Question of Palestine home || Permalink || About UNISPAL || Search

English (pdf) ||Arabic||Chinese||Français||Русский||Español||


See also: UN DPI Multimedia (Ref: 032-4)
Follow UNISPAL Twitter RSS

UNITED
NATIONS
S

        Security Council
S/PV.1873
15 January 1976

THIRTY-FIRST YEAR
1873RD MEETING: 15 JANUARY 1976
SECURITY COUNCIL
OFFICIAL RECORDS

1873rd MEETING
Held in New York on Thursday, 15 January 1976, at 10.30 a.m.


President: Mr. Salim A. SALIM
(United Republic of Tanzania).

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


Provisional agenda (S/Agenda/1873)

1. Adoption of the agenda

2. The Middle East problem including the Palestinian question

The meeting was called to order at 11.10 a.m.

Adoption of the agenda

The agenda was adopted.

The Middle East problem including the Palestinian question

1. The PRESIDENT: In accordance with the decisions taken by the Council previously [1870th-1872th meetings], I invite the representatives of Egypt, Jordan, Mauritania, Qatar, the Syrian Arab Republic, the United Arab Emirates and Yugoslavia, in conformity with the usual practice and with the relevant provisions of the Charter and the provisional rules of procedure, to participate in the discussion, without the right to vote. In accordance with the decision taken Previously by the Council [1870th meeting], I invite the representative of the Palestine Liberation Organization to participate in the discussion.

At the invitation of the President, Mr. Abdel Meguid (Egypt), Mr. Sharaf (Jordan), Mr. Allaf (Syrian Arab Republic) and Mr. Khaddonmi (Palestine Liberation Organization) took places at the Security Council table; Mr. El Hassen (Mauritania), Mr. Jamal (Qatar), Mr. Ghobash (United Arab Emirates) and Mr. Petric (Yugoslavia) took the places reserved for them at the side of the Council chamber.

2.Mr. AKHUND (Pakistan): The issue before, the Council at its present series of meetings is not new to Organization It has been the subject of debate for more than 27 years—years of upheaval, conflict and violence in the Middle East—violence which, in recent years, has tended to extend beyond the confines of the region. The significance of the present series of meetings lies in the fact that, for the first time in these many years, the Council has been brought to take up the problem created by its own decision of 1947.

3. Pakistan's position on the issue is well known; but I shall briefly restate its essential features. We continue to believe that injustice was done when, without consulting the people of the territory, against their known wishes and in the face of their open resistance, the United Nations decided to partition Palestine. Many foresaw at the time that turmoil and bitterness would follow. At that time the representative of Pakistan, Sir Choudhri Mohammed Zafrullah Khan, warned: "We much fear that the beneficence, if any, to which partition may lead will be small in comparison to the mischief it might inaugurate".

4. My country is not oblivious to the wrongs and indignities the Jewish people have had to suffer and endure over the centuries at the hands of their compatriots in some countries. Speaking at the Islamic summit conference at Lahore in February of 1974, Prime Minister Bhutto said that "the progroms inflicted on the Jews during the centuries and the holocaust to which they were subjected under nazism fill some of the darkest pages of human history". He went on to point out that "as Moslems, we entertain no hostility against any human community; when we say so, we do not exclude the Jewish people. To Jews as Jews we bear no malice". But, declared the Prime Minister, "redemption should have come from the Western world and not have been exacted, as it was, from the Palestinian people".

5. Indeed, the creation of a separate homeland for the Jews was not the only possible solution for the discrimination suffered by Jews in Europe and America: nor could it promote—rather the contrary—their full assimilation into the body politic of the societies to which they belonged. The founders of the Zionist movement themselves had not at first insisted on a homeland in Palestine but were willing to accept territory elsewhere. When, instead, the decision was made to set up a Jewish State in an already inhabited territory and against the wishes of its inhabitants, it was inevitable that turmoil and upheaval would ensue For how could you set up a Jewish State in an area where the Jewish population in the beginning was only 8 per cent of the total, and their land ownership only 2.5 per cent, without changing its demographic and economic character? How could you bring in hundreds of thousands of Jews from all over the world to this new "homeland" without turning out from it hundreds of thousands of its original inhabitants? This ingathering led inevitably, to a new dispersion. Thus, the people of Palestine were turned into a nameless, amorphous multitude, reduced to living on international largesse in refugee camps, within sight almost of their ancestral homes and properties, the farms on which they had worked and the orchards which they had planted. True, the Council adopted a resolution calling for the return to their homes of refugees wishing to return, but that resolution has remained a dead letter. It was assumed, no doubt, that the victims would eventually accept their lot as being divinely ordained and immutable and learn to live with their misfortune. As late as 1973, not long before the October war, the then Prime Minister of Israel, Mrs. Golda Meir, was able to explain in reply to a query: "Who are the Palestinians? They never existed."

6. Yesterday I saw in a newspaper a rather laboured explanation of what precisely she meant; and I am afraid, speaking for myself, that I find things no clearer than they were before. And then, what are we to make of the absence from this table today of the Israeli representative?

7. The rest of the world, however, has come to recognize that the issue of Palestine lies at the root of the conflict in the Middle East—a recognition which we are not granting them but which, in the words of Prime Minister Bhutto, was "earned by the heroic sons and daughters of Palestine through their suffering, their fortitude and the constancy of their commitment".

8. There is no longer any question, if there is to be peace and an enduring settlement among the peoples of the region, that the issues created by that fateful decision of 1947 must be addressed and resolved. The existence of Israel cannot be built on the extinction of Palestine. The Council can no longer turn away from the reality of Palestine, a whole nation displaced and rendered stateless, a nation whose existence was provided for in the very resolution 1/ adopted by a narrow and unconvinced majority mechanized by means of the most extraordinary pressures and manipulations—the very resolution which established a homeland in the Middle East for settlers from Europe and America, who even today often have to be cajoled and urged to go there.

9. I refer to these matters because we consider that, if the Council is to take action which will be truly effective, it must view the situation in perspective and in its entirety. We believe that the affairs of the Middle East are at a turning-point. We believe that a generally beneficial settlement can be reached, a
settlement which will bring peace and stability to the area and lay the foundations on which the nations of the region may, as history takes its course, evolve their relationship. It is equally possible, of course, that the opportunity will be allowed to slip away and, one thing leading to another, war may break out in the region once more, visiting death and destruction upon peoples which are today so manifestly and unanimously desirous for the return of peace and tranquillity.

10. It is asserted that the Security Council is not a suitable forum for the concrete negotiations through which alone the parties to the conflict can probe each other's intentions and arrive at agreement. We do not agree that the Council is not qualified to intervene in disputes among nations or that it does not have the responsibility to take measures to preserve peace and security in the world. The Council was established to perform these very tasks and functions. Now we do not advocate that at this stage the Council should take a hand directly in the peace-making process. A forum exists for this purpose, having been set up under the co-chairmanship of the United States and the Soviet Union, though one must admit that the Geneva Peace Conference on the Middle East has not yet been used as it was meant to be since its establishment. Nevertheless, things have not stood still. The endeavours undertaken by the United States and its Secretary of State, Mr. Henry Kissinger, have led to three accords which, although important, are limited in both their territorial and political scope.

11. Speaking in Sri Lanka during his recent visit there, our Prime Minister, Mr. Bhutto, said: "It is a matter of concern to us that the Sinai Disengagement Agreement [S/11818 and Add. 1-5] has not been followed by other steps to defuse the situation on the Syrian front and other Israeli occupied Arab territories." He called on the Security Council at its current meetings to address itself at once to the task of promoting a comprehensive settlement. The Prime Minister declared:

"The present state of no war, no peace in the Middle East is a precarious one. Time is not in favour of peace"-he warned—"it is certainly not in favour of Israel. At the same time, all the signs and portents indicate that the moment has come to find a solution on the basis of Israeli withdrawal from all the occupied Arab territories, including Jerusalem, which also takes into account the national aspirations of the Palestinian people."

