destruction of trade unions. In their stead they have proposed corporate unions on the Italian Fascist model.
"During the last years of sporadic anti-British violence, the Irgun Zvai Leumi and Stern groups inaugurated a reign of terror in the Palestine Jewish community. Teachers were beaten up for speaking against them; adults were shot for not letting their children join them. By gangster methods, beatings, window smashing and widespread robberies, the terrorists intimidated the population and exacted a heavy tribute.
"The people of Herut had no part in the constructive achievements in Palestine. They ... only detracted from the Jewish defence activity. ...
"The discrepancies between the bold claims now being made by Begin and his party and their record of past performance in Palestine bear the imprint of no ordinary political party. This is the unmistakable stamp of a Fascist party for whom terrorism (against Jews, Arabs, and British alike) and misrepresentation are means and a `leader State' is their goal."
I think I cannot make any better statement to describe who are the terrorists, where the nucleus and the birthplace of terrorism is in the country of peace, in my country, in Palestine. It was the Herut party that wrought terrorism, and this is exactly what we are reaping and what they are reaping as well.
But terrorism was not only carried out by the party when it was a party. Terrorism was also pursued as a State policy. Moishe Dayan considered terrorism and terrorist acts as such. He said:
"These actions are our vital lymph. They ... help us maintain a high tension among our population and in the army ... In order to have young men go to the Negev we have to cry out that it is in danger." So terrorism has another aim and that aim is the transformation of Israel into a regional Power, which inevitably presupposes the use of large-scale open violence, and could not even mythically pretend to be achieved on the basis of the earlier moral superiority doctrine, which, therefore, had to be replaced with a new
one. Terrorism and revenge were now to be glorified as the new moral and even sacred values of Israeli society. Terrorism and reprisal are the State policy and that is what we are dealing with - another manifestation of State terrorism against a country that has been kind enough to be host to the Palestinians after 30 or 35 years of mishaps. And I would assure members that the struggle of our people will continue until we eliminate the occupation of our country. We are exercising a right against foreign occupation and we can exercise that right in all forms, including armed struggle.
Israel cannot claim to be the gendarmerie of the international community. I think it is the duty of the Security Council to carry out the recommendations of the General Assembly and take action to remove the causes of those disputes and struggles. Those are acts of violence, but armed resistance in no way can be considered as an act of terrorism.
The heroes of Europe who sacrificed millions of lives in the fight against the Nazis are heroes, and we raise our hats to them. The heroes who really helped and contributed with their blood to bring about the downfall of Nazism and fascism are our heroes and we cannot consider them as terrorists.
The representative of Israel said:
"In the past year more than 600 such attacks have killed or severely wounded more than 75 Israeli civilians."
He mentioned 600 attacks. That is the reason. Israel is getting mad at the rising armed resistance by the Palestinians under occupation. I repeat, our brothers under occupation are exercising a right and a duty. I would appreciate it if, after 40 years of the destruction of Nazism, the world would understand the role of resistance against fascism and Nazism.
I should now like to recall the role of the Government of the United States in all of this. In June 1982 in this Chamber, the representative of the United States - perhaps it was a Freudian slip, I do not know - took a negative attitude towards a draft resolution and vetoed it. Why did he do that? That draft resolution called for the cessation of fighting in Beirut, for the deployment of some observers there to see that the cease-fire would hold, and the representative of the Government of the United States vetoed it. Why? He made it very clear. He said it was because it did not include the element of the elimination of Palestinian armed elements. That meant the elimination of human beings, and that is a exactly the aim of the Israelis. They are supported by the United States not only through the supply of arms and armaments and warplanes, as Mr. Kaddeumi mentioned - those were American planes and they were donated to Israel. Israel did not buy them. The bombs were donated by the United States to Israel in order to strike the area. That is the joint aim of the American Administration and Israel, namely, to eliminate the Palestinian armed elements.
Now in the United States there is a little place called Woodridge. The press reported that for six weeks a Jewish Defence League paramilitary training camp was in operation in that area. I sometimes wonder whether the United States has ever heard about that place. The information appeared in the press. In August 1981 they trained for six weeks, and no one complained. They had gone unnoticed in that Woodridge camp, despite frequent target practice with high-powered weapons. And let me go further. In that report, a certain Jolovitz said that the JDL owned the camp, which is the former Pleasure Hill House resort. It became a centre to train those criminals. He said it also owned another 62-acre property nearby, but would not reveal its location. It is there, he said, that moonlighting members of the United States Army's Special Forces and an Israeli commando instruct the youths in military tactics.
