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        Security Council
26 May 1976



Provisional agenda (S/Agenda/1922/Rev.l)

Adoption of the agenda

The situation in the occupied Arab territories:

Letter dated 3 May 1976 from the Permanent Representative of Egypt to the United Nations addressed to the President of the Security Council (S/12066)

President: Mr. Louis de GUIRINGAUD (France).

Present: The representatives of the following States: Benin, China, France, Guyana, Italy, Japan, Libyan Arab Republic, Pakistan, Panama, Romania, Sweden, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United Republic of Tanzania, United States of America.

Provisional agenda (S/Agenda/1922/Rev.l)

1. Adoption of the agenda

2. The situation in the occupied Arab territories: Letter dated 3 May 1976 from the Permanent Representative of Egypt to the United Nations addressed to the President of the Security Council (S/12066)

The meeting was called to order at 3.25 p.m.

Adoption of the agenda

The agenda was adopted.

The situation in the occupied Arab territories: Letter dated 3 May 1976 from the Permanent Representative of Egypt to the United Nations addressed to the President of the Security Council (S/12066)

1. The PRESIDENT (interpretation from French):

In accordance with the decisions taken earlier [1916th to 1918th and 1920th meetings], I shall now invite the representatives of Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic and Yemen, as well as the representative of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), to participate in the debate without the right to vote.

At the invitation of the President, Mr. Herzog (Israel) and Mr. Terzi (Palestine Liberation Organization) took places at the Council table and Mr. Abdel Meguid (Egypt), Mr. Sharaf (Jordan), Mr. Bishara (Kuwait), Mr. Jamal (Qatar), Mr. Baroody (Saudi Arabia), Mr. Hussen (Somalia), Mr. Medani (Sudan), Mr. Allaf (Syrian Arab Republic) and Mr. Sallam (Yemen) took the places reserved for them at the side of the Council chamber.

2. The PRESIDENT (interpretation from French):

As a result of consultations over which I presided with all members of the Council, I am authorized as President to make the following statement:

"Following the request submitted by Egypt on 3 May 1976 [S/12066], the Security Council held seven meetings between 4 and 26 May to consider the situation in the occupied Arab territories. After consulting all the members, the President of the Council concludes that the majority of the members agreed on the following.

"Grave anxiety was expressed over the present situation in the occupied Arab territories; concern was also expressed about the well-being of the population of these territories.

"The Geneva Convention relative to the Protec­tion of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, is applicable to the Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967. The occupying Power was therefore called upon to comply strictly with the provisions of that Convention and to refrain from and rescind any measure which would violate them. In this regard, the measures taken by Israel in the occupied Arab territories which alter their demo­graphic composition or geographical character, and particularly the establishment of settlements, were deplored. Such measures, which cannot prejudge the outcome of the efforts to achieve peace, constitute an obstacle to peace.

"The Security Council should continue to follow the situation closely."

3. Mr. JACKSON (Guyana): Mr. President, the manner in which you have guided our business eloquently confirms our expectations of your abundant talent as a wise, mature and skilled diplomat.

I am deeply conscious of the honour bestowed on the Council by your mature and constructive superintendence of our deliberations. My delegation pledges its continued co-operation with you during the remainder of this month.

4. I should also like to take this opportunity to thank Ambassador Huang Hua of China for his able leadership during the month of April.

5. The return to the Council of Ambassador Malik of the Soviet Union is a source of comfort and satisfaction to my delegation. The news of the unfortunate accident of which he and his wife were victims

3. distressed us all. We are pleased by his recovery and would ask him to convey our kind regards to Mrs. Malik.

6. May I also extend a sincere word of welcome to Ambassador Abe of Japan and Ambassador Illueca of Panama. I am sure they will maintain the impressive standards that have been set by their predecessors. I look forward to fruitful co-operation with them in the work of the Council.

7. The central issue of the Middle East question has once more been brought sharply into focus by our current series of meetings on the highly charged situation in the Arab territories occupied by Israel. The protests and demonstrations of the Palestinians in the West Bank reflect the tension which inevitably flows from alien military occupation. And those demonstrations underline the tenacity with which the Palestinian patriots are determined, in the face of an intransigent occupying Power, to struggle for their right to be free and to give full expression to their own national identity. An acute consciousness of this identity and an uncompromising identification of its political representatives have been dramatically reinforced by the outcome of the recent elections on the West Bank.

8. It was just about two months ago that the Council met to consider the deteriorating situation in the occupied territories. At that time some members of the Council presented modest proposals, proposals which, in a spirit of compromise and accommodation, had been subjected to significant modification so that in their final form they could be said, in a certain sense, to have given only a partial response to the gravity of the situation. Those proposals, however, attracted a crucial dissenting vote.

9. It is not surprising, in the view of my delegation, that subsequent developments in the Arab lands under Israeli occupation have led to a worsening of the situation. To the Council's failure to respond to the conditions prevailing then have been added the exacerbating actions of the occupying Power as it attempts, by the use of oppressive force, to crush the continuing manifestations of Palestinian patriotism, manifestations which have been fuelled by the legitimate desire of a people to protect its property and to defend its national rights.

10. The developments in the West Bank cannot be explained away by alleging the sinister incitement by outside forces. The reasons for the disturbances are clear. They lie in the very nature of occupation—its distorting process, its seemingly indefinite extension and they lie as well in the determined Palestinian resistance to circumstances the continuance of which they justifiably refuse to accept.

11. My delegation must express its profound concern at the nature of the occupying Power's response to the developments in the territories under its occupation. Its dependence on violence and its retreat from reason have served to stiffen the resolve of the Palestinian people and to quicken the conscience of the intentional community. Of equal concern is the fact that occupying Power does not seem content with its physical violence against the Palestinian people. It continues its work of cultural violence. Displaying insensitivity to the basic rights of a people, the Israeli authorities countenance provocative acts by religious zealots who arrogantly assert a claim to the land of others. The Government of Israel has declared its intention to proceed with the establishment of more settlements in defiance of the resolutions adopted by both the General Assembly and the Security Council.

12. The Council will meet later this month as the mandate of the United Nations Disengagement. Observer Force expires. This development, together with the situation with which the Council recently was concerned, underscores a disquieting reality—the dangerous pause in the search for a solution of the Middle East problem, including the Palestinian question, and the ominous implications this apparent stalemate has for global peace and security.

13. The situation we are facing today reveals the limitations of the measured, but halting, steps that have so far been taken in the search for a final Middle East settlement. These particular initiatives have resulted in temporary and partial solutions. My delegation recognizes that such achievements, while limited, have served a useful purpose in reducing tensions in the area of conflict. But such restricted progress, in so far as it has failed to achieve the central goal of a permanent overall settlement based on justice and equity, has inevitably given rise to frustration and impatience.

14. The principles for a just settlement have been established by the international community and have been reiterated in different international forums on numerous occasions. They reaffirm the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by the use of force, recognize the rights of Palestinians to a national home and acknowledge the right of all States in the area to exist within secure boundaries. The implementation of these principles, however, still proves elusive. As long as they continue to remain abstract elements of a protracted debate, so much closer are we brought to the fearful reality of renewed and perhaps generalized conflict.

15. The prospects for peace are not helped by passivity and resignation to the status quo. It is therefore time to recapture the impetus and to regain the momentum for bringing about a final solution to the Middle East question. When a fresh search for a permanent solution is embarked upon, let those principles laid down by the international community be the essential guidelines.

16. To speak of the urgent need for a Middle East Solution is indeed superfluous. The urgency is self-evident. What is required is positive and determined action which sets in motion the mechanisms that will lead to negotiations for a permanent political settlement of the Middle East problem, including, impor­tantly, the Palestine question.

17. It is the hope of my delegation that the statement which you, Mr. President, read out a while ago will have some effect in deflecting the Israeli authorities from their chosen path of obstinacy and petulance.

18. Mr. ABE (Japan) (interpretation from French): Mr. President, since I am speaking before the Council for the first time, I should like to express to you, albeit belatedly because of inevitable circumstances, our congratulations for your accession to the Presidency of the Council this month and our gratitude for the impeccable manner with which you have con-'ducted its business.

19. I should also like to take this opportunity to thank my colleagues for the kind words they have addressed to me.

[The speaker continued in English.]

20. My delegation agrees with the statement read out by the President to conclude our debate, and we wish to express our gratitude to him for the great efforts he made to this end. In spite of the conclusion of the debate, I think the Council should bear in mind that the situation in the occupied Arab territories has been deteriorating already for some time, and there is no reason for optimism about an immediate improvement as a result of the President's concluding statement. The Council should therefore continue to follow developments with the same alertness and vigilance as before, in the hope that the situation in the occupied territories will take a turn for the better.

21. We have heard the various statements made at recent meetings by the parties directly concerned and also by members of the Council. We have listened with close attention always in the strong hope and expectation that they would make the Council's deliberations more meaningful and contribute to its joint efforts to find a peaceful solution to the problem. My delegation has felt the need for more detailed and more accurate information on the situation as a whole, including incidents and the measures being taken by the occupying Power. Although sufficient information was not at hand, it is obvious that the situation has deteriorated. My delegation deplores the occurrence of a number of tragic incidents, with the resulting bloodshed, in the occupied Arab territories. We wish to extend our deep sympathy to the victims.

