I. DECLARATION OF THE NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS AT THE SECOND UNITED NATIONS INTERNATIONAL NGO MEETING ON THE QUESTION OF PALESTINE
II. OPENING STATEMENT BY MR. BORIS IVANOVICH KORNEENKO, HEAD OF THE DELEGATION OF THE COMMITTEE ON THE EXERCISE OF THE INALIENABLE RIGHTS OF THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE.
MESSAGE FROM MR. YASSER ARAFAT, CHAIRMAN OF THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE OF THE PALESTINE LIBERATION ORGANIZATION
IV. KEYNOTE ADDRESS BY HIS EXCELLENCY DR. BRUNO KREISKY, FORMER CHANCELLOR OF AUSTRIA
V. PAPERS PRESENTED AT THE MEETING
A. Overview and update on the current situation in the occupied territories
1. Mohammed K. Shadid, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Political Science, Al-Najah University, Nablus, West Bank
2. Shafiq Al-Rout, Member of the Palestine National Council
B. Ways and means to implement United Nations resolution 38/58 C: The International Peace Conference on the Middle East is the means for a just, durable and comprehensive solution to the question of Palestine and the Middle East conflict
1. Eugeniy Primakov, Director of the Institute of Oriental Studies, Institute of the USSR Academy of Sciences.
2. Mattiyahu Peled, Member of Knesset for the Progressive List for Peace, Chairman of the Israeli Council for Israeli-Palestinian Peace and Professor of Arabic Literature at Tel Aviv University
3. Tawfiq Zayyad , Mayor of Nazareth
4. Amnon Zichroni Attorney and Member, Israeli Council for Israeli-Palestinian Peace
5. Shafiq Al-Rout, Member of the Palestine National Council
VI. REPORT OF THE INTERIM OD-ORDINATING COMMITTEE FOR NGOs ON THE QUESTION OF PALESTINE
VII. REPORTS OF REGIONAL GROUPS
A. Report of the African group
B. Report of the Asian group
C. Report of the European group
D. Report of the North American group
VIII. WORKSHOP REPORTS
A. Deport of the education workshop
B. Report of the human rights workshop
C. Report of the media workshop
D. Report of the religious organizations workshop
E. Report of the solidarity workshop
F. Report of the workshop on women
IX. STATEMENT SUBMITTED BY MRS. SAMEEHA S. KHALIL, PRESIDENT OF THE SOCIETY OF IN'ASH AL-USRAH
X. A MESSAGE FROM PALESTINIAN WOMEN
XI. CLOSING REMARKS OF MR. B. I. KORNEENKO, HEAD OF THE DELEGATION OF THE COMMITTEE ON THE EXERCISE OF THE INALIENABLE RIGHTS OF THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE .
XII. LIST OF PARTICIPANTS AND OBSERVERS
I. DECLARATION OF THE NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS
AT THE SECOND UNITED NATIONS INTERNATIONAL
NGO MEETING ON THE QUESTION OF PALESTINE
1. We, the non-governmental organizations participating in the Second United Nations International NGO Meeting on the Question of Palestine, wish to thank the United Nations Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People for convening this meeting. We are indeed honoured by the presence of the Members and observers of the distinguished United Nations body.
2. We also wish to thank the Chief of the Division for Palestinian Rights, the NGO liaison officers, the staff of the Division, the Department of Conference Services, including the services of the interpreters, for their valuable assistance in the preparation and execution of this meeting. We believe this meeting strengthens the constructive interaction between the United Nations and the international NGO community concerned with the absence of a just and durable solution to the question of Palestine and we look forward to increasing levels of understanding, appreciation and co-operation.
3. We also wish to voice our appreciation to the distinguished experts and resource persons who spoke here and offered valuable historical, political, as well as practical insights into the question of Palestine, as well as a perspective on the important role to be played by NGOs. The practical suggestions emanating from the workshops assisted us in formulating future plans for effective collaboration in linking our efforts to a broader, global network. The workshop reports are available separately.
4. In particular, we want to draw attention to the important presentations made here. We consider the panel "Ways and means to implement United Nations resolution 38/58 C. The International Peace Conference on the Middle East is the means for a just, durable and comprehensive solution to the question of Palestine and the Middle East conflict", to be of great significance and urge the United Nations to reproduce those statements and widely circulate them. We also urge the United Nations to convene the same panel in other locations (USA/Europe) so that its perspective can be communicated to wider audiences.
5. We resolutely reaffirm the international consensus that the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) is the sole and legitimate representative of the Palestinian people. We affirm the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people to self-determination without external interference, to return, and to the establishment of an independent Palestinian State on its own national territory under the leadership of the PLO, in conformity with all relevant United Nations resolutions.
6. We further strongly support the convening of the International Peace Conference in the Middle East under the auspices of the United Nations as specified in United Nations resolution 38/58 C. We note that the PLO and other Arab parties and the Government of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics have supported the resolution and that the Governments of Israel and the United States of America have opposed the convening of such a conference.
We consider that the stand taken by these two Governments on the issue militates against the search for peace in the Middle East. We therefore urge that all Governments and all groups that can, should exert all possible pressure on these two Governments to reconsider their position and join the rest of the world, Governments and peoples in the movement for peace.
7. In this manner, we uniformly support the declaration on this issue adopted by the International NGO Meeting on the Question of Palestine held in August 19 84 in Geneva.
8. The convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East, as endorsed by General Assembly resolution 38/58 C offers a realistic and practical way towards a solution to the problem of Palestine and the establishment of a Palestinian State. We further reaffirm our belief that only a full and comprehensive solution involving, in particular, the United States of America and the USSR, as permanent members of the Security Council and co-chairman of the Geneva Peace Conference, can create the basis for a just and lasting peace.
9. We concur that influencing world public opinion is a key factor in the just and durable resolution of the question of Palestine. As NGOs, we have access to local populations, the grass roots in our societies, and are determined to work to increase their understanding of the question of Palestine and the just cause of the Arab people of Palestine, and to effectively mobilize their potential political, social and spiritual power. Beyond these principles, we firmly believe that NGOs are a unique asset in securing the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, for we can present the issue also from a vital, human perspective.
10. We confirm our support for the global signature campaign to increase popular and organizational support for the International Peace Conference on the Middle East and will redouble and co-ordinate our efforts with the International Co-ordinating Committee for NGOs throughout the world, culminating in the International nay of Solidarity with the Palestinian People on 29 November 1987. Our emphasis will be to attract the support of popular organizations with large memberships, parliamentarians, peace forces in Israel, North America and all Europe, and others.
11. We NGOs present here for this international meeting see ourselves as a nucleus of a broader, world-wide effort. We undertake to reach out, identify and involve many other NGOs in the just resolution of the question of Palestine.
12. We express our grave concern over the protracted Arab-Israeli conflict. We recognize that the basic cause of that conflict is the denial by Israel and its supporters of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people. We deplore the vigorous assaults upon Palestinian human rights by Israel and urge all NGOs to activate their networks to protest this repression in every effective way. In particular, we condemn the record of successive administrations of the United States of America that have encouraged and supported Israel's expansionist policies.
13. We urge all NGOs to inform their Governments of the deteriorating economic, social, cultural and health situation of the Palestinian people in the occupied territories and abroad. We reject the campaign for a so-called "improvement of the quality of life" under Israeli control as a ruse devised to pre-empt independent Palestinian development in the occupied territories.
14. Recognizing that more attention needs to be paid to the specific situation of Palestinian Arabs within Israel, we intend to continue to address this subject at future international NGO meetings and urge all NGOs to create heightened awareness of this subject. We call upon the Government of Israel to establish and guarantee full equal rights to the Palestinian Arabs inside Israel, who are an integral part of the Palestinian people.
15. We express our strongest opposition to the Israeli Government policy of "Iron Fist" rule in the occupied territories: the closure of Al-Najah University and other institutions of higher education and the closure of the Arab Hospital in the Austrian Hospice in Jerusalem, which have deprived the people of their vital services) the arbitrary administrative detention and expulsion of leaders of student organizations, trade unions, voluntary organizations and youth movements. These actions and attitudes are flagrant violations of human rights and basic human decency. In particular, we demand the abolition of the expulsion orders against the following persons:
Amin Darwish Maqbul of Nablus Walid Ahmad Nazzal of Qabatiyya Bahjat Mustafa Jayyusi of Jayyus, as well as the abolition of the orders of administrative detention against Zalu Jaradat and Ghazi Shashtari, who are both Law in the Service of Man field workers, all of which contravene international law. All NGOs must take immediate action to draw attention to these glaring abuses of power and violations of human rights. All of our networks should be mobilized to protest to the detaining authorities, and to the United States Government and the United Nations and to demand an end to the Israeli occupation.
16. We are deeply concerned over the persistent policy of Israel to confiscate Arab land in the occupied Palestinian territory and to establish Jewish colonial settlements thereon. This constitutes a flagrant violation of the provisions of the fourth Geneva Convention. We call upon the Security Council to apply means and measures to ensure respect and implementation of its relevant resolutions, particularly resolution, 465 (1980).
17. We consider that the proposed law by the Israeli Knesset prohibiting contacts between Israelis and members of the PLO constitutes a further obstacle in the search for peace. In the light of this proposed law, it is of the utmost importance that NGOs take the initiative to convene meetings between Israeli citizens and Palestinians representing the PLO with the aim to implement the relevant United Nations resolutions, in particular, General Assembly resolution 38/58 C.
18. We voice grave concern over the fate of the Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon, and recall the historical responsibility of the United Nations for the fate of the Palestinian people. We call upon the United Nations to shoulder this responsibility.
19. We note the fundamental importance of the forthcoming summit meeting between the United States and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and call upon them to have the question of Palestine and peace in the Middle East included in the agenda and to consider, during the summit, the convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East.
20. We are aware that 1986 will be globally designated as the Year of Peace, and that there will be no peace without peace in the Middle East. We must take all action to make it a year of peace with justice for the Palestinian people by selflessly collaborating with one another in order to influence public opinion and governmental policy. We strongly condemn the military and political collusion and nuclear collaboration between the Government of Israel and the Government of South Africa.
21. We have reviewed and considered the initial activities of the Interim Co-ordinating Committee for NGOs (ICC) established at the International NGO Meeting on the Question of Palestine convened at Geneva in August 1984. We hereby establish a successor organization, the NOD International Co-ordinating Committee on the Question of Palestine in order to expand and strengthen the NGO global network. ICC will work diligently to develop even closer links with the United Nations Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People and the Division for Palestinian Rights. The names of the member organizations on the 1985/1986 ICC are given in footnote j/.
22- We sincerely thank the United Nations Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People for inviting a representative of the ICC to speak as a panellist at each of the regional NGO symposia convened since May 1985. We believe that these symposia increase NGO contact and create circumstances for the establishment of regional NGO co-ordinating committees in Asia, North America and Africa .
23. We urge the United Nations Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People and the Division for Palestinian Rights to continue such regional and other NGO symposia in the coming year in order to involve under represented regions and to reinforce the networking already under way in other areas. Upcoming regional NGO symposia should include Latin America, East Asia and the Pacific, and Europe. Follow-up symposia in other regions are needed to maintain continuity and expansion of the global NGO network on Palestine. We further urge the united Nations Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People and the Division for Palestinian Rights to facilitate the convening of meetings of the ICC in the coming year so that ICC can co-ordinate its efforts on behalf of the NGO community it represents.
24. Based on our experience over this past year, NGOs participating in the present meeting propose that the new ICC consider the establishment of an administrative secretariat and also consider ways and means of funding the activities of ICC and its proposed secretariat.
25. We are determined to cultivate an expanding global NGO constituency linked to a world-wide NGO network that will emerge as a significant force in the campaign for the just resolution of the question of Palestine. The establishment of the NGO International Co-ordinating Committee symbolizes this commitment and the growth of the global movement. We firmly believe that we can most effectively express our solidarity with the Palestinian people and work for peace in this way. We call upon the united Nations, through the United Nations Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, to offer every assistance, including financial support, to achieve these ends.
26. We call upon the United Nations Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People to convey this report of the International NGO Meeting on the Question of Palestine, held in Geneva, from 9-12 September 1985, to the General Assembly at its fortieth session as part of the Committee's report.
1.1 All-India Indo-Arab Friendship Association; American Friends Service Committee; Arab Lawyers Union Association des Juristes Democrates du Senegal; Council for the Advancement of Arab/British Understanding; Democratic Front for Peace and Equality; French NGOs Committee; International Jewish Peace Union; Israeli Council for Israeli/Palestinian Peace-, Near East Cultural and Educational Foundation of Canada; Palestine Committee for NGOs; Palestine Human Rights Campaign of Australia; Palestine Human Rights Campaign; Parliamentary Association for Euro-Arab Co-operation; Soviet Afro-Asian Solidarity Committee; Union Inter-Africa inedes Avocets; Women's International Democratic Federation; World Council of Churches/Middle East Council of Churches; World Peace Council; World Young Women's Christian Association.
