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The agenda was adopted.
THE SITUATION IN THE OCCUPIED ARAB TERRITORIES
(a) LETTER DATED 16 JANUARY 1986 FROM THE PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF MOROCCO TO THE UNITED NATIONS ADDRESSED TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE SECURITY COUNCIL (S/17740)
(b) LETTER DATED 16 JANUARY 1986 FROM THE PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF THE UNITED ARAB EMIRATES TO THE UNITED NATIONS ADDRESSED TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE SECURITY COUNCIL (S/17741)
The PRESIDENT (interpretation from Chinese): In accordance with decisions taken as the previous meetings on this item, I invite the representative of Morocco 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, Brunei Darussalam, Cuba, Egypt, Guinea, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Israel, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Jordan, the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Malaysia, Mauritania, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Al tibia, Sudan, the Syrian Arab Republic, Tunisia, 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. Alaoui (Morocco) took a place at the Council table; Mr. Kaddoumi (Palestine Liberation Organization) took a place at the Council table; Mr. Zarif (Afghanistan) Mr. Djoudi (Algeria), Mr. Chowdhury (Bangladesh), Mr. Ha i Omar (Brunei Darussalam) Mr. Oramas Oliva Cuba), Mr. Shaker (Egypt) Mr. Camara (Guinea) Ms. Kunadi (India), Mr. Wiryono (Indonesia), Mr. Kittani (Iraq) Mr. Rajaie-Khorassani (Islamic Republic of Iran) Mr. Netanahu (Israel), Mr. Kasrawi (Jordan) Mr. Azzarouk (Libyan Arab Jamahariya), Mr. Zain Azraai (Malaysia), Mr. Ould Boye (Mauritania), Mr. Icaza Gallard (Niearagus), Mr. Shah Nawaz (Pakistan), Mr. Al-Kawari (Qatar), Mr. Shihabi (Saudi Arabia), Mr. Birido (Sudan), Mr. El-Fattal (Syrian Arab Republic), Mr. Bouziri (Tunisia), Mr. Turkmen (Turkey), Mr. Basendwah (Yemen) and Mr. Golob (Yugoslavia) took the places reserved for them at the side of the Council Chamber.
The PRESIDENT (interpretation from Chinese), The Security Council will now resume its consideration of the item on its agenda.
Members of the Council have before them the revised text of the draft resolution sponsored by Congo, Ghana, Madagascar, Trinidad and Tobago and the United Arab Emirates, contained in document S/17769/Rev.1.
The first speaker is the representative of Iraq. I invite him to take a place at the Council table and to make his statement.
Mr. KITTANI (Iraq) First of all, I wish to express on behalf of my delegation our sincere thanks to you, Mr. President, and the other members of the Council for having acceded to our request to participate in the debate on this very important item.
I wish also, on behalf of my delegation, to express our sincere condolences to the representative of the United States and through her to the families of the seven members of the crew of "Challenger" who lost their lives in that tragic incident two days ago.
As to the matter before the Council, at this late hour I shall refrain from repeating what my colleagues have already done, namely talking about the incidents of desecration and profanation of the third holiest shrine of the Muslims, in Jerusalem. They - especially those speaking on behalf of the hundreds of millions of Muslims all over the world - have amply demonstrated two points. The first point is the enormous importance of this item for those hundreds of million people, Arabs and Muslims alike, and the second point they demonstrated - a point I - shall - not repeat - is that these latest acts of desecration, far from being isolated incidents, are but a new link in the long and ever lengthening chain of Zionist acts of aggression and expansion.
Instead, I crave the indulgence of members of the Council while I sketch very briefly the relentless master-plan of the Zionists and, perhaps, as briefly as possible, speak about how all this is possible. For as speaker after speaker has demonstrated, these latest incidents, the subject of the present debate in this Council, are but the most recent manifestations and a direct result of the illegal occupation of Palestinian and Arab lands.
Let me begin with a personal recollection of early June 1947. At that time, at the age of 18, I took a ship from Beirut to come to the United States to study - it was an unconverted "liberty" ship. We stopped in Haifa, Palestine. The next day we went to the post office to write some post cards, and instead of a building we found a rubble of bricks, with a tent in front of it where stamps were being sold. When we asked what was happening and why there were so many British jeeps with machine guns, patrolling the streets of Haifa, we were told that terrorists had blown up the Haifa post office the night before. Perhaps Sir John Thomson, the representative of the United Kingdom could verify the incident from the records of the British Mandate.
Those terrorists were not Arabs, they were not Palestinians. They were members of the two famous - or infamous - gangs: the Irgun Zeva'i Le'umi and the Stern gang. It is the Zionists who introduced terrorism into the Middle East. For those who do not know, and for those who may have forgotten, I shall briefly mention that the Irgun was headed by Begin - a Prime Minister of Israel - and that one of the most prominent members of the Stern gang was the present Foreign Minister of Israel and former Prime Minister - and indeed the next Prime Minister of Israel, if things take the course that has been charted.
Others may have forgotten, but we and certainly the Palestinians - will never forget the blowing up of the Hotel King David and the massacres of Deir Tassin and Qibyah. And this Council should never forget the cold-blooded murder by the Stern gang - Mr. Shamir's gang - of the United Nations mediator, Count Bernadotte.