12. I said a moment ago that Pakistan does not expect the Security Council to take upon itself the conduct of Middle East negotiations. We believe, however, that the Council can and should enunciate broad principles which would guide the negotiating process and enable it to arrive at a speedy and successful conclusion. We believe that, if all concerned are so minded, the Council can take an important and constructive step at this stage towards facilitating the process.

13. My delegation considers it essential that in this series of meetings the Council should take cognizance of the national rights of the Palestinian people—the right to self-determination, the right to restore their national entity and sovereignty and the right to return to receive compensation for their lost homes and properties. In doing so, the Council, as the Syrian representative reminded us the other day [1871st meeting], will be doing no more than calling for the full and faithful implementation of its own existing and valid decisions.

14. As I stated in the course of a previous meeting, my country recognizes the PLO as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people and fully entitled to speak and negotiate on its behalf here and in all forums. Its status as such was recognized by all the Arab countries at the Rabat summit held in October 1974. We heard the other day here from the representative of Jordan [ibid.] that the decision had the approval of Jordan and that Jordan recognized the representative character of the PLO. I take the occasion to pay a tribute, in this context, to the wisdom, selflessness and patriotism of Jordan's courageous and far-sighted monarch. The Lahore summit of the Islamic countries has also recognized the status of the PLO. So have the Organization of African Unity and the non-aligned movement. The General Assembly has accorded observer status to the PLO in recognition of its representative character.

15. In Israel itself, the more far-sighted people have declared the need to recognize the reality of Palestine and to deal with its representatives. It is odd—it is perhaps significant—that the people of Palestine, whom the United Nations divided and displaced, are represented at the Council today and that it is the representative of Israel, a State which owes its existence to the United Nations, who remains absent and carries on outside a campaign of vilification and calumny against the Organization. Israel, which has accused the Arabs of refusing to negotiate, is today refusing to negotiate unless it can choose its negotiating Partners. It refuses to live in peace with its Arab neighbours unless it can choose who those neighbours shall be.

16. It is the responsibility of the Security Council, in our view, to review the developments which have taken place since the adoption of Council resolution 338 (1973) and the progress made, or the lack thereof and the reason therefore, towards the objectives enunciated in that resolution. Resolution 242 (1967), to which the Council stands committed, was adopted nearly nine years ago. We have always taken the view that the resolution laid down quite clearly the elements of a lasting settlement between the Arab States and Israel and, above all, that it called for the withdrawal of Israeli forces from the territories they occupied in the 1967 war. If ambiguity there be on this issue, it lies in intentions and unavowed objectives; we see none in the language of the resolution. At any rate, the Council must not condone deliberate procrastination and calculated inaction.

17. In that connexion we take note of the ceaseless references to Israel's security and the need to provide it with guarantees and assurances regarding its future safety and existence. My delegation has two observations to make in that regard. The first, specific to the case, is that it is Israel which has, since the day of its establishment, continually extended its borders at the expense of its neighbours. The second point, of general application, is that the security of one State cannot be based on insecurity for others. The idea that the security of a country depends on the geographical location of its borders not only is unacceptable in international law and under the principles of the Charter of the United Nations but has been proved fallacious by the history of the Middle East. Prime Minister Bhutto said to the Islamic summit at Lahore that "no State can arrogate to itself the right to determine its secure borders... the security of a State's frontiers depends on their conformity to international law".

18. For more than a quarter-century Israel has sought security through war and military supremacy. But every war, every new conquest has been purchased at the cost of security and peace. Today, occupying many times the amount of territory it had in 1948, Israel has to spend $12 billion a year on its military forces for the purpose of protecting its conquests. Is it conceivable that the Arabs, from whom Israel demands peace and recognition, will give it peace and recognition as well as territory? If Israel has decided not to return the occupied territories, if the establishment of settlements in those territories is a token of Israel's real intentions, then Israel has once again chosen to make the future of the region hostage to the fortunes of war. The tragedy—indeed the hope— is that it need not be so. Time and the conjunction of events are favourable to peace. We have listened to the spokesmen of the Arab nations and of the people of Palestine and we have heard no calls for Israel's destruction, no threats to its security, no animus towards the Jewish people.

19. If Israel seeks real peace, let it come to terms with the reality of Palestine and the Palestinians and recognize once and for all that neither the passage of time nor the use of force nor abuse or slander will make it disappear. If territorial aggrandizement is not Israel's aim, let its leaders cease to make declarations which give the contrary impression and desist from creating so-called facts in the occupied territories and from attempting to change the demographic and cultural character of Jerusalem. If it will have security, let Israel declare its readiness to withdraw from the territories occupied since June 1967.

20. The people of Pakistan have ties of brotherhood and faith with the Arab people of the Middle East. But were there no such bonds we would still support their cause, for it is a just cause, based on the principles, which Pakistan holds dear, of self-determination, respect for United Nations principles and decisions, rejection of force and intimidation—principles that we have supported near home and far. Yet we support the Arabs not blindly and unthinkingly as, one is sorry to see, Israel seems to expect its supporters to do, in its every whim, demand and tactic.

21. We oppose Israel not because of its system of government, as one of our colleagues professes to believe—and most certainly and emphatically not because its people are Jewish. We say to Israel, not in hostility but in common sense: see in which direction lie the true interests of all the peoples of this ancient and once peaceful region where, in the words of the absent Israeli representative, Jew and Arab lived together for thousands of years and where even in 1919 Jews were welcomed in friendship by Arab leaders. Let the leaders of Israel consider how they have repaid that welcome and how they might win back that earlier amity and acceptance.

22. Mr. MALIK (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) (interpretation from Russian): Before I begin my statement on the item now being discussed by the Security Council, my delegation would like to join in the condolences expressed by other members of the Council on the untimely death of the Premier of the People's Republic of China, Mr. Chou En-lai. In that connexion, the Council of Ministers of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics has extended its condolences to the people and State of the People's Republic of China on the death of their Premier, Mr. Chou En-lai, and has requested that its sympathy be expressed to the family of the deceased.

23. Among the most urgent and timely international problems of the present day, it is difficult indeed to find one that has been considered as many times in the Security Council and the General Assembly, throughout the existence of the United Nations, as the problem of the Middle East—or, to put it more accurately, the conflict that has been going on for more than a quarter-century now between Israel and the Arab peoples of that region.

24. Today, once again, the United Nations and its principal organ for the maintenance of peace and security—the Security Council—are dealing, with understandable disquiet, with this question. This feeling of disquiet is by no means accidental. It can be explained by the fact that the Middle East region has been and continues to be a dangerous source of military tension and armed conflict, a permanent source of danger to universal peace and security.

25. Everyone who has participated in the present consideration of the situation in the Middle East has naturally wondered why, despite the many efforts made by the United Nations, the Middle East crisis has continued to be a potential threat to universal peace. The answer to that question is obvious: that threat is maintained because the aggressor, who seized foreign territories that for years had belonged to the Arab peoples, continues to occupy those territories and deliberately to assimilate them, ignoring United Nations decisions and throwing down the gauntlet to the international community. It is precisely because of the stubbornness of Israel's leaders and because they continue to exercise their policy of aggression that the well-known Security Council and General Assembly resolutions on the Middle East have remained unfulfilled.

26. Obstacles to the process of political settlement in the Middle East continue to be erected by certain States, which for some time now have showed their true colours as the protectors and instigators of Israel's aggressive policy. They are trying to bypass the machinery specially created to seek a political settlement—that is, the Geneva Peace Conference. These friends and patrons of the aggressor are trying to complicate and confuse the clear way leading to a solution of the Middle East problem; they are doing so by having separate transactions on individual issues, leaving to one side the key issues relating to a general peace settlement in the Middle East.

