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        General Assembly
1 October 1981

Thirty-sixth session
Official Records


Thursday, 1 October 1981
at 3.15 p.m.
New York

Agenda item 9:
Speech by Mr. Chissano (Mozambique)
Speech by Mr. Al-Nuaimi (United Arab Emirates)
Speech by Mr. Gedle-Giorgis (Ethiopia)
Speech by Mr. Shamir (Israel)
Speech by Mr. Neihaus-Quesada (Costa Rica)
Speech by Mr. Mirghani (Sudan)
President:  Mr. Ismat T. KITTANI (Iraq)



General debate (continued)

1. Mr. CHISSANO (Mozambique): ...


37. In the Middle East we are faced with renewed aggression by the Zionist régime of Israel. The expansionist ambitions and the premeditated commission of international crimes against human beings that characterize the conduct of the régime of Tel Aviv are no longer limited to the Palestinian people and the occupied Arab territories.  The borders of genocide and massacre are expanding. The continued bombing of Lebanon, the bombing of the nuclear research centre of Iraq, which was built for peaceful purposes, and the threats against Syria and Jordan are all actions which fall within the context of Israel's role as a bastion of the strategic interests of imperialism in the Middle East.

38. The definitive elimination of the tension in this area, which constitutes a serious threat to world peace and security, will be possible only with the strict application of the relevant resolutions of the United Nations, which demand, inter alia, respect for the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, including the right to create their own State in Palestine, and the withdrawal of Israel from all the occupied Arab territories.

39. In the search for a negotiated solution to the Palestinian problem the Palestine Liberation Organization [PLO], being the main party concerned and the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people, can never be excluded.


49. Mr. AL-NUAIMI (United Arab Emirates) (interpretation from Arabic):  ...


72. At previous sessions of the General Assembly the United Arab Emirates has described in detail the principles and convictions upon which its policies regarding the Middle East problem and the question of Palestine are based. The most important of these principles are the following: first, recognition that the question of Palestine constitutes the crux and essence of the Middle East problem and that consequently the Arab-Israeli conflict cannot be resolved without the simultaneous resolution of the Palestinian problem; secondly, complete and unconditional Israeli withdrawal from the occupied Arab territories, including
Al Quds Al Sharif; thirdly, the exercise by the Palestinian people of its inalienable rights, including the right of return, the right to self-determination without external interference, the right to national independence and complete sovereignty and the right to establish its independent and sovereign State in Palestine; and, fourthly, participation by the PLO, the sole representative of the people of Palestine, on an equal footing in any attempts or efforts made and any conference held to settle this problem.

73. We consider that the principles enunciated by Prince Fahd of Saudi Arabia3 constitute the basis for a just and comprehensive solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict. We welcome and support his statement as a constructive step towards the return of stability and security to the Middle East region.

74. The period since the last session has been characterized by Israel’s persistence in its aggressive policies and its violations of the principles of the Charter of the United Nations and the rule of international law, thus defying the world community and the international consensus.

75. Israel continues to pursue its policy of Judaization of the Holy City of Jerusalem and the eradication of its Arab and Islamic character. It also continues to carry out excavations that threaten the survival of the holy Al Aqsa mosque, which has a unique significance for Moslems throughout the world. In reiterating our absolute condemnation and rejection of these aggressive Israeli measures, we reaffirm our adherence to the resolutions adopted by the Organization of the Islamic Conference with respect to Jerusalem and welcome the resolutions of the United Nations which firmly reject the annexation by Israel of Jerusalem and the transformation of it into the capital of Israel.

76. In the occupied Arab and Palestinian territories, the Israeli authorities continue to confiscate Arab lands and to establish settlements aimed at the imposition of a fait accompli, the obstruction of the return of those lands and the denial to the Palestinian people of the exercise of the right to self-determination and the establishment of its independent State. It is time for the United Nations, and in particular the Security Council, to impose sanctions on Israel for its policies, which contravene many of its resolutions as well as international rules and conventions.