What were the results of that terrorism under the Mandate? Complete success. They not only terrorized the Palestinian people, with the results creating the situation the Council has been seized of ever since, but they made the Mandatory Power panic and, indeed, throw in the towel, forget its responsibilities under the Mandate and toss the whole matter into the lap of the Security Council.
That reign of terror was not only successful - it was so successful that it was woven into the policy of Israel from its inception. If there is one consistent pattern in Israel's policy since 1998, it is aggression and expansion based on sheer force and terror. In short, Israel has chosen to live by the sword - and to live by the sword alone - until the totality of the zionist dream becomes a reality.
However, for this master plan to be put into effect and become a reality, there must be a final solution for the Palestinians. They must disappear as a people entitled like other peoples to national rights of any kind, and that has been the other, parallel, pattern of Israeli policy. The efforts to achieve that part of the master plan have been no less persistent or relentless than the reliance on sheer, brutal force: no self-determination for the Palestinians, no recognition of their true representative, they must be considered as terrorists and, if not, as - at the most - refugees.
We look at it differently, and we are not alone in so doing. Iraq is proud to recognize the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and to continue to recognize the PLO as the only legitimate representative of five million Palestinians. We are not alone, because the PLO is a full member of the League of Arab States. The PLO is a full member of the Organization of the Islamic Conference. The PLO is a full member of the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries. The PLO has been recognized by over 110 countries. The PLO has offices and representation, many of them at the embassy level, in 87 countries. I suppose all of those 87 offices are now a legitimate target for Israeli B-15s and 16s - at least according to public opinion in this country.
Above all, there are sometimes questions raised as to whether the PLO really represents the Palestinian people. Let us pause here to talk a little bit about the Palestinian people. They are second to none in their thirst for liberty and their determination to recover their usurped rights. The Palestinian people are second to none - certainly none of the Arab or other developing countries in the world - in their enlightenment, in their thirst for knowledge and for education. Every year over 20,000 Palestinians graduate from colleges. They and their colleagues cannot all be turned into either terrorists or refugees. With all their trials and tragedies and tribulations, the Palestinian people are second to none in thirsting for and practising democracy. Those who are familiar with the process that goes on in Palestinian institutions can only envy them their thirst for democracy.
How is it possible that we are where we are today? Here I speak more in sorrow than in anger, because anger can be controlled, but sorrow is deeper and not easy to cure. I am talking about the parallel, consistent and riding tide of support in this country for whatever Israel does. Perhaps the turning-point - or one of the easy turning-points - in favour of Israel in United States policy occurred in the autumn of 1956. At that time, I was an attaché at the Iraqi Embassy in Cairo. We all remember that, when the aggression against Egypt occurred on the last day of October 1956, in one of the shining hours of American diplomacy the Republican Administration in the White House insisted that Israel must disgorge the fruits of its aggression unconditionally. We look back with nostalgia - and not much more - to that day. Sinai and Gaza were forced to be evacuated, and who did it? The United States, the United States Administration, Mr. Eisenhower and Mr. Dulles.
That lesson was never forgotten by the Zionists. They immediately set to work to make sure that it did not happen again. Again, with sadness and sorrow, we say that their success has been consistent and alarming. If we compare what happened in 1956 to what happened in 1967, with the consequences of which the Council is still dealing, we see the difference between day and night.
First, no immediate and unconditional withdrawal - no withdrawal at all. Then, in November, came resolution 242 (1967). And how was it sold to those who adopter it then? I shall take just one aspect of it: it was sold on the explanation that withdrawal would be complete except for very minor adjustments on both sides of the armistice demarcation lines, which had gone through communities and, sometimes, separated villages from their tilled land. Are there any doubts about it? The chief author of that resolution is still alive - indeed, he is still writing about it. Read Lord Caradon some time, and it will be clear that I am not inventing.
Now, the whole crux of the Arab-Israeli conflict is: Will the PLO and Mr. Arafat recognize resolution 242 (1967) or will they not? Which resolution 242 (1967) - today, 19 years after occupation, hundreds of settlements later, with no mutual recognition?
Indeed, can Mr. Natanyahu come here and say what his interpretation is of that resolution 242 (1967) which the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) must recognize? Is it minor adjustments on the armistice line? I know that same will laugh at me, but the fact is that that was at least the original, explanation.
But the years go by and there is this unfailing pattern of more nibbling and more encroachment. New facts are created - to use Dayan's term. And each fact that is created must be recognized, not only by the Palestinians, not only by the Arabs, not only by the Muslims, but by the international community - so long as the is United States support.
I have referred to the settlements. When Israel occupied the rest of Palestine and the Golan Heights and Sinai in 1967, Mr. Johnson was in the White House. He was succeeded by Presidents Nixon, Ford, Carter and Reagan - five Administrations. The first four of those Administrations took the position, and consistently announced it, that the establishment of Jewish settlements in the West Bank and Gaza was illegal. Suddenly, under the present Administration, it has somehow become not illegal. How come? Has the present Administration been able to find wiser and more even-handed legal advisers? No, it is the story I have been trying to tell the Council: the relentlessly increasing Zionist influence and pressure in this country.
It is strange indeed that parallel with increased Israeli expansion, aggression mud intransigence, there is rising support for Israel - not descending, or even flat, support. All one has to do is lock at the military side, look at the requests for foreign aid that President Reagan sent to the White House two days ago.