27. Now, more than ever before, it is obvious that the dangerous source of tension in the Middle East can be eliminated only if its roots are removed and if the key problems relating to a political settlement are solved. Can anyone really hope to prove today that purely piecemeal measures achieved on a separate basis have removed the explosive situation in the Middle East and have created any basis for a stable peace in that area? The actual state of affairs fully refutes any such illusory conception of the situation in the Middle East. The method of so-called partial measures cannot lead to a durable settlement of the Middle East problem because it would leave to one side the main crux of the problem, the key issues relating to a political settlement. The heart of a political settlement must be seen to be the necessity of the withdrawal of Israeli troops from all the Arab territories which were occupied in 1967. This is a key point which has been acknowledged and reaffirmed by decisions of the United Nations. Also, the legitimate national rights of the Arab people of Palestine must be fully satisfied, including their inalienable right to create their own State. This would guarantee due recognition of the right to independent existence and the free and peaceful development of all States and peoples in the Middle East region.

28. The Israeli and American press and other propaganda organs, as usual distorting the facts, have spread a false account to the effect that these conditions for bringing about peace and security in the Middle East are being presented only by the Soviet Union and the Arab countries. This is incorrect. It is an untruth and a misrepresentation of the real state of affairs. These demands have also been voiced by all non-aligned countries which today represent a considerable majority in the United Nations.

29. This is also shown by a recent decision taken at the Lima Conference of Ministers for Foreign Affairs of Nonaligned Countries, which, as is known, involved the participation of Ministers from more than 80 countries. In the political declaration of the Lima Conference, the Lima Programme for Mutual Assistance and Solidarity, the following statement was made:

"The Conference considers that the interest of security and peace in the world rests on the immediate implementation of relevant United Nations resolutions and reiterates that a just and durable peace in the Middle East must be based on the two following principles:

"1. The immediate and unconditional withdrawal of Israel from all the territories occupied since 5 June 1967;

"2. The exercise by the Palestinian people of all their national rights, including their right to return to their country and to self-determination and political independence".2

30. This is then the position, this is the will of and these are the demands expressed by all nonaligned countries throughout the world, and not just by the Soviet Union. These demands are at present to be found also in decisions adopted by the General Assembly which expressed the united will of the Organization, that at present has a membership of 144 States.

31. The Soviet Union is therefore quite justified in considering that only a comprehensive solution of these questions and all aspects of the Middle East settlement can lead to the establishment of a just and lasting peace in the Middle East and prevent fresh military conflicts. The Soviet Union has constantly and unwaveringly been, and will continue to be, in favour of establishing in this tense region a just and durable peace and not simply the usual precarious truce. The Soviet Government has frequently stated its genuine concern to achieve this end, both as a matter of principle deriving from the firm basis of our Peace-loving foreign policy and for the perfectly obvious reason of our country's geographical proximity to the Middle East region. If, for many countries, the explosive situation in the Middle East is simply the threat of a conflagration on the "other side of the river”, so far as we are concerned it represents the danger of a fire breaking out under our very windows.

32 The present discussion in the Security Council on Middle East problem including the Palestinian , as well as the statements made by Arab representatives, has once again fully borne out that the situation in the Middle East remains extremely tense, fraught with the constant threat of military clashes; it must be stated quite bluntly that this tension which has been deliberately maintained is hindering the ongoing process of international detente and of the extension of the various positive changes which have occurred in various regions of the world, a process which is a matter of vital concern to all peoples of the world.

33. Is it possible to achieve a just and lasting peace in the Middle East, and what is the most realistic way of attaining this end? The delegation of the Soviet Union, with full awareness of its responsibility, is convinced that such a peace is possible, and that the only effective way of achieving it is through implementation of the well-known decisions of the Security Council and of the General Assembly on the Middle East. In this light, it is obvious what is the main obstacle towards achieving peace. This obstacle is the gross and cynical refusal of Israel to observe the elementary principles of contemporary international law and accepted morality and of the code of conduct for relations between States during the last third of the twentieth century. Peace in this region is possible if Israel refrains from attempts to use for its own selfish purposes the results of its aggression against neighbouring Arab countries.

34. If the United Nations and the international community are genuinely desirous of putting an end to the instability and explosive situation in this part of the world, it is essential that satisfaction be given to the just, legitimate and sovereign rights and demands of the Arab peoples, including the Arab people of Palestine which has suffered from aggression and the violence of hostile incursions. The logic of life itself would discount any notion of the possibility of becoming reconciled to a situation whereby a part of the patrimony of the Arab land would remain in the hands of an odious aggressor which seized those lands by force of arms.

35. We, the Soviet people, know this through the experience of our own country in the sacred and heroic struggle against the Fascist incursions. The Arab peoples are quite right in seeking the return of their undoubted heritage, and to give them the necessary assistance and support in this is the natural and bounden duty of each and every Member of the United Nations which cherishes its right to maintain its own territorial integrity and the integrity of its State.

36. The Israeli leaders, with the knowledge of their protectors and patrons, are still trying to procrastinate, or even to fail, in implementing the decisions of the Security Council and the General Assembly on the Middle East question. They, and many of those who support them, are uttering threats and resorting to methods of blackmail with regard to the Arab countries, their friends, and even the United Nations, recklessly refusing to carry on constructive talks on the Middle East settlement, including the question of Palestine. The non-participation of Israel in the present discussion in the Security Council is further proof of this heedless policy. This is the position of the leaders of a country which owes its very existence and its very foundation to the United Nations. It is quite easy to see that such a position on the part of Israel is one that is dangerous to peace.

37. The urgent need to eliminate this source of tension in the Middle East requires the adoption of effective measures which would lead to a comprehensive settlement of the Middle East conflict. The Soviet Union considers that for this there is already a sufficiently sound international basis being devised by the United Nations which is enshrined in the relevant resolutions of the Security Council and of the General Assembly. Those resolutions provide for the just settlement of this question, taking into account the national interests and inalienable legitimate rights of all peoples of the Middle East. It is precisely for this reason that they enjoyed the support of the overwhelming, majority of States Members of the United Nations. It is precisely because of this that those decisions of the United Nations were actively supported by the Soviet Union and by all socialist countries, which have consistently been in favour of affirming the principles of peace, security and equity in relations among States, principles which are enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations and in its resolutions.

38. The bedrock of a peaceful solution of the conflict in the Middle East is the need to observe and strictly implement the principles of the Charter and the decisions of the United Nations with regard to the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territories by force; this signifies that the key to the settlement is the unconditional and complete withdrawal of Israeli forces from all Arab territories occupied in 1967. Only the implementation of this generally recognized principle of the inviolability of borders, once more confirmed at Helsinki, will open the broad and clear road to a constant and durable peace in the Middle East.

39. One cannot seriously talk about a desire for peace and continue to occupy the territories of others; nor can one seriously talk about peace in that region while covertly working to ensure that the withdrawal of troops from the occupied territories is used for various forms of underhand deals and unsavoury manoeuvres in a political game in which the Arabs are presented with unacceptable conditions and demands which offend their national dignity. It is high time to accept the realistic conclusion that the freedom and independence of peoples cannot be the subject of bargaining and covert political deals, however attractive they may seem on the surface.

40. The Soviet Union has consistently been in favour of the sort of settlement which would guarantee the independence and national sovereignty of all countries and peoples in the Middle East and, in this connexion, we cannot fail to refer to the very obvious positive change which has occurred in the international arena regarding the Palestine question and which was reflected in the adoption by the General Assembly of important resolutions and also in the recognition by the Security Council of the legitimate right of the Arab people of Palestine to be represented in the Council when the Middle East question was discussed. These decisions of the United Nations quite clearly and unambiguously have confirmed the inalienable national right of the Arab people of Palestine to self, determination, without any interference from outside and the right to national independence and sovereignty of which they have been deprived for more than a quarter of a century.