22. It is worth noting the statement by the representative of Israel of 5 May [1917th meeting] to the effect that he was not for a moment endeavouring in a facile manner to minimize the problems which face Israel. My delegation strongly hopes that Israel will now be more sensitive to the deteriorating situation in the occupied areas. My delegation hopes also that the Government of Israel will realize that the situation would not have worsened as it has if Israel had complied with the provisions of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War. We therefore urge Israel, which is a party to the Convention, to comply with it scrupulously.

23. My delegation cannot fail to note that the settlement policy of the Israeli Government in the occupied Arab territories is another cause for aggravation of the tensions in that area. Recently we have obtained reports of Israel's renewed intention to set up settlements in the occupied Arab territories. If those reports are correct it would be very regrettable, for such actions would give rise to increased fear and concern among the inhabitants and also among the Arab parties directly involved and would constitute another obstacle to a solution of the problem.

24. My delegation wishes to call upon Israel to abandon immediately the settlement policy in the occupied territories. Clearly, the principal cause of the recent deterioration in the situation is the continuation of the occupation. It is also obvious that the situation in the occupied territories will not be solved in isolation but within the framework of an overall settlement.

25. In the view of the Government of Japan, the following principles should be adhered to in achieving a peaceful settlement of the Middle East problem: first, the inadmissibility of the acquisition and occupation of any territories through the use of force; secondly, the withdrawal of Israel's forces from all the territories occupied in the 1967 war; thirdly, respect for the integrity and security of the territories of all countries in the area, including Israel, and the need for guarantees to that end; and fourthly, recognition of and respect for the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, in bringing about a just and lasting peace in the Middle East.

26. The Government of Japan has consistently hoped that a just and lasting peace in the Middle East will be achieved through the prompt and complete implementation of Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973), as well as through recognition of the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people in accordance with the Charter.

27. The Government of Japan deeply regrets that the negotiating process for a peaceful solution is at a standstill. If the present stalemate continues, the momentum in the search for a peaceful solution of the Middle East problem may be lost. In those circumstances, my delegation wishes to draw the Council's attention to its heavy responsibility, which is to make

26. every effort to bring about moderation and reconciliation among the parties, thus leading to an improved prospect for a just and durable settlement.

28. Mr. KIKHIA (Libyan Arab Republic): First, I should like to express my delegation's and my own appreciation and thanks to you, Mr. President, for your leadership in this debate and your sincere efforts to bring it to a conclusion.

29. We wish also to extend our appreciation to the friendly non-aligned and other countries which worked so hard to try to make the conclusion of the debate a meaningful one. Unfortunately, their efforts have not resulted in the achievement of all we had hoped for and all they were supposed to achieve.

30. We wish to place on record the regrets and disappointment of the Libyan delegation that this debate has ended in the drafting of a sadly weak text which falls far short of facing the true gravity of the situation in the occupied Arab territories and the ferocity of the Zionist aggression and terrorism. We know that this statement was accepted by the majority of Council members in a spirit of compromise and in the hope of achieving a unanimous decision—and this, despite the legitimate reservations and objections of the main interested parties, in particular, the representatives of the Palestinian people victims of the Zionist imperialist and racist aggression. Not only does the text fail to condemn the provocative Zionist policies and actions, it also fails to refer to the necessity for a speedy withdrawal from occupied Arab territories. Since the Zionist occupation of those territories is the source of the entire problem, obviously withdrawal is a prerequisite for peace and justice in the region. In referring to the Arab territories occupied since 1967, the text makes an indirect reference to resolution 242 (1967), a resolution which we do not accept as a basis for a solution to the Palestine problem and to the conflict in the Middle East. Libya has declared many times that resolution 242 (1967) is irrelevant to any true and just solution to this problem.

31. Finally, we want to reiterate our regrets that the same Power which consistently gives unlimited support to the Zionist entity and its aggression has again, as it did in March, exerted its influence and pressure—in the present case, to cause a serious watering down of the text of the statement. That is particularly sad because, after all the concessions that have been made with a view to unanimity of agreement, in the end that Power will refuse to support the text, thus reducing it to a majority opinion rather than a consensus of the Council. Despite that, from the vote of 14 to 1 in March, we are fully aware that the true sentiment of the majority of the Council is that Zionist aggression should be condemned.

32. We look forward to a time when all members, including the United States, will be able to be guided not by internal political games or by a senseless commitment to Zionist aggression, but by considerations of right and justice and an honest quest for peace.

33. Mr. SCRANTON (United States of America) First, I wish to say that the statement I am about to make will clearly indicate, I believe, that the United States is not unrelentingly supporting "Zionist aggression", nor is it taking its position because of internal matters within the United States but rather because it believes thoroughly that in any matter coming before the Council it is important that we have a balanced answer, particularly as the Council is instructed by the Charter to think first and foremost of peace.

34. Mr. President, my delegation has disassociated itself from the statement you have read out, which represents the view of the majority of the Council's members. As you know from views that my Government has expressed on past occasions in this chamber and elsewhere, there is much in the statement of the majority view with which we could agree. We agree, for example, that the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War is applicable to the territories occupied by Israel since 1967. We believe in the importance of following its prescriptions. In fact, we made our position on this question clear during the Council's deliberations in March. Therefore, from the Council's unanimous agreement that the Convention applies to the occupied territories, it follows that all of its provisions apply. We also agree that Israel should scrupulously comply with all the provisions of that Convention. Our position about the Israeli settlements in the occupied territories is similarly well known.

35. We are concerned, however, that the statement of the majority view lacks balance, and it is the element of balance which should be the hallmark of the deliberations of a body charged, as this one is, with maintaining the peace. While the summary statement does contain references to certain provisions of the Geneva Convention describing the obligations of an occupying Power, there is no corresponding reference in the statement to those provisions of the Convention which explicitly recognize that the occupying Power has the duty to maintain law and order and the right to protect its forces. We object, furthermore, to the fact that this statement is unrelieved by any recognition of the many areas in which the Israeli administration of the occupied territories has been responsible and just, as in its administration of the Holy Places in Jerusalem and in its substantial efforts to permit the population to choose their own elected representatives to local government. In particular, we believe the statement's sweeping injunction to Israel to rescind measures is out of place in this context and at this time.

36. Having said that, however, and having disassociated ourselves from the view of the majority, we would be remiss if we did not call the attention of the Government of Israel to the fact that there are aspects of its policies in the occupied territories—in particular that involving the establishment of settlements—that are increasingly a matter of concern and i distress to its friends throughout the world and are not helpful to the process of peace. Israel has ample treason, with the experience of recent years, to feel that the Council too seldom approaches the Middle East problem with objectivity. It would be mistaken, however, to dismiss as products of blind partisanship all the points contained in the statement read out in is chamber today.

37. Mr. LAI Ya-li (China)(translation from Chinese):

The Chinese delegation supports the statement made by the President of the Security Council on, behalf of the majority of member States. However, I wish to reiterate here that the Chinese Government and people have always firmly supported the just struggle of the Palestinian, Egyptian and other Arab peoples against Israeli Zionism and super-Power hegemonism for the recovery of their lost territories and the restoration of national rights. We maintain that the atrocities committed by the Israeli authorities in the occupied territories should be strongly condemned and that firm support should be given to the just struggle of the Arab people in the occupied territories. Moreover, we are of the opinion that, so long as Israel refuses to withdraw from all the occupied Arab territories, so long as the Palestinian people fail to regain their national rights and so long as the super-Powers do not cease their rivalry in the Middle East, there can be no settlement of the Middle East question, nor will it be possible to bring about real peace in the Middle East.

38. Mr. AKHUND (Pakistan): My delegation cannot conceal its sense of disappointment at the outcome of the debate which has gone on for the better part of the month. To say that is not in any way to underrate, underestimate, not to recognize or not to endorse the enormous effort that you, Mr. President, personally have put into obtaining a constructive and positive conclusion of the debate.

39. My delegation is one which shares the quasiunanimous opinions and findings of the Council contained in the statement which you, Mr. President, read out at the beginning of this meeting. We must regret that unanimity has once again eluded the Council on a question which is by common consent of the utmost and most crucial importance to the peace of the region and, in fact, to the peace of the world and the welfare of all the people of the Middle East.

40. I have spoken before on the substance of the question before the Council and I do not intend to repeat myself. It is necessary to note, however, that between March, when the situation in the West Bank was first brought to the Council's attention, and the present date there has been no improvement in the situation. On the contrary, it has continued to deteriorate, and my country has watched this deterioration and the developments there—the increasing use of force and repression by the Israeli occupation authorities to put down resistance—with mounting concern. The Prime Minister of Pakistan said only last week:

"Pakistan remains deeply concerned with the situation in the Middle East, where the continued and illegal occupation by Israel of Arab territory threatens to plunge the Middle East into yet another conflict and the world into an even more acute economic and political crisis. Israel is continuing its provocation by its policy of colonization and usurpation of Arab lands and the suppression of the Palestinian people."