The lobby long ago captured the entire Congress of the United States and has been holding it hostage. I suggest that those who want to find out how this was achieved, and is still being achieved, should read the book entitled "They Dare to Speak Out" by a former United States Representative, Paul Findley of Illinois. Very clearly, with dates, names, facts and figures, he tells what happened to the handful of Congressman - like Fulbright and Percy and like him - who dared to speak out, what happened to them politically and why they are a vanishing breed.
Incidentally, speaking about the United States Congress, we read in the newspapers that Senator Lugar, the distinguished Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, will go to Manila, the capital of a fully sovereign State Member of the United Nations, to supervise the elections and to satisfy himself, on behalf of the Administration and Congress, that they will be conducted in accordance with democratic standards, United States standards. Why do we never hear of any suggestion in the Congress of the United States that Israel should be persuaded to allow someone - especially anyone who has doubts about whether the PLO represents the Palestinian people - to go and find out, by asking the Palestinians on the West Bank and Gaza, whether they approve of the PLO. Anyone who goes there will find out that everything that Mr. Netanyahu has told the Security Council is really contrary to the facts. Anyone who goes there will find out that what we and the majority of the international community have been telling the United Nations - namely, that the PLO is a true and legitimate representative of the Palestinian people - is correct. But it is precisely because of this that they will never go and find out. Indeed, the only time when there were elections, even for Mayors, a solid slate of pro-PL candidates was elected. And we all know what happened to them.
We have now reached the position where people are talking about the "double veto". We have a double veto now: there are not only the United States vetoes here - and they are becoming more and more frequent - but an Israeli and a Zionist veto on the United Staters position, quite often. Suddenly, not only are settlements no longer illegal, but any reference to previous resolutions - supported, at the time they were adopted, by United States representatives - must be avoided. Otherwise, this sword of Democles hanging over the Security Council - the United States veto - will descend on any text and chop its head off.
Will the draft resolution now before the Security Council meet with that fate, or shall we see a change? We shall find out. What is clear is that the distance that we once saw between the United States position and the Israeli position on the Middle East has steadily shrunk over the years, to the point where it is becoming extremely difficult, even with the best of intentions, to find the difference between the two positions.
So the position is: no self-determination. Congress having been silenced, no one in the Administration can even speak to any representative of the PLO. And I must say, again with pain, that we, and I think the majority of the countries represented in this building, reject a state of affairs where Mr. Savisbi, the representative of South Africa in Angola, is a freedom-fighter who can be received in the White House - as indeed I believe he was today - but any United States diplomat who speaks to any member of the PLO has the fate of which we are all aware. Everyone here knows what happened to the Mayor of Atlanta, a former colleague of starry representatives here - one of the top lieutenants of Martin Luther King, she of the best friends of President Carter over the years. Because he dared to meet with poor Mr. Terzi privately, the whole Zionist wroth in this country descended on him, and not even his boss - the Commander in Chief, the President, his best friend - could save him, and he had to resign.
I think that you, Mr. President, and the other members of the Security Council will agree that I do not abuse the privilege of speaking here by taking too much of the Council's time. I shall therefore end now with a few words about the future.
How many days will pass - or perhaps it will be only hours - before Israel's sword strikes again and we shall be back here, forcing the Council to go yet again through this painful and frustrating ordeal: Will there or will there not be a United Stars veto?
To Israel, we say counting on the present state of affairs, counting on sheer force and living by the sword is going to be fatal sooner or later. The Arabs will never continue to be as divided as they are now. One day, and it my not be too far away, they will learn how to defend their territories and their rights and stop killing each others they will learn how to defend their honour and their integrity and their independence, as indeed my country has been demonstrating for the last six years despite enormous sacrifices.
And here I should like to pause and pose a question. Is there not a lesson in the fact that Israel has done and is doing everything possible to support the continuation of the tragic conflict between Iraq and Iran - not only for this Council, which has the primary responsibility for peace and security, but also, since we are considering the desecration of the third holiest shrine of Islam, for the Arab and Islamic countries?
As to living by the sword, I want to say that one could refer to the scriptures as to what happens to those who live by the sword. One could also historically refer to the Crusaders - and do not forget they stayed for 200 years. But that was a vary slow age. He are living in the age of speed.
To the united States, our only appeal is this. The formula you have now is not a formula for pesos. It is a formula for perpetuating destruction, expansion, aggression and turmoil in our part of the world and perhaps beyond it. The desire for peace must begin. It must begin. Only then will the chances for peace begin to brighten. It must begin by speaking to the Palestinian people, by recognizing their self-determination, by recognizing that they are not different from any other people, by not casting veto after veto in this Council, each one of which is yet another invitation, another flashing green light for Israel to do what it pleases.
The PRESIDENT (interpretation from Chinese): Since there are no further speakers, I shall now make a statement in my capacity as the Permanent Representative of China to the United Nations.
Since 8 January of this year some members of the Israeli Knesset, certain Government ministers and some extremists have on several occasions violated the sanctity of Al-Aqsa Mosque and harassed Muslin prayer there, staging acts of deliberate provocation. This serious profanation has caused shock and indignation among Muslims all over the world. The Chinese people and the Chinese Muslims, who are sympathetic to the Islamic countries and peoples and understand their sentiments towards the Islamic holy sanctuaries in Jerusalem, wish to join them in condemning the acts of provocation I have mentioned. It is entirely justified for the Organisation of the Islamic Conference and the Arab Group to request an urgent meeting of the Security Council to consider this serious incident. The Chinese delegation fully supports their request.