77. Israel has not confined its colonial practices to that phase but has engaged in other types of infringement such as expulsion of certain Palestinian leaders, including elected mayors, restriction of the civil rights of numerous leaders and even attempts to assassinate some of them, interference in educational affairs, imprisonment, demolition of houses, deportation of inhabitants to other areas and other methods of repression, oppression and terrorism.

78. While condemning those measures, we believe that it is incumbent on the international community to put an end to them once and for all.

79. In Lebanon, Israel has recently escalated its ferocious and barbaric attacks against civilian installations and Palestinian refugee camps. Israel even went so far as to bomb civilian quarters in Beirut, killing and injuring hundreds of civilians and completely destroying numerous buildings, bridges and other installations. The report of each of the two fact-finding committees appointed by the Organization of the Islamic Conference and the non-aligned movement are graphic evidence of this.


80. Israel did not confine its aggression to neighbouring areas but extended it to attacking Iraq. Violating the airspace of three Arab countries, Israel then bombed and destroyed Iraq’s nuclear installations employed for peaceful purposes. The world condemned and deplored those two acts of aggression. We had hoped that the Security Council would go beyond condemnation and the demand for restitution to the application of Chapter VII of the Charter against that aggressive State.

81. In this connection, we appeal to the States which support Israel, in particular the United States, to abandon their partisan policies by giving priority to the principles and purposes of the Charter. We expect them to participate in a concerted effort for this noble cause, which entails deterring the aggressor, terminating defiance of the United Nations and its resolutions, safeguarding the Organization and its prestige and exerting pressure on Israel to comply with United Nations resolutions.

82. It is indeed regrettable that the Government of the United States recently announced a strategic alliance with Israel. That alliance, in our opinion, constitutes encouragement to Israel to persist in its aggressive and expansionist policies and its defiance of the international will.


94. Mr. GEDLE-GIORGIS (Ethiopia): ...


132. The Middle East remains a thorny problem. Israel’s continued occupation of Arab lands and its defiant denial of the rights of the Palestinian people, as well as its repeated acts of aggression against peaceful Lebanon, cannot but be attributed to the boundless support it receives from Washington. The strategic alliance between the United States, Israel and South Africa is nothing but the consolidation of an imperialist-racist axis threatening the freedom and independence of the States of the region and preventing the restoration of the rights of millions. Ethiopia will continue to extend its solidarity to the Palestinian
people in order that they may be able to regain their inalienable right to independence and establish their own State, We also uphold the view that the Arab territories occupied since 1967 should be vacated immediately by Israel.

133. It is sad to note that repeated crimes are being committed against peaceful Lebanon by a neighbour that is armed to the teeth. A free and sovereign State has been subjected to naked aggression. As a victim of similar aggressions, both in the distant past and in recent years, my own country views these criminal acts with indignation. The unity and territorial integrity of Lebanon must be duly respected.


150. Mr. SHAMIR (Israel):  ...  


165. Let me take this opportunity to reiterate Israel’s policy that it will not be the first country in the Middle East to introduce nuclear weapons into the region. Faced as it is with the stark realities of the Middle East, Israel must insist on distinguishing between spurious and genuine safety. As the case of Iraq has clearly demonstrated, the Non-Proliferation Treaty cannot effectively prevent such a country from resorting to nuclear weapons so as to achieve what more conventional means have failed to do.

166. The only genuine way to remove the nuclear threat to the Middle East can be found in the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone, freely and directly negotiated among the countries of the region and based on mutual assurances, on the pattern of the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America. In the Assembly we shall continue to advocate and support constructive steps genuinely advancing the prospect of a Middle East free of nuclear weapons. At the same time, we shall warn against, and oppose, steps designed to exploit this subject as a tool of anti-Israel political warfare.

167. The situation in Lebanon has been a source of grave concern in our region for a number of years. That country has been subjected to strife and bloodshed from the mid-1970’s onwards, due to the exploitation by Syria and by the PLO of domestic rivalries in Lebanon, followed by outright invasion of the country by the Syrian army. The situation has been worsened by the tightening of the PLO’s grip on large parts of the country. Furthermore, in order to promote their regional strategic aims, the Syrians have subjected the Lebanese civilian population to brutal attacks which have brought about the destruction of a large portion of the country. Some 120,000 Lebanese civilians have been the victims of Syrian and PLO atrocities. It is characteristic of the double standard practised in international relations that these atrocities have never been condemned by the international community, including the United Nations. Arab and Soviet-bloc supporters of Syria and the PLO have made any such condemnation impossible.