41. The present discussion in the Security Council obviously bears out the undoubted fact that when talking about a Middle East settlement no one should forget that such a settlement organically must include a solution of the question of Palestine, which is by no means new to the United Nations. Dozens of resolutions have been adopted in the United Nations; hundreds of speeches have been made; tons of papers have been written. However, because of the chauvinist folly and expansionist wage and stubbornness of the Israeli leaders, based on completely obsolete myths and legends 2000 years old, the tragedy of the Arab people of Palestine, 3 million of them, goes on. Grossly flouting the basic principles of the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and international treaties and decisions, the Israeli ruling circles continue to pursue their expansionist and imperialist policy, as a result of which the long-suffering Arab people of Palestine have been reduced to the situation of refugees expelled from their homeland by this hostile force.

42. Can the United Nations sit with arms folded and observe the tragedies and sufferings of these people without concern for the situation of those who have been expelled from their homeland and violently deprived of their homes? No; the United Nations cannot and should not look on without being moved by the situation, because such an attitude is irreconcilable with the lofty principles proclaimed in the Charter. Representatives of certain countries that are directly responsible for the tragedy of those people like to shout loudly in the United Nations and its assemblies about human rights. But they are studiously silent about the human rights of the Arabs of Palestine, who have been chased from their homeland by foreign usurpers. Perhaps these false apologists of human rights will finally speak about the rights of the Arab people of Palestine here in the Security Council when the Palestinian problem is taken up.

43. Until now Israel and its patrons have managed to reduce the discussion of the Palestinian problem in the United Nations to a simple consideration of its humanitarian aspect, that is, the problem of the Palestinian refugees. However, Israel has completely ignored all the numerous decisions of the United Nations, even on this very narrow and individual aspect of the Palestinian problem, and systematically refuses to comply with them. Even the term "refugee" already says a great deal. Why have the Palestinian Arabs become refugees? Because Israel forcibly expelled them from their homeland, depriving them of it, turning them into refugees. Is this supposed to be a moral action? No; it is a criminal, racist action on the part of those who preach the theory of the superiority of one nation over all others. The Palestinian problem is not a problem of refugees. It is not so much a humanitarian problem. First and foremost it is a political problem.

44. Can the United Nations and its main organ, whose job it is to combat aggression, allow the racists to legitimize violence and illegal acts against the Arab people of Palestine? No; this cannot be, nor will it be. Events in recent years and, in particular, the resumed discussion in the United Nations of the Palestine problem, with the adoption of positive decisions, have borne out the correctness and the propriety of the position of the Soviet Union and many other countries. Despite all the efforts that have been made by the enemies of the Palestinian people, the public in most countries is becoming more and more convinced that the Palestinian problem in the context of a Middle East settlement can and should be solved on a just and legal basis. Otherwise there cannot be, nor is there, any true peace in the Middle East.

45. The resolutions adopted at the twenty-ninth and thirtieth sessions of the General Assembly recognize and reaffirm the inalienable national rights of the Arab people of Palestine to self-determination, national independence and sovereignty. Those decisions of the United Nations also contain international legal recognition of the PLO, which has shown in its selfless heroic struggle that it is the genuine and authentic representative of the interests and aspirations of the Arab people of Palestine. Those decisions also contain a direct indication that the PLO should Participate in all efforts, discussions and conferences for the achievement of peace in the Middle East. This is correct and perfectly just. Unless some heed is paid to the opinion of the Palestinian people itself, one of the main parties to the establishment of a just peace in the Middle East, any actions along those lines could be devoid of sense.

46. In this connexion, we cannot fail to welcome the very resolute, decisive and correct step taken by the Security Council when it invited representatives of he PLO to participate in the discussion and in the elaboration of a resolution by the Security Council on the Middle East question including the problem of Palestine. Those who opposed that decision have once again suffered a fiasco and their isolation has been revealed. The important decisions recently adopted at the thirtieth session of the General Assembly on the Palestine question and Zionism have made it possible further to enhance the international authority of the PLO and to increase the isolation of Israel. Experience in the last three decades shows quite clearly that peace in the Middle East cannot be built on truces only between individual countries or even individual groups of countries.

47. It is equally obvious that peace in the Middle East can be neither just nor durable even if peaceful relations are established and an end is put to the state of war only among individual countries without taking into account all the parties directly concerned in this conflict and unless all aspects of a settlement are gone into.

48. Furthermore, the entire history of the crisis in that region quite clearly shows that the method of dealing only with separate and partial aspects of the problem, particularly on a separate basis, and consigning other key problems to oblivion, has not promoted, nor can it promote, the establishment of a durable and long-lasting peace in the Middle East. The entire set of problems has to be settled not to the benefit of some parties or to the detriment of others if we want to put an end once and for all to the dangerous and explosive situation in the Middle East, where so many important and complex political problems have become accumulated.

49. The constructive and true way to create a durable and just peace in the Middle East undoubtedly is to be found through implementing fully the relevant resolutions of the Security Council and the General Assembly and making them applicable to all the parties to the conflict—consequently, to all the parties concerned.

50. For the purpose of bringing about a radical improvement in that situation we should remove the most dangerous sources of tension. A positive contribution in that connexion has to be made by the Security Council as well. The discussion in the Security Council of the Middle East problem, including the Palestinian issue, should help to achieve a decision on the main issues relating to a Middle East settlement. That is why we must make maximum use of the opportunity provided at this time by the Council, which is the main body of the United Nations responsible for maintaining international peace and security. The very fact that there is a situation of conflict in the Middle East and the nature of that conflict make it abundantly necessary to consider the problem of settlement as a single whole. It is perfectly obvious that these demands to implement the resolutions of the United Nations on the Middle East are fully covered by the international body that has been set up, that is, the Geneva Peace Conference on the Middle East, the speedy resumption of whose effective work is made necessary by life itself.

51. In making an appeal for a cardinal and comprehensive solution of the radical problems of a peace settlement within the Geneva Conference, the Soviet Union is firmly convinced that without the full participation of the Arab people of Palestine it would be impossible and pointless to attempt to settle the Middle East problem. Thus the question of the participation of representatives of the Arab people of Palestine in the work of the Geneva Conference is directly related to the very substance of a Middle East settlement. Anyone who takes a stand against the equal participation of the representatives of the PLO in the work of the Geneva Conference is doing something which is tantamount to coming out against a just and lasting peace in the Middle East.

52. The Soviet Union, as members know, insists that the Geneva Conference from the very outset of the resumption of its work should involve the participation of all directly concerned parties—Egypt, Syria, Jordan and the representatives of the Arab people of Palestine in the form of the PLO, which has been recognized by the international community, Israel, and also the Soviet Union and the United States, the Co-Chairmen of the Conference. Only the joint and collective efforts of all the parties directly concerned can get the Middle East out of its chronic state of crisis, which may again explode at any time. The results for peace and security of such an explosion would be difficult to foresee.

53. The participation of the PLO in the consideration of all aspects of the Middle East settlement is something which has been brought out not only by the practice of the General Assembly, but also by that of the Security Council. The Soviet delegation would like to take this opportunity to welcome at this meeting the representatives of the Arab people of Palestine, who have waged a heroic struggle for their inalienable national rights.

54. In its message to the Government of the United States of 9 November last year, which received world-wide support, the Soviet Union took the initiative of suggesting that the United States and the Soviet Union, as Co-Chairmen of the Geneva Conference, should invite all the parties concerned to resume the work of the Conference with that membership. That step was aimed at developing the main policy which has always been pursued by the Soviet Union in the question of the Middle East settlement. As before, we are in favour of establishing a durable and just peace in that area. We are in favour of achieving genuine progress in that settlement. The aggressor should not be able to rely on any type of bonus as payment for the aggression which it has perpetrated.

55. I trust that the leaders of Israel harbour no hopes in attempting to impose on the Arab countries, the victims of aggression, separate and bilateral agreements as the result of concessions and the partial withdrawal of its troops from the occupied territories, thus trying to make people forget about the legitimate demands of the Arab peoples. The present task, therefore, is properly to prepare and renew the work of the Geneva Peace Conference on the Middle East regarding both those participating in the Conference and also the aims to be served by renewing that work The Soviet Union has a very serious attitude to the question of the resumption of the work of the Conference and is prepared with other interested parties I to make the necessary efforts in order to find a cardinal solution to all those questions which relate directly to establishing a just and lasting peace in the Middle East.