Now, this is the collusion and training of those criminals who go to my home town, deprive my people of the right to live in peace and then follow them all the way - more than 2000 miles away - and kill them, using American-supplied planes and American-supplied bombs.
Let us now think of this most recent of the Israeli acts of aggression. We have information received this noon, from which I shall quote:
"According to Israeli reports the number of Israeli planes that participated in the air raid was eight. Militarily speaking there should be an equal number of other planes for covering.
"The planes were refueled twice en route to the target and once on the way back. This requires a large number of feeder planes which are unavailable to Israel in this quantity. In addition of the feeder planes which Israel possesses, half are not suitable to refuel F-15 and F-16 planes.
"We have information that during the seven hours which the operation required the United States Sixth Fleet had full knowledge of and supplied radar co-ordination. In addition the United States Sixth Fleet jammed the Egyptian radars to prevent monitoring of the operation.
"We have information that the feeder planes took off from some United States bases in the Mediterranean.
"We have information that the photos of the location and its exact details were handed over from United States satellites to Israel, and then a large model of the location was made on which the planes exercised before the action." And we also know that the movements of Chairman Arafat are always monitored, so it was no surprise that the attack came at a moment when he was supposed to have arrived in Tunis from Morocco.
The collusion between the United States and Israel is therefore very clear. I am no army officer; I do not understand these things. But anyone who has done army service and got to a high rank knows exactly what the implications are. I wonder whether this should be taken into consideration.
: Before I proceed to the next speaker, I owe an apology to the Soviet delegation. Due to an oversight on my part, I called upon the Foreign Minister of Tunisia before the Soviet representative was in his chair. It is an oversight I will not commit again.
Mr. Clovis Maksoud, Permanent Observer of the League of Arab States to the United Nations, to whom the Council extended an invitation under rule 39 of its provisional rules of procedure at its 2610th meeting, wishes to make a statement. I invite him to take a place at the Council table and to make his statement.
: I wish to extend to you, Sir, our congratulations on assuming the presidency of the Council.
I did not intend to make another statement today, because the deliberations of the Council and the statement by the Under-Secretary-General of the Arab League would have been satisfaction enough. However, in the last two days, and particularly today, a certain dangerous development - in terms of the justification of the raid and the violation of the sovereignty of Tunisia made by the Israeli representative - I think warrants a contribution on our part, because we feel that if it is allowed to unravel unchecked by the authority of this Council, there would be established not only a dangerous precedent but also a cover for subsequent activities which are similar, if not identical, to what has taken place through the aggression by Israel against the sovereignty of Tunisia.
What we have heard is in a way the developing jurisprudence of a new imperialism, namely, the notion that violation of sovereignty of States can be legitimized if the violator of the sovereignty of another State considers, ex-cathedra, on his own, without any consensus whatsoever, that he can arrogate to himself the total and absolute right to violate the sovereignty of another State.
The pretext can be anything - and in this case, it is the assessment by the aggressor that the Palestinians have established "extra-territorial rights or privileges" in a sovereign State. This was the excuse that Israel gave when it invaded Lebanon in 1978, when it illegally annexed the Golan Heights, when it puts forward a proliferation of settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories of the West Bank. Israel's definition of extra-territoriality is the very presence of Palestinians. The fact that Palestinians are present in any part of the world constitutes by definition, in Israeli terminology, extra-territoriality.
And this is not over-blown rhetoric, as might at first give the impression. The mere presence of Palestinians constitutes a challenge to Israel's concept of its own legitimacy and hegemony. Therefore, Israel arrogates to itself the right to violate the sovereignty of States, in this case Tunisia, under the pretext that there are Palestinians who have taken extra-territoriality upon themselves.
Let me be very frank in response: if we accept or acquiesce in any form in this Israeli definition, are the Palestinians entitled to a territory of their own? Why should they have extra-territorial presence? Precisely because they are denied their own national territory. Does that, therefore, put us in a position where, if we follow the Israeli thesis to its logical conclusion, if the Palestinian presence anywhere is extra-territorial, it thus vindicates the right of Israel to violate sovereignty wherever it is. The fact is that the Palestinians should not have an extra-territorial presence.