41. The manifestations and demonstrations which have become a daily occurrence in the occupied territories and, in fact, within Israel itself are not to be dismissed as an ephemeral phenomenon. They are the result of years of frustration, of blighted hopes for peace and, to a great extent, of inaction on the part of the international community. There seems to be no evidence that would lead us to hope for any improvement in the situation. Indeed, from the declarations of responsible Israeli leaders and their official spokesmen, one fears the contrary.

42. In the circumstances, my delegation cannot but lament the fact that on the two occasions when the Council considered the situation in the Middle East and the Palestine issue it had to face an overt veto and on this third occasion something that might be called a covert veto. Unless this situation is remedied, the Council will be stultified.

43. In the search for balance, we should not lose sight of purpose, nor should equilibrium become more important than equity. The capacity of the Security Council to act as the United Nations supreme organ for the maintenance of international peace and the settlement of disputes will be gravely prejudiced unless the Council is of one mind and able to take unanimous action on matters on which there is indeed unanimity among its members.

44. Mr. PAQUI (Benin) (interpretation from French):

It is fortunate that we have finally concluded our debate on the question of the occupied Arab territories with the statement which you, Mr. President, just read to us, because there was an ever greater risk of thinking or saying that—to use a familiar phrase—the Council was dying.

45. It goes without saying that my delegation would have liked our discussion to conclude with a resolution. Nevertheless, bearing in mind that an exceptional situation requires special measures, my delegation wonders whether, realistically, Council debates must necessarily end with a resolution, especially when we know in advance that if it were adopted it would have no chance of being implemented.

46. That is why my delegation supports the wise formula that you, Sir, have just proposed to the Council. The statement you read out or proposed to the Council is indeed a minimum, but it nevertheless expresses the concern of the United Nations and the solidarity of the members of the Council with the population of the occupied Arab territories in the tragedy they are experiencing at present. You have perhaps found a formula that the Council should consider adopting in the future, especially when it is faced with a deadlocked debate. It would perhaps be wise, in order to preserve its credibility, if future actions and measures taken by the Council were not any longer necessarily to reflect the conflicting nature of the debates of its members.

47. My delegation felt it necessary to make this declaration of principle after its very short experience within this body, where it has had the opportunity of becoming aware of the special nature of the Council's work. We therefore venture to hope that other Presidents will not fail to be guided by the example you have just given us.

48. The PRESIDENT (interpretation from French):The next speaker is the representative of Israel, on whom I now call.

49. Mr. HERZOG (Israel): As we approach the end of the discussion, I am convinced, whether or not they will say so publicly, that the members of the Council will all agree privately that it has been nothing but a futile waste of time intended to divert attention from the major tragedy occurring in the Middle East today, designed as it was to enable one Arab country, namely Egypt, to score over another Arab country, namely Syria.

50. If that is what makes them happy and if the Council is prepared to be converted into an instrument for humouring them, so be it. But at least let us not have any illusions about all this interminable, tiresome and distasteful repetition which has no purpose other than that of moving the Middle East as far away as possible from accommodation and peace. If the Council acquiesces in becoming an instrument for satisfying the whims of what is, as must by now be obvious, an immature and barren political approach, there is nothing I can do except truly to regret that the Organization has descended to this unhappy pass and does not try to encourage a more mature and positive approach to the problems of our area.

51. Surely you cannot expect today any sophisticated country to take all this verbiage seriously and to address itself with any degree of respect to the decisions of the United Nations bodies which are partial, one-sided, biased and irresponsible when it comes to Israel. A future historian, when describing the decline of the Organization, will not credit his own eyes when he reads the material.

52. You had a classic example only last week in Geneva at the World Health Organization (WHO), a classic example of the disappearance of natural law as a basis for the deliberations of the United Nations. In March I raised this very important issue before the Council because the present alarming process must erode what little standing in the world is left to the Organization.

53. The principle of the separation of powers whereby the executive does not control the judiciary applies in all democratic countries and is, in fact, also part of the United Nations system. This presupposes the notion of the impartiality of the United Nations and also the assumption that a party charged receives a fair hearing in an atmosphere of impartiality. These concepts have, alas, been forgotten in the United Nations process, where the idea of an impartial hearing has indeed been replaced by the idea that the United Nations organs are both prosecutor and judge.

54. The failure of the United Nations to understand the operation of the fundamental principles of natural law in the international scene is a tragedy of major international proportions, portending as it does the Organization's decline into an orgy of Orwellian cynicism. What an ominous tragedy this process augurs for mankind. For the issue is not Israel; the issue is international society as reflected in its behaviour towards Israel.

55. We now have before us the unbelievable story of WHO, which remained true to the normal pattern of events in the United Nations. Every time that a United Nations body has voted to establish a commission of inquiry to examine some allegations against Israel, the resolution appointing the commission has condemned Israel in advance, has prejudged the issue, has set out the allegations preferred against Israel as proven facts and has then proceeded blithely to appoint a committee, the composition of which is invariably openly biased and which in one case included a country at war with Israel, to examine the facts and verify the conditions. Thus WHO, having condemned Israel in advance on the state of health administration in the administered territories which we are discussing today, then proceeded to appoint a committee of experts composed of three delegates, representing Governments two of which maintain no diplomatic relations with Israel. This fact notwithstanding, Israel agreed to the visit of the representatives of those countries to Israel and the administered territories to make their inquiries. Last week the members of the committee were left without any alternative after their visit but to note that medical care in the Arab territories occupied by Israel has shown slow but steady improvement in the nine years since the 1967 war. WHO constituted itself as a kangaroo court when, by 65 votes to 18, with 14 abstentions, it refused to consider the committee's report. The motion to reject the report was put forward by India, on behalf of the Arab nations and a group of other nations. Furthermore, before the Indian motion was voted upon, discussion of the committee's findings was blocked by a majority vote.

56. One's mind boggles at the degree of cynicism which is reflected in that decision. After all, you are talking about a country that is, medically speaking, I despite its size, one of the most advanced in the world. You are talking about a country which has done more proportionately than any other country in the world to help under-developed countries within the framework of the United Nations and WHO. You are talking about a country to which thousands from all over the Middle East—Arab and non-Arab, leaders and common people—come every month to receive medical assistance, which is given freely, without any consideration of the political conditions in the area. You are talking about the administered territories here today, in which the population, thanks to Israel, enjoys health services which are superior to any available in any Arab country in the world today. Are there no limits to the depths to which we can sink in this Organization? How can anybody expect us or anybody else to respect a United Nations inquiry after this?

57. Or take UNESCO. A distinguished Belgian professor is instructed to examine the archaeological excavations in Jerusalem. He returns with a report which does not substantiate the allegations. Accordingly, a majority votes not to hear his report and then proceeds to condemn Israel for transgressions which the report has proved did not happen.

58. At a recent meeting of the Security Council, raised the issue of the attitude of this body to the scourge of terrorism. I did so in reaction to the raising of this issue at this table by a permanent member. I pointed out that in an indiscriminate bomb attack in the streets of Jerusalem a Greek diplomat and his wife, in addition to Arab and Jewish citizens, were injured. The credit for this chivalrous act was publicly claimed by the headquarters of the PLO. Yesterday, a bomb exploded in the baggage area in Ben Gurion Airport in Lod, killing and wounding indiscriminately.

The credit for this equally heroic act was claimed publicly by the PFLP [Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine], a constituent member of the PLO, and yet what has the Security Council done? Nothing, except to seat the representative of the organization which claims to have committed these crimes at this table. How can one expect any intelligent individual in the world to take this Organization seriously? This theatre of the absurd is attaining such heights as to defy all standards of ludicrousness. I know that there are members here who are ashamed of what is going on and are dismayed by it, but let me say to them that by their very involvement in this terrifying process they are becoming part of the process. What moral weight can attach to any United Nations discussion or resolution when a circus-like atmosphere, such as characterizes the deliberations of the Commission on Human Rights, UNESCO or WHO, to mention but a few bodies, is allowed to develop?

59. It must now be obvious to all that the basic problem in the Middle East is not that of Israel and the Arab world, but of the Arab world itself. The Arab nation is torn, strife-ridden and disunited to a degree so far unsurpassed. This problem, basically, is at the root of the situation in the Middle East. I am not going to elaborate on it; I did so at a recent Council meeting. We have read this week of the difficulties involved even in achieving a meeting to discuss common problems in the Arab world. Indeed, the situation has by now become so confusing that even a seasoned observer of Middle East affairs must lose track of the developments.

60. This week we read that Iraq accused Syria of flagrant intervention in Lebanese internal affairs, expressing concern over the deterioration of the country after a year of civil war. It is indeed encouraging to note that Iraq has finally been moved to concern about the situation in Lebanon.

61. We were informed last week that units of the PLO sustained more casualties in the course of one week in clashes with Syrian and Syrian-controlled forces than they sustained in the course of two years of clashes with Israeli forces.