II. OPENING STATEMENT BY MR. BORIS IVANOVICH KORNEENKO, HEAD OF THE DELEGATION OF THE COMMITTEE ON THE EXERCISE OF THE INALIENABLE RIGHTS OF THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE
On behalf of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, I should like to welcome you to the Second International NGO Meeting on the Question of Palestine. May I take this opportunity to convey to you the regrets of the Chairman of the committee, Ambassador Massamba Sarre, for his inability to be with us today. Pressing business elsewhere prevented his attendance at this meeting. We are now at the stage where this meeting - the annual international meeting - is gaining its intended character. It is an assembly of NGOs whose elected Interim Co-ordinating Committee has developed the agenda and proposed experts to address the topics to which your Committee has given priority.
The Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People has been pleased to respond positively to your proposals and is gratified that you are agreed on the prime importance of the question of an International Peace Conference on the Middle East in your deliberations.
Since the International Conference on the Question of Palestine of 1983, at which the concept for the peace conference took shape, the General Assembly adopted the proposal, by an overwhelming majority, in resolution 38/58 C. I note that the theme for your panel discussion on Tuesday morning is "Ways and means to implement United Nations resolution 38/58 C". Your decision to treat the subject in this way is a clear indication that you have perceived the unique role that NGOs can play in assisting the United Nations to realize the goals of its resolutions and activities. The Committee, for its part, is convinced of the vital importance of that role and fully appreciates the value of the co-operation that has developed between the NGO community concerned with the question of Palestine and the United Nations mechanism designed to work toward our common goals.
Since our meeting last August, your Co-ordinating Committee has held two meeting under my Committee's auspices here at Geneva in November 1984 and March 1985. It was the purpose of these meetings to assist NGOs to develop their own work programme with the aid of the United Nations, which was deemed appropriate in the various circumstances. As a result, the Bulletin, which is published each month by the Division for Palestinian Rights, contains an NGO activity and information section that serves as a vehicle for communication among your groups.
To assist you in achieving your goal of a Resource Directory, the Division designed and circulated over 500 copies of a questionnaire to NGOs deemed to have significant interest in the question of Palestine. Copies of responses are available to the Co-ordinating Committee.
The circulation of your Signature Campaign in favour of an International Peace Conference on the Middle East was aided by the fact that the Division made your initiative widely known so that all interested persons and groups could sign your petition and return it to your organizations. As you will recall, the campaign was launched by your spokesperson, Mr . Ernie Ross, at the Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People commemorated at United Nations Headquarters on 29 November. It shall be climaxed this year by your presentation of the results within the context of the 29 November programme.
Last year, it was noted that, with very few exceptions, the contact among NGOs concerned with the question of Palestine was limited to the European and North American sectors. Concurring with your opinion, the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People sponsored two regional NGO symposia - one at New Delhi in May 1985 and the other at Dakar in August 1985.
These symposia have revealed a wealth of commitment to our cause among NGOs working in Asia and Africa. Participants at both meetings are already planning how to reach out further on their continents. They have sent representatives to this meeting as a sign of their desire to link forces with other NGOs in order to have a global impact on this issue. At the request of the United Nations, your Interim Co-ordinating Committee designated one of its members, Mr. Donald Betz, to be a panellist at both meetings in order to develop the necessary linkage for future collaborations.
In addition, the North American Regional Symposium held at United Nations Headquarters in July profited from the model of your ICC and elected a similar group to guide efforts on the North American continent. Similarly the African Regional Symposium established a group to co-ordinate efforts in Africa.
Since we met here a year ago, further dire events have befallen the Palestinian people, both in the occupied territories and scattered throughout the region. Later this morning we will have the benefit of hearing from people who are on the spot the details of the situation that prevails there. The conscience of the international community can have no rest till it sees an end to the suffering of the Palestinian people and assist them in the attainment of their rights.
You who have gathered here for this meeting are a source of hope for these people whose cause you have espoused. Having overcome any differences that might exist among you - political, religious, national - you are united in a spirit that transcends self-interest. This is the very quality that the NGO community brings to the consideration of the question of Palestine. The United Nations is grateful for it.
We trust that the energy that you bring to this endeavour will lead to fruitful discussion and to decisions that will advance the cause of a just solution for the Palestinian people.
III. MESSAGE FROM MR. YASSER ARAFAT, CHAIRMAN OF THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE OF THE PALESTINE LIBERATION ORGANIZATION, CONVEYED BY MR. ZEHDI L. TERZI,
PERMANENT OBSERVER OF THE PALESTINE LIBERATION ORGANIZATION
TO THE UNITED NATIONS
On behalf of our Palestinian Arab people and in the name of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), I take pleasure in conveying to you and all the representatives of the non-governmental organizations participating in this meeting our warmest greetings and sincerest wishes for a successful outcome to your meeting.
I wish to take this opportunity to express our deep appreciation for the manner in which the non-governmental organizations are supporting our just Palestinian cause and the struggle of our people for the liberation of their land and the recovery of their inalienable national rights, including their right to return, to exercise self-determination and to establish their independent Palestinian State. This support and backing on the part of the non-governmental organizations for our Palestinian cause and for the struggle of our people reflects an awareness by the peoples of the world not only of the rights of our Palestinian people to their homeland but also of the grave injustice that was suffered by these people as a result of the establishment of the "State of Israel" in the greater part of Palestine with the support, assistance and weapons provided by traditional colonialism and neo-imperialism, particularly American imperialism.
This meeting is being held at a time when our Palestinian Arab people are facing increasingly serious challenges and difficulties both in and outside occupied Palestine. In spite of the resolute desire that our people have always expressed for the achievement of peace in Palestine and the region of the Middle East, which was reflected in the joint agreement for political action between Jordan and the PLO with a view to the implementation of the provisions of the Arab Peace Plan formulated at the Twelfth Arab Summit Conference held at Fez, Morocco, in 1982, the Zionist enemy is becoming even more obstinate and persistent in the pursuit of its aggressive and expansionist policies aimed at the annexation of occupied Palestinian and Arab territories and the expulsion of our people from their homeland. In order to implement these aggressive politics, the Zionist enemy is intensifying its campaigns of terror against our people living under occupation and is also arming and financing gangs of Zionist terrorists so that they can engage in acts of murder and intimidation against our people in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The enemy is also continuing its policy of confiscating land, expropriating water resources and establishing settlements in those areas with the full support of the American Administration which is pursuing similar aggressive policies against our Palestinian people and Arab nation and denying the right of our Palestinian people to self-determination and the establishment of their independent State in their homeland.
We sincerely hope that this meeting will examine not only the increasingly serious situation facing our Palestinian people living under occupation but also their state of deprivation that constitutes a fundamental element in the Israeli policy of refusing to recognize our people's right to existence, self-expression and self-determination on their national soil.
We are confident that your meeting will adopt appropriate resolutions in support of the Palestinian cause and the Palestinian struggle, thereby helping our people to withstand the ever-increasing challenges, to achieve their national objectives and to recover their inalienable national rights that have been recognized by the international community, as represented by the United Nations, including their right to return, to self-determination and to the establishing of their independent Palestinian State.
IV. KEYNOTE ADDRESS BY HIS EXCELLENCY DR. BRUNO KREISKY,
FORMER CHANCELLOR OF AUSTRIA
I was very doubtful as to whether I should accept your invitation to talk about the question of how to encourage the peace process in the Middle East. For some decades, I tried to do it, without any visible success. Finally, I accepted.
Let me give some reasons for that. In my experience, there are no hopeless situations in the wide field of foreign affairs. There have been many situations that seemed to be totally hopeless. In my own country, for example, democracy disappeared through our own Austrian Fascists, supported by Mussolini, at a time when we were surrounded by countries that had semi-Fascist regimes like the Horty regime in Hungary and the Yugoslavian military dictatorship. Only two countries were democracies - Czechoslovakia and Switzerland.
In 1938, the Austrian Fascists were overthrown by Hitler and his army. It was a hopeless situation and I spent some time in prison under both dictatorships. Finally, I was able to get out and go to Sweden .
A year later, the Second World War broke out, we know today, because of incompetent leadership in the Western democracies. After a short time, Hitler was the master of Europe. One country after the other was conquered. Only Britain resisted. Hitler asked for and, incredibly, got the verbal support of Stalin. But Britain's Churchill and Bevin refused and Hitler finally made war against Russia: Japan entered the war and the situation seemed hopeless.
Hitler lost and we all witnessed the renaissance of democracies in Europe. Hundreds of millions of people became free.
My conclusion again: there is never a reason to give up. And, in all modesty, allow me to say that I was one who encouraged at that time a lot of people in the isolated Swedish democracy. I told them that Hitler would lose in the end.
Now let me give you another example. In my own country, we had, after the defeat of Hitler's fascism, all four Powers stationed in Austria for 10 years. We had to face 10 years of negotiations. It seemed to be hopeless. During those 10 years, many people told me that Austria would never be a free country, that it would be under the control of the four Powers forever.
I never stopped encouraging the Austrians that the day would come. That day came, and the Austrian State Treaty was concluded.
I am not coming with a plan, I am concentrating on three facts. One of the most important resolutions of the United Nations is the resolution about the creation of the State of Israel. This was the legal basis for its existence, but the content of this resolution was that two countries should live side by side - a Jewish one and an Arab one. In this respect, the Soviet Union and the United States were the founding fathers.
One of the most important resolutions the united Nations ever adopted is Security Council resolution 242 (1967). It is necessary to stress that both resolutions had the strong support of the Soviet Union and the United States.
Resolution 242 (1967) is still valid and we can never accept that resolutions of the United Nations, adopted in this way, should be ignored year after year by the parties involved.
What can now be done to implement that resolution on a realistic level? The best way would be to create a special United Nations commission to deal with the problem of the Middle East.
There are two highly important plans: one is the Reagan plan, which is dealing with the problem of the Middle East in every concise way. I do not. believe that this plan, as such, has a chance of being adopted by the parties concerned, but it is the proposal of the President of one of the largest nations in the world.
Israel can only exist if the United States permanently supports Israel with billions of dollars and more and more highly sophisticated arms. is it really thinkable that there will be no follow-up to the Reagan plan? Is it really possible, in the long run, for the United States to refuse to discuss its own plan with an international commission?
Even more important; some days later, the Arab Summit Conference adopted the so-called Fez plan, based on the proposals of King Fahd of Saudi Arabia. Can we really afford for an international body such as the special commission I am proposing to refuse to discuss such an important document?
Now we are faced with the readiness of King Hussein and Chairman Arafat to discuss the matter. Why not hold those discussions, talks, within the framework of such an international commission?
Now, some remarks about the participants. President Reagan is in favour of talks between the parties involved, but he is opposed to such a commission because Israel is refusing. it. I think the United States will, one day, change its attitude, as it did, for example, in the case of Austrian neutrality. The United States policy has always been remarkable because of its flexibility. If Israel insists on not participating, I can only characterize this attitude as, "Les absents ont toujours tort".
Another argument is that the Soviet Union should not participate in such a conference. Why not? The Soviet Union is, as I mentioned before, one of the founder States of Israel. The Soviet Union is a close ally of the Syrian Arab Republic, which is the most powerful Arab State in the area. The United
States is the ally of Israel. Both are delivering arms to their mutual allies. But both must be frightened that something will happen in the Middle East which will directly involve them. They must hate this idea. Of course this would create a very, very dangerous situation.
It is my conviction that the Soviets are involved in the area in the same way as the Americans. That has been, in some way, recognized by the fact that some months ago, diplomats from both super-Powers met at Vienna for an exchange of ideas. These were, of course, very informal talks.
I believe that, when President Reagan and Secretary-General Gorbachev meet in November, this problem should be on the agenda, because both super-Powers must in their own interest try to strive for, a stage of non-belligerency in the area.
I am not talking about peace to obtain peace would be too difficult. But to start a peace process, would seem to me possible. If both super-Powers recognize this necessity, they will really act in favour of a tremendous confidence-building measure, which will also affect the politically abstract negotiations in Geneva.
What we need to do today is to encourage all efforts to resume the process of detente. This should not be limited to Europe; it must be a global one. One of the most important goals in this connection will be a peace process in the Middle East.
It is a habit in international affairs, which in my view is absolutely wrong, that strength should be shown by refusing to negotiate, or by posing a lot of conditions before going to the table. My experience is that a policy of real strength can only be proved in negotiations.
Therefore, I am wandering across the globe - from Japan to Norway, from Geneva to Washington - to talk about these aspects. I try to convince friends in Israel and in the Arab States, but, I must confess, I feel like one whom we call in German "ein Pilfer in der Waste".
In spite of that, I will never give up trying to encourage at least the beginning of a peace process.
V. PAPERS PRESENTED AT THE MEETING
A. Overview and update on the current situation in the occupied territories
ISRAELI POLICY TOWARDS ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
PROJECTS IN THE WEST BANK AND GAZA
1. Mohammed K. Shadid, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Political, Science, Al-Najah National University, Nablus, West Bank
Expectations have been raised over the possibility of convening an international peace conference on the Middle East. This is because of the recent increase in the level of United States and Israeli diplomatic activities in relation to the proposed meeting between the United States Government and a joint Jordanian/Palestinian delegation.