168. It is our hope that an independent and free Lebanon will soon re-emerge and maintain good relations with all its neighbours, including Israel. But this will be very difficult to achieve as long as the PLO is allowed to nest in Lebanon and to hatch schemes aimed at promoting international terrorism and the mounting of brutal and cowardly attacks against the civilian population of Israel, especially in the northern part of our country. There will be no end to the tragedy of Lebanon as long as the Syrian occupation continues and as long as the PLO maintains its terrorist bases in Lebanon, supported by armaments from foreign Powers, mainly the Soviet Union and Libya. The Government of Israel will at all times support the re-establishment of a truly independent Lebanon, within its internationally recognized boundaries, free of Syrian occupation and PLO terror.

169. The main cause of the Arab-Israel conflict has always been the refusal of Arab States to accept the existence of an independent and secure State of Israel and their avowed commitment to its destruction. The events of the last four years have brought about a major breakthrough in that respect: after Egypt abandoned the path of war and announced its readiness to negotiate peace, peace inevitably followed. Furthermore, while the winds of war have been constantly blowing in other parts of the region, Egypt and Israel, which not long ago were faced with the imminent danger of war, are now learning to coexist in peace and represent an island of stability in the Middle East. Unfortunately, this is not yet the case with regard to the other Arab neighbours of Israel. These Arab States, which have been invited by the signatories of the Camp David framework for peace to join the peace process, have so far refused to do so.


170. One of the clearest manifestations of their categorical opposition to the peace process is their continuing and unprecedented military buildup through arms purchases from the Soviet Union and the Soviet bloc nations, as well as from the United States and Western Europe. Since 1978 the major Arab countries, excluding Egypt, have concluded arms deals valued at $27.8 billion, of which $11.6 billion worth has already been delivered.

171. These acquisitions of arms reflect a formidable quantitative and qualitative military buildup in those countries. These arms are unfortunately intended primarily for use against Israel, Needless to say, the stepped-up arming of the Arab States serves to strengthen their conviction that the Arab-Israel conflict can still be solved by military means. Moreover, it jeopardizes the internal stability of several of the Arab régimes, as well as of the region as a whole.

172. The Camp David accords have been and remain the only feasible path to peace; no other viable solution appears on the horizon. Just last week we resumed the negotiations with Egypt, with the participation of the United States, on the establishment of full autonomy for the Palestinian Arab inhabitants of Judea, Samaria and the Gaza district. We hope to bring these negotiations before long to a successful conclusion.

173. Our people were not handed their State on a silver platter. We fought for liberation against a colonial Power.  We then had to fight against a host of Arab armies that sought to prevent the establishment of our State. Subsequently, we have fought four more wars to defend it. We know very well the meaning and the price of combating colonialism, of a struggle for liberation and of fighting for self-determination.

174. These concepts are now being abused and exploited by a number of Arab Governments in the name of the Palestinian Arabs. The Palestinian Arabs do have a State on a major part of the territory of Palestine. In Jordan, there exists a Palestinian Arab State in everything but name. It is a Palestinian Arab State by virtue of its geography, demography, history, culture, religion and language.  It has even been declared as such by an impressive number of Palestinian Arab and Jordanian leaders. There is thus no need to speak further of Palestinian self-determination; their homeland is already in existence. Moreover, in 1964, when the PLO approved the so-called Palestinian National Covenant with a view to “liberating” Palestine, at a time when Judea, Samaria and the Gaza district were still under Jordanian and Egyptian occupation, the real goal of the Arab States was to “liberate” Israel from Israelis, to deprive Israel of its existence. That aim is still fervently pursued today under the cover of the slogan of a “homeland for the homeless Palestinians”, which is given immense publicity by Arab propagandists and their supporters.

175. Israel firmly believes in a vision of peace for our region and will strive towards its realization. The Middle East is rich, not only in history and in spiritual and cultural assets, but also in immense natural resources and manpower. The people of Israel has as much to offer for the development and progress of our region as have the other neighbouring peoples, each in its own way.