62. Now we learn that the Prime Minister of Libya, who came to Beirut as a mediator last week, asserted his outstanding qualifications for the role of impartial mediator by announcing that Libya stood firmly behind the Lebanese alliance of Moslems and leftists, as well as Palestinians, and endorsed their demands, which included the withdrawal of Syrian and Syrian-controlled forces from the Lebanon. His remarks were seen as an effort to bring about the Arabization of the Lebanese conflict.

63. Indeed, the terrifying developments in Lebanon would appear to be completely out of hand, for that country today is not the scene any more of a brutal civil war. It is today the battlefield on which an international Arab war is being waged. In this war the driving forces are the national ambitions and the traditional hatreds and rivalries which dominate in the Arab world and which are in fact the main cause for the instability in the Middle East and the tragedies which have beset the area.

64. In the midst of all this tragedy we read of Mr. Farouk Khaddoumi's press conference last week in Geneva, in which he announced that the war in Lebanon was advancing the cause of the Palestinians.

"We are becoming stronger and more influential in the area", he announced with evident satisfaction.

65. In other words, what we are contemplating now in Lebanon is a major international war between conflicting Arab armies, a war which is bringing untold tragedy and misery to the people of Lebanon while this Council is silent. We in Israel cannot be silent, because many of the wounded refugees who crossed the frontier are in our hospitals. We see the tragedy every day. We see the Palestinian Arabs being used as pawns in the game of inter-Arab rivalry. We see the world Organization avoiding the real issues of the Middle East, bypassing and ignoring them in a manner that will never be forgotten by history.

66. Since the series of Council meetings began, three Arabs have lost their lives in the West Bank. We very much regret this loss of life. We are saddened by it. The blame lies with those heroic figures, the emigre leadership in Lebanon, who send children at the head of demonstrations in a determined effort to create another Lebanon in the West Bank. It was not enough for them to have brought misery, murder and death in the so-called Black September in 1970 to the streets of Amman and other parts of Jordan. It was not enough for them to have brought upon the world the horrifying tragedy which is Lebanon and which the world ignores. They want to do the same in the West Bank. They will not succeed, because as a matter of principle and in furtherance of our international obligations under international law we shall maintain law and order, and if as a result there are casualties, we regret it sincerely. As I said, since these meetings began, three Arabs have lost their lives in the West Bank. In the same period, approximately 2,500 Arabs have lost their lives in Lebanon. As I said, we sincerely regret this loss of life.

67. I would like to hear one Arab representative who has the inclination and the courage to say for the first time in the debates in this Council and in this Organization that he regrets the loss of Jewish life in Israel or elsewhere at the hands of Arab terrorists. I and those I represent regret the loss of Arab life, while condemning those intransigent groups which have created a situation that has led to such loss. One of the more moving statements made by Mrs. Golda Meir, a former Premier of Israel, reflected so much of our national feeling when she said that she would never forgive the Arabs, not so much for killing our youth as for forcing our youth to kill.

68. The majority statement which you read out, Mr. President, follows the usual pattern of one-sided resolutions passed by the Council and is in their tradition. On the one hand, it deplores actions in the West Bank to maintain law and order, and on the other hand, it calls for the application of a convention which specifically acknowledges Israel's right to maintain the orderly government of the territory and to ensure the security of Israel, the members and property of the Israeli forces or administration, and likewise of the establishments and lines of communications used by them.

69. Let me make it quite clear once again that the burning of tyres and the throwing of stones will not bring the Middle East nearer to a solution. These futile and interminable discussions in the Security Council will not bring us closer to peace. One-sided committees and biased forums will not advance us towards any solution. Resolutions, statements—call , them what you will—will be to no avail. This body created the basis for an advance towards peace-resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973). We have just heard that the Government of Libya does not accept resolution 242 (1967) as a basis. The Government of Israel has accepted these resolutions as a basis, and they in themselves imply, first and foremost, direct negotiations between the States parties to the conflict. They have been ignored to a great extent in this debate because the Arab delegations want them to be ignored.

70. The tragedy of the Middle East is compounded by the fact that everybody looks for facile solutions to a most difficult problem. Every representative here —or almost every one—has from time to time produced his solution in clear and unequivocal terms, convinced that, given this solution, peace will suddenly descend on the Middle East. A superficial analysis of most of these solutions reveals a disturbing degree of ignorance in respect of what is going on in our area and of the fact that the issues are so complex that no formula, however well meaning, can bring about an immediate solution. Most of the solutions put forward in fact mean nothing less than the destruction of the State of Israel. Countries which do not even maintain diplomatic relations with Israel are busily engaged in formulating policies which they then urge us to accept. In the circumstances, why should we be convinced of their sincerity?

71. A mystic sacrosanct character has been given to the 1967 lines, which we have heard so much about in this discussion. If only we will pull back to that line, we are told, all will be solved. I can only repeat, for the umpteenth time, that for 19 years we sat behind the 1967 lines and there was no move in that long period on the part of the Arab Governments towards negotiations, towards accommodation, towards peace.

72. The position of the Government of Israel on the question of borders and territories has been clarified adequately over the years. We have made it clear that we see resolution 242 (1967) as the basis for negotiation for this and other issues, requiring as it does the establishment of secure and recognized borders. We certainly do not accept the arguments put forward by many in respect of the 1967 lines. But let me as a matter of interest, and without prejudice to Israel's clearly defined position on this issue, draw the attention of the members of the Council to the fact that, their views notwithstanding, not one single Arab Government or delegation is on record as declaring that even the 1967 lines would be recognized by it as final peace borders with Israel. I repeat, my comment here is without prejudice to Israel's clear and defined stand on this issue. But I think it is important to make this point to those well-meaning delegations and to those less well-meaning delegations which blithely produce the pre-June 1967 lines as the cure to all the evils in the Middle East.

73. We are again subject to criticism on the issue of security settlements. It is, however, conveniently forgotten that the Arab States maintain that a state of war exists with Israel. Nevertheless, when we take steps such as these to ensure our security, they are deplored. Why? As long as our neighbours maintain that a state of war exists, are we not entitled to take all reasonable steps to protect our population? Indeed, is our Government not required by the very nature of its obligations to take such steps? True, there may be Israelis in our free country who have been quoted here and who do not accept the validity of such moves, as there are those who hold opposing views. Neither are the Government. There is an orderly democratic process in Israel for electing a democratic Government every four years. It is elected by the will of the people, and it is the duty of the Government to do what it sees fit to protect its inhabitants; otherwise it would be failing in its duty.

74. How long are we supposed to wait until the Arabs decide to sit down and enter into negotiations? I repeat, for 19 years we sat behind the 1967 lines. For 19 years no settlements were established by us in the West Bank or anywhere else in the territories administered by us. Did our Arab neighbours discuss peace? For years we have waited for negotiations. How long are we supposed to wait? Let me make this crystal clear: without face-to-face negotiations based on mutual recognition and respect conducted in a civilized manner, there will be no advance towards any accommodation. We certainly cannot be expected to pretend that time stands still and to ignore our security requirements while the world waits until this or that Arab leader deigns to open negotiations instead of sending his representative here to engage in name-calling and abuse.

75. I do not intend to embark on a lengthy statement on this subject. Let me just make one point. Our approach to this problem is a civilized approach. The opposite approach is totally unacceptable because it envisages a return to the situation of pre-1967, namely, a return to living under the conditions of a ghetto behind barbed wire and minefields, without contact with our neighbours, without freedom of movement, without free passage, without trade and tourism and without the normal human intercourse which exists between nations. We shall never accept a solution based on the premise that we return to such a ghetto. For nine years we have lived in co-existence with over a million Palestinian Arabs. No discernible border exists on the ground, and the so-called green line is nothing more than that. It is a green line not distinguishable on the ground. There are no frontier posts, there are no barriers and there are no restrictions on movement in either direction. Daily the two populations

intermingle freely. The 1967 line is no more evident than the dividing line between New York State and Connecticut. Whatever political solution will be achieved as a result of negotiations between the Government of Israel and the Governments of the neighbouring Arab countries—and that depends on negotiations—we foresee this situation continuing and indeed could not agree to any change.

76. Why has nobody thrown his hands up in horror and prepared resolutions and statements deploring the construction over the past year of some 6,000 rooms in Jewish districts in Jerusalem for Arabs, including Arabs from the West Bank? Can you imagine what would happen if somebody were to propose building that number of rooms for Jews in an Arab town? The reason is a complete and fundamental difference of approach. The reason is the difference between a civilized Israeli approach, which does not see borders, minefields and barbed wire as an end in themselves and instead envisages open borders and free movement in both directions, and the approach of the Arab side, which basically refuses to recognize the right to exist of any Jew anywhere, in any part of the territories we are discussing, including Israel. Until the Arab nations accept the right of the Jewish people to national sovereignty in their own country, we shall continue these barren exchanges here without any move towards peace.