The successful conclusion of such a conference would bring about an end to Israeli occupation and the resolution of the Palestine question. However, a close look at Israel's economic policies and practices - with United States acquiescence - in the occupied territories, would reveal Israel's intention of never relinquishing those areas.
Over the past 18 years, Israel has set about integrating the economies of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip into its own. By strangling industrial growth and impeding agricultural and institutional developments, it is determined to prevent the creation of an economic base fora Palestinian State. The long process of colonization and political absorption continues, along with the intention of making the territories' incorporation into Eretz Israel an accomplished fact.
Given the current structural weaknesses and vulnerability of the Israeli economy, the resources of the occupied territories are already playing an important role in keeping Israel on its precarious feet.
The occupation has transformed Israel into a State with an imperial economy, relying for its well-being on the captive resources of the occupied territories and their subjugated and pacified population.
Unlike the global empires of the last two centuries, where mother States relied upon economic resources sent from thousands of miles away, the Israeli imperial economy is based upon geographically contiguous areas, making the process of political pacification easier, more efficient and perhaps less obvious. 1/
Spiralling inflation seems beyond control, rising steadily from a high of 39.7 per cent in 1975 to 131.0 per cent in 1980, 120.3 per cent in 1982, 145.7 per cent in 1983, 400 per cent in 1984 and already exceeding the 1984 mark for the first six months of 1985. Inflation for that period ran at an average of 16 per cent per month. 2/
Israel's balance of trade and payments deficits continue to deteriorate as is shown in table 1 below.
The economic importance of the occupied territories to the imperial economy of Israel can be seen in the volumes of Israeli exports to the West Bank and Gaza areas, particularly when compared with other importers, as shown in table 2 below.
Balance of trade and payments deficit, 1977-1983
(Millions of US dollars)
Balance of Trade deficit
balance of Payment deficit
Source: Statistical Abstract of Israel, 1984, Itb. 35 (Jerusalem, Central Bureau of Statistics, 1984), pp. 198 and 213.
The figures for 1984 and the first half of 1985 indicate a continuation of the trend. Consequently, Israel's foreign currency reserves dipped to a low of $1,952 million in May 1985. 3/
Israeli exports, 1970-1983
(Millions of US dollars)
Year United States West Bank and Gaza United Kingdom South Africa
Source: Statistical abstract of Israel, 1984, lb.35 (Jerusalem, Central Bureau of Statistics, 1984), pp. 213, 215 and 227
Since the figures in table 2 are taken from an official Israeli publication, they exclude East Jerusalem, with its 120,000 inhabitants from the West Bank.
Furthermore, goods and services obtained by people from the West Bank and Gaza directly from Israeli retailers are not included in the statistics. Figures in table 2 for these areas should therefore be adjusted upward by
25 per cent. Consequently, Israeli exports to the West Bank and Gaza in 1983 would be $860.8 million instead of 3680.5 million. 1/
Table 2 indicates that the occupied territories are second only to the United States as importers of Israeli goods and the volume is double that of the United Kingdom, the third largest importer of Israeli goods.
It should also be noted that, as a result of Israel's tight control over the economies of the West Bank and Gaza, the volume of exports to these areas constitutes 90.7 per cent of total imports of the West Bank and Gaza. 5/ Consequently Israel's economic policies in the occupied territories reflect its short-term and long-term imperial interests.
An overview of Israeli economic policy
in the occupied territories
Since 1967, the Israeli occupation authorities have had a programme of economic integration of the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and the Golan Heights 6/ which has turned them into Israeli colonies.
The Israeli Ministry of Defence, in its report on the development and economic situation in the occupied territories, characterizes the nature of the economic relationship between Israel and the captured areas quite candidly-. "The areas are a supplementary market for Israeli goods and services on the one hand and a source of factors of production, especially unskilled labour, for the Israeli economy on the other." 2/
The motivation that has inspired Israeli policy towards the occupied territories since 1967 is a function of the interests - although occasionally contradictory - of Israeli entrepreneurs and political strategists. These dual interests were forcefully protected via the implementation of a system of tight controls over the various sectors of the Palestinian economy in the West Bank and Gaza.
The rapid growth in per capita income in the West Bank was not accompanied by comparable growth in the industrial sector. Contrary to normal patterns of growth, industrial production has declined. The industrial sector's contribution to the gross domestic product fell from 9 per cent in 1968 to 8.2 per cent in 1975 and 6.5 per cent in 1980. 8/ The West Bank economy may be described as non-industrialized. With a per capita gross national product twice as high as that in Egypt, the West Bank industrial contribution to the gross domestic product is only one fourth of the Egyptian industrial contribution.
The industrial sector of the West Bank and Gaza is characterized by the existence of a number of small and medium-sized workshops, 92.3 per cent of which employ between one and nine workers. 2/ They are based primarily on manual labour and focus on the processing of primary goods such as food, beverages and tobacco, as well as textile goods and clothes (see table 3 below).
Distribution of industrial firms by size of their labour forces Number of labourers
Number of firms Percentage of total
Source: Hisham Awartani, A Survey of Industry in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip (Bir Zeit Lb University) p. 25.
Number of Labourers
Number of firms
Percentage of total
100 and more
Industrial production in the West Bank consists largely of olives which, with the export of soap to Jordan and other Arab countries, makes up nearly 90 per cent of the total sales. 9/
At the same time, the manufacture of cement blocks, floor tiles, bricks and stones, relies mainly on the Israeli market. Israeli construction firms buy nearly 50 per cent of the product. 10/ Other products such as clothing (made by subcontractors engaged in sewing), wood products, wicker and other types of furniture, woven textiles, plastic products (mattresses, sandals, etc.) also depend on the level of demand of the Israeli market. 14/
The small volume of industrial production is obviously caused by the lack of investment in the industrial sector. Israeli policy means that investment risks by the Arab entrepreneurs are prohibitive and the involvement of Israeli capital is absent. The most obvious type of Israeli investment has taken the form of sub-contracting, particularly in the textile industry, which flourished and expanded after occupation. In fact, 70 per cent of all existing firms have been set up since then. 13/ It is, however, "the lowest- paid industry in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip" 1.1/ and has little or no long-term effect on the industrial sector of the occupied areas.
In the areas of industry, finance and agriculture, Israel's plans for the West Bank and Gaza are colonial. Those plans do not, of course, include encouragement of a strong and independent infrastructure for the region. The flooding of the West Bank and Gaza markets with Israeli manufactured goods militates against that process. Certainly, Israeli discriminatory policy and practice against Palestinian manufacturers, if continued, would have the effect of driving them out of business.
Palestinian manufacturers are charged a 15 per cent production tax, as under Jordanian law. 1.4/ This is not applicable to Israeli manufacturers either inside the Green Line or in the settlements.
Palestinians are also charged a 15 per cent Israeli value added tax and 38.5 per cent on net assets at the end of the fiscal year. These are also applicable to their Israeli counterparts. However, discrimination occurs once more in the methods of calculating these taxes, where their value is calculated in Jordanian dinars for Palestinian manufacturers and in Israeli shekels for Israeli manufacturers, despite the fact that both buy and sell their products in shekels. In practical terms, this means that in the light of continuous rapid devaluation of the shekel (one Jordanian dinar equalled 1,900 shekels on 1 January 1985 and 4,250 shekels on 1 September), Palestinian manufacturers pay from 35 to 40 per cent more than their Israeli counterparts. Consequently, the total amount of taxes they pay is 50 to 55 per cent higher. This makes production costs higher and they lose their ability to compete, even if given equal access to the market. So the primary concern of Palestinian manufacturers is survival, rather than development.
At the same time, Israel continues to accelerate its plans for Jewish, rather than Arab, industrial development in the West Bank.
Jewish industries in the West Bank
By 1983, six Jewish industrial parks had been constructed in the West Bank. 1.2/
Ma'aleh Ephraim 70
Karnei Shomron 150
Ma'ali Adumim 650
Kiryat Arba 50
The operating plants employ some 2,500 workers, 70 per cent of whom are Jewish and the remainder are Arabs assigned primarily to unskilled tasks. 1.5./
The current policies of the authorities are to build only capital intensive, sophisticated factories to achieve the following objectives- to minimize the need for settlers to commute to the cities, and to limit Arab employment.
There are further Israeli plans for the industrialization of the West Bank (part of the Plan of a Hundred. Thousand Settlers, World Zionist Organization (WZO), 1982) that call for the establishment of seven additional industrial parks. The total area designated for these industrial parks in the West Bank by the year 2010 is 15,000 dunams. For Jewish industrial workers, 83,500 jobs will be created, with 25,000 unskilled or semi-skilled jobs for Arabs. 1
In the short term, by 1986, an additional 8,750 Jewish and 2,200 Arab industrial jobs will be created. Investment in the new Jewish industrial parks is estimated at $250 million over five years ($60 million to $100 million for infrastructure and the rest for 10 per cent government equity participation). Existing investment of Jewish industry in the West Bank is valued at 3328 million. 16/
The political implications of government-backed Zionist industrial plans for the West Bank are crystal clear.
The growing importance of the occupied territories to Israel's imperial economy is highlighted by the presence of a large pool of unskilled workers. With the shift away from traditional agricultural activities, and the beginning of a period of industrial intensification in Israel after 1967, capital accumulation threatened to be hindered by the high cost of Jewish labour. Jewish workers had succeeded in securing important social and economic rights during the decade that followed 1948. 1.6/ By limiting economic development in the occupied territories, and thus depriving the Palestinian population of adequate employment opportunities, Israel was assured of a steady reservoir to meet its needs for cheap and unskilled labour. Table 4 below shows the increasing dependence of the Israeli economy on the Palestinian work-force since 1970.
Distribution of work in the occupied territories by place of work, 1970-1983
Number of working in Israel
Percentage in Israel
Sources Statistical Abstract of Israel, 1984, No. 35 (Jerusalem, Central Bureau of Statistics, 1984), p. 763.
Since Israel regulates the flow of workers from the occupied territories through its labour offices, its official statistics do not include workers denied work permits and other workers who do not seek them. There are from 20,000 to 25,000 Palestinian workers who are hired without work permits - via Arab labour contractors or through the "slave markets" - by private Israeli bosses seeking to maximize profits by circumventing official channels. Therefore, the more realistic number of workers in Israel from the territories would be, for 1983, 107,800 (87,000 plus 20,000), or 48.4 per cent.
Palestinian workers are confined to certain sectors of the Israeli economy, primarily construction (50 per cent of the illegally hired workers), agriculture and productive services such as tourism. On the average, they receive lower wages than their Jewish counterparts in the same job. 19/ When labour costs are considered high, many Israeli entrepreneurs move their businesses to the territories, or engaged in subcontracting, employing women and children for relatively minimum wages.
Prior to 1967, because of its agricultural production, the West Bank was considered the bread-basket of Jordan. However, the Israeli occupation has had a profound impact on the agriculture of the West Bank. The economic policy of the occupation towards West Bank agriculture has been dictated by two considerations- making agriculture fulfil the function of supplying other factors of production and making it serve Israeli plans for markets.
In the months after the occupation, the Israeli authorities decided on an "open bridges" policy whereby the farmers of the West Bank could truck their agricultural surpluses (and the manufacturers their products) across the bridges of the Jordan River into the occupied East Bank. Today, about one third of the West Bank's agricultural produce is marketed in the East Bank. The bridges are "open" in one direction only and freedom of imports from the East Bank is not permitted. In the long run, the "open bridges" policy will keep an economic conduit available from the West Bank to the adjacent Arab areas, an important political consideration if Israeli dreams of access to the vast markets of the surrounding countries are to be realized.
Immediately after the war, the "open bridges" policy solved Israel's problem of disposal of the agricultural surpluses of the West Bank. On the one hand, if the produce had been left unsold, the economy of the West Bank would have collapsed completely.. the resistance of the people might have intensified and provision of the necessary services would have been a drain on the Israeli economy. On the other hand, if fruits and vegetables grown on the West Bank had reached Israeli markets in the months after the war, they would have undersold competing Israeli products by 20 to 25 per cent. Initially, Israel inhibited the sale of West Bank produce in Israeli markets by regulations requiring permits, health checks on processed foods and certification that the import is would not cause any Israeli surpluses 21/ At the same time, no restriction is placed on the sale of Israeli products in the West Bank. Soon after, the Israeli Minister of Agriculture issued guidelines for the West Bank's agriculture which called for a reduction of the West Bank's total dependence on trade with the East Bank and the introduction of crops which would be complementary to the Israeli economy, either suitable for export to Europe or for processing in Israel. The exports to the East Bank prevented the West Bank's produce from glutting the Israeli market or remaining unsold, and brought in hard currency which improved Israel's financial situation.
In the light of the growing importance of foreign currency earnings to Israel's ailing economy, one would expect that Israel's policy towards the agriculture of the occupied territories would promote further development and expansion. However , what happened is to the contrary.. imposed restrictions in this sector caused stagnation. The increase in agricultural production was caused by the introduction of more modern technology, not by expansion. The actual area of land under cultivation in the West Bank has been reduced as indicated in table 5 below.