The Chinese delegation shares the view expressed by many representatives that the recant profanation against Al-Aqsa Mosque was by no means an accidental and isolated incident. It was in fact the continuation of a series of acts of sabotage and provocation over nearly 20 years against Islamic Holy Places in Jerusalem. Those responsible for the recant incidents were not only extremists; they included also a minister of the Israeli Government and members of the Knesset, who were protected by the police, which further aggravated the gravity and danger of the incident. The Israeli authorities can in no way shirk their responsibility for the incident. It is known to all that since 1967, when the Israeli authorities occupied large tracts of Arab territories, including Jerusalem, they have been taking legislative and administrative measures to change the status of Jerusalem in an attempt to create a fait accompli and annex the city. The international community has all along been deeply concerned over this. Sin 1968 the Security Council has adopted successively nine resolutions is which it has stressed time and again that all legislative and administrative measures and actions taken by Israel, the occupying Power, with the intention of altering the character and status of time Holy City of Jerusalem have no legal validity and asked Israel to cease all its acts of this nature. However, while refusing to implement the Security Council resolutions, the Israeli authorities have clung obdurately to their course and created continuous tensions in the occupied territories, including Jerusalem, which has obstructed the effort to achieve a comprehensive, fair and lasting settlement of the Middle East question.
The Chinese delegation holds that the question of Jerusalem is an important component of the Middle East question and that the ultimate solution of the Jerusalem question hinged comprehensive, fair and lasting settlement of the riddle East question. To this end Israel must withdraw from the Arab territories it has occupied, including Jerusalem, and the national rights of the Palestinian people and the other Arab countries must be restored. Prior to the attainment of that fundamental goal, Israel, being the occupying Power, must strictly observe the principles of international law, particularly the relevant provisions contained in the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, and respect the basic rights of the indigenous Arab people, including their right to religious belief and the ancient Islamic civilisation.
China supports the draft resolution sponsored by the non-aligned countries and will vote in favour of it.
I now resume my functions as President of the Council.
It is my understanding that the 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 the vote now. There being no objection, it is so decided.
I shall first call on those members of the Council who wish to make statements before the voting.
Sir John THOMSON (United Kingdom): We are faced with a strange situation. The Council has met to consider what in most circumstances would be regarded as a minor incident. No one was killed, no one was seriously injured, There were score provocations, some hints of violence, some use of tear-gas, and some efficient police work. There has also been some dispute about facts, but the general outline is reasonably clear and reveals a situation which in most ways is much less serious than the sort of situations this Council normally has to deal with. However, the incidents took place in Jerusalem, and that automatically puts them in a class by themselves. Although no one was seriously injured, religious and emotional susceptibilities were.
As members know, my delegation had hoped that the situation could have been resolved in private discussions without the need for a public debate. However, we have had a public debate. Since we are on record in this public way my Government feels obliged to restate our positions on the basic considerations which underlie the particular incident before us.
Almost from the beginning of its existence the Security Council has stressed the special importance of Jerusalem as a city holy to three major religions. The Council has been concerned with preserving freedom of access for worshippers in conditions of safety and mutual respect. The Council has also taken note of the city's central importance in the achievement of a comprehensive, just and lasting peace between Israel and its Arab neighbours. The Council has, furthermore, made it clear that the part of Jerusalem occupied by Israel since 1967, like the remainder of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, constitutes occupied territory to which the provisions of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War are applicable. The Council has also in a series of resolutions, including resolution 478 (1980), shown that it rejects Israel's claim, repeated in this debate last week by the Permanent Representative of Israel, to sovereignty over the entire city. All these Council resolutions which are reaffirmed in the draft resolution before us are upheld by my Government.
My delegation welcomes the positive references by many speakers in the debate so far to the need for strict respect for the proper status of Jerusalem and to the importance of this in the attainment of a comprehensive, just and lasting peace, for which my Government continues to work actively with all the parties concerned. My Government's long-standing position remains that it is unable to recognize the sovereignty of any State over Jerusalem pending a final determination of the status of the area.
It is against this background that we have to judge the particular incident drawn to our attention. This, as we see it, was not a deliberate act by the Israeli Government. Nevertheless, provocative actions were carried out by certain Israelis, including members of the Knesset, at the Haram Al-Sharif. From our understanding of what happened, the police appear to have behaved properly and criticism of the individuals who provoked the incidents has been widely expressed in the Knesset and in the Israeli media.
Unfortunately, the incidents at the Haram Al-Sharif are not the first of their kind nor have such provocative acts been confined to Jerusalem. My delegation has heard with deep concern reports of further tension over the sanctity of the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron. In this case, as in that of the Haram Al-Sharif in Jerusalem, it is imperative that the traditional rights of the long-established Muslim shrine there be observed and that the authorities of the occupying Power show scrupulous respect for its sanctity.
My delegation welcomes the statements made by the Israeli Prime Minister as well as the Permanent Representative of Israel about their continued policy of tolerance and respect for all religions. We applaud the statement that this will continue "totally unaffected by attempts at provocation". We deplore provocative acts on either side in this difficult situation. We note that the Israeli record of respect for the existing arrangements in regard to the Temple Mount has generally been satisfactory and we feel that this could usefully have been reflected in the draft resolution. We trust that in future all parties will respect the rights of others and avoid provocation. We look to the Israeli Government to continue to carry out their responsibilities under the Geneva Convention.