56. The present situation in that area urgently demands that further efforts that will have to be deployed by those who are genuinely concerned that the peoples of the Middle East acquire peace and that tomorrow will not bring them new tragedies and sufferings or require fresh victims of them. The Arab countries—and they have already frequently proved this point—have shown their readiness to reach a settlement on a reasonable and just basis. That position has been greatly valued and supported by the United Nations and its main organs, the General Assembly and the Security Council, and also by the overwhelming majority of Member States. We are entitled to expect that the other party and those that are its disciples, if they are determined to bring about peace and to establish good neighbourly relations with the Arab countries, will show the necessary spirit of realism. The prospects for peace in this region that is so very important for general peace and security will hinge to a large extent on the kind of decision the Security Council takes on the problem of the Middle East. The opportunities of achieving a genuine and durable settlement between Israel and the Arab countries exist. We should not give up those opportunities. We must not pass them by if we all genuinely wish to bring about a just peace settlement in the Middle East.

57. The present situation in the Middle East, as was declared in the recent statement of the Soviet Government of 9 January [S/11928, annex], urgently demands the further intensification of efforts by all those who truly want the peoples of that region to find peace and confidence in the morrow. In fact, history will not forgive us if we do not use the present favourable circumstances in order to solve the very explosive and dangerous conflict in the Middle East which has been going on for so long now.

58. The Soviet Union for its part is prepared to do everything in its power, in the Security Council and elsewhere, to promote the earliest attainment of an over-all political settlement in the Middle East. That is a position held by the Soviet Union as a matter of principle. It was once again expressed in detail and very clearly in the Soviet Government's statement to which I have just referred. I assume that members of the Security Council and all others participating in these meetings of the Council have already had an opportunity to read that statement issued by the Government of the Soviet Union on the Middle East.

59. The PRESIDENT: Before I call on the next speaker, I wish to inform the members of the Council that I have just received a letter from the representative of Saudi Arabia containing a request to be invited, in accordance with rule 37 of the provisional rules of procedure, to participate in the discussion of the item on the agenda. I propose, if I hear no objection, to invite that representative to participate in the discussion in conformity with the usual practice and the relevant provisions of the Charter and the provisional rules of procedure. There being no objection, I invite him to take the place reserved for him at the side of the Council chamber, on the usual understanding that he will be invited to take a place at the Council table whenever he desires to address the Council.

At the invitation of the President, Mr. Baroody (Saudi Arabia) took the place reserved for him at the side of the Council chamber.

60. Mr. RICHARD (United Kingdom): Before turning to the subject on the agenda, might I begin by expressing the condolences of the British Government and the British people to the Government and people of the People's Republic of China upon the death of Premier Chou En-lai. My own Prime Minister said the other day that Chou En-lai was widely respected as one of the principal architects of modern China and as a distinguished international statesman, and that he would be particularly remembered by the British people for his contribution, indeed perhaps his unique contribution, to the development of relations between the United Kingdom and the People's Republic of China. On behalf of my delegation, I would therefore like to express our sympathy with the Government and people of China at this sad time.

61. Might I also thank those members of the Council who have said kind and indeed over-generous things about my period as President of the Council in December. The words were indeed much appreciated.

62. This debate, which is the first that the Security Council has held on the Middle East question as a whole since 1973, offers us a great opportunity, but also it confers on us a great responsibility. We have an opportunity to provide a fresh impetus to the processes of negotiation. At the same time we have the responsibility to ensure that by the actions which we take here we do not imperil the very processes we are trying to help.

63. Of all the major issues which the international community has had to face over the last 30 years, the Middle East question is surely the one in which the United Nations, and the Security Council in Particular, have played the largest part. One has only to recall the contributions made over the years to peace in the area by United Nations peace-keeping forces, particularly the United Nations Emergency Force and the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force at the present time. The actions taken by the Security Council following the wars of June 1967 and October 1973 also had a major effect. And, finally, by the resolutions which it has adopted, and in particular by resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973), the Council expressed the principles upon which a negotiated settlement in the Middle East could be achieved and established the framework within which negotiations towards a settlement could take place. The role which the Council has played in the past, together with the status and the influence which is conferred on it by the Charter, therefore gives us today a special capacity to influence the course of events in the Middle East. However, this makes our responsibility all the greater to ensure that this influence is used positively and helpfully.

64. It also imposes a duty on the parties to the conflict in the area to take part in this search for peace. It is therefore disappointing that not all the parties are represented here today. Though my Government understands the reasons which have led the Israel Government to decide to stay away from this debate, we regret its decision. The Security Council is the most authoritative organ of the United Nations, charged with keeping the peace. Such progress as has been made towards resolving the Middle East question has always been achieved in the context of negotiations authorized by the Council. It cannot be maintained that the Council is not fit place to discuss Middle East issues.

65. But United Nations concern and involvement have not yet brought peace, and this debate is taking place at a difficult and a delicate moment in Middle East affairs. After 27 years of continuing hostility and tension—indeed after four major wars—a solution to the problems of the area remains far off. But we should not, I think, ignore nor seek to minimize the progress that has been made over the last few years. The Disengagement Agreements that have taken place between Israel and Egypt [S/11198], on the one hand, and Israel and Syria [S/113021 Add.1 and 2], on the other, and the additional Disengagement Agreement concluded last September between Egypt and Israel [S/11818 and Add. I-5] are signs of a gradual evolution in the attitudes of all the parties to the dispute. Nor, I think, should we underrate the value of the instruments which have made this evolution possible. But we cannot afford to stop there: much more remains to be done, and to be done soon, if the danger of a new war is not to grow.

66. If there are comparatively few grounds yet for feeling optimistic, we should equally deny the inevitability of catastrophe. In the view of my delegation, therefore, the primary aim of the Security Council now should be to act in such a way as to encourage the renewal of serious negotiations. What is needed is not a new framework but a new atmosphere. If we are to help in this way, however, it means that we must avoid one-sided actions which would make it even more difficult to create that climate of confidence necessary for successful negotiations to take place.

67. The views of the United Kingdom on the considerations which should govern a Middle East settlement are well known. The problem should be resolved by peaceful means, through negotiation and not through war, and a settlement should be based on three main requirements. The first is Israeli withdrawal from occupied territories; the second, respect for and acknowledgement of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every State in the area and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries. Those are the basic principles laid down in Security Council resolution 242 (1967), brought into effect as provided in its resolution 338 (1973). Those two resolutions form the widely accepted foundation for a settlement and my Government will oppose an unilateral attempt to alter them or detract from them. But there is a third requirement, one not expressed in resolution 242 (1967), that the right of the Palestinian people to the expression of their national identity must also be recognized. In the eight years that have passed since that resolution was adopted there has, I think, been a growing recognition of the essential part that Palestinian interests must play in any settlement.

68. As I said in a statement which I made in the debate on Palestine in the General Assembly in 1974, the United Kingdom therefore believes that

"The resolutions I have cited must be supplemented—but not supplanted and not distorted out of shape or recognition—by an acknowledgement that the intergovernmental settlement for which they provide must now be broadened to include a place for the Palestinian people as well."3/

That, surely, is the crux of the whole matter.

69. In any final settlement in the Middle East a way must be found to take account of the political rights of the Palestinian people and to enable them to express their national identity. How the rights of the Palestinian people are to be further defined is, we believe, a matter for negotiation between the parties. But this must be done in a way which is consistent with the right of all States in the area, including Israel, to exist within secure and recognized boundaries. It is these two facts which need to be recognized and reconciled.

70. The important question which therefore faces us now is how best the negotiations for a settlement can be given a new momentum. First, we must seek to check what seems to be a growing rift between the parties. Secondly, we must emphasize that fixed and inflexible attitudes, however justified the parties may feel in adopting them, can only decrease the chances of peaceful progress towards a solution. When problems seem difficult the important thing is surely to seek common ground, not to insist upon positions which are incompatible.