Area of land under cultivation in West Bank, 1966-1981
(thousands of dunam)
|Type of land|
Sources Meron Benvenisti, Jerusalem: Study of a Polarized Community (Jerusalem, The West Bank Data Base Project, 1983), p. 13.
The reduction of 73,000 dunams in agricultural land was accompanied by a far greater reduction in employment in agriculture, which has dropped from 69,000 workers before 1967 to 22,600 workers in 1983. 22./
The issue of land control or ownership is the subject of daily confrontation in the occupied territories, between Palestinians on the one side and settlers and the military government on the other. Meron Benvenisti, the former Deputy Mayor of Jerusalem, indicates that 52 per cent of the West Bank land, including the best fertile lands, is controlled through settlements and the military government. 22/ Israel considers the Palestinians in the occupied territories as merely residents in those areas, not people living in their own homeland. It therefore uses various techniques of land expropriation in the process of total dispossessing Palestinians and alienating them from their land.
Land confiscation, expulsion of Palestinians and daily harassments, not to mention outright terrorism by settlers who are armed and protected by the Israeli Government, have been the essential mechanisms adopted by the Zionists in their colonization plans for the West Bank and Gaza. Clear support of the Israeli Government's policy of land alienation and depopulation came from current Knesset (Israeli Parliament) member and former Israeli Chief of Staff General Rafael Eitan. As the result of accelerated plans by the Israeli Government to colonize the West Bank, Palestinians, in the words of General Eitan, would "run about like drugged cockroaches inside a bottle". 23
Immediately after Israel's conquest of the West Bank and Gaza, water resources in the occupied areas were placed under the control of the state-affiliated water company, Mekorot. Since the occupation began, the authorities have permitted the drilling of only seven new wells to provide drinking water. Also since the occupation, 12 Arab irrigation wells have run dry, while many others, especially in the Jordan Valley, are plagued by a declining water table and increased salinity. In 18 years of occupation, only two permits have been given to Palestinians to drill wells for agricultural use. iv In one of these, the applicant was licensed to drill in a specified area. When the well was dig, it was discovered that only salty water, unsuitable for irrigation, could be found there.
Over this period, Israeli settlements have drilled at least 17 new wells; these wells, barely 5 per cent of the total wells on the West Bank, drew 14.1 million cubic meters of water, 42 per cent as much (or 30 per cent of the total) as the 33 million cubic meters produced by all 314 Palestinian wells. 25/
In effect, Israel is helping itself (or more precisely its colonies) to the generous use of Arab ground water in the eastern drainage area of the Jordan Valley, while imposing manifold restrictions on Palestinian water usage, especially from the western aquifers, on the grounds that it threatens salination of supplies to Israel proper. Irrigation wells have been metered, and stiff fines are imposed on Palestinians who exceed posted limits. Settlements, by contrast, are not restricted and water is abundant for irrigation and swimming pools. The vast majority of West Bank villages, and even some towns, suffer habitually from water shortages in the dry summer months.
In the irrigated regions of the Jordan Valley, the occupation authorities have done their utmost to harass and intimidate Palestinian farmers. Early in the occupation, the army destroyed some 140 water pimps in the Gaza Strip along the Jordan River, and closed off some 30,000 dunam of agricultural land. In 1979, the authorities bulldozed the irrigation canal of the village of Jiftlek. Israel's water policies have been the main impediment to any expansion or intensification of agricultural production in the West Bank. In the Jordan Valley, Israel's water plan calls for an eventual total of 36 Israeli wells by the late 1980s, which, on completion, will extract half of the available ground water in the eastern drainage area for 28 settlements and their several thousand inhabitants, while the very survival of some 14,000 Arab inhabitants is threatened by ever-dwindling water supplies. 26/
What is Israel's policy towards development
protects in the occupied territories?
During the past 10 years (1975-1985), the countries in the Middle East that are affected by the oil boom in the Arab Gulf - Jordan, Kuwait, and others - experienced rapid growth and development. However, growth and development were severely limited in the West Bank and Gaza by Israeli policy towards development in the occupied territories. Development was impeded by severe restrictions imposed upon the economy.
The best indicator of the short and long-term Israeli plans for the occupied territories is its policy behaviour and decisions taken regarding development projects. This policy area remained off the centre of public debate until the last few years when conflict surfaced between the military authorities and a number of United States private voluntary organizations (PVOs) over approval and implementation of some development projects.
There are eight PVOs active in development and social welfare programmes in the West Bank and Gaza. These include-. American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), Mennonite Central Committee (MCC), American Near East Refugee Aid (ANERA), Community Development Service/Save the Children (CDS), CARE, Catholic Relief Service (CRS), Holy Land Christian Missions (HCM) and American-Mideast Educational and Training Services (AMIDEAST). The first two, AFSC and MCC, do not accept any government aid for their programmes. The rest, however, receive United States Government funds. Programmes are usually proposed by the agencies or by local Palestinians, or jointly. All development projects are subject to approval by the Israeli military Government.
United States role and development projects in the occupied territories
United States Government economic aid to the Palestinian community in the West Bank and Gaza has lately become a relatively important political issue. This renewed interest of relatively modest, low profile United States activity was brought about by what is described by Secretary of State George Schultz's new initiative of "improvement of the quality of life". 22/ The term "improvement of the quality of life" conveys the message that the United States has basically accepted the fait accompli of permanent occupation and is now joining Israel in a policy of pacification. Given the Israeli policy of permitting personal prosperity but forcibly restraining commercial development, United States economic aid, aimed at helping the Palestinians, may paradoxically facilitate Israeli settlement efforts. United States funds channeled into public works in the territories could thereby release Israeli budgets for Jewish settlements.
Considering the small amount of aid to the Palestinians in relation to United States Government aid to Israel, one would seriously question the intentions of the United States. Between fiscal year 1975 when the programme was authorized by Congress and 1984, $51.6 million was allocated to the Palestinians. During the same period, the United States provided Israel with a total of $24.3 billion in grants and low-interest loans. 27/ In other words, for ever 31 of aid to the Palestinians, Israel receives 3476.
PVOs development projects and Israeli policy
All United States aid to the Palestinians is channeled through six of the PVOs referred to earlier thus, these agencies are used as instruments of United States Government policy. lb be fair, this should not reflect negatively on individual staff members of these agencies, many of whom are Palestinians and Americans who genuinely believe they are making a contribution to Palestinian development. The United States Government exerts no pressure on Israel for approval of these projects. The agencies are left with the unenviable task of using their own skills and methods of pressure and persuasion for project approvals. None the less, Israeli military authorities manipulate the agencies in many instances and press hard in their effort to convert them to instruments of their policy.
An analysis of development projects submitted by the agencies to Israeli military authorities for approval provides further insight into Israeli policy in the area and had United States funds are being used. Three PV0s, ANERA, CDS and CRS, deal with development projects. The remainder - AMIDEAST, HCM and AFSC are engaged in educational activities.
Submitted projects can be classified into three categories:
(a) Development and income-generating branches:
(b) Social, educational and charitable:
(c) Public works.
Agriculture and industry belong to the first category: education, social, community services, health and charity to the second category: and drinking water, sewage, access roads and electricity to the third category.
Classification of the submitted projects by category shows the following pattern: 22/
Percentage of submitted project
Percentage of submitted budget
Social and educational
A comparison of projects and budgets submitted and approved by categories shows the Israeli policy input and the resulting shift of emphasis from. economic development to public works. 22/
PVO intention submitted
Israeli reaction actual implementation
Social and educational
Detailed analysis of 358 projects, involving a total budget of $66 million, 31/, generated by United States Government funding, administered six PVOs and submitted to the Israeli authorities for approval and implementation show that:
(a) One third of the submitted projects and 45.8 per cent of the proposed budgets were directed to economic development. Slightly more than one third of the projects and 27.2 per cent of the 'proposed budgets were directed to social, educational and charitable projects. Almost 30 per cent of the projects and 27 per cent of the budgets were directed to consumption-oriented public works)
(b) Israeli intervention caused a major shift in the allocation of projects and budgets. The Israeli military authorities tend to disapprove development projects and encourage public works. Consequently, the share of consumption-related public works (drinking water, domestic electricity and internal roads) in the projects actually implemented reached 44 per cent (compared with 27 per cent of the original programme). The share of economic development-related budgets actually implemented is reduced from almost half of the original programme to less than one third)
(c) The programme as it is implemented presents a different picture. Israeli intervention, through its approval and disapproval policy, alters the emphasis and uses United States economic aid in the occupied territories to implement Israel's own economic policies of allowing only individual •prosperity and curbing communal economic development. These economic policies are important components in controlling a hostile population. Curbing development of a viable and independent Palestinian economic sector forces the Palestinians into dependence on Israel. Continued individual prosperity usually militates against effective communal organization and pursuit of communal goals. In short, the actual contribution of United States aid in the West Bank and Gaza helps to strengthen the pacification programme pursued by Israel and relieves it of part of its financial responsibility for the occupied territories.
Despite the relatively meagre size of the economic development programmes sponsored by PVOs, Israeli officials and much of the public are nervous about the PVOs involvement and public pressure used by some officials of the agencies. General Ben Eliezer, the Israeli official in charge of project approval, when invited to comment on particular projects, said that: "I prefer not to answer specifically ... I would like to give you the whole strategy. No voluntary organization has any autonomy to do whatever it wants in this part of the world. This is a place where there is law and order, and this is a place where there is an administration." by Another Israeli official in the West Bank Israeli military Government was more candid in his reasons for rejecting economic development proposals-. he was convinced the establishment of West Bank factories would lead to an independent economic infrastructure. He added, "Why should we assist towns like Halhul or Dahrieyeh where disturbances are commonplace and our forces are under attack?" 33/
In interviews with many of the West Bank and Gaza businessmen, we learned that chances for approval of development projects submitted independently stood an even smaller chance of being approved than those submitted by Pals. With rare exceptions, projects of land reclamation were rejected. Some of the major projects that were rejected include: a cement factory near Hebron, the Fara'a canal near Nablus, expansion and modernization of a flour mill in Nablus and a paint factory in Nablus. Giving.the reasons for rejecting the paint factory, an Israeli official said: "My should we permit the building of a factory in Nablus while Israeli paint factories are operating below full capacity?" a/
In assessing why a certain project is approved in one location or for a certain group and a similar one elsewhere is rejected, we have ascertained that the following factors are used as criteria by the occupation authorities for approval or rejection:
(a) Persons applying should be acceptable to the authorities. The system is used to punish resisters and reward friendly groups and collaborator;
(b) Projects that are usually rejected are of the following nature:
(i) Projects of land reclamation;
(ii) Projects of institution building and development;
(iii) Projects that compete with Israeli producers-,
(iv) Projects that could lead to economic independence;
(v) Projects that might hinder or affect any area of Israeli policy, "security" and otherwise.
Israel uses various means and devices to facilitate the execution of its economic policy in the occupied territories and most importantly issuing military orders as a means of institutionalization of that policy.
Military orders related to economic development
Since 1967, Israeli military authorities in the occupied territories have issued about 1,200 military orders, 17 of them dealing with Israeli economic policy in the West Bank and Gaza. One example of these orders is order No. 104, which prevents the transfer of goods without a permit. This order reduces the sale of merchandise from the occupied territories, even to East Jerusalem. Other orders, such as Nos. 10 15 and 1039, restrict the growing of oranges, plums, tomatoes, and eggplants because of conflict with Israeli farmers. These orders are clear expressions of Israel's colonial policy in the occupied territories.
"There will be no development [in the occupied territories] initiated by the Israeli Government, and no permits will be given for expanding agriculture or industry [there], which may compete with the State of Israel."
Minister of Defence of Israel The Jerusalem Post 15 February 1985
No other statement by a high Israeli Government official has ever described Israel's policy towards economic development in the occupied territories more accurately than Rabin's.
1967 marked the beginning of the end of Israel as a unique venture in colonialism. Within a few years, economic relations with the Arab territories seized in the June war recast Israel in the classical configuration of a colonial Power. Moving rapidly away from its own tradition which was distinct from every other colonial project generated in Europe or North America, Israel now shares with a number of other advanced countries the characteristic of imperialism. Israel, like other colonial Powers, profited by opening up new markets for its manufactured goods, extracting raw materials from the dependent areas and by severely exploiting the labour power of the indigenous people.
Israel's economic policy in the occupied territories has an additional feature of "ghettoization" and "bantustanization" of Palestinian population centres: expansion of town and city limits is prohibited, thus no horizontal growth is allowed. Congested population centres are instructed that they are permitted to grow only vertical - as high as they can: Horizontal growth is granted only to Israeli settlements encircling Palestinian population centres.