77. Finally, Israel rejects the thesis that the establishment of these security settlements is an obstacle to peace. We reject it out of hand. The obstacle to peace is not what Israel is doing after having waited for well-nigh -three decades. The obstacle to peace is the Arab refusal to recognize the Jewish people's right to sovereignty in its ancient homeland. The obstacle to peace is an implacable Arab refusal to recognize Israel, to negotiate with Israel, to make peace with Israel. The obstacle to peace is the refusal of the Arab countries to sit down at the negotiating table with Israel. The obstacle to peace is the immature and puerile refusal of the Arab delegations even in this Council chamber to talk to a representative of Israel. The obstacle to peace is the constant outflow of barren diatribe which we hear from the Arab delegations. The obstacle to peace lies in the Council's failure to require both sides to sit down and negotiate. The obstacle to peace lies in the Council's encouragement of Arab intransigence. The obstacle to peace is the innate obsession of the Arab Governments with their own self-destruction, as demonstrated today in the Lebanon. The obstacle to peace is evident daily for all members to see and listen to in this Council chamber. The obstacle to peace is a basic Arab attitude, and until that attitude is changed there cannot be, I regret, any advance towards peace. These are the obstacles to peace, and any attempt to point a finger at Israel's actions and to characterize them as obstacles to peace is nothing but a cynical falsification of history.

78. A sincere and constructive solution to the problem can be achieved only by means of direct negotiation. No solution between countries has ever been achieved in any other way. Why should it be so different in this case? The solution to our problem in the Middle East lies not at this table, not in resolutions and statements, not in debates or in scoring one over the other and in maligning and abusing each other. All of these have their purpose, but it is not peace.

79. Again and again we shall be summoned by the Arab representatives to this table to satisfy on each occasion, as on this occasion, the specific political idiosyncrasies of various Arab parties. For how long? To what purpose? The road to peace lies only through the negotiating table, and as long as the Member States do not make this crystal clear to the Arab States, we shall continue to listen to this useless rhetoric at this table, month after month, while the tragedy in the Middle East continues.

80. The PRESIDENT (interpretation from French):

The next speaker is the representative of Jordan. I invite him to take a place at the Council table and to make his statement.

81. Mr. SHARAF (Jordan): Mr. President, I wish to join with members of this Council who have extended to you appreciation for and admiration of the wise and sustained efforts you have extended in bringing about a conclusion to this debate and near unanimity on the position to be taken by the Council on this vital and urgent question of the occupied territories and Israel's conduct in them.

82. If there is to be any interpretation of this consensus, or quasi-consensus, statement by the Council, it would be that the message sent by the brave people of the occupied areas has reached the consciousness of the international community. The international community has received the message embodied in the valiant active resistance that has been going on for the last four months in the occupied areas against the ruthless suppression and occupation by Israel. There has been a profound transformation in the situation in the Middle East, subtle but irreversible. The issue of the occupation has been restored to the forefront of the world's concern. Sectors of the world that had shown less sensitivity to the agonies of the Middle East, the Palestinian people and the Arab people, have come to realize that these issues can no longer be ignored or suppressed.

83. Even in a quasi-unanimous Council statement, this expanding and deepening awareness in the world of the problem of the occupation in the Middle East is clearly manifested. The sustained resistance activities of the people of the occupied territories have raised the level of consciousness in the world, particularly in the Western world, regarding the moral issues in the Middle East conflict. It has shattered the myth, invented and disseminated by Israel that there is a situation of normality in the so-called administered areas; that there is friendly coexistence between the occupying Power and the occupied people that there is no problem, no protest, no anomaly lack of logic in the situation.

84. In most of the third world, this myth had no wide currency or credibility. Its very basis is unacceptable, in view of their experience, to the former colonial peoples who have struggled against alien domination and who reject out of hand the moral or rather the immoral basis of the Israeli argument. But the myth had been widely disseminated in the Western world, where in some sectors Israel has enjoyed virtual immunity to criticism, no matter what it has done and what its policies might be. In those sectors, too, the myth is disintegrating. The Israeli experiment is being deromanticized; the illegitimacy of its conduct is becoming more evident. The uprising in the occupied territories has highlighted the central issue—that Israel is illegitimately occupying an enormous area inhabited by more than a million people who are indigenous and deeply rooted in their own national soil; that Israel's presence in these areas is unjustified and indefensible; that the occupying Power pursues a policy of creeping annexation; that the occupation is repressive and arbitrary and with no purpose; and that Israel's fundamental policy is barren and negative and bankrupt. This message, delivered by the uprising in the occupied territories, cannot be ignored, and it has had its impact.

85. It is unfortunate that, to judge by the statement of the Israeli representative a moment ago, this message has not reached the Israeli Government and Israel's policy-makers. Still there remains the obstacle to peace in the Middle East. The obstacle is Israel's dogmatism, its self-destructive self-righteousness and its insistence that the fault always lies with the other side. In Israel's statement there is almost a description of the Arab world as inherently bad, inherently incapable of coming to terms with reality, inherently incapable of making peace. It is a symptom of Israel's mentality, which defines peace in unachievable terms because it defines the whole world outside it as incapable of making peace and inherently hostile. There is almost joy in the way the Israeli representative speaks of differences in the Arab world or tragedies in the Arab world. These issues, these tragedies, are irrelevant to the Arab-Israeli problem. There are differences within the Arab world; there are occasional disturbances and troubles within Arab societies, and there have been tragedies and troubles and disturbances in many societies, perhaps most societies, of the world. This issue is totally irrelevant to the situation in the occupied territories and Israel's conduct towards the Palestinians and towards the Arabs.

86. The Lebanese situation, which has been dragged into the Council's deliberations many times, is also irrelevant. It does not make any difference. It is totally irrelevant if there is a civil war in an African country, as far as the situation of apartheid and colonization is concerned. One cannot blame the Council for discussing apartheid or decolonization simply because fit does not discuss the domestic situation in another African country adjacent to the area in which there is apartheid, racism and colonialism. These are two separate issues. One is irrelevant to the other. It does not advance Israel's case to raise such issues, but the fact that they are raised is symptomatic. It reflects Israel's inability to define the goal of peace in achievable terms, to define peace as something that can be achieved if there is an imaginative approach to the question and an ability to reappraise the basic assumptions.

87. The same thing applies to Israel's attacks on the institutions of the United Nations. We have been subjected to such attacks for many years now. This reminds one of the story of the mother who went to a parade in which her son was marching and, when she saw that his pace was different from that of the other persons in the parade, said to her neighbour, "Everybody else is out of step". That is how Israel views things. Israel now says that the General Assembly is morally bankrupt, but it was the Assembly that adopted the partition resolution which Israel regards as its birthright. The Security Council is today subjected to all kinds of attacks simply because, on occasion, it takes some decisions that are in accor­dance with the spirit of the Charter. In Israel's eyes, UNESCO commits a crime simply because it asks Israel to respect the culture and the heritage of the people in the occupied territories. The same comment can be made with regard to WHO.

88. Whenever a third party—not Arab or Israeli, and perhaps even a party that is friendly to Israel—speaks one word of criticism of Israel or gives one word of advice to Israel, it is immediately subjected to slander. We have seen such slander directed to a completely neutral and humanitarian figure like Count Bernadotte. It was directed to the former Minister of Foreign Affairs of the United Kingdom, Ernest Bevin, during a decisive period. The same thing was done to the Secretary of Defense of the United States, James Forrestal, in the late 1940s. It was done to people who were supervising the armistice, like General von Horn and Commander Hutchinson. It was done even to Mr. Hammarskjold, our late Secretary-General. This criticism of a third party that is neutral and trying to give Israel some advice was directed at Gunnar Jarring. Such a leading figure as the late President de Gaulle was attacked. So was the former Secretary of State of the United States, William P. Rogers. I am not sure that even his successor is completely immune from criticism in Israel and by Israeli spokesmen and by Israel's friends; on occasion, when he has given Israel friendly advice, that has been described as "hostility".

89. Is the problem really the inability of the Arabs to come to terms with Israel? Is it really the inherent Arab hostility to Israel? If Israel defines the problem of the Middle East in that way, surely the attainment of the objective of peace will continue to be elusive. For, after all, the issue is the sense of grievance of the Arabs, and particularly the Palestinians, about the violent way in which Israel came into existence, during which process the Palestinian people were dispos­sessed and Israel attempted to repair that problem by compounding it through its occupation and successive attacks on its neighbours. When the Arabs ask Israel to withdraw to the lines of 6 June 1967, they are not inviting Israel to commit suicide—unless Israel defines its security in totally unachievable terms, in terms of expansion. Of course, when Israel expands, the Arab party will not acquiesce in such expansion. Peace therefore becomes elusive.

90. The 1967 borders were not inherently bad. The 1967 borders could not be the basis of peace then because the Palestinian problem was there, as it still is. Israel cannot solve the question and achieve peace unless it does both these things: withdraw from all the territories which it occupied in 1967 and still occupies, and addresses itself genuinely to the agony, the tragedy and the rights and aspirations of the Palestinian people. Those are legitimate demands by the Arabs. They are legitimate demands by the Security Council.