176. The Jewish people has re-established its home in the land of its forefathers, where the Kingdoms of Judea and Israel flourished for centuries. We have now restored our sovereignty over this area after 19 centuries of homelessness, with Jerusalem, which has always been the centre and sole focus of the national and spiritual life of the Jewish people, as the undivided and indivisible capital of Israel.

177. We have returned to the land of Israel and have come there to stay. Together all the nations of the Middle East can usher in an era of real peace and co-operation in the region, The opportunity is there. Let us not miss it.

178. Mr. NIEHAUS-QUESADA (Costa Rica) (interpretation from Spanish): ...


210. The Government of Costa Rica maintains the position it has taken at previous sessions of the General Assembly with regard to the serious situation in the Middle East. There are several difficult elements in that conflict, some of them deeply painful, such as the useless bloodbath inflicted on the communities of Lebanon, for whom the international community should be able to guarantee the right and the real possibility for finding peace and harmony, without the outside interference that makes that impossible. Other elements, besides being painful, seriously threaten the peace of the world; among them is the Arab-Israeli conflict. We believe that the problem could be solved if the parties to the conflict were truly determined to put an end to it and if all involved accepted that both an Israeli and a Palestinian State have a right to existence, that dialogue is the best means of relaxing the tensions between the parties and is a prerequisite to formal negotiations, and that the Israeli and Palestinian States have a right to live within definite, secure borders guaranteed by the United Nations.

211. Were the parties to the conflict to agree to those principles, the problem could be solved and the borders of the States could be fixed in a universally satisfactory manner. The Government of Costa Rica has a very clear picture of what the Middle East could be if all the States there were to put an end to hostilities and launch a programme of co-operation among themselves, thereby heeding the call for peace that we have so often made in this forum.


234. Mr. MIRGHANI (Sudan) (interpretation from Arabic):  ...


249. At this stage there is no need to stress here the fundamental importance the international community attaches to the situation in the Middle East. It is a situation that, in the absence of a just settlement to the problem of Palestine, continues to endanger international peace and security and to aggravate the conflict in the region. The recent developments we have witnessed this year have given a new and serious dimension to the Middle East crisis. The international community must pause and contemplate what might arise if no appropriate and timely measures are taken.

250. This year has witnessed the unprecedented and wanton Israeli aggression against Iraq and the destruction of the Iraqi peaceful nuclear installations which were properly subjected to international inspection and control, in accordance with the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, to which Israel has refused to accede. This Israeli criminal act, in addition to its violation of international norms and instruments calling for respect for the territorial integrity of States and of the principles upon which IAEA was founded, constitutes an obvious denial of the right of the peoples and States of the region
to develop their resources and wealth in order to achieve progress and prosperity. The flagrant Israeli aggression against Iraq has confirmed what we have been reiterating for several years with regard to Israel’s limitless ambitions for occupation, expansion and hegemony. Under the pretext of ensuring its security, Israel invented an imaginary Arab threat in order to obtain the aid and support necessary for achieving its illegitimate dreams and objectives.

251. Israel did not stop with the bombing of the Iraqi nuclear research centre, which it reached by violating the territorial integrity of lraq and several neighbouring countries. It also waged wanton aggression against Lebanon, destroying houses, schools, places of worship, roads and civilian refugee camps in an attempt to carry out its criminal plan to exterminate the Palestinian people wherever they are.

252. Those serious developments and the inhuman practices of the Zionist régime in Jerusalem and all the occupied Arab territories are proof that no just and durable peace can be established in the area so long as Israel continues to plan for aggression and expansion and so long as the international community's response is confined to mere denunciations and condemnations.