Consequently, this facilitates control of the Palestinian population, as we are witnessing this week, with the terror gangs of armed settlers roaming the streets of Hebron, Ramallah and Nablus, supported and protected by the Israeli army. In the past few weeks, Israeli authorities have escalated their repressive and brutal collective punishment measures against the Palestinian population in the West Bank and Gaza in response to Palestinian attacks of Israeli targets. Al-Najah University was ordered closed for two months and the towns of Jenin, Tulkarm, Gaza, Ramallah, Hebron and Nablus were placed under curfew. Furthermore, 95 persons were placed under administrative detention, which provides for a renewable six-month prison sentence without trial, and expulsion orders were issued for four people, including two Al-Najah University students.
Israeli economic policy in the occupied territories of no growth and no development and continued colonization proceeds unhindered*, it receives the direct or indirect support of the United States and Europe. The Reagan Administration bears a major share of the responsibility for Israel's policy; it is acquiescent to Israel's creeping annexation and a participant in Israel's programme of pacification. The United States Congress expressed the purpose of its aid allocation to the Palestinians this way: "[It is] the desire of Congress to support projects and expand institutions in the occupied territories of the West Bank and Gaza to help build the socio-economic underpinnings necessary to preserve peace." 25./
Since the United States Government's definition of peace is the absence of war, subsequently, "to preserve the peace" under the prevailing conditions is pacification. Escalation of resistance in the occupied territories has the potential of destabilization of the region. Therefore, Israeli and united States policies towards the occupied territories explain the opposition of both Governments to an international peace conference on the Middle East. So long as the interests of the two Governments are not seriously threatened, and so long as public and international pressure will not come to bear, their policies in this area will remain unchanged.
y Rand G. Rhuri, "Israel's Imperial Economics", Journal of Palestine Studies, vol. IX, No. 2 (Winter 1980) P. 71.
V Statistical Abstract of Israel, 1984, No. 35 (Jerusalem, Central
Bureau of Statistics, 1984), p.263; and The Jerusalem Post, 26 July 1985, p. 1.
3/ The Jerusalem Post, 2 August 1984, p.l.
Meron Benvenisti, Jerusalem: Study of a Polarised Community, (Jerusalem, The West Bank Data Base Project, 1983), p.71.
Sf Calculated from data in Statistical Abstract of Israel, 1984 ...,
6/ The scope of this paper will be limited to discussion on the West Bank and Gaza. The Golan Heights merits special consideration that would not be possible at this time.
1/ Development and Economic Situation in the Administered Areas, 1967-19691 Sheila Ryan, A Summary (Unit for Co-ordination of Activity in the Administered Areas, Israel Ministry of Defence, October 1970)1 and MERIP Reports, No. 24 (Washington, D.C., 1974) , p. 9.
8/ Meron Benvenisti, The West Bank Data Project (Washington, D.C., American Enterprise Institute, 1984), p. 15.
9/ M.K. Budeiri, "Changes in the Economic Structure of the West Bank and Gaza Strip Under Israeli Occupation", Labour Capital and Society, 15:1 (April 1982), p 55.
Hisham Awartani, A Survey of Industry in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, (Bir Zeit University, 1979), p.29.
Budeiri, loc.cit., p. 56. 12/ Awartani, op.cit., p. 27.
11/ Sara Graham-Brown, "The West Bank and Gaza: The Structural Impact of Israeli Colonization", MERIP Reports, No. 74, January 1979, p. 12.
14/ Israel uses the following laws or regulations in the West Bank: the Jordanian law (which is required by International Law), British Emergency Regulations of 1945 and Israeli law. It uses one or more at a time as it suits its interests best. However, whenever these are not "adequate", the occupation authorities issue a military order.
Benvenisti, The West Bank Data Project..., p.17.
16/ Joost R. Hiltermann, "Mass Mobilization Under Occupation: The Emerging Trade Union Movement in the West Bank and Gaza" (Unpublished paper, 1985) , p. 3.
12/ Ibid., p. 4.
1E1/ Statistical Abstract of Israel, 1984..., No. 35, p.763. Hiltermann, loc.cit., p. 4.
21/ The Jerusalem Post, 22 October 1967.
21/ Statistical Abstract of Israel, 1984..., No. 35, p.762. 21/ Benvenisti, The West Bank Data Project ..., pp. 21-22. 22/ The Jerusalem Post, 24 April 1983.
24/ Raja Shehadeh, The West Bank and the Rule of Law (Ramallah, Law in the Service of Man, 1980), 13.66.
22/ Joe Stork, "Water and Israel's Occupation Policy," MERIP Reports, No. 116 (July-August 1983), p. 22.
LW Stork, loc.cit., p. 23; and Meron Benvenisti, Interim Report No. 1 (Jerusalem, The West Bank and Gaza Data Base Project, 1982), pp. 20-21.
22/ Meron Benvenisti, U.S. Government Funded Projects in the West Bank and Gaza (1977-1983), (Jerusalem, The West Bank and Gaza Data Base Project, 1984), p.l.
28/ The Washington Post, 16 December 1984, p.A25.
29/ Benvenisti, U.S. Funded Projects in the West Bank and Gaza ...5 p.7. 12/ Ibid., p.10.
/ Ibid., p.12.
22/ The New York Times, 3 October 1980.
33/ Ha 'aretz, 13 April 1984.
Interview with Zafer Masri, Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce, Nablus, 19 August 1985.
22/ Benvenisti, U.S. Funded Projects in the West Bank and Gaza p.3.
2. Shafiq Al-Rout,
Member of the Palestine National Council
Any attempt to review the current situation in the occupied territories in Palestine and the crimes of Israel committed there in violation of all political, human and internal charters, laws and declarations, in 20 minutes, would be a practical impossibility. In fact, it would be impossible for any individual to cover thoroughly the policies and practices of Israel in those territories. Professional researchers and experts of specialized commissions can hardly do such a job properly.
In my paper, I have tried my best, with the limited material available, mainly newspapers, to summarize indicative events that have taken place in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip in the last five months.
This resume will overlook many very important and will stress only the exemplary ones that testify to the fact that Israel's strategic policy, declared by successive Governments and supported by the majority of the Opposition, considers the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967 as part of Israel. Accordingly, Israel does not consider international laws and conventions related to occupation relevant to those territories.
It is true that the Government of Israel did not declare officially the annexation of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, but it has been paving the road for such a step by its consistent policies and practices, such as the deportation of people outside the borders, the transfer of others in hundreds and thousands from one place to another within the borders, the confiscation of land and property, the expropriation of water resources, the demolition of houses, the establishment of settlements, administrative detentions and by depriving people who left the land during the war of 1967 from the right to return and to be reunited with their families.
It is this policy that has been defined so often by so many international committees and commissions, as one aiming to produce the radical, demographic and structural changes needed to make it impossible for the Palestinians to regain their properties and their national rights. The Judaization of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, and probably the Golan Heights of Syria, is the ultimate aim of Israel.
One can trace documents, reports and United Nations resolutions testifying to this fact back to the early 1970s. Now, in 1985, any review of the oppressive policies and measures carried out by Israel against our people in the occupied territories can only add more material and evidence of the continuation of the Israeli plot.
The most important major event of 1985 was the partial withdrawal of Israel from Lebanon as a result of the heroic Lebanese resistance. Apparently the war against the Palestinians has not stopped.
On 10 April, the refugee camp of Ein el-Hilweh was bombarded by intensified air raids. Ta'nacil in the Bice' valley was bombarded on 17 April. The refugee camps of Al Baddauri and Nahr el-Bared, in the utmost mount of Lebanon, were bombarded on 10 July. Again, Palestinian camps were bombarded in the Beca' valley on 29 July, 8 August and 4 September. The number of casualties, dead and wounded, amounts to more than 200 people.
It is very important to remember at this point the pretext Israel used to justify its invasion of Lebanon in 1982, i.e. "the peace of Upper Galilee". What is happening now in Lebanon indicates either that the Israeli invasion failed to achieve the declared pretext or that another reason was behind that invasion, namely the extermination of the Palestinian masses and the occupation of part of Lebanon.
The recent public uprising in the occupied territories started directly after Israel's invasion of Lebanon. The situation exploded on 26 November 1982 when people demonstrated in the streets of most towns and villages condemning the Sabra and Shatila massacre. It was the uptising of "stone-throwers" against the Merkava. At this stage, the involvement of armed civilian Jews in fighting the oppressed was widely noted. Hisham Lutfi Abu Salah was the first casualty of a new war waged by the civilian armed Jews. Thus, a circle of actions and reactions began, and the attempt by some extremist Jews who belong to the Cash Movement of Kahana to storm and occupy the Holy Mosque of Aksa was the peak of provocation. Although some of the attackers were arrested at the time, it is obvious that the armed civilian Jewish movement is growing and it is becoming a semi-official force. For example, whenever a confrontation takes place as a result of extremist aggressions, the Israeli authorities align themselves with the aggressors, and whenever Israel feels the need to take face-saving measures and to prosecute the extremists, the courts give them the most lenient punishment possible. Arabs detained for such activities receive the maximum punishment, in addition to having their houses demolished and other collective punishment.
On 10 May, a 15 year-old Palestinian, Mohamad Idriss Badawi of Alkhalil, was sentenced to 15 days imprisonment because he had thrown a stone at a military car 10 years earlier when he was only 5 years old.
One can enumerate hundreds of tragic stories about the double standards of Israeli justice and its courts. A few such examples should be enough. On 21 May, for example, extremist Jews demonstrated outside the Knesset, demanding the release of those who were accused of attempting to blow up the Aksa Mosque and of throwing and planting bombs in an attempt to kill three Arab mayors. In fairness, one should state here that some progressive and democratic Israelis demonstrated against these terrorists and declared their rejection of any pardon to be offered to them. When the court handed down its verdict on 22 July, it was quite a surprise for everybody: only 6 out of 22 were convicted.
The Jerusalem Post reported that "Embraces, tears of joy and exuberant shouts of 'We won, we won', as the judges left the courtroom, were the first signs from the defendants and their families that not only in the prosecution's eyes were the sentences very lenient".
On 18 August, General Isac Mordakhai, who was accused of killing two wounded Palestinian fighters after they had surrendered, was found by the court to be not guilty, in spite of the photograph published in an Israeli newspaper, which was material evidence. Even more ironical was the wording of the verdict, which stated that what the General had committed was in defence of the lives of civilians, soldiers, policemen and other security people. Is there any way of comparing this justice with that applied to the Arab suspects?
Later, at the end of August, Khalil Abu Ziaal and his wife and children were deported for three years of compulsory exile; the charge was "involvement of undefined terrorist activities". Such a charge could be made against any Palestinian if he insisted on being identified as a Palestinian, or against a group of children if they flew paper kites that had the four colours of the Palestinian flag. On 4 April, Israeli soldiers stormed into Al-Ibrahimiya College and arrested 130 students because they had raised their flag in their school yard:
On the same date, 4 April, the Israeli Government endorsed three major resolutions to desist the uprising in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, involving: (a) administrative detention without trial; (b) deportation of persons threatening security; and (c) increasing the number of gaols in the occupied territories.
The Council of Settlers in Judea, Samaria and Gaza was not content with these measures and demanded that a Likud member urge the Government to adopt 18 points, including one that would "allow soldiers to fire at fleeing stone-throwers and strip citizenship from Israeli Arabs guilty of nationalistic Arab incitement" (The Jerusalem Post, 30 July 1985).
There is nothing surprising in the Government's position, however, since all the measures it adopted had been enforced since occupation. One point that might be of interest relates to the increase in the number of gaols. Using a simple mathematical calculation, adding and subtracting those who was gaoled and those who were released, one can safely say that the number of imprisoned persons amounts to more than 3,000, excluding 1,120 who were released recently from Atlit Prison and about 5,000 who were exchanged by Israeli prisoners in November 1984 and May 1985. One can only hope that Israel will have some respect for human considerations and build the new cells a little larger than the one cubic metre cells of the old prisons. Ironically, at the same time the Government announced its intention to build new gaols for the Palestinians, the Israeli authorities closed down the last humanitarian hospital left in the Arab zone of Jerusalem, the Hospice hospital belonging to the Austrian Church, whose history goes back one hundred years.
As to schools and universities, activities during 1985 include the closing, on 8 March, of Bir Zeit University for two months, not long when compared with 1984 and 1983 when it was closed for four months and three months respectively. Al-Najah University was closed on 4 August for two months, a punishment equal to last year.
Another interesting measure of the Israeli democracy was the decision made this year to forbid male Muslims under the age of 35 years from going on a pilgrimage. The reason given is that men below that age are "suspects". Suspects of what? Don't ask.
The Israeli policies and practices are not limited to determining the present and future of Palestine and the Palestinians. Israel is also trying to exterminate the past, the history and civilization and all aspects of culture of the Palestinian people.
In May, Israel bulldozed in Jerusalem very important inherited buildings of the Ottoman era that were of great historical, religious and architectural value. In August, Israel bulldozed another historical location full of ruins from the Byzantine era.
On 7 July, two hand grenades were thrown at workers who were repairing the Hasan Bek Mosque at Jaffa, which had been deserted since 1948. It was the first mosque I had attended for praying.
What the Israelis did to the Palestinian Research Centre in Beirut in 1982 should not be forgotten for a moment.