The text of the draft resolution before us is in various ways, some of which I have noted, less than ideal. However, it is in general consistent with the positions of my Government to which I have already drawn attention. Accordingly, on balance, my delegation will vote in favour of it.
Ms. BYRNE (United States of America): Earlier today my delegation made a request to our fellow members of the Council for a brief postponement of the vote on this important draft resolution. We believed that such a postponement could have been useful in clarifying and otherwise ameliorating the situation. This request could have been accorded without prejudice to any delegation's position of principle on the issues involved. Unfortunately, some delegations refused to accede to our request. We regret that the customary courtesy of a delay, which we believed might have been helpful, was not extended in this instance.
I wish to make clear that my Government deplores recent acts by certain individuals, including members of the Israeli Knesset and others who participated in the disturbances at the sanctuary of Al-Harem Al-Sharif in Jerusalem. The Holy Places in Jerusalem are sacred to many peoples and faiths - Muslims, Jews and Christians. Their significance transcends politics. We understand the religious sensitivities of Muslims who were offended by the recent incidents. All worshippers have an obligation to respect the religious sensitivities of others. The United States would have certainly joined in a consensus statement or draft resolution reaffirming the universally acknowledged significance of the Holy Places, calling for respect and tolerance, stressing the importance of protecting and preserving these fevered places and ensuring that members of all faiths have unrestricted access. We suggested such a constructive approach and we deeply regret that the Council chose not to follow this path.
My Government has no choice but to vote against the inappropriate draft resolution submitted to this Council. Israeli officials, religious leaders and many Israeli citizens promptly condemned the incidents that occurred as needlessly insensitive and contrary to Jewish law. Israeli military authorities saved swiftly to quiet a demonstration that resulted from these regrettable provocations. The Israeli Government has a positive record of ensuring the accessibility, security and sanctity of the Temple Mount. It has made it clear that this policy remains unchanged and will be strictly enforced. It has reaffirmed the validity of the Cabinet decision against Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount. Yet the text before us today gives the unmistakable impression that the Government of Israel is to blame for the provocations actions of a few individuals.
This draft resolution is also designed to use these incidents as a pretext for addressing larger issues of the status of Jerusalem and Israel's stewardship as an occupying Power. The Council has adopted many resolutions concerning these broader questions when circumstances called for addressing them here, and our position on the questions remains unchanged. However, we see no cause to rehearse those pronouncements in a draft resolution which, if adopted at all, should focus solely on the recent events on the Temple Mount. To do so is to abuse the function of this body for political reasons.
Let me add, in order to avoid any misconceptions, that the position of the United States towards the status of Jerusalem, the applicability of the Fourth Geneva Convention to the territories occupied by Israel, and Israeli responsibilities under that Convention remain unchanged. But the acts of a few individuals representing only themselves and the correct way in which the Israeli authorities dealt with this situation do not by my measure justify a resolution of this kind. To cast blame upon Israel and to challenge it to fulfil its international obligations in any incident where the Government of Israel has clearly already done so in a particularly sensitive and emotional situation is simply unfair. It means that Israel will be criticized regardless of the merits of its actions.
The Temple Mount is the focus of man's highest values and a symbol of peace. It is essential that individuals of all faiths in Jerusalem and around the world work to protect these values. That goal and the larger goal of peace cannot be advanced by divisive partisan resolutions which only increase tension and mistrust. The work of this Council, once seized of the subject, should have been to invite people of goof faith from all religions to join together in tolerance and mutual respect to honour the unique spiritual importance of the Holy Places in the City of Jerusalem, without rancour or partisanship. Because the Council the a different path, the United States will be forced to vote against the draft resolution before us.
Mr. de KEMOULARIA (France) (interpretation from French): Today the Security Council is taking a decision on the complaint of Arab States and the Islamic community following incidents that took place at the Haram Al-Sharif in Jerusalem, one of the three principal Islamic Holy Places. France understands the emotion of States members of the Islamic Conference and all those belonging to one of the three major religions who are dedicated to the preservation of an indivisible spiritual heritage.
Nevertheless, my delegation would have liked the debate, to which our Council has devoted long and sometimes repetitive meetings, to have stated the facts without distortion and put them in their proper perspective. Indeed, from the information that we have gathered on the spot, including from the highest ranking Islamic religious authorities, we note that the incidents in question were the work of a limited number of persons acting, it would seem, on their own initiative and that there were no victims or destruction involved. It is still regrettable that Israeli Members of Parliament were among those persons.
As my delegation has stated on several occasions, especially during the adoption of resolutions 476 (1980) and 478 (1980), France recognizes the particularly important and especially sensitive role of the Jerusalem issue for all the parties involved. The French Government accepts no unilateral initiative which might result in changing the status of Jerusalem. Any agreement on that City's status should guarantee the right of free access by all to the Holy Places. In this connection, we have noted with satisfaction the recent statements on this matter by the Prime Minister of Israel. The sacred nature of the religious places must also be protected. What applies to Haram Al-Sharif in Jerusalem is also valid for the Sanctuary of Abraham in Hebron. I might add that that quite obviously applies to all the Holy Places, be they Muslim, Jewish or Christian.
That is why my delegation will vote in favour of the draft resolution submitted to the Council.