What should they have? Either they should have a national territory, so they can be present there, or they should be eliminated, in order that the sovereignty of various States where Palestinians are present becomes immune from violations by Israel.
The world community has declared that this is not allowed and therefore, in order to respond to the Israeli challenge to international law, has recognized the Palestinians as a people with a right to self-determination and to a State in their homeland. It is that right which Israel is trying to curtail. It is that right which Israel is trying to deny.
Thus, when the Israelis argue about proportionality and about their rights to arrogate to themselves the decision as to what constitutes terrorism, the international community responds by recognizing the Palestine Liberation Organization - not only as an organization of liberation but as the framework for Palestinian nationhood. It represents a state of mind for Palestinians everywhere in the absence of their State.
We must therefore come to grips with the central thesis that Israel is trying to promulgate and that it is seeking to have ratified - namely, that by insulting everybody and by determining what constitutes civilized behaviour and by developing its own
, in saying that this was a "surgical operation", Israel is attempting to bring about a paralysis of the international will in order to impose its own will on the international community and to render itself totally unaccountable to all norms of international law and of international relations.
It is undoubtedly trying to establish a counter-legitimacy and to extricate itself from any responsibility or accountability to the United Nations or to anyone else, including some of its major supporters. For that reason, the Israeli delegate clearly and without any hesitation stated that irrespective of what the Security Council does, Israel is not bound by it.
What Israel is signalling to the world community is that under no circumstances will Israel comply with any resolution that this body adopts. It is in this spirit that many of us feel that perhaps Israel does not belong to this body.
: As the representative of the United States, I shall now make a statement in exercise of the right of reply.
I have listened here to a series of allegations to the effect that the United States played some part in the operation which is the subject of this discussion. This is false, and those who make this accusation know that it is false. The United States had no knowledge of, nor did it participate in any way in, that operation.
I have listened to a cascade of anti-American rhetoric accusing us of everything under the sun, except the recent tragic earthquake in Mexico. And I am surprised that I have not heard my country blamed for that, or for the one that occurred today in Tokyo.
Sometimes, when I hear some of the things that my country is supposed to have done, I think we might say that on the seventh day we rested.
The idea that the United States is interested in the continuation of warfare and bloodshed in the Middle East is preposterous nonsense. Terrorists have trained in other places to attack Americans, but the press did not report that, because in many of those places the press was not free, as it is in this country. In this country, it is illegal to do that sort of thing and, when it comes to the attention of the United States Government, it is closed down.
Many Americans have died at the hands of terrorists. More than half a dozen Americans ambassadors have been assassinated, and throughout recorded history, the person of an ambassador is supposed to have been sacred.
A hijacked American aircraft was taken, and a young sailor was brutally and slowly beaten to death. One must not underestimate the fact that we, too, have been wounded by terrorism, and it would be surprising if we did not reject terrorism in all its forms.
I resume my function as President of the Council. Members of the Council have before them a draft resolution submitted by Burkina Faso, Egypt, India, Madagascar, Peru and Trinidad and Tobago, contained in document S/17535. It is my understanding that the Security Council is ready to proceed to the vote on the draft resolution before it.
Unless I hear any objection, I shall put the draft resolution to a vote now. There being no objection, it is so decided.
A vote was taken by show of hands
: Australia, Burkina Faso, China, Denmark, Egypt, France, India, Madagascar, Peru, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
: United States of America
: The result of the voting is as follows: 14 votes in favour, none against and 1 abstention. The draft resolution has therefore been adopted as resolution 573 (1985).
I shall now call on those representatives who have asked to be allowed to make statements following the voting.
(Thailand): My delegation would like to explain its vote with regard to operative paragraph 4 of the resolution. No matter how deplorable and regrettable the situation in Tunisia, we understand that there has not been, nor does there now exist, a state of war between the two countries involved. Therefore, the word "reparations" is not appropriate. We would prefer to see the word "compensation" used. However, the sense of that paragraph is clear - namely, the loss suffered by the Tunisian Government and people must be made good by those who attacked them. That is why we were able to support the resolution.
Mr. de KEMOULARIA
(France) (interpretation from French): In voting for the draft resolution, France has once again condemned the raid by Israeli aircraft and the resulting violation of Tunisia's sovereignty and territorial integrity, despite the legal reservations that we feel stem from the concept of acts of aggression in the text. We have taken that position not only because of our traditional friendly relations with Tunisia, but also because we condemn, whatever their origin, all acts of violence that would compromise the search for a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East.