253. Let us ask - and we have every right to ask - how long will such an odd and bizarre situation prevail in the Middle East? For how much longer are the Palestinian people condemned to remain confined to refugee camps despite the resolutions of this Organization and others reaffirming their legitimate national and human rights, including their right to self-determination and to establish an independent sovereign State in Palestine? Do we still need to repeat every year from this same rostrum that a just and lasting peace in the Middle East is still dependent upon the complete and unconditional withdrawal of Israel from all the Palestinian and other Arab territories occupied since June 1967, including Jerusalem? Do we need to dwell on the fact that a comprehensive and just
peace in the area is still contingent upon Israel’s full compliance with the United Nations resolutions that condemn the acquisition of territories by force and aggression? Do we need still more affirmations that a just, lasting and comprehensive peace in the area cannot be achieved without the participation of the PLO?

254. The deteriorating situation in the Middle East is the most serious challenge to the international community and to the ability of the United Nations to realize the lofty principles and objectives upon which it is based.  Ranking high among those principles are respect for the inalienable rights of all peoples to life, freedom and self-determination, as well as the inadmissibility of aggression, expansion and acquisition of territory by force. The Israeli contempt for those principles and its non-compliance with the resolutions and provisions adopted by the Organization confront us all with a grave  international responsibility. The deliberate Israeli violation of the principles of the Charter of the United Nations and of international law has left the international community with no choice but that of applying the measures provided for in Chapter VII of the Charter against Israel.


290. Mr. SHAMMA (Jordan): It was not unusual for a representative of the Zionist entity in Arab Palestine to resort to distortions in order to press Zionist lies upon the Assembly. The history of our area is better known to us Arabs than to a foreigner to our area. It is a fact that Jews from all over the world came to Palestine to drive the legitimate Arab inhabitants out of their homeland.

291. My delegation would like to say it in simple terms: Jordan is for the Jordanians and Palestine is for the Palestinians and no Zionist terrorist is going to change this fact by historical distortions.

292. Instead of offering my country to the Palestinians, we would have expected the Zionist representative to acknowledge or to recognize the rights of the victims of Zionist hegemony, namely the Palestinian people, to self-determination. But that was too much to expect from an entity that was built on the ruins of the Palestinian people.

293. It is enough to say that the Zionist representative himself was one of the terrorists who took part in driving the Palestinians out of their homeland, Palestine. So how can we expect him to recognize the rights of the Palestinians to return to their homeland? And that is why he is using my country as a haven for the victims of his crimes.

294. I do not want to delve into the legalities or illegalities of the British Mandate, but let me say that there is nothing in that infamous Mandate that offers my country, Jordan, as a homeland for the Palestinians who have lived for centuries in what is now called Israel. That fact is sufficient to refute the lies just heard from the Zionist representative. On the contrary, the Mandate recognized the area west of the River Jordan as Palestine, the homeland of the Palestinian people. So the area west of the River Jordan is Palestine and will remain the homeland of the Palestinians. That is why the Mandate indicated that nothing should be done to prejudice the rights of the Palestinians in Palestine, now occupied by what is called Israel.

295. Jordan rejects the Zionist’s claims and his trespassing on the independence and integrity of Jordan which is now recognized, and has been recognized, by the United Nations.

296. Mr. AL-ZAHAWI (Iraq): I have read the statement delivered this afternoon by Mr. Shamir. It was nothing but an insult to the United Nations and to the intelligence of every representative attending this session.

297. The world knows full well that Israel is the infamous holder of the record for the greatest number of condemnations issued in the annals of the United Nations for its continued acts of aggression and its violations of the Charter of the United Nations and its resolutions.

298. Mr. Shamir spoke here in praise of the Camp David accords as the only feasible path to peace. He even had the audacity to criticize the attitude of the United Nations towards those accords.

299. Let us look at Mr. Shamir’s own record as one of the Zionists who, in his own words, “can usher in an era of real peace and co-operation in the region”.

300. When it became known that Mr. Shamir was to be appointed Foreign Minister of Israel, The Times of London published an article in its issue of 10 March 1980, from which I should like to cite the following:

So much for the call for peace today by Mr. Shamir here.

320. Mr. EL-FATTAL (Syrian Arab Republic) (interpretation from Arabic):  Because of the late hour I will be as brief as possible. I should like to refer representatives to the statement made by the Foreign Minister of the Syrian Arab Republic on 29 September [17th meeting], which included a full analysis of the reasons for the deterioration of the Middle East situation since the Camp David agreements.