71. My Government understands the frustration—a frustration expressed eloquently by several representatives who have already spoken—which is felt by those whose territory has for so long been under foreign occupation and, in particular, by those who have for nearly 20 years been homeless refugees.

72. But we also believe it cannot be in the interests of any one to ignore realities. Israel exists, and the principle of its existence is supported by the great majority of States Members of the United Nations. Those who do not yet recognize this fact—most of all, those Palestinians who do not do so—must come to recognize it and begin the task of considering how they can live at peace with Israel. This will involve an arrangement which, will almost certainly, give neither side everything it wants—no arrangement can do that— but which will be one which is acceptable to all the parties concerned and can provide a basis on which a lasting peace can be built.

73. But there is need for forbearance on the other side, too: Israel must accept that Palestinian nationalist sentiment will have to be taken into account and, more important, that it will have to do something about it. It is not enough simply to express willingness to find a solution.

74. What then should be our aims today? First, as I have said, our primary aim must be to assist the resumption of negotiations, with the participation in them, as appropriate, of all the parties concerned.

75. Secondly, we should reaffirm the existing resolutions of the Council—in particular, resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973)—which set out the essential principles upon which a settlement in the Middle East must be based and which establish a negotiating framework recognized and accepted by all sides.

76. Thirdly, we must recognize the fundamental importance of the Palestinian problem and take account of the legitimate political rights of the Palestinian people. We believe that if the Council were prepared to follow this course we should in this debate be making a significant contribution to progress towards peace in the Middle East.

77. The Security Council cannot solve these problems: only the countries and the peoples of the area can do that. It is therefore unrealistic to expect more from this debate than we can properly hope to achieve. We can express the principles on which we believe a settlement might be based. We cannot impose that settlement on the parties directly concerned, since a lasting peace will only come from negotiations between those parties. The Security Council is not a mediator in this dispute. It cannot be. The most we can do is to try and bring the parties closer so that, on the basis of the principles we articulate here, they are better able to settle their differences. The basic elements of a solution are already present: Israeli withdrawal, secure borders for all States in the area and some place in this solution for a Palestinian identity. What is now needed is the willingness, the confidence and the resolution by all parties to translate those elements into practice.

78. The PRESIDENT: Before calling on the next speaker, I should like to inform the members of the Council that I have just received a letter from the representative of Kuwait containing a request that he be invited, in accordance with rule 37 of the provisional rules of procedure, to participate in the discussion of the item on the agenda. I propose, if I hear no objection, to invite the representative, in conformity with the usual practice and the relevant provisions of the Charter and the provisional rules of procedure, to participate in the discussion, without the right to vote.

At the invitation of the President, Mr. Bishara (Kuwait) took the place reserved for him at the side of the Council chamber.

79. Mr. BOY A (Benin) (interpretation from French): Mr. President, first of all, may I be allowed to discharge a painful duty by associating the delegation of Benin with the condolences which you have conveyed most eloquently and movingly, on behalf of the members of the Council and of the entire international community, to the delegation of the People's Republic of China on the cruel loss of that illustrious, immortal son of China, Premier Chou En-lai. Through you, I should like to ask the delegation of China to convey 'o the family of the deceased, and to the Government and the people of China, an expression of the sincere, profound sympathy of the Government and people of Benin.

80. Sir, may I join with other members of the Council who have conveyed congratulations to you on your assumption of the presidency of the Council this month, when the Council will be dealing with a number of issues of primary importance for international peace and security througout the world. I wish to thank you for the kind words of welcome you addressed to the new non-permanent members of the Council who are participating in its work for the first time, and through you I should like to thank also all the members of the Council who have bid us welcome and congratulated us on our election, as well as all Member States that worked for that election.

81. My delegation is convinced, Mr. President, that, thanks to your tact, your intelligence, your courtesy and, above all, your experience in the practices of the Organization and of the Security Council, our work will be crowned with success. For our part, we pledge to do our utmost to deserve the trust which the General Assembly has placed in our country by electing it to sit in the Council, which is charged with the task of maintaining international peace and security.

82. Since 26 October 1972, the people of Benin have been fighting to put an end to the political domination and economic exploitation which we have had to endure for more than half a century. The irreversible revolutionary process which we have started and which is effectively developing at the present time is intended to make the people of our country a proud, free and sovereign people, and is designed to create a truly Beninese society in which each and every one may enjoy life. These profound aspirations of the people of Benin are the aspirations of all peoples throughout the world that love peace and justice. That is why our delegation fully understands the real motivations of the heroic struggle that the valiant people of Palestine have been waging for years.

83. The delegation of Benin takes this occasion to bid welcome to the representatives of that courageous people, and is indeed pleased to see the participation in our work of the PLO—participation thanks to which new facts will be presented to the Council which should enable it to move forward on the path of justice and equity that will lead to a settlement of the crisis in the Middle East. It is no longer appropriate to resort to expedients which, since they only serve to create and perpetuate "no-peace, no-war" solutions, are powder kegs whose explosive potential could engulf the region and, perhaps, the entire world. It is now time to act quickly to prevent such an explosive situation, which would have incalculable consequences.

84. The delegation of Benin believes that if the Council wishes to serve a useful purpose, all its members must be guided by the necessary political will to seek a settlement of the crisis. Therefore first, certain errors of the past must be corrected and the profound aspirations of the Palestinian people —namely, to exercise their right to exist as a State and their right to self-determination and independence—must be recognized and accepted. Secondly, Israel must withdraw from all occupied Arab territories, an action that would create conditions conducive to an atmosphere of trust among nations of the area and help to fulfil the profound aspirations of the Palestinian people. Thirdly, the right of all the States of the area to existence and independence within secure boundaries must be recognized and affirmed.

85. The delegation of Benin would not wish to conclude this statement without making a solemn appeal to the major Powers to do their utmost to help the international community to find a just, equitable and durable settlement to the distressing problem of the crisis of the Middle East, the crux of which is the Palestinian question. Peace and international security depend on that. The cause of the Palestinian people is a just one, and that is why the delegation of the People's Republic of Benin is convinced that the future of the people of Palestine can be ensured provided that it persists in its struggle and courageously confronts all obstacles on the path to victory.

86. The PRESIDENT: The next speaker is the representative of Saudi Arabia. In conformity with the understanding I spoke of before the Council yesterday [1872nd meeting], I would now ask the representative of the Palestine Liberation Organization to withdraw temporarily from the Council table in order that his place be taken by the representative of Saudi Arabia. I call on that representative to take that place at the Council table and to make his statement.

87. Mr. BAROODY (Saudi Arabia): Mr. President, allow me to tender my thanks to you and all the other members of the Council for allowing me to address myself to the item under discussion. I am heartened to see Mr. Salim Ahmed Salim presiding over the Council, as he has indeed been conducting our deliberations with poise and dignity, which, incidentally, are reflected in his name. Felicitously, that name means "wholesome, praiseworthy", and again, "whole-some", with the connotation of being true and genuine. It augurs well to have such a gentleman whose name reflects his character, and vice versa, in the Chair. Let us hope that under your guidance. Sir, the Council will act with more harmony than one would expect when it is dealing with such a thorny question as this, which has beset the United Nations for 28 years.

88. I shall not let this occasion pass without mentioning our friend, Mr. Ivor Richard, who presided over the Council last month and as usual demonstrated how singularly skilful and naturally eloquent he is in handling other thorny problems that were brought before it. The loss of the British Parliament in having the United Kingdom appoint him as representative among us is our unmistakable gain.

89. For well-nigh three decades the question of Palestine has embroiled us, and I do hope that we are beginning to see the light of a solution on the horizon. Although the representative of Israel is not physically present in this chamber, I am sure that he is following our proceedings closely. We trust that the moderation which was manifested by the representative of the PLO will make Mr. Herzog and his Government listen to the voice of reason for the sake of all the parties concerned in the Middle East.