: As the representative of the United States, I shall now make a statement in connection with the vote.
The occasion for this meeting is a particularly sad one for the United States, stemming from a raid by one close friend into the territory of another. This tragic sequence of events has roots deep in what is now an all too familiar pattern of escalating force and counter-force. We deplore such acts of violence from whatever quarter they come. We have extended to the Government of Tunisia our sincere condolences over the loss of life of its citizens. Our sympathies lie with the people of Tunisia for their grievous loss, as indeed with all the innocent victims of acts of terror and the response they inevitably provoke.
Despite our deep and abiding friendship for the Tunisian Government and people, my Government could not support the draft resolution, disproportionately placing all blame for this latest round of the rising spiral of violence in the Middle East onto only one set of shoulders, while not also holding at fault those responsible for the terrorist acts which provoked it.
We must be absolutely explicit in identifying the real threat all civilized peoples are facing. That threat is terrorism, and the failure adequately to address the subject prevented my Government from supporting the draft resolution. In large measure because of this failure to recognize that terrorism is at the heart of much of the violence we face, we have seen a steady increase in terrorist attacks directed against innocent people everywhere. The most recent examples are an illustration of terrorism at its most senseless and vicious: the murder of three Israelis at Larnaca, and the kidnapping and murder of a Soviet diplomat in Beirut. We reject absolutely the assertion that there can be any justification for such acts, which can only be categorized as the basest of crimes.
We speak of a pattern of violence, but we must be clear: it is terrorism that is the cause of this pattern, not responses to terrorist attacks. We do not yet have all the relevant facts concerning this particular response. However, we recognize and strongly support the principle that a State subjected to continuing terrorist attacks may respond with appropriate use of force to defend itself against further attacks. This is an aspect of the inherent right of self-defence recognized in the United Nations Charter. We support this principle regardless of attacker, and regardless of victim. It is the collective responsibility of sovereign States to see that terrorism enjoys no sanctuary, no safe haven, and that those who practise it have no immunity from the responses their acts warrant. Moreover, it is the responsibility of each State to take appropriate steps to prevent persons or groups within its sovereign territory from perpetrating such acts. In view of the number of countries in this Organization that have suffered from the scourge of terrorism, we find it surprising that the Council has not forthrightly censured other acts of terrorism that have resulted in violent responses. Until the world community is prepared resolutely to face and eliminate the problem of terrorism, the pattern of violence will continue.
Looking to the future, we believe that we must not address this incident as an obstacle to peace, but rather as an impetus for the peace process and renewed efforts towards its successful completion. If this unhappy event demonstrates anything, it is that we must concentrate our efforts to bring about peace in the region and thereby obviate the need for ever again considering such incidents in the United Nations context.
The United States for its part is resolved to do everything in its power to support the peace process. President Reagan reaffirmed this objective following his 30 September meeting with King Hussein, when he said
"The United States is dedicated to achieving a just and durable peace between Israel and all its Arab neighbours. We will do all that we can to maintain the momentum achieved".
I now resume my function as President of the Council.
The Minister for Foreign Affairs of Tunisia has asked to speak, and I call
Mr. CAID ESSEBSI
(Tunisia) (interpretation from French): I said earlier that my country would like to continue to believe in the triumph of the principles of law and justice over the illegitimate and unwarranted use of force. I am happy that by their vote members of the Council have given us cause for hope. Tunisia expresses its heartfelt thanks. It congratulates the Council on rising to its noble task, in the accomplishment of which all peace-loving peoples - that is, I am sure, all the peoples of the world - stand by it.
Tunisia believes that it has fully exercised its right to self-defence against the aggressor that violated our sovereignty and territorial integrity. Those who died, who will very soon be taken to their last resting place, will be able to rest there in peace.
I reiterate my heartfelt gratitude to all members of the Council and all those who came here to express their countries' active solidarity with, and unreserved support for, our just cause - that of law and justice.
Tunisia promises the Council once again that it will spare no effort to ensure the triumph of peace, and that we will continue along the path of friendship and understanding.
: There are no further speakers. The Security Council has thus concluded the present stage of its consideration of the item on the agenda.
Before adjourning the meeting, I should like to announce that the Security Council will resume its consideration of the item "Complaint by Angola against South Africa" on Monday, 7 October 1985, at 10.30 a.m.
The meeting rose at 8.30 p.m