321. There is no need to reply to Israel’s false arguments, because our position of principle is explained in detail in that speech. But there are certain points in Mr. Shamir’s intervention in this meeting to which we must refer, because they contained falsifications and distortions and in addition reflected the habitual intransigence of a racist entity that established itself in Palestine by force of arms. Mr. Shamir said that “The Government and the people of Israel have always upheld the ideals and principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations."*  [Supra, para. 151.]

322. Is this true? How was Israel created? How did Israel come into being? Have we forgotten that Israel was established by a majority attained through manoeuvres - American manoeuvres? The American delegation remembers how votes were imposed on States in favour of partitioning Palestine. I wonder how the Foreign Minister of a country whose Government, he says, has always upheld the ideals and principles of the Charter of the United Nations
can make that claim while knowing that, legally speaking, Israel was created by a recommendation in which the people of Palestine were not asked to have any say, in contravention of the right of self-determination which is enshrined in the Charter.

323. Has Mr. Shamir forgotten that Israel was accepted into the Organization with conditions? It is the only State to have been accepted with conditions. The resolution accepting Israel is there for all to see, along with the conditions imposed on it. Among them is the obligation to comply with the resolutions of the United Nations. Has Israel complied with those resolutions? To implement the resolutions of the United Nations is to protect the Charter.

324. Then Mr. Shamir comes here and says that the Government of Israel and its people “have always upheld the ideals and principles enshrined in the United Nations Charter”.* He then continued:

325. That is what Israeli intellectuals say. But when the Charter came into being Israel did not exist. Jews took part in the creation of the Charter along with Christians and Moslems. Has the Charter become Judaized too, as Palestine has become Judaized? We make a distinction between Judaism and Zionism: Israel is zionism, the Zionist State implanted in our region.

326. Mr. Shamir spoke of the brotherhood of man. Where is the brotherhood of man? Is it in the denial of the rights of the Palestinian people? Is it in the uprooting of thousands of Palestinians from their land by force in 1948? He spoke of social justice, while in the land occupied by Israel there are four social classes, one above the other, with the Arabs under Israeli occupation at the bottom. Where is the social justice? He spoke of the rule of law. Where is the rule of law? Could it be in the fourth Geneva Convention,15 which governs the situation in the occupied Arab lands but which Israel does not comply
with? Where is the rule of law? He also spoke of international law, but international law is superseded by local law in the occupied territories. Israel does not recognize the Geneva Convention, the provisions of which ought to be applied in the occupied Arab territories. Where, then, is the rule of law?

327. Mr. Shamir spoke of the principles enshrined in the Charter, and all those other principles, as having “grown and taken root among the shepherds and peasants of Judaea and Israel long before they came to be accepted as principles of international life”.* [ibid.]

328. Have there never been any non-Jewish shepherds in Palestine? Are thought and intellect in Palestine confined to Jewish thought and intellect? Have not Arabs lived in Palestine for thousands of years? Did they not think? Did they not contribute to world culture and civilization? Did they not contribute certain ideas that are in accordance with the values and principles of the Charter of the United Nations?

329. What is it about the racist intransigence of zionism, that it must monopolize even human thought, claiming that it is Jewish thought?

330. We must mention the insults of the Israeli delegation regarding the United Nations. They claim that we have a “built-in majority”. If we apply that sort of logic to Israel, we must apply it to South Africa as well. Israel seeks to protect South Africa by its claim that votes in the General Assembly against South Africa are won by that majority. All the speakers who preceded me spoke of the rights of the Palestinian people, including the right to self-determination. Do the resolutions for which the majority voted discriminate against Israel? Yes, they do, for Israel is an occupying State. They discriminate against South Africa because it is a racist State, which occupies the territory of others. Yes, there is discrimination, but it is required by ourselves and the very Charter of the United Nations.

The meeting rose at 7.30 p.m.



3Expounded in a radio interview broadcast by Riyadh Domestic Service on 7 August 1981. For a transcription of the interview, see Foreign Broadcast Information Service, Daily Report, FBIS-MEA-81-153, of 10 August 1981, vol. V, No, 153, p. C.3.


15See United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 75, No. 973, p. 287.

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