90. Let us objectively analyse the fears and mis-givings of the Israeli Government that have driven it to boycott the meetings of the Council on this question. Before doing so, I shall draw on my humble experience of this question, which I have studied since 1922 when I was a youth of 17. We found then that the League of Nations had put the countries of the Fertile Crescent —namely, Palestine, Lebanon, Syria and Iraq—under British and French Mandates. We Arabs thought that, as the late Mr. Woodrow Wilson declared, all colonial peoples should become free. We know that Mr. Wilson returned to the United States a sad man, because the old colonial spirit still prevailed. In so far as our region was concerned, the war was not fought to save the world for democracy; it was fought so that the victors might gain some of the spoils. The European Powers had in mind the partition of the Ottoman Empire. They did so. Czarist Russia was to have Constantinople and the Dardanelles. The revolution saved Turkey from that aim of Czarist Russia—I am speaking of the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917—and put it out of the picture.

91. But France and the United Kingdom sent High Commissioners to the four countries I have mentioned: Palestine, Lebanon, Syria and Iraq—they called those countries Mandated Territories. Article 22 of the Covenant of the League of Nations was very clear: the Mandated Territories were to be prepared for self-determination.

92. In Palestine, the indigenous inhabitants—the people who were not Jews—were considered to constitute between 91 and 93 per cent of the population. Only 7 or 8 per cent of the population were Jews, and mostly Sephardic Jews—our own Jews. There was never any problem between the Arabs and the Jews then. In fact, the Jews were Arabs in culture, in language, in customs, in traditions. Ironically, we discovered that the incursion of the Zionists into our area was actually an extension of the old colonialism.

93. Did the French and British prepare the foregoing countries for self-rule? Had it not been for the Second World War, we would still be grappling with those two Mandatory Powers. Of course, we decry what Hitler did, but had it not been for the struggle between the so-called Allies and the Central European Powers —that is, Germany and Austria—the foregoing Territories would still be under the foreign yoke. Why do I refer to all that, when it has been repeated time and again? To remind everyone that the Zionists, or the Israelis—whatever you want to call them—use religion for political and economic ends. No one can be fooled about that.

94. Where were the principles of Woodrow Wilson? They were cast by the wayside. One of Clemenceau's friends told me in that great country France—and I mean great in liberty, because, of course, colonialism served certain cliques in every European country—that Clemenceau had taken Wilson by the tie and told him, "Go back where you came from. We fought the war"—as if the Americans had not been there—"and we will do what we want". And they remapped Europe to their liking. They placed part of the Middle East under a colonial suzerainty, which they called Mandates. They did not fool anyone. We were young, but we were not fooled.

95. There was no Hitler at that time. In 1922 the British had a problem on their hands. Many Zionists were rallying to the call of the late Theodor Herzl and wanted to come to Palestine.

96. In 1925 I made a trip to Palestine. I was 20 years old. For the third or fourth time I remonstrated with the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem. As a pan-Arab I said to him, "Let these people come if they want to. They will trade here. Let them stay". I did not realize at that early stage that a religion, Judaism, was to be used for political and economic ends. I thought that those Jews were imbued with a noble religious sentiment. I thought that because Judaism had flourished in that area they wanted to come and settle there. I did not see anything wrong in that. But I was naive. The Grano Mufti of Jerusalem was not naive. He was a Palestinian. He was a notable. He understood the designs of the Zionists. He said to me, "They want a country and a flag. We shall have to make our exit sooner or later because we cannot agree to live under Europeans, whether they be Jews or Gentiles". And here is the point: "whether they be Jews or Gentiles". It was not a question of religion.

97. Those were the days of Zaghlul Pasha of Egypt, of the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem. Those were the days of the Syrian, Iraqi and Lebanese leaders who were fighting the incursion of Europe in our midst.

98. The First World War was not fought to save the world for democracy. We have to take that back-ground into account; we have to repeat this time and again. The British had the problem of moderating between the new Jewish immigrants and the indigenous people of Palestine. Need I tell the Council again that in the framework of that moderating process the United Kingdom sent two or three Royal Commissions to ascertain what could be done? That did not sit well with the Zionists. They hanged British Tommies from trees—and probably olive trees, the symbol of peace, because there are not many pine trees in that region. They destroyed the King David Hotel—it was not Arabs, or Palestinians who were Arabized, who did that. They killed Lord Moyne. They killed Bernadotte. And they call the Arabs "terrorists". The Arabs learned terrorism from them.

99, Years ago I used to say to my Palestinian friends, "Do not resort to the same methods. It is inhuman to kill people who may be innocent". But can anyone blame the Palestinian Arabs? They decided that the Zionists had succeeded by using terrorism. These were not the Palestinians of today, who have gone to European universities and can analyse the situation. They thought that the Zionists had won because of the use of terrorism. But the Zionists won because the major Powers were behind them. That is why they "on, not because of terrorism.

100. What can one do if one's rights are being trodden under foot? One has to resort to rebellion. What is the alternative? Did the League of Nations mete out justice? I was an ex-offcio observer at the League of Nations. Did the League of Nations do anything for—may God rest his soul—Haile Selassie? I saw him in England in 1936 or 1937. Mr. Chamberlain sent his brother Austen to Rome to tell Mussolini that he would have a green light in Ethiopia if he did not align himself with Hitler. Who told me that? Dame Sylvia Pankhurst. I am not inventing this. It is in books now. The scholar A. J. P. Taylor has written about this. I am not imagining it.

101. Palestine became a victim of colonialism, a new colonialism. In place of the British or the French it got Central and Eastern Europeans—forget about the fact that they were Jews. It got these Khazars, whose forebears had never even seen Palestine. They came from the northern part of Asia by way of the Caspian; they outskirted the Caspian and in the first century A. D. settled in what is today southern Russia.

102. Time and again I must recall this fact to our Israeli colleague. I must repeat it again, for it bears repetition when none other than Mr. Eban in the Security Council as well as in the General Assembly says, "God gave us Palestine". Then I researched this question of the indigenous people of Palestine and I found out that many of the Palestinians had been Jews; they came to be Christians during the Byzantine Empire. Incidentally, the Zionists were not the first to use religion as a motivation for a political and economic goal; so did the Byzantines. They were Greeks.

103. So those Palestinians who became Christians, some of whom were pagan Canaanites and Amorites or Jews, wanted to get rid of the yoke of Byzantium, which again had used another noble monotheistic religion as a motivation for a political and economic end, and when Islam came on the scene many of those Jews living then in Palestine, and who had become Christians, embraced Islam. So look at the irony. Those pagan tribes which, as I said, came from the northern part and settled in the first century A. D., were converted to Judaism in the eighth century A. D. because of the detente—here again we have the word "detente"—between Islam and Christianity in the eighth century. Have I to repeat this time and again?

104. Our friend, your friend,—if he sees reason, let us call him our friend too—Abba Eban, says, "God gave us Palestine". I retorted from the podium of the United Nations. "Since when was God in the real-estate business?" You British and you French: show us since when you had the power of attorney from God. Did you have any wireless contact with God? God, the frightful concept of God, was used by graduates of Oxford and Cambridge. And then they believed. They studied Darwin and evolution. The rib of Adam became our great-great-great-great grandmother Eve. and that eloquent serpent, they also believed in it. That eloquent serpent went to Eve and said "Eat of that apple". I told our friend from the United States one day: "Why are you adhering to that fundamentalism? There are so many luscious apples in the United States. Eat them here." It is all fiction.

105. The) colonized Palestine. They are colonizing it. Well, all right, we said. These people had suffered a great deal— I mean the European Jews—and they were human beings. There is nothing wrong with a European being a Jew, a Gentile, an atheist, or what have you. Let them have a State. I was present at Lake Success when, under pressure, Palestine was partitioned. And even then the non-Jewish Palestinians—forget that they were Arabs—constituted two thirds, or 60 per cent, of the population. The war was fought for what? For the Four Freedoms, for liberty and freedom and self-determination.