Mr. WOOLCOTT (Australia): If I may start with a personal observation, I made a private visit to Jerusalem and the Holy Places in 1982. That visit impressed deeply upon me the enormous importance of that Holy City for millions of Moslems, Jews and Christians throughout the world. These thoughts were put very eloquently by the Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, Ambassador Massamba Sarré, in this debate last week and I shall not seek to duplicate his words.
I have listened carefully to all the statements made so far in this debate, including that by the representative of Israel. Whatever the facts of the incidents on the Temple Mount earlier this month - and some of them still seem to be in doubt - there is no doubt that what happened at the Al-Aqsa Mosque has aroused deep religious concerns throughout the Islamic world and also focused attention, again, on the political sensitivities surrounding the status of Jerusalem. This issue is therefore a matter of great complexity and sensitivity to which the international community must react with great responsibility.
In this context, I should like to place an record the Australian Government's support for all previous Security Council resolutions on this subject. In particular, we share the view that all legislative and administrative measures and actions taken by Israel which alter, or seek to alter, the character and status of Jerusalem should be considered null and void.
Australia also believes that the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 continues to apply to all the territories occupied by Israel in 1967, including East Jerusalem. It is the responsibility of Israel, as the occupying Power, to ensure that the provisions of that Convention are carefully respected throughout the occupied territories.
There can be no question but that Israel has a duty to allow worshippers to practise their religions freely and to ensure that the Holy Places are treated with the greatest respect. As the occupying Power, Israel has a responsibility to preserve the unique cultural and religious character of the Holy City. The Australian Government believes that Israel has made efforts to that end and has largely fulfilled its obligations with respect to access to the Holy Places. Nevertheless, the have been recant incidents which cannot be overlooked.
On the wider question of the final status of Jerusalem, Australia continues to believe that that can be determined only in the course of negotiations for a peaceful, just and comprehensive settlement of the Arab-Israel dispute.
Australia continues to place the highest priority on progress towards peace in the Middle East. We have sought during the course of this debate and the associated deliberations to ensure that nothing is done to hinder present initiatives in the Middle East region.
The Australian Government is glad that the sponsors of the draft resolution agreed to remove from earlier drafts tendentious references which in our view implied the connivance of the Israeli Government in the incidents at Temple Mount.
The Australian delegation will vote in favour of the draft resolution.
The PRESIDENT (interpretation from Chinese): I shall now put the draft resolution to the vote.
A vote was taken by show of hands.
In favours: Australia, Bulgaria, China, Congo. Denmark, France, Ghana, Madagascar, Trinidad and Tobago, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Venezuela
Against: United States of America
The PRESIDENT (interpretation from Chinese) The result of the voting is as follows: 13 in favour, 1 against and 1 abstention. The draft resolution has not been adopted, owing to the negative vote of a permanent member of the Security Council.
I shall now call on those members of the Council who wish to make statements following the voting.
Mr. BIERRING (Denmark): My Government fully appreciates and respects the deep feelings which are evoked whenever a problem arises concerning the Holy Places in Jerusalem. Jerusalem occupies a special place for believers in three great world religions and for all the peoples of the region. It is therefore of the utmost importance that religious tolerance, peaceful cohabitation and respect for the religious sensitivities of others are upheld.
The recent incidents at one of Islam's most sacred places, the Sanctuary of Al-Haram Al-Sharif, must therefore give rise to serious concern, and Denmark deeply deplores the provocative acts of individuals in connection with the visits of Knesset members.
In our opinion, all efforts must be exerted to prevent further acts of provocation and violence. It is necessary to protect and preserve the unique character of Jerusalem so that peoples of all faiths have unrestricted access to the city, are allowed to administer their own Holy Places and are permitted to worship theca without disturbance.
In this connection, I should like to recall that it is the firm position of my Government that the fourth Geneva Convention, of 12 August 1949, to applicable to Jerusalem as well as to the other territories occupied by Israel since 1967.
Denmark fully recognizes the special importance of the question of Jerusalem to all the parties concerned, as expressed in the Venice Declaration of 13 June 1980, issued by the Heads of State or Government of the member States of the European Community. My Government maintain the position set out in that Declaration, that no unilateral initiative aimed at changing the status of Jerusalem is acceptable and that any agreement on Jerusalem must guarantee freedom of access to all Holy Places.
The question of Jerusalem remains one of the fundamental issues in the Israeli-Arab conflict, and should be solved within the framework of a comprehensive settlement in the Middle East.
While having voted in favour of the draft resolution, my Government regrets that it was not possible to reach consensus on a decision in this matter. In our opinion, all efforts must now be exerted to avoid further tension in Jerusalem, and in this context we have taken note of recent statements by the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Israel that existing arrangements in regard to the Temple Mount will not be changed.
Mr. KASEMSRI (Thailand): My delegation made the difficult decision to abstain on the draft resolution on this specific matter, mainly because we would have preferred to wait until the facts were made clearer and the inflamed emotions had cooled. It was a difficult decision also because the circumstantial evidence and Israel's obligations as the occupying Power have attributed some responsibility to its authorities. It remains to be seen, subsequent to the shocking incidents, what actions they will take to correct the situation and to prevent a recurrence. My delegation's abstention should be interpreted as reflecting a wait-and-see attitude and a challenge to the Israeli authorities to make good their avowed commitment to religious tolerance in the occupied Arab territories, including Jerusalem.
Mr. AL-SHAALI (United Arab Emirates)(interpretation from Arabic): At the outset, I should like to apologize for making a statement at this late hour, but I am compelled to do so.