91. The technical reservations made by one Power in the Council regarding the Council's statement does not change the basic unanimity. Even in the United States the situation is not static, and the meaningful message of the Middle East is reaching the nerve centres. How can Israel's supporters honestly defend Israel's policy in the occupied areas and its general policies towards the Middle East problem? How can they defend a decade of occupation of an area more than three times the size of Israel and inhabited by over 1 million Arab people who own property and live there? How can they defend Israel's official policy of establishing and manning settlements in the occupied areas and encouraging massive demographic changes? And these are not security settlements. Security cannot be achieved by planting settlements in somebody else's territory. That is an invitation to continued conflict. How can Israel's supporters defend the repressive and panicky conduct of the occupying forces against defenceless and unarmed schoolchildren protesters? How can Israel's supporters defend the total purposelessness of the Israeli policy towards the Arabs and the whole area within which Israel claims it wants to live? How can they continue to give Israel blind and unquestioning support when Israel's policies contain no positive elements, give no alternative to conflict, offer no glimpse of hope to Israel's friends and threaten disastrous confrontation between Israel's allies and the Arab world, with which those allies basically have no dispute other than their ill-advised identification with Israel's folly?

92. There is a certain irreversible logic working against the continuing acceptance in much of the Western world, including the United States, of the Israeli myths, of Israel's extreme and indefensible approach to the issues. The uprising in the West Bank is advancing that logic. Everybody, including the United States, accepts this, or at least cannot deny it.

93. We in Jordan have a deep emotional involvement with the hopes and agony of the people of the occupied territories. For decades we have had ties of fact and of feeling with the people of these areas. The echoes of pain in Jerusalem and Ramallah, in Nablus and Al-Khalil, in Jericho and Tulkarm touch the heart of every Jordanian. We have striven since June 1967 to bring about an Israeli withdrawal from the occupied territories so that the people could exercise their right of self-determination. We join the rest of the Arab world in this effort. We hope that the whole world will join in the effort, so that a peaceful Middle East can ultimately emerge from the present turmoil. The Security Council has the duty to keep the situation in the occupied territories under continuous review and to give it its constant attention. We hope it will recapture the initiative and press vigorously towards the ending of the occupation and the establishment of a just and durable peace in the Middle East.

94. The PRESIDENT (interpretation from French):

The next speaker is the representative of Egypt. I invite him to take a place at the Council table and to make his statement.

95. Mr. ABDEL MEGUID (Egypt): This afternoon we have heard the same boring statement by the representative of Israel in which he repeated the same falsifications we have become used to hearing from him. One of the absurd arguments we just heard is that concerning the last meeting of WHO. The representative of Israel tried to use the WHO deliberations in Geneva as an argument here. If he is so sincere and anxious about the health of the people of the occupied territories, why does his Government refuse to allow the team designated by WHO to go as a team to that area? Why has his Government until now refused to allow the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Population of the Occupied Territories to visit those areas and investigate for itself, if he is so sure about the benevolent treatment of the inhabitants under occupation? That is one other example of the crocodile tears of the representative of Israel.

96. I do not want to take the Council's time by embarking upon a refutation of what we have just heard. My colleague the representative of Jordan has taken good care of that.

97. I should like to thank the members of the Council for convening, at Egypt's request, to discuss the rapidly deteriorating situation in the occupied Arab territories owing to the repressive and barbaric measures taken by the Israeli authorities against the inhabitants of those territories. The mere fact that the' Council has debated at length on this dangerous situa­tion has been of great moral support to the people of the occupied territories. They realize that the over­whelming majority of the members of the Council are with them in their agony and suffering. It is also a warning, a timely one, to Israel that it cannot continue unhindered in its policy of repression and defiance of the will of the international community and even of the basic moral ethics which govern the behaviour of civilized countries. The representative of Israel said so much about "civilized countries" a few minutes ago.

98. I have spoken before the Council several times about the deliberate Israeli policy of contempt for the Security Council and the United Nations as a whole. We believe now that the opinion of the majority of the Council members expressed in the statement that you, Mr. President, have just read as the result of our debate is a rebuff to that deliberate Israeli policy and what it entails and is a clear sign that the Council as the organ responsible for international peace and security will shoulder its responsibility.

99. Of course, we would have liked to see the Council reach a unanimous decision, but nevertheless the over­whelming majority has made its opinion clearly and strongly felt in that statement. We hope that the minority will soon join the majority. The result reached today is also a clear indication to Israel that, in persisting in its policy, it is endangering and under-mining the chances for peace in the area. Mr. President, your statement has said in clear terms that the majority of the members of the Council consider that Israeli measures and policies in the occupied Arab territories cannot prejudge the outcome of the efforts to achieve peace and constitute an obstacle to peace, whether or not the representative of Israel likes it.

100. I hope that the Israeli Government will get that clear message and rescind such measures if it really wants the Council to believe that it desires real peace. But if, as expected, it continues in its policy of changing the demographic, geographical and physical character of the occupied areas and establishing Israeli settlements and evicting the inhabitants of those areas by force, then it will indicate clearly to the Council that it has never cared about peace or the search for peace. The crocodile tears of the Israeli representative here about peace will be of no use.

101. At the same time I should like to assure the Council that Egypt will always strive for a just and lasting peace in the area and for the restoration of the inalienable national rights of the Palestinian people with the same determination with which it works for the liberation of all occupied Arab lands.

102. Finally, allow me to thank you personally, Mr. President, for the patience and skill with which you have conducted this important debate, and the overwhelming majority of the members for this result which will be of great moral support to all oppressed peoples fighting for their liberation and independence, and especially to our Palestinian brothers and sisters in the occupied Arab territories who are fighting against occupation and repression.

103. The PRESIDENT (interpretation from French): The next speaker is the representative of the Syrian Arab Republic, whom I invite to take a place at the Council table and to make his statement.

104. Mr. ALLAF (Syrian Arab Republic) (interpretation from French): Mr. President, allow me, at the end of this debate, to voice the gratitude and satisfaction of my delegation for the wisdom and patience with which you have conducted the Council's debates and to thank you for all the efforts you have made during both the formal meetings and the informal consultations among Council members and the representatives of the parties concerned.

[The speaker continued in English.]

105. Permit me also, at the end of this lengthy debate on the situation in the occupied Arab territories, to express the rather mixed feelings of my delegation about the trend which unfortunately appears to be characterizing more and more the action—or rather the inaction—of the Council.

106. In accordance with Article 24 of the Charter, the Member States confer on the Security Council primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security and agree that the Council, in carrying out its duties under this responsibility, acts—and I stress the word "acts"—on their behalf.

107. The permanent members of the Council, because of their privileges and their veto power, bear special responsibility for the Council's success or failure in fulfilling its duties. Unfortunately, the Council has lately acquired the habit of resigning its responsibilities and of accepting passively the inaction imposed on it by the repeated abuse of the veto power by one of its permanent members.

108. Not only has the American veto been used time and again to block the otherwise unanimous decisions of the Council; lately it has also been used as a constant threat in order to prevent any draft resolution which is not to the liking of Israel from coming anywhere near the Council table. Under the pressure of such a threat, and in spite of the deteriorating and tragic situation in the occupied Arab territories, the overwhelming majority of the Council members who are really concerned about what is taking place in the West Bank and in other parts of the occupied Arab territories have accepted the compromise of a consensus which reflects the Council's grave anxiety over the serious situation in the occupied Arab territories and its concern about the fate of their population; which reaffirms the applicability of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War to all the occupied Arab territories; which deplores the repressive measures taken by Israel against the Arab population, as well as its policies aimed at altering the demographic composition and the geographical nature of those territories, particularly the establishment of Israeli settlements; and, finally, which requests Israel to refrain from, and to rescind, all measures which are in violation of the Convention.

109. But even this compromise was not satisfactory to the delegation of the United States, despite the fact that the text of that consensus had been tailored to a great extent to suit its point of view and despite the fact that many Arab parties had strong reservations concerning the weakness of the text. The text has now become that of the majority of Council members, and those who support it have, in my opinion, fulfilled at least a minimum of the responsibilities entrusted under the provisions of the Charter to them as members of the primary United Nations organ responsible for international peace and security.

110. As for those who do not support the opinion of the majority, we do not fail to distinguish two categories. The first is those who are not quite satisfied with the text because in their opinion it falls short of constituting the just and logical response by the Council to the plight of the Arab inhabitants suffering under the yoke of Israeli aggression and oppression. Not only do we fully understand the attitude of these delegations, we also subscribe to their position and their points of view, and we consider that the Council should have reacted much more energetically to the tragedy of the Palestinian people in the occupied Arab territories. Yet what we do not understand is the position of those in the second category, who are not even able to support this very mild and shy expression by the Council about the decades-long tragedy of a people under alien occupation. What is in the summary statement that the United States delegation finds unacceptable? I listened very carefully to the statement of the representative of the United States this afternoon, and I can only express satisfaction at those parts of his statement in which he has reaffirmed the position of his country concerning the applicability of the fourth Geneva Convention, the importance of the implementation of all its provisions and the illegality of the establishment of Israeli settlements in the occupied Arab territories. But then he went on to say that he found in the summary statement a certain lack of balance because there was no reference in it to the rights of the occupying Power equivalent to the reference to its duties and obligations. 111. But who is complaining about violations of the rights of the occupying Power. I do not believe there is any complaint before the Council presented by Israel against the Palestinian people under occupation that those people are not respecting the rights of the occupying Power. And who has said that the occupa­tion is an eternal process, which after more than nine years since the aggression of 1967 should now have rights associated with it? The mere presence of Israel in the occupied territories is an act of aggression and an act of defiance against the Charter and the relevant resolutions of the United Nations, including those often mentioned by the Zionist representative, resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973). So, really we do not understand that mention by Ambassador Scranton to the lack of reference to the rights of the occupying Power.