Before concluding, one very important point is left that relates to the process of colonization and settlement in the occupied territories. This year, colonization has gone beyond the boundaries of the known settlement to the hearts of Arab cities. It is noteworthy that a lot of the members in the Knesset and the Government coalition support this expansion.
On 16 August, five extremists from the Knesset occupied an Arab house in the casbah of Al-Khalil, to replace eight settlers who confiscated the house before and were compelled to evacuate by the police force. Ministers Arinz, Shamir and Sharon were in favour of this act, to the embarrassment of their colleagues in the Government. Four days later, the eight had to leave, as a result of the tension prevalent in the area. On 3 September, two Arabs stabbed the two Israeli soldiers left in the house in an act of revenge for their properties and their city. Again a series of actions and reactions of violence prevailed all around.
I have no intention of discussing here the history of Al-Khalil and the great prophet who gave the city his name, Abraham, the Father of Ismail and Isac. It is a historical fact that this city has been inhabited continuously by its present people and their ancestors for the past 1,500 years. Let us imagine, for a moment, how the French would feel if an occupying foreign army decided to blow up Montmartre or the Cathedral of Notre Dame because of historical claims that went back 3,000 years, or how the English would feel if somebody had similar claims and decided to blow up Westminster Abbey!
What happened recently in Al-Khalil goes beyond time and space. It is a dangerous phenomenon that could be called "Kahanism" whose "No" is not addressed to Palestine and the Palestinians only, but to history, civilization and all human values that govern international life. Moreover, it is very alarming to note that Kahanism is not limited to Kahan and his followers. The collaboration of the Likud and other extremists in and outside the Government is widely noticed. The violence and the terror of the Kahanist settlers have been noted and condemned by so many commissions and human rights organizations. Donald Wagner and Henry Showers of the Union of Civil Rights in America have stated in a report entitled "Violence of Israeli settlers in the occupied territories" (1980-1984) that "Israeli occupation is oppressive and monstrous. The Palestinians are terrorized physically, legally and psychologically". And it was added that "the legal system in Israel is at the service of occupation ... and the Palestinian resistance is justified".
There are so many precedents that prove that all of the policies of the extremists; which are condemned, hypocritically, by the Government, end up becoming the official policy of Israel. Meron Benvenisti, in his comprehensive study "The West Bank Data Base Project", referred to this when he touched on the legality of the construction of the settlements. Details about the settlements should not be avoided or touched upon lightly. They are essential and of vital importance. Those who are interested should refer to the paper.
The review of the current situation in the occupied territories reveal and confirms that Israel is still persisting in its aggressive, expansionist, discriminative policies with the ultimate purpose of the Judaization of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip as a prerequisite to its intention of annexing those territories officially.
The second point revealed by this review is the alarming rise of "Kahanism", a form of discriminatory ideology far more fanatic than any other form of fanaticism. The growth of such a phenomenon, no doubt, will undermine the very little chance of a peaceful settlement for the Middle East conflict.
The third point is that the Palestinians are determined to carry on the struggle whatever the price they have to pay until they attain their national rights.
B. Ways and means to implement United Nations resolution 38/58 C:
The International Peace Conference on the Middle East is the
means for a just, durable and comprehensive solution to the
question of Palestine and the Middle East conflict
1. Eugeniy Primakov, Director of the Institute of Oriental Studies of the USSR Academy of Sciences
We have come here together today on the basis of the General Assembly. resolution on Palestine of 13 December 1983. Some 124 votes were cast for this resolution, with only 4 against (United States, Israel, Canada and Australia) and 15 abstentions. Thus the resolution reflects the stand of the bulk of State Members of the United Nations. In adopting this resolution, the General Assembly directly and clearly favoured the convocation of an international peace conference on the Middle East. But two years have already passed, and the conference has not been convened. And what is more, there are no clear indications that it may be convened in the near future. Meanwhile, the development of the situation in the Middle East continues to be a grave threat not only to the countries of the region, but to world peace.
Before coming to the subject of the preparation and holding of the Middle East peace conference, allow me to dwell on some general issues that seem to be of a major significance.
First, I would like to draw your attention to the fact that the Palestinian problem is the core and corner-stone of the Middle East settlement. Without a solution, the establishment of a just and stable peace in the Middle East is impossible. This is recognized today by all except the Israeli ruling circles.
But what does the solution of the Palestinian problem mean? There is one answer to this question: providing the Palestinian people with the opportunity and conditions to implement fully their inalienable right to self-determination and the establishment of their own State.
The Palestinian question was an issue in the late 1940s. One may recollect that at that time, the General Assembly voting for the creation of two States in the mandated territory of Palestine, Arab and Jewish. In the resolution it was given in this order. But now some forces are trying to apply different criteria. Theoretically, such attempts are absolutely unfounded, as the Palestinians are now a people, perhaps even to a greater extent than in the 1940s. But it is even more important now that these attempts have become very dangerous from the practical point of view. They do not solve the central problem of the Arab-Israeli settlement and at the same time lay a delayed-action mine of terrific force in international relations in the Middle East. The large experience accumulated by mankind shows that when national problems are at stake, no palliatives are able to resolve a conflict, to stabilize an international situation for long or to uproot the causes of the sporadic complications which can and will lead to a most dangerous explosion.
Second, there is the problem of the choice of the way in which to settle the Arab-Israeli conflict. Theoretically, we are faced with the dilemma of either employing the method of an overall settlement by convening a peace conference, taking into account the interests of all countries directly and indirectly involved in the conflict, or the method of separate agreements between Israel and other Arab parties to the conflict signed by turn. A retrospective glance at events makes it possible to judge the effectiveness of this or that method. In 1979, the separate Egyptian-Israeli treaty was signed. Some statesmen in the United States and other Western countries tried to present it as a "unique and most important instrument" of detente in the Middle East, of stabilization of the situation, of establishing peace between Israel and its Arab neighbours. The six years separating us from the signing of that treaty justify certain conclusions.. the treaty not only did not stabilize the situation, but actually gave a new impetus to those Israeli forces that were striving to annex the Arab lands occupied in 1967 - the West Bank of the Jordan River, the Gaza Strip and the Golan Heights. it gave full scope to the Israeli extremists to attack Lebanon in 1982. Israeli intervention has been the main cause of the blood-shedding crisis in Lebanon of unprecedented duration and tremendous number of human casualties.
When the Camp David agreements were being prepared, the United States Administration was making the world believe that it would provide, among other things, for a beginning of an intensive process of resolving the Palestinian problem. The agreement envisaged Israeli-Egyptian contacts on the question of the Palestinians. The Israeli Government made no secret of the fact that it meant autonomy for the population of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip and not for the territory.
All unbiased experts in the Middle East read this Israeli stand as a preparation for the annexation of the occupied Arab lands. Naturally, such negotiations on the "Palestinian question", interpreted in the Israeli way and in the absence of representatives of Palestinian people, produced no results. They were simply stopped and this, in my view, once more proved the incontestable fact that separate talks cannot have a follow-up in the form of a general solution. Although highly boosted by their adherents, they cannot bring about, step-by step, a general settlement.
This goal maybe achieved only if the settlement problems are treated as a "package deal", if all interested parties sit at the negotiating table. Such a course has been open all the time. It has been supported by the Soviet Union and a number of other countries. It may be said that it came to the surface without once making feasible the beginning of the process of an over all settlement.
But there exists, as I see it, a certain regularity. As soon as the peace conference on the Middle East becomes really possible, as soon as its concrete contours emerge, proposals of separate agreements immediately emerge. Thus, in 1977, for instance, the visit of the former Egyptian President to Jerusalem took place soon after the Soviet-American Declaration on the Middle East had been issued. The Declaration contained a concrete proposal for a peace conference on the overall settlement of the Middle East problem. I think that now, too, those people who plan new separate talks, this time between Jordan, the Palestinians and Israel, would like to prevent the holding of a peace conference on the Middle East. And it is probable that the Arab forces who actively participated in the preparation of the Jordanian-Palestinian agreement, but did not want a separate settlement, do not realize that they may be involved, perhaps even against their will, in processes aimed at preventing a just solution to the Middle East conflict, the Palestinian problem in the first place.
The preparation and holding of a peace conference on the Middle East is certainly not an easy task, especially when both Israel and the United States, contrary to prevailing international opinion, do not want this conference to take place and actively obstruct all efforts to convene it. But does this mean that the way to an overall settlement is forever blocked and that our efforts are all in vain?
I do not share such a pessimistic view.
First of all, the process of an overall settlement does not contradict real, objective interests of independence and the development of all peoples and States of the region. That is why this process can be arranged in such a way as to satisfy all interested parties.
One should mention the following basic principles for the overall settlement of the Middle East problem:
(a) Inadmissibility of capture of foreign lands by aggression;
(b) Assurance of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people to self-determination and the establishment of their own independent State;
(c) Assurance of the rights of all States of the region to safe, independent and secure existence.
These are just principles. Naturally, they are also in accordance with the real interests of all parties to the conflict and do not tie the hands of the signatories of the agreement beforehand national State is of paramount importance. But as soon as this State is established, would anybody be able to oppose its decision to enter into confederation with some other State or States? Of course not. As a matter of fact, such a prospect could be provided for in the agreement.
A sufficiently flexible structure of the conference working bodies should also be envisaged. For instance, it seems that setting up conference commissions dealing with general problems in no way precludes the forming, when necessary, of commissions and establishing contacts on a bilateral bases.
Further, it would be possible, perhaps, to agree on a "time-table" for the implementation of all measures agreed upon at the conference. Thus it would be possible to speak not of a solution to problems once and for all, but, in case of a necessity, of a succession of solutions. But the steps of such a staircase should not be separate boards, they should be steps of a single staircase.
I am convinced that, at present, this is the only possible way to an overall settlement of the Middle East problem, but it is blocked by the Israeli Government. However, there are certainly forces in Israel itself, although as yet not numerous, who are aware of the dangerous consequences of Israeli nihilism regarding the overall settlement. Years will pass, and nobody knows what the balance of forces will be in the Middle East. In addition, the policy of occupation creates ever greater dangers to all democratic manifestations in the Israeli society itself. One cannot but recollect Marx saying that a people oppressing other peoples could not be free.
One may hope that in the United States, too, those politicians will not be pushed to the background who realize that the elimination of the constant threat of destabilization of regional and global situations caused by the developments in the Middle East is in the national interests of the United States and other nations.
The way to an international conference and overall settlement of the Middle East problem is certainly not an easy one, it is not covered with rose petals. But it is the only way which, it seems, mankind should follow, if it really wants justice for all peoples, security and peace as an inalienable right of all nations living on our planet.
2. Mattiyahu Peled, Member of Knesset for the
Progressive List for Peace, Chairman of the Israeli Council
for Israeli-Palestinian Peace and Professor of
Arabic Literature at Tel Aviv University
Regardless of the final formulation of the title of this morning's discussion, I would like to emphasize the in the telegram I received from the Under-Secretary-General for Political and General Assembly Affairs, I was invited to participate as an expert member of the panel entitled "Ways and means to implement United Nations resolution 38/58 C" and to present a paper on that subject., and this is what I intend to do in the time at my disposal.
The text of that resolution leaves no doubt that, in the opinion of the General Assembly, the solution of the Palestinian problem requires that the rights of the Palestinian people to self-determination be fully recognized, that the PLO be recognized as the sole representative of the Palestinian people, that this organization should participate on an equal footing with other parties in the peace process and that Israel should put an end to the occupation of territories it has been occupying since 1967 and eliminate all traces of the occupation. All this, it is clearly stated in the resolution, should be accomplished while the right of all States in the region to exist in peace and security is fully recognized.
That resolution does not set before the international community goals which are illusory, although they seem to be far-reaching-, what it set out to do is to lay down a programme which the experience of the conflict has shown to be the only one possible if peace is to be established in the region. Or, rather, the only that can bring an end to the conflict. This was realized by the General Assembly one cloudy morning on 13 December 1983; it was a lesson learned over the years and formulated in a variety of circumstances since Security Council resolution 338 (1973) was adopted. The gist of that resolution is that the parties directly involved in the conflict should meet around the negotiating table, joined by the two super-Powers, and work out a solution based on the principles enunciated by Security Council resolution 242 (1967). As we all know, the format provided by resolution 338 (1973) was tested in a couple of sessions and was then suspended by the United States, once it was felt that a settlement based on a narrower basis, excluding the Soviet Union, would better serve their interests. For a moment it looked as if the United States had second thoughts when the United States-Soviet Union statement of October 1977 was issued. That statement went one step beyond resolution 338 (1973) in that it recognized the centrality of the Palestinian problem, which in effect went unrecognized in both of the Security Council resolutions. But the joint statement was doomed and soon abandoned, in preference, by the United States, for the Camp David process which resulted in a bilateral peace between Israel and Egypt, a peace which in effect was soon pit in cold storage and became a turning point leading to greater tragedies for the peoples of the region. There is no doubt that the Camp David accords led to the ruthless and adventurous Israeli air raid on the nuclear installation in Iraq and to the two invasions of Lebanon, in 1978 and in 1982. These tragic consequences of the Camp David accords came despite the two positive elements written into them. The first one is the principle that Israel should withdraw all the way to the pre-1967 borders in the framework of a peace treaty, as indeed is required by the General Assembly resolution we are discussing today; and the second is the recognition that the Palestinian problem should be solved on the basis of the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people. Yet, this dramatic move failed because the United States tried to use the peace process as a means of furthering its interests in the region at the expense of those of the Soviet Union.. Furthermore, it failed because Israel tried to used the peace process as a means of furthering its aggression against the Palestinian people.