Since the month of January is almost over, we wish to thank you most sincerely, Mr. President, for your wisdom and objectivity, which have been crystal clear during the Security Council's deliberations in January. On behalf of the delegation of the United Arab Emirates I wish to thank you also for your efforts during the discussions on the item now on our agenda.
Less than two weeks ago, the representative of Lebanon was sitting at this very table urging, appealing, demanding that the Security Council adopt a draft resolution to prevent a repetition of Israeli practices in southern Lebanon. At that time, Lebanon submitted a draft resolution about which the least that can be said is that it was modest. For our part, we warned that the Security Council must adopt that draft resolution in order to avoid sending an erroneous message to Israel.
But the Lebanese draft resolution failed because the United States of America made use of its right of veto, and what the representative of Lebanon warned of did indeed take place: yesterday's news reports informed us that Israel has launched air raids against refugee camps in Sidon in southern Lebanon. In that sense, the message this Council sent to Israel was not erroneous: it was perfectly clear.
On 8, 9 and 14 January, Israel took advantage of that same message to desecrate Holy Places in Jerusalem. It is that message sent by the Council to Israel that led us to request that the Security Council be convened, to call once again upon the Security Council.
It is wrong to believe, as some do, that the use - or abuse - of the right of veto will prevent States that are victims of aggression from seeking the help of the Security Council or from proposing draft resolutions for its consideration. We shall come to the Security Council again and again, so long as our lands and our countries are the victims of aggression.
When we called for these Council meetings, we were contacted by a group of delegations which called for objectivity and realism on our part. They called upon us to be serious. Thus, we tried to be objective. We put forward some ideas. Other delegations commented on them, and we accepted their comments. We also made our own observations, and those other delegations accepted our observations with thanks.
The draft resolution we proposed expresses reality only in its most restricted form, but we wanted to be as co-operative as possible. We wanted to make the task of the Council easier so that no one could say we were the reason for the Council not shouldering its responsibilities. We have reaffirmed that again and again; we reaffirmed it through the draft resolution we submitted.
What was the result? It was the same result; the one we expected: we are being asked not to come to the Security Council. We are being asked not to put forward draft resolutions - draft resolutions in which we condemn ourselves in the Security Council. Two weeks ago, Lebanon was indeed asked to condemn itself. When Lebanon put forward its draft resolution, it was told that the draft resolution was not balanced, in other words that it did not put the aggressor and the victim on the same level. In the logic of some States, the victim is to be blamed, not the aggressor.
That is not our view, We demand rights. Our lands are occupied, our peoples oppressed. Our Holy Places are desecrated.
Today, the Security Council has sent a clear message to Israel, that the Security Council will provide cover for any Israeli military action. The message is that any Arab draft resolution against Israel, or any African draft resolution against South Africa will face the abuse of the right of veto.
Therefore, I would not be surprised if we came to the Council again, perhaps in a week, perhaps in two weeks, perhaps in a month. The subject may be a new Israeli act of aggression against other sites, other places. That will be the result of the failure of the Security Council to shoulder the responsibilities entrusted to it by the United Nations Charter. Small States, the victims of aggression, will not heed those who wish to prevent them from airing their complaints. As I have said, we shall come repeatedly before the Security Council until aggression is pre-empted.
I wish in conclusion to thank all the States that voted in favour of the draft resolution. I fully understand the position of those who were forced to abstain in the vote. But, most regrettably, we cannot understand the position of those who voted against the draft resolution.
The PRESIDENT (interpretation from Chinese): I thank the representative of the United Arab Emirates for the kind words he addressed to me.
The representative of the Palestine Liberation Organisation has asked to make a statement, and I now call upon him.
Mr. KADDOUMI (Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) (interpretation from Arabic): I too wish to thank you, Mr. President, for your continuing, patient efforts in the Security Council. I thank your Government and your generous country for their friendly position.
I thank all those who voted in favour of the draft resolution before the Council. I believe that that was a sign of great courage.
I had hoped not to speak at this meeting. I had hoped I could refrain from speaking. Were it not for some of the statements I have heard, had the right of veto not been exercised by the United States of America against be draft resolution, I mould not be doing so.
I would assure the Council, however, that we had no doubt that the United States would vote against the draft resolution. When we decided to bring the issue before the Council, we had no illusions that the United States of America, which claims to protect peace and security in the world, would also be against any draft resolution, whatever its substance. I think, therefore, that there was an impression that we were very easy during the discussions on the content of the draft resolution. When certain paragraphs were deemed inappropriate, we said, "Fine, delete these." When some European countries ear other delegations, like that of the United States, did not wish to see a certain paragraph included, we said, "Fine, take it out." And still we had no doubt that the United States of America would vote against it. Prior to the voting, I made a statement in which I said that the United States would vote against it.
How can the role of the Security Council, which is to maintain international peace and security, be performed if it is to be aborted by the delegation of a country that claims to protect international peace and security? Forgive me for speaking frankly, but I must. The United Kingdom representative stated that these were "minor incidents". If the incidents, which took so long to discuss, were minor, and if the representative of the United States of America then voted against the draft resolution, how can the Security Council be expected to solve the question of Palestine?