112. Ambassador Scranton also said that it was "out of place in this context and at this time" [para. 35 above] to request Israel to rescind measures taken in the occupied territories. Here I admit that I am at a loss to understand why it is not the time and why it is out of place. Israel, even in the opinion of the United States, violates the provisions of the fourth Geneva Convention and creates and plants settlements in the occupied Arab territories, settlements which were rightly considered by the United States as well as by everybody else to constitute an obstacle to peace. Now, if the Security Council in its statement requests that aggressor, which is committing a violation of the fourth Geneva Convention and of the principles of international law, to remedy whatever wrong it has done, would this be out of context and out of place? I do not believe so.

113. As for the representative of Israel, it was said a while ago by two of my colleagues that, really, his statement is becoming more and more boring, not because it is not eloquent, well written or well delivered. On the contrary, I think the representative of Zionist regime, coming from an alien country in which English is the mother tongue, is a master of that language, and we apologize, we representatives who come from that area the cause and the plight of whose inhabitants the Council is considering, because we cannot really compete with him in the eloquence and power of his phrases and speech. But it is boring because time and again we have listened to the same lies, to the same falsifications and to the same arguments which, also time and again, have been refuted not only by the Arab representatives but also by the overwhelming majority of the members of the Security Council and the United Nations. Therefore, I shall confine myself to only one or two of the remarks made by the representative of Israel.

114. He challenged any Arab representative to declare officially here that he regrets the loss of Jewish life just as the Israeli representative expressed regret for the loss of the lives of those Palestinian youths, boys and girls, who are killed every day in the occupied territories by.Israeli soldiers. As the representative of the Syrian Arab Republic, I repeat that Arabs in general, and my country and people in particular, have always felt deep sympathy, especially during the Second World War, for all those Jews who fell victim to Nazi crimes. When the European and many other nations remained silent about the crimes committed by the Nazis, the Arab countries were, as usual, the haven to which Jewish refuge' went in order to ensure their security. Also, we have always maintained and stated that we have nothing against the Jews, we have nothing against Judaism We respect the Jews and we respect Judaism, but we are entitled, as a people against which aggression is committed, to fight our aggressors; we are entitled to fight those soldiers and aliens who occupy our terri­tories, and I dare to say that we even regret the loss of life of those Zionists who are from time to time killed or wounded in the struggle against our national heroes and people. We regret this because we believe that they would have been much better off had they remained where they came from or had they truly respected the human and national rights of our people, thereby saving their own lives. But let not the Zionist racist representative expect us to be sorry for the losses suffered by the enemy which is occupying our land and usurping our rights.

115. Another claim that has been repeatedly made by the Zionist representative is that the United Nations is against Israel, that the specialized agencies from time to time adopt resolutions condemning Israel, and that that is why Israel has become the victim and why the United Nations has gone downhill and its morality has been brought in question—since it is always condemning Israel. I wonder what would be the answer of our African brothers if the racist regime of South Africa were to say the same thing. The racist regime of South Africa could claim the same privileged position as Israel as the most condemned regime in the international community. Their having been condemned so many times, hundreds of times, is not really a sign that Israel or South Africa is a victim. It is proof that Israel and South Africa and all similar aggressors are really outlaws and are countries or regimes or entities that are defying the United Nations and the desires of the overwhelming majority of the international community.

116. The Israeli representative said, for instance, that the report of a Belgian expert to UNESCO was not discussed and that UNESCO had adopted a resolution condemning Israel. I was surprised to read today, even in a Jewish Telegraphic Agency bulletin commenting on that condemnation by UNESCO, that Belgium, Italy, France and Japan were among the countries that condemned Israel for the first time. I am noting the fact that Belgium, for the first time, after realizing the crimes and the violations committed by Israel, joined the other nations in condemning Israel. The report was presented by a Belgian expert, and here we note that Belgium has condemned Israel. The bulletin states: "It is the first time that usually friendly Belgium voted in favour of an anti-Israeli resolution".

1l7. The same thing is true with respect to WHO. The Council has heard from my brother from Egypt why the report of the mission that was to inquire into the situation of the inhabitants of the Arab territories was rejected. It was because Israel refused to receive that mission and only permitted the members the mission to enter the occupied territories one by one. It is strange that a country which for so many years has refused to allow committees and commissions of inquiry established by the United Nations to enter lie occupied territories now complains about the natural results of that refusal.

118. The representative of the Zionist regime ended his statement by also falsifying Israel's attitude toward peace and by repeating that the obstacle to peace was not Israeli occupation of Arab territories or Israeli violation of human rights, and he repeated many lies and falsifications about inter-Arab relations and about Arab reactions to Israel. I should like to say to the Israeli representative that the obstacle to peace is really Israel's insistence on its colonialist occupation of the Arab territories. The obstacle to peace is its Zionist, racist nature which aims to destroy all traces of non-Jewishness in the occupied territories, to uproot the non-Jews and to implant in their stead aliens f ingathered from every corner of the world for the sole reason that they are Jews. The obstacle to peace is Israeli insistence on denying the existence of the Palestinian people and the predetermined plans of the Zionists to disperse the Palestinians, to liquidate and kill them and to bombard their women and children even in the camps where they have taken refuge from Israeli aggression and oppression. The obstacle to peace is Israel's policy of sabotaging any international effort to establish a just and lasting peace in the region in the hope of perpetuating the status quo and its own illegal occupation of the territories of others. The obstacle to peace is Israel's arrogance, defiance and disrespect for every single principle of international and humanitarian law, its constant refusal to abide by any relevant resolution of the United Nations—all 181 of them—even the resolution by which its aggres­sive entity was established. The obstacle to peace is Israel's blindness and its failure to realize that its racist entity cannot very much longer impose death, destruction, humiliation and domination on the Arab nation and that unless it ceases its aggression and usurpation of Arab rights and lands, there will be no peace for the aggressor.

119. The PRESIDENT (interpretation from French):

The next speaker is the representative of the Palestine Liberation Organization, on whom I now call.

120. Mr. TERZI (Palestine Liberation Organization): The current series of meetings of the Council was convened on 4 May to discuss the situation in the occupied Arab territories. Several States have taken part in the debate. In our statement of 5 May [1917th meeting] the Palestine Liberation Organization considered these meetings as a continuation of the debate held in March last. While the Council was debating, the occupation forces were brutally castigating our people under occupation. Our people under occupation have manifested by peaceful means their opposition to the perpetuation of occupation. Spokesmen for the occupation forces have tried to blame stray bullets for the death of our people. It is significant to note that imperfect rifles were to blame for the murder of our youth and not the trigger-happy, uncontrollable and undisciplined soldiers of occupation. In our opinion, the blame falls solely on "civilized generals" who dispatched the soldiers with clear instructions to suppress the demonstrators regardless of the method used. While the Zionist movement and the occupation forces were wreaking havoc with their whims, provocations and brutality, the Council was seized of a debate on how best to remedy the situation and how the Council could be true to its task and responsibilities.

121. It is saddening that after such a lengthy debate, and despite all the facts that have been brought to light in the Council, one particular Government finds itself in a position to declare that it cannot share with the Council members an expression of concern about practices against a people under occupation—a mere expression of concern. It is lamentable that that particular Government has to renounce the principles on which its people stands. It really causes us great grief that the Government of the United States does not dare, at this juncture in its domestic presidential election campaign, to join the rest of the world and the members of the Council in jointly calling upon the occupying Power to comply with the provisions of the fourth Geneva Convention and requesting the occupying Power to desist from and to rescind all measures that violate that Convention as well as the principles of the Charter and the relevant resolutions of the Council and other organs of the United Nations. Maybe the representative of the United States Government would have liked to see the Council adopt a resolution praising Tel Aviv for its practices and policies against the natives of Palestine, a resolution that would undertake to guarantee the establishment of settlements in all of Palestine and, more probably, a resolution to declare and guarantee that the defence border of Israel should be 500 miles to the east of the River Jordan, as one of the Zionist generals has suggested.

122. The Council was told that the occupying Power had the obligation to maintain law and order and the right to protect its forces. May I remind the Council that the General Assembly has affirmed the legitimate right of all peoples under foreign occupation to resist such occupation, including the right to armed resistance. It is occupation that engenders resistance, and not the other way around.