These are sad lessons but they should not be allowed to be forgotten. They should be borne in mind now especially, since we are witnessing a new attempt by the United States to generate a new phase in the process meant to further their interests under the pretext of reviving the peace process. Bit, in the meantime, the idea of what might be termed a holistic approach has not died. In September 1982, President Brezhnev proposed a plan for peace in the Middle East that was based on the concept that was eventually incorporated in the General Assembly resolution we are considering today. This plan, having been adopted in effect by the Arab Summit of Fez and by the Palestine National Council in 1983, naturally became the basis for the General Assembly resolution. The merits of this plan or programme is that it provides a framework for arriving at a solution that would be acceptable to all the parties to the conflict and at the same time enable the big Powers both to look after their own vital interests and to provide a guarantee that the settlement reached would be implemented and observed. Compared to anything proposed by the United States there is no doubt that the proposal to search for peace within the framework of an international peace conference certainly holds out greater promise of success.
A few words should be said about the obstacles faced by the General Assembly's programme. I do not think it should be doubted that the people of the Middle East are eager for peace. But peace is often presented as a great danger or as tantamount to the renunciation of elementary rights. By thus presenting peace to the people, the anti-peace forces manage to mobilize on their side a great deal of support which they would certainly lose if the fears they generate could be allayed. This is a point which very often tends to be disregarded. In other words, there is a psychological dimension which must be borne in mind when political proposals are made to solve the problems besetting peoples at war. A great deal is made by United States and Israeli propaganda on any ambiguity that can be found in proposals they do not like. For example, when the sixteenth Palestine National Council, having adopted the Brezhnev plan, failed to mention the name of Israel, this was interpreted by hostile propaganda as proof of the insincerity underlying the resolution. These days too, the United States is attempting to persuade Jordan and the PLO to renounce their adherence to the idea of an international peace conference and some indications point to the possibility that the United States may propose direct contacts with the PLO, despite Israeli opposition, in return for abandoning the demand for such a conference, the denial of the State Department issued yesterday notwithstanding. There should be no doubt that a rejection of such United States suggestions by King Hussein and Yasser Arafat will be interpreted by Israel and the United States as proof of their unwillingness to make peace. In order to meet such a false interpretation of their motives they would be wise to emphasize the expected consequences of an international peace conference. It would make good sense to point out that within the framework of such a conference certain measures that seem now very unlikely might be made possible, such as direct talks between the Israeli and the Palestinian delegations, or the acceptance of certain limitations of the exercise of sovereignty which cannot be discussed in any other format. What I am suggesting is the taking of active measures to counter the argument that an international peace conference would only enable the anti-American and anti- Israel forces to pit sticks into the wheels of the wagon of peace.
Yesterday the phenomenon of Jewish nazism was mentioned. Indeed, we are faced today, in Israel, with what I consider the most terrible and most ironic revenge taken by Adolph Hitler against the Jewish people in that his very ideology, the ideology of Nazi racism, has been wholly embraced by a large number of Jews in Israel and outside. There are very deep roots to this development, and the policy of annexation and unrelenting aggression against the Palestinian people by Israel has certainly provided the fertilizer with which such a shameful poisonous growth has thrived. Let me draw your attention to the fact that such developments are coming hand in hand with others, no less dangerous. I would like to draw your attention specifically to a report issued by the Institute for Disarmament Studies in Washington a few weeks ago, in which it is stated that Israel has at its disposal from 15 to 28 nuclear devices that can be launched by ballistic missiles or by aircraft. An immediate result of this report was a statement issued in Damascus by the Foreign Minister of the Syrian Arab Republic, the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, and the Islamic Republic of Iran saying that the three Governments had decided to acquire nuclear capabilities to be directed against Israel. Thus, an open and acknowledged nuclear race has begun in the Middle East. In Israel, few paid attention to this terrifying development, since most people and all the mass media were busy following the developments in Hebron, where a few crazy chauvinists had occupied an old house in the casbah and the Government has shown shameful timidity in dealing with them. But the point to bear in mind is that these crazy elements may come to power and lay their hands on the nuclear weapons and thus plunge the entire region into a nuclear holocaust.
Stopping these developments is the responsibility of those in Israel who are committed to peace and peaceful co-existence. But we need a more vigorous drive for peace in and outside Israel to help us arrest the flood of insanity that is rising within our society. I do not believe that this can be achieved at this stage without the two super-Powers coming to agreement on how to tackle the Middle East situation. We are all waiting anxiously for the forthcoming meeting between President Reagan and Mr. Gorbachev, hoping that one of the outcomes will be an agreement on the question of an international peace conference on the Middle East. Perhaps we have reached the stage where the local Powers are no longer capable of solving their conflict, and the entire power to deal with the situation has passed into the hands of the super- Powers. If they will fail to come to an agreement then it seems that the Middle East will be heading towards greater calamities than those it has experience up to now.
3. Tawfiq Zayyad, Mayor of Nazareth
The latest United States assault, which has been stepped up over recent months, is very far removed from being a peace initiative. Its real aim is to impose a liquidation of the Palestinian issue and of the rights of the Palestinian Arab people to national sovereignty.
It is being conducted on the basis of the official, declared United States position (the Reagan plan), which is based on rejection of the principle of withdrawal to the 1967 borders, rejection of the right of the Palestinian Arab people to self-determination and an independent State and rejection of recognition of the PLO as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian Arab people.
At the least, it is conducted with a view to harnessing the PLO to the United States position and depleting it of all Palestinian national content, thereby widening the split in the organization and aggravating its internal difficulties.
American timing is based on the difficulties facing the Palestinian people and the. PLO as a result of the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982.
The United States (and Israeli) pre-condition for those Palestinians participating in the joint Jordanian-Palestinian delegation is that they should be "acceptable", in other words that they should, in practice, be appointed by the United States and be acceptable to the Government of Israel. This implies a violation of the principle that the PLO is the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people and opens a breach for the potential elimination of the legitimate leadership of the Palestinian Arab people recognized at the Palestinian, Arab and international levels.
Accordingly, what is going on is that the foundations are being laid for the implementation of the second phase of the Camp David design (the Reagan plan), this time by making use of the Jordanian regime and admitting it as a formal participant along with other Arab leaders who are sympathetic to the United States and to its strategic designs in the region and are endeavouring to increase pressure on the PLO.
The Camp David agreements did not bring peace and did not resolve the Palestinian' issue, which is the essence of the crisis, but were an invitation to a new war (that in Lebanon)) a Camp David II would also be an invitation to future wars.
Reference must be made, with particular gravity, to the fact that the United States and Israel are using the so-called "peace initiative" or "peace process" in order to cover up a number of matters of extreme seriousness:
(a) The continued Israeli occupation of parts of southern Lebanon, directly by Israeli forces and indirectly through the intermediary of the mercenary Antoine Lahad forces, and of the sabotage activity of Israeli lackeys inside Lebanon;
(b) The preparations for a new war against the Syrian Arab Republic in order to open the way for the complete subjugation of the Middle East;
(c) The fact that Israel is involved in the schemes of the United States that go beyond the Palestinian issue and beyond the Middle East region, as can be seen from the strategic co-operation agreement, Israeli readiness to take part in Star Wars, nuclear-weapon production programmes, etc., in the belief that the United States will gain ascendancy internationally and in the Middle East and that the Soviet Union and the national liberation movements in general will be weakened by the success of Israeli schemes and expansionist ambitions.
There is no essential qualitative difference between the two major parties making up the Israeli Government, the Ma'arach and the Likud. The differences are tactical and matters of outward form. Complete agreement exists on the three Israeli noes: no withdrawal to the 1967 borders; no right to self-determination and an independent State for the Palestinian Arab people; no recognition of the PLO. This makes Israel the only rejectionist State in the region.
The continued settlement activity, the stepping up of the "Iron Fist" policy and occupation-related oppression in the occupied territories are destructive not only for the Palestinian Arab people but for the Israeli people and their national interests.
The solution, a just, comprehensive and lasting peace, is possible only on the basis of withdrawal from all the areas occupied in 1967, the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and an independent State and recognition of the PLO as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people.
This solution is based on the resolutions and covenants of the United Nations, which prohibit the acquisition of the territory of others by force of arms.
There is a need for a balance of power, both internationally and within the region, and for an objective outlook that does not permit the imposition of an unjust "settlement", as the experience of continued wars over 37 years (particularly that of the Lebanon war of 1982) has proved.
International experience (that of the Vietnamese, Cuban and Algerian questions and of dozens of other national liberation causes) demonstrates that it is not possible in our time to solve national issues by military might, but only on the basis of the principle of the right to self-determination.
The question of the international conference
The entire discussion of the international conference (under the auspices of the United Nations and with the participation of the Soviet Union, the United States, Israel, the PLO and the other States concerned) is a discussion of whether there is to be a just solution or an unjust solution. All those who reject the international conference reject a just solution and seek to impose the liquidation of the rights of the Palestinian people to national sovereignty and the exclusion of the Soviet Union and the PLO. All those who desire a just, comprehensive and lasting solution see the international conference as the framework for its achievement.
The international responsibility is a direct one. The conflict involved in the Palestinian issue cannot be removed from the general context of international relations. Conflagration and outbreaks of hostilities cannot always be contained within the Middle East. The Middle East issue (with a war every three to four years) may lead to an international eruption or one extending beyond the Middle East.
Accordingly, in present circumstances, the international conference is an appropriate framework, or rather the only framework, for reaching a just solution which is also accompanied by assured guarantees for the future.
The latest statements made by Reagan, Peres and King Hussein on their conception of the international conference demonstrate that they seek an "international conference" that will be an umbrella, a rubber stamp and an international endorsement of a liquidationist settlement of the right of the Palestinians to national sovereignty, of the realization by Israel of territorial acquisitions and of a settlement reached by them in advance.
The statements in question were, nevertheless, made as a Proforma retreat in the face of the international campaign of pressure conducted by the United Nations and its Member States, by world public opinion and by all the forces that truly desire a just, comprehensive and lasting settlement. At the same time, caution should be used against any illusions created by this merely formal retreat.
The idea of the international conference is taking firm root among such extensive international circles that the United States and Israel cannot ignore them and are resorting to stratagems against them.
This shows the need to intensify the international pressure exerted by the United Nations, its Member States, the peace-loving States and the forces of rationality on the rulers of the United States and Israel as a strategic framework for bringing about a just, comprehensive and lasting peace in the Middle East.
4. Amnon Zichroni, Attorney and Member, Israeli Council for Israeli-Palestinian Peace
I request your indulgence a bit in that some of my remarks today will be of a personal nature. Since my youth, when I first became politically aware, I viewed myself as being a member of what is known in Israel as the "Peace Camp". My first steps in the public realm were quite individualistic. I refused to be drafted into the Israeli Army and even went on a hunger strike, all this at the tender age of 18. These were the actions of a naive, rebellious youth who believed that his personal example could affect a change and influence others to arrive at a peaceful resolution of the conflict which afflicts our region, somewhat similar to the view of the philosopher Immanuel Kant, who called for eternal world peace.
It was almost 200 years ago that Kant wrote an essay in which he claimed that the establishment of democratic Governments would ensure peace because democracies required their citizens to decide on war or peace. The citizens, for their part, would not be likely to encourage the facilitation of such a situation as war and would not be in favour of the tragedy of war owing to every man's abhorrence of war, which necessarily includes the need to fight, the need to pay for the conduct of war both in human and financial terms by the citizens, the need to restore and rebuild as a consequence of the damage which war inevitably leaves in its wake and, lastly, to endure the awful bitterness following the cessation of hostilities, which is euphemistically termed peace.
However, the establishment of democratic Governments did not ensure peace, nor did my personal hunger strike affect the problems which afflict my region of the world.
With the passage of both time and years, my eyes opened a bit wider and I came to some further awareness. At first, possibly, it was still an awareness which continued to walk, hand in hand, with my naivete, for it believed that all that was required was for all sides to the conflict to speak to one another, that the most natural thing in the world was for the enemies to sit together and talk out their differences without the interference of outsiders who care more for their own interests than for the interests of the parties to the conflict. I said before that it is possible to say that this awareness was a bit naive in that it ignored the real difficulties involved: deep seated psychological patterns of thought and deeply held beliefs; the contradictory interests of the parties; and the petty political considerations of some of the local politicians. The list could go on and on.