The United States of America claims to be prepared to participate in the peace process. His Majesty King Hussein has told us this. We, the Palestine Liberation Organization, were convinced that that would not be the case, and then the present saga began. An agreement with Jordan? Yes, indeed, let us have an agreement with Jordan. Will they send a joint delegation? Yes, let us have a joint delegation. Then we are told: No, you cannot have members of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization. Well and good - no members of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization. Perhaps the National Committee? Fine, let us have members of the National Committee. They proposed a working group, but we said, No, let us have two balanced delegations. A summit meeting was held, and after that, after Mr. Shultz's visit to Israel, we were told, "No, there will be no meeting with a joint Palestinian-Jordanian delegation." All that, we knew.
There is only one way for the peoples of the world to rid themselves of injustice and oppression. The peoples of world are fully aware of this. Look at the situation in the America. Yesterday, some Palestinians committed an act that is claimed to be terrorist. It is then said that the Palestine Liberation organization is responsible for that act. Now the United States of America and some European States tell us that those who carried out these acts in Jerusalem were alone responsible for them, not Israel. Is that the rule? If that is the rule, why is it not applicable to us? No, as Brandt said, that is the logic of arrogance of power. I repeat: arrogance of power.
Let me pose a hypothetical question: Does anyone believe that the United States of America is seriously committed to maintaining international peace and security in the Middle East? President Reagan, in his statement at the meeting commemorating the fortieth anniversary of the founding of the United Nations, did not even mention the Middle East. Is it true that the United States of America indeed recognizes the right to self-determination? President Wilson himself put forward 14 points in that connection. Is it not our right, the right of the Palestinian people, when in 1919 France and Britain decided that Palestine would be mandated - not Israel, but Palestine. At the time, these was no Israel. The Mandate was over Palestine. Again, we have the arrogance of power and the arrogance of the colonialism of the time.
It was stated that the citizenship of the people living in Palestine would not be prejudiced, and now I hear a representative from so-called Israel stating that Jerusalem is "his" city. Yet it is not surprising, for we know that when, pursued by Hitler, they came to our Palestine, when the British Mandate was still in effect, they stole our land. Why, then, should they not desecrate our Holy Places.
Let there be no mistake: The problem is not the Holy Places. We understand the problem very well. That representative claims that Jerusalem is the eternal capital of Israel, so how can the help but believe that he can act as he wishes in Jerusalem. Indeed, why not wipe out the whole of the Mahgribi Quarter? Why should the members of the Knesset not enter it? As they say, these members represent the Israelis.
Does the Palestinian people not have the right of every people to its own land? Do we not have a place on the political map of the Middle East? When they say that Israeli forces are striking at Arabs and Palestinians, the Israeli representative says that this or that Arab State has harboured Palestinians, and so on and so forth. Israel does, therefore, strike at Palestinians. The land of the Palestinians is not in Jordan, it is not in Lebanon, it is not in Syria. Our place is in Palestine, which has been occupied by Israel. That is our reply to such logic.
I beg the Council's pardon for speaking at such length, but I have one further point to make. Consider the case of espionage against the United States of America by Israel. Thirty-five zionist institutions here in the United States of America make an arrogant statement - here in the United States, not in Israel - calling for closure of the offices of the Palestine Liberation Organization in France, in Italy, in Greece. Such Zionism will be the cause of the third world war, and I am hereby warning the Council of that.
They arrogantly ask the President of Peru why he should meet with a Palestinian delegation. Do they rule the world?
The United States of America bears an increasing responsibility in this matter.
If I have spoken words of anger, I apologize to the President and other members of the Council. I thank them for their patience in listening to me.
The PRESIDENT (interpretation from Chinese): I thank the representative of the Palestine Liberation Organization for the kind words he addressed to me.
The representative of Israel wishes to speak. I invite him to take a place at the Council table and to make his statement.
Mr. NETANYAHU (Israel): I shall be very brief because I have already said what I had to say about the substance of this debate. Nor am I going to respond to all the statements that have been made here outside the purview of the present debate.
But I did listen earlier in the meeting to the statement of the Permanent Representative of Iraq. He made so many distortions of the record of this century in the Middle East that I have to make a choice about what I shall comment on, in a few words.
One thing struck me: the balance of the words the Permanent Representative of Iraq addressed to us was an injunction, a call, not to live by the sword. Now, I could cite one of the leaders of Israel who once said, "I will forgive our enemies everything except one thing: that they force our children to learn war". Anyone who has lived in my country knows the terrible price that we have had to pay to our scholars, in our poets, in our men of letters, in our men of science who have been forced to take up the sword so that we may live in our ancient homeland.
The fact is that this injunction came from the representative of a régime that has contributed very vivid scenes to the imagery in our part of the world. These are scenes that I particularly remember: a chanting crowd in the middle of Baghdad waiting to see the last breath emanating from innocent people who were strung up. I remember in particular the screams of joy - yes, joy - when five innocent Jews were hanged. This is a régime that has been engaged for the past five years in the bloodiest war since the Second World War, a war that it itself started, a war that by now has claimed at least a million casualties, a war that has involved the murder and torture of prisoners, the use of poison gas, the bombing of ships.
To be lectured by the enlightened régime of Saddam Hussein about tolerance and democracy and not living by the sword is the height of audacity, and I therefore had to say a few words, even at this late hour, to respond.
The PRESIDENT (interpretation from Chinese): There are no other names on the list of speakers. The Security Council has thus concluded the present stage of its consideration of the item on its agenda.
Since this might be the last formal meeting of the Security Council under my presidency, I wish to thank the members of the Council for their support and co-operation.