123. Inside the Council and outside it, we are being told that Palestine is the land of the Jews and that if the Palestinians do not like it, a final solution should be worked out to spirit them across the frontiers. Does this remind us of the seizure of the Sudetenland, or is it another form of Anschluss that will be followed inevitably by a Lebensraum policy, as has already been suggested by another Zionist general? And, who knows, maybe there will be a pre-emptive war that would lead to new disasters and catastrophes and "the creation of new realities". Does the representa­tive of the United States Government feel that the Council should recognize the "right" of the racist Zionists to expand territory? Does he expect the Council to sign a Munich pact with the Zionists? Let him make it very clear. Is it not enough that his Government is financing the Zionist regime in Palestine? Maybe his courage will help his candidate in the next election at the price of peace in the world.

124. The pattern of the behaviour of the racist Zionists could be discerned from what was reported by the State radio in Tel Aviv concerning the request of a group of Palestinians that plans to take over the Arab land in the Galilee area be rescinded. Mr. Rabin is reported to have said, "Instead of dealing with the past, I should start finding new ways of achieving the common goals in coexistence". That statement is very significant. Let bygones be bygones. Why rescind? We seize this territory today, and we talk afresh tomorrow. The Zionists plan to maintain their plan to commit more crimes, to seize more land and to expel more people. And why rescind?

125. The Council has been seized of a very grave situation. Unless and until the root of the situation —that is, occupation—is seriously dealt with, the situation will be aggravated and tension will remain high. We are certain that obstacles are being placed in the way of the Council's endeavours to achieve peace and to eliminate the roots and cause of the serious situation—that is, occupation. The impression that the Council is apparently shirking its task should be corrected and the real culprit unveiled.

126. In conclusion, my people will keep up their struggle for national liberation. The entire world will continue to support our just cause to eliminate foreign occupation. We shall keep our faith in the usefulness of resorting to the Council for the alleviation of our grievances and suffering. We know that the world has isolated the racist Zionists and that it will not be long before the main supporter of that system and regime meets a similar fate.

127. The PRESIDENT (interpretation from French):

I call upon the representative of the Libyan Arab Republic, who wishes to speak in exercise of his right of reply.

128. Mr. KIKHIA (Libyan Arab Republic): I have some comments to make concerning the allegations and misrepresentations of the Zionist representative.

129. Invariably, whenever we raise the issue of the occupied territories, the Zionist representative tries to divert attention from this very serious problem by mentioning problems and differences between and within the various Arab countries and inside the Arab nation as a whole. He does so in order to evade issue before the Council and also to place the Arabs in bad light by showing them to be narrow, intolerant and scruffy—a tactic clearly racist in nature.

130. The inter-Arab problem is not within the competence of the Council, but if Mr. Herzog wants the Council to deal with that problem and to help the Arabs to achieve unity, I, as representative of Libya, will welcome that. But we know that the last person who would wish the Arabs to be united and to progress is the representative of the Zionist entity.

131. Quarrelling and sometimes open warfare among different factions seem to be characteristic of evolving nations fighting for progress and eventual unity. If we compare what is happening now in the Arab nation with what has happened in the past in other nations —the United States, for instance, or Italy, or Germany or even Ireland, the home country of Mr. Herzog- we might almost say that the Arabs simply have not yet begun their civil war. It is an entirely different story from what is happening in the occupied territories. There, in Palestine, the situation is of a colonial settler and racist nature. We are sure that we Arabs will realize our unity and progress and will totally liberate our land. We, the Arabs, number 150 million human beings, and we assure Mr. Herzog that the Palestinians and the Arabs will never accept being the Red Indians of the twentieth century.

132. The representative of the Zionist entity knows that in spite of all the Zionist propaganda and claims, the Zionist movement has failed in its endeavour. The future of that racist entity is at least uncertain. In spile of the Zionist propaganda and so called military victories, the Zionists have not succeeded in achieving their dream of gathering all the Jews of the world into Palestine. The settlers brought into Palestine are still only a minority of world Jewry and will always remain so.

133. The Zionists have not been able to establish a viable entity in the Middle East. Despite the Zionist entity's exploitation of Arab lands, manpower and resources, it is an entity which cannot survive without massive foreign aid, particularly American aid.

134. The Zionist entity has not succeeded in integrating itself with its neighbours nor in imposing itself on the people of the region. Many signs in recent years have confirmed the fact that the Zionists have no future in the Middle East. They cannot have a future where they are not accepted, and they will never be accepted by the Arab majority of the area so long as they refuse to consider themselves part of the population but continue to behave like colonial settlers. It quite clear that this racist, expansionist, colonial entity has no future except to break our of its psychological and physical ghetto and try to settle its problems with us, rather than attempting to survive in spite of, or against, its environment, which is the Arab Middle East.

135. The Zionists timing has been against them from start. Their aggression against the Arab nation came just when that nation was beginning to awaken, that is the most important obstacle to the fulfilment of the Zionist dream, and because of it, that dream will ultimately fail, in spite of the problems faced by the Arabs themselves in their own fight for unity and progress.

136. The Arabs are moving forward in every way a education, in living standards, in technology. In these areas the gap between the Arabs and the European minority settlers in Palestine is constantly narrowing. Furthermore, the Arabs have begun to understand the importance of public relations, and every day their cause is picking up momentum in the world. Of equal importance, we have started to differentiate between peoples and Governments, particularly in the West, and have begun to have direct relations with the people, especially in Europe and, recently, in the United States.

137. All over the world the truth of the Arab cause is being seen more and more clearly. The people of the third world—Asia, Africa and Latin America—are now able to understand the real nature of Zionism, and their solidarity with the Palestinian people is growing every day, particularly since the alliance between the colonialist, imperialist establishment in Israel and the racist regime of South Africa, and since the exposure of the racist nature of the Zionist entity.

138. In the socialist countries the true nature of the Zionist entity has become obvious because of its ties to the imperialist, reactionary forces of the world. The socialist countries are now able to see Israel as an agent of those imperialist, capitalist forces, and all over the world, socialist and progressive nations and movements have undergone a change regarding the Arabs, whom they now see as a driving force in global progressive liberation movements.

139. In the Western world the Arabs are still suffering from the unlimited commitment of the United States and some other Western countries to the Zionists. The Zionist movement is able to exert a direct influence on the Western establishment by means of intimidation, financial and economic pressure, corruption, its hold on the mass media and by means of blackmail and exploitation of the guilty conscience of the Christians in regard to the traditional European anti-Semitism and the events connected with Nazism. Nevertheless, in recent years, and particularly since 1973, there has been a slow but clear and steady shift among the peoples of those countries, who have begun to question their leaders and politicians about their commitment to the Zionist entity and to the Zionist movement and who have started to understand that at least there is an Arab case. Those peoples are no longer afraid of a frank discussion on the Middle East. We notice that there is pressure from the grass roots which has started to impose itself even on the pro-Zionist mass media.

140. Previously, even the Arabs themselves suffered from the influence of Zionist propaganda, which convinced them that the peoples of the West were a lost cause, that the West was too pro-Zionist for any change to be possible. But the Arabs understood enough to make a differentiation between the people at the top and the people forming the broad base. People-to-people contacts began, and their consequences are starting to be seen.

141. People have begun to talk openly in the mass media about the Zionist lobby and Zionist pressure. Some years ago, in 1968, an eminent American pronounced the word "even-handedness" with regard to United States policy in the Middle East. He was accused of being an anti-Semite and was reported to be eliminated from the political scene at that time. Now people discuss even-handedness without any hesitation, and in the United States in an election year a pro-Zionist candidate met with defeat, even in some areas considered to be strongholds of Zionism. It is interesting to note how little of the election discussion in the United States this year is centring on the Middle East. To be sure, a few phrases and sentences are uttered from time to time to reassure Israel of a kind of support, in vague and general terms, but the problem of commitment to Israel is no longer the main issue even in the American election.

142. Another important phenomenon in the United States is that Arab Americans have begun to organize themselves, have started to stand up and declare that they are proud to be Arabs as well as good Americans and to protest against the unlimited commitment of the United States to the Zionist movement. Only three weeks ago the Mayor of Cleveland, Ohio, received the annual convention of the Arab Americans and presented the keys of the city to the Arab ambassadors. He expressed solidarity with the Palestinian cause. The Mayor of another American city, in Michigan, declared 15 May "Palestine Day" in his community.

143. In the United Nations and other international organizations we are also able to see the progress of the Palestinian cause in their recognition of the Palestinian people and the Palestine Liberation Organization as the legitimate representative of that people, in their condemnation of Israel's policies and in their condemnation of the Zionist movement as racist.

144. All those things to which I have briefly referred, taken together, lead to the conclusion that, as we have said before, the Zionists have no future, no alternative in the Middle East but to break loose from the artificial prison in which they have placed themselves and to make peace with us, with a view to being accepted by us as Jews, as human beings, and not as Zionist settlers.

The meeting rose at 6.05 p.m.


1 United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 75, p. 287.

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