And then, as is the nature of things, I developed another awareness, one which was more realistic and took into account the factors I previously mentioned. Suddenly, I understood that one doesn't live in a vacuum nor does one exist without a past. In order to advance the peace process other international participants are necessary so as to guarantee the arrangements made and to pressure recalcitrant parties - in short, to aid in the peace process. Thus, it is clear that what is needed is an international peace conference with all the necessary parties participating, as well as the two super-Powers.
Israel refuses to participate in such a peace process because, at this time, it lacks the collective will to return the occupied territories, which is a pre-condition to any peace. The United States refuses to participate because it does not believe that its interests in the region are best served by the convening of such an international peace conference.
I mentioned previously the view of Kant and his faith in democracy. In Kant's time, democracy was still an infant in diapers which existed in only a handful of States. His faith in democratic principles was justified, not because democratic Governments are always able to prevent wars, but because public opinion and the national consensus are tremendously important factors in a democracy's ability to conduct a war. Democracies that don't assess the importance of a national consensus before entering a war, as for instance, the United States in Viet Nam or Israel in Lebanon, make these wars unwinnable. Public opinion stands in opposition to governmental policy and cause a change in that policy.
Despite all the harsh criticism I have against the Israeli Government and many of my fellow citizens, I cannot deny the fact that Israel is a State wherein the -vast majority still believe in the principles of democracy.
Public opinion still plays an important role in Israel and the war in Lebanon proves this.
Sometimes peace is elusive. The moment you think you've got it in your hand, it slips away. That's what happened a few years ago when the large demonstrations against the war in Lebanon were held in Israel with many hundreds of thousands of Israelis participating. It was widely believed that the Israeli peace camp was on the threshold of a momentous victory and that a profound change in Israeli public opinion would ensue. Alas, that change never developed, and the situation in Israel today is worse than ever.
The nuclear threat is ever increasing, even in our region of the world. The age of nuclear weapons has come to the Middle East. It was recently reported that the Syrian Arab Republic and the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya planned to purchase nuclear weapons in an effort to counter the Israeli nuclear capability. This would place the entire region in a danger of unparalleled proportions. There are so many crazies and extremists in this region who would press the nuclear button without much hesitation, and the threat of retribution does not exist as it does between the super-Powers.
The phenomenon of Rabbi Kahane and Kahanism exists. Contrary to what most people think, Kahanism is not a temporary case of collective insanity or a mere flash in the pan. It is a natural outgrowth of the Likud Party's ideology. The Likud gave birth to the Tehiya Party and Rabbi Levinger of the Gush Emunim Movement which, in turn, prompted the emergence of Kahanism. Kahanism has a pedigree and should be seen as being a direct descendant of the Likud Party's attitudes and actions while in power. The Likud Party still pays lip service to the principles of democracy, but the attitudes it has concerning Palestinians and its view vis-à-vis the Palestinian/Israeli problem gives rise to Kahanism, which calls for the expulsion of all Arabs from Israel and the occupied territories.
The general political atmosphere in Israel today is frightening. It is one of a growing polarization between those who genuinely desire peace and those who wish to make Israel an armed outpost completely isolated from the rest of the Middle East. Kahane's blatant, open racism is echoed by a growing number of "moderate" and "conservative" politicians who are anxious not to lose votes. The rise of extremism is rampant.
Against this background it is possible to analyse recent events and place them in their proper context. At the end of July and the beginning of August, three murders took place in the northern Israeli town of Afula. The victims were all Jews and the alleged perpetrators were individual Palestinian residents of the occupied territories. No group or organization took any responsibility for these acts. The Jewish response to these murders was chilling. People took to the streets and chanted "death to Arabs" and individual Arabs who work in Afula refused to go to their jobs, being justifiably afraid of being physically harmed.
In response to these murders, the Israeli Government decided to reinstitute its policy of deportation. This was viewed as a way of frightening the inhabitants of the occupied territories and as a measure of revenge for the murders. The first person ordered to be deported was Halil Abu Ziad. Mr. Abu Ziad is a life-long resident of the town of Azaria, a small village located near Jerusalem in part of the occupied West Bank. It was claimed by the Israeli military commander that Mr.Abu Ziad was a leader of Fatah and was fomenting disturbances. I represented Mr. Abu Ziad before both the military committee and the Israeli Supreme Court, in an effort to keep him from being deported. The military committee, whose opinion is only advisory, recommended that the military commander reconsider his decision to deport Mr. Abu Ziad. For the first time in history, the military commander ignored the committee's recommendation and went on to order his deportation. Before the Supreme Court made its final decision, an arrangement was made wherein my client left Israel voluntarily, the deportation order being dropped. Unfortunately, deportations are continuing.
The crux of my legal argument was that under international law, the occupying authority (Israel) is forbidden to deport any members of the civilian population of the territory which it occupies. For those who shall be attending the lawyer's workshop later in the day, I shall go into my legal argument in greater detail.
The fact that the latest round of tension was started by the murders of Jews supposedly by individual Arabs is quite significant. It is significant in that the alleged murderers were youths from the occupied territories. They were not members of any particular group nor did they espouse any particular ideology. What prompted them to murder, if they in fact did it, was the utter hopelessness and desperation with which they viewed their situation. Israel has occupied these territories for 18 years now. Thus, a whole generation of both Jews and Palestinians have grown up not knowing anything else. What has been natural to them is the fact of occupation. As awful as the occupation is for the Palestinian residents, it also does tremendous damage to the Israeli youth, no matter where they live. These young people have grown up with the Israeli as occupier, and have come to view the pre-1967 boundaries as simply lines on an ancient map. This attitude, coupled with the current rise of extremism which legitimates racist feelings to these youngsters, must be addressed.
The majority of Israelis have grown up in the aftermath of the 1967 war and have come to believe firmly that the only way for Israel to defend itself properly is through the continued occupation of all those territories conquered in that war. At every meeting such as this one, I must seize the opportunity and request that the Palestinians help the Israeli peace camp convince the Israeli public that it is possible to live in security in an Israel reduced in size to the pre-1967 borders. The Palestinian leadership must unambiguously declare that it is willing to recognize Israel's right to exist and the desire to coexist in a meaningful peace in return for Israel's return of all territories occupied in the 1967 war and Israel's acceptance of the Palestinians' right to self-determination, ultimately leading to the creation of a Palestinian State. The declaration should also include a statement explicitly renouncing violence for a certain period of time in which it is expected that Israel shall accept the terms outlined above. If a statement such as that were made, and made in as dramatic a fashion as possible, the effect it would have on Israeli, as well as world public opinion, would be tremendous. This declaration should be accompanied by more direct contacts between PLO leaders and Israelis and should also be accompanied by a somewhat diminished general public battering of anything Israeli. The .PLO must acknowledge that some Israelis are genuinely interested in peace and interested in the creation of a Palestinian State, and we must be encouraged publicly.
As I mentioned before, I am no longer 18, naive, or completely capable or willing to go on another hunger strike, although it would probably do me some good. Now, to my sorrow, I realize that peace cannot be achieved by acts such as those. However, I do know the value of such a declaration, as I outlined above, and its ability dramatically to sway Israeli public opinion, and I know that a move of Israeli public opinion in favour of peace would significantly advance Israeli/Palestinian dialogue and the convening of a conference as called for in General Assembly resolution 38/58 C.
In that I have previously alluded to the super-Powers, I'd like also to state that another hurdle which is always raised concerning the Soviet Union's participating in such a peace conference is that the Soviet Union severed diplomatic relations with Israel following the 1967 war and they have never been restored. The restoration of diplomatic relations between Israel and the Soviet Union, something which Israel desires, would go a long way in developing Israel's desire for the Soviet Union's participation in such a peace conference.
Another way to influence Israeli public opinion is through the work of non-governmental organizations. It is extremely important, in fact, crucial, for the average Israeli to see that there is an ongoing dialogue between Israelis and Palestinians, and this can be seen by looking at the work done by the Interim Co-ordinating Committee (ICC) of the non-governmental organizations. It is vital that ICC be allowed to mature and ripen into an independent entity.
A discussion without any concrete results is akin to a barren wasteland. I propose that we adopt a resolution which calls for every single non-governmental organization to convene direct meetings between Israelis and Palestinians. Dialogues such as these would be vital to both Israelis and Palestinians, and would also develop specific contacts for every non-governmental organization throughout the world. I would also like us to think about the possibility of establishing an umbrella organization of all non-governmental organizations, not only by regions.
It has been said that the Semitic people are wise, and that anti-Semitism is merely an outpouring of jealousy. Alas, the Jews have ceased for some time being wise. It is now left to the Palestinians to save the Semite's good name. I hope that the Palestinians will adopt a statesmanlike position which would aid us in the Israeli peace camp in trying to restore the good name of the Jewish people.
I began my remarks today mentioning naive hopes. I shall end my remarks in a similar vein. A few months ago, at an ICC meeting at Geneva, I promised to draw up a draft of a possible peace agreement. I have done so, but due to the lack of time, I will not read it now. I shall, however, include it in the record of my speech (see appendix to the present statement), and I hope that you will all take a look at it. Let us all pray that a peace agreement of this type, or something quite similar, shall be signed in the near future between Israel, the PLO, as the representative of the Palestinian people, the Arab States in the region and the two super-Powers as guarantors.
Made and signed this day of
By and between
The Palestine Liberation Organization
(hereafter "The PLO")
of the first part
the State of Israel
the Arab States of the second part of
the United States of America
and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republic as guarantor
Whereas the parties hereto represent various peoples living in the region of the world known as the Middle East; and Whereas the parties hereto desire that all the people living in this region of the world be allowed to do so in peace, harmony, security and dignity; and Whereas the parties hereto desire to reach a formal understanding concerning the various rights and privileges which exist between them; and Whereas the parties hereto desire that the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics guarantee the performance hereof and the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics desire the same; and Whereas the parties hereto desire to record their understanding and set forth in writing the accords reached:
Now, therefore, the parties hereto hereby agree as follows:
1. The PLO, as sole representative
1.1. The parties hereto hereby recognize the party of the first part to this agreement, namely the PLO, as the sole, legitimate representative of the Palestinian people.
2. The Palestinians' right to establish a State
2.1. The parties hereto hereby recognize the right of the Palestinians to establish a fully independent State.
3. Recognition of Israel,
3.1. The parties hereto hereby recognize the right of Israel to exist as a fully independent State.
4.1. The parties hereto hereby declare that the boundaries of the State to be formed by the PLO (hereafter "Palestine") are to be as follows: all those areas currently occupied by Israel as a result of those hostilities which transpired in 1967 between Israel and neighbouring countries, with the exception of the Golan Heights.
4.2. The Golan Heights shall be returned to the Syrian Arab Republic subject to a peace agreement being reached between Israel and the Syrian Arab Republic.
4.3. The provisions of subparagraph 4.1. above are subject to the provisions of paragraph 5 below.
5.1. Jerusalem shall be a united city, but shall be divided into two boroughs, one Israeli and one Palestinian.
5.2. One city council shall be established with equal representation by the two boroughs Said council shall govern Jerusalem.
5.3. All persons of all religious faiths shall have free and unimpeded access to the religious areas of special significance to them.
5.4. A joint Palestinian-Israeli police force shall be established for the protection of the holy places.
6. The Jewish settlements
6.1. The parties hereto hereby declare that all those Jewish settlements established during the past eighteen years on the territory which shall, in the future, constitute Palestine were established in violation of international law.
6.2. The provisions of paragraph 6.1. above notwithstanding, it is hereby agreed that the settlements may remain if the State of Palestine so allows. If so, the Jewish settlers would be accorded full citizenship rights of the State of Palestine. If not, the settlements would be dismantled and the residents returned to Israel.
7.1. A tribunal will be established, comprised of joint Palestinian and Israeli judges to determine the amount of financial compensation to be awarded individuals who were unjustly ousted from their homes during the creation of the State of Israel in 1948, and at any time thereafter.
7.2. Funding for the awards made by the above mentioned tribunal shall be made by a special fund to be established by the United Nations.
8. Cessation of violence
8.1. The parties hereto hereby renounce the use of armed violence of any sort for whatever purpose.
9.1. The parties hereto hereby declare that they shall make their best efforts to ensure that this agreement is ratified by the appropriate internal bodies.
10. International guarantees
10.1. The United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics hereby declare that they shall use their considerable influence to guarantee that the provisions of this agreement are adhered to.
10.2. It is hereby requested that the United Nations General Assembly endorse this agreement and pass a special resolution declaring its support for the provisions herein.
11. Transitional period
11.1. This agreement shall not ultimately be binding upon the parties hereto until it shall be ratified by the new State of Palestine. Until that time, the occupying Israeli army shall be entitled to remain in certain defined defence areas. Upon ratification by the new Palestinian State, the Israeli army shall return forthwith to Israel.
12.1. Immediately upon ratification by the new State of Palestine as per paragraphs 10 and 11 above, full diplomatic relations shall be established between all the parties hereto.
13. Cessation of state of war
13.1. The parties hereto declare that upon their signature hereon, the state of war which exists between them shall forthwith cease.
Thus done and signed on the date aforementioned.
The PLO Israel The Arab States
The United States of America The Union of Soviet Socialist Republic