106. This is the situation. Now, why should the Israelis have misgivings'? Because they thrive on tension. Should there be no tension, they could not get aid from our friend, the United States. I do not know how many billions they have given them—20 billion? I do not know how many billions the United States has given them. Twenty billion, this is how they survived. And philanthropic Jews, on whose sentiments they played, contributed maybe 20 billion— and tax-free, incidentally. Most of that money came from United States rich Jews. The Zionists do not wish the American people to know about that. Forty billion dollars given. Well, that is their business. We do not want to interfere in the affairs of the United States, but why should the United States, and before it the United Kingdom, for that matter—the United Kingdom at a distance of 3,000 miles and the United States at 7,000 miles—interfere in our affairs? Is it a question of the balance of power and spheres of influence? If the Western Powers consider the Middle East a western sphere of influence, well, all right, we would not mind. And here emerges a new Power on the horizon. Czarist Russia disappeared, and a great Power, the Soviet Union, appeared. And if one considers that the Soviet Union is not even a few hundred miles from Palestine, why should not the Soviet Union also consider that, if there is a policy of spheres of influence, somebody might perhaps conspire against it and hurt it.

107. Well, there was a sort of confrontation. But since Mr. Khrushchev came on the scene we no longer have the "cold war" and he established the foundation of detente. We are not so simple as not to know that. I hope that they will not clash, the Soviet Union and the United States, because this might mean a world war. But mind you, through miscalculation—after all, leaders are human—there might be a great world war, and because the Zionists want to have their own way, they would say: "Accept a fait accompli. We are there. We suffered a great deal". The Europeans have a sense of guilt; at least they seem to have developed one. But why not allocate European land and let the Zionists have their State? Why should it be at the expense of another people? Europeans, forget that they are Jews. We established the fact that they are Europeans and that they are colonialists. Why? Because the Jews permeated all Western society and have become very powerful— bankers, traders. They clothe the United States. Go to Seventh Avenue. More power to them. We like them to prosper, but not at our expense.

108. What have we Arabs done, not just the Palestinians, to our friends, the Americans—and I mean "friends"—and to the United Kingdom that they should interfere in our affairs and play power politics not with wooden pieces on a chequer-board but with the destiny of a people? What have we done? To whom did we give our oil concessions? To the Soviet Union? We gave them to American and to British companies. To whom did we open up our gates of trade? The Soviet Union was developing industrially. They were not at that time in a position to export after the World War. We are always reminded by Mr. Malik that they lost 60 million people. So they were in no position to sell, although now I believe that there are some Soviet goods being sold in the Middle East. Why not?

109. What have we done to our good friends, the Americans and the British? The illustrious General de Gaulle found that it was not fair that this question should trail on. And what did the Zionists do? They began for that to curse the man who revived the spirit of France, that great nation.

110. Anybody who is not with them is against them, even though justice may not be on their side. Therefore the Zionists thrive on tension. If there is no tension, the United States will not send them money and other Jews will not send them money, and they will become insolvent. They have devalued their pound several times within two years. They are not a viable State unless they trade with their neighbours. Therefore we come to the conclusion that they do not want only a political peace; they want an economic peace. If they see reason and admit the fact that the Palestinians have a national right to self-determination, perhaps one day we will trade with them. Why not! They are Europeans. We will forget that they are Jews. But they have a fear here, and I must tell them this: that we cannot have any control over this fear.

111. Supposing they agree tomorrow to a Palestinian State in juxtaposition to theirs, whether it be Gaza or the West Bank or even a binational State, whatever it is, although they may perhaps want to preserve their integrity, subconsciously they know that sooner or later—because there are scholars amongst them—they will be assimilated, and then the Jewish identity or Zionist identity will be lost. But why blame us? We want them to preserve their identity, but we know from history that Alexander the Great, the Byzantines, the Crusaders, all those who came to that area, were assimilated, not by design but by the force of the Semitic culture of the land, by language, by customs, by tradition. This is the fear of the Zionists, that they will be assimilated, but what is the alternative? If they maintain that tension, what is the alternative? The alternative might be endangering world peace, because the tenacity of the people of the area is proverbial. As I said, it is assimilatory. It assimilates. You know those Africans called Algerians. They are not from the peninsula. Most of them were Berbers from Europe. The Arabs did not have what you may call a proselytizing process. They became Arabs. There are forces in Arabism over which we have no control. It spreads as in Islam. We never had missionaries in Islam. The Chinese can tell me. They have Moslem Chinese too. They went there as traders, the Arabs from Hadhramaut, and some Chinese liked the way of life of some of those Moslem traders and became Moslems. We did not have missionaries to proselytize like the Christians, whether Catholic or Protestant. I am telling you now that these are historical facts.

112. The same is true of ideology. Although propaganda was tried during the days of the Cominform, many became Communists irrespective of Russia, because they thought communism might be a good ideology. We never proselytized anybody. Those Zionists are afraid that they will be assimilated, and then there will be no Israel, but is it our fault? I will tell our Palestinian brothers and sons. They are a peaceful people. If they so restored to terrorism, what did the Zionists do? What did the Haganah do? What did the Zuai Leumi do? I have mentioned some of their atrocities: Deir Yassin, the King David Hotel. Shall I repeat them by rote? They used terrorism. Everybody who is frustrated uses terrorism. Do you know why men beat their wives? They get frustrated. Nowadays the wives are beating the men—and then they make up. Frustration drives people to madness. At one time under Anglo-Saxon or European law it was not a crime to beat one's wife, although in our part of the world anyone who beat another person would be called an outcast.

113. Here is the question. How can we bring those Israelis to reform? We cannot tell them we will not assimilate them, because we do not want to assimilate them. In the Arab world we do not have any system, any creed, missionary or otherwise. This is the subconscious fear of the Zionists, but are we to blame also for their fear? Now, what is the alternative? Suppose there is always tension and no peace. Can the world afford such a status quo—or relative status quo, because there is no such thing as a fixed status quo—or such a situation? I declare that we cannot afford it. Forget that I am an Arab. We cannot afford it, whether we are Arabs, Africans, Europeans or Asians or whatever ethnic or cultural origin we may have. Therefore I am now addressing the Israeli Government in absentia. These people manifested and demonstrated—this gentleman is one of them— that they are willing to live in peace. It may be said, "No, you are terrorists". Let them wash their mouths before they call other people terrorists. Those who started terrorism are the tyrants, according to a Verse in the Holy Koran.

114. This is the situation. Baroody does not beat about the bush. I am talking here as a humble student of the situation. We do not hate the Jews. I do not hate my enemies. Why should I hate them? They are guests in this world. We are all guests. We are here today; tomorrow we are gone. Had it not been that we were prone to have such a belief and philosophy, we should not have produced prophets or have had to guide us prophets who preached. Micah, the so-called Jewish prophet said "Do justly, love mercy, walk humbly with thy God." We should not have produced Jesus, the son of Mary. When he was asked, "What is God?", he said, "God is love." We should not have produced the prophet Mohammed, who started the Koran, not with the epithet of God the great, the supreme, the sublime, but: "In the name of God the merciful and compassionate."

115. Then here come the Khazars and they want to revive colonialism among us—"Khazars" meaning those Zionists from Europe. How do you like that? This is passe. It cannot go on. Arafat said from the podium: "We want peace—we will offer them the olive branch." It may be said that he had a gun also. I do not know whether he had the gun then or his people had a symbolic gun. Suppose I offer someone the olive branch and, figuratively speaking, he cuts my hand; at least I will have something to defend myself with in the other hand. No, those Zionists rationalize everything, and I feel terribly sorry for them.

116. I was hoping that my good friend Mr. Moynihan would speak, but he has put his alternate in his seat. I do not know whether my voice irritates his eardrums or whether he is busy elsewhere. But I shall have occasion to speak again after I have listened to him. I hope that he will say something that will lead to the establishment of peace. After all, the key to this problem, my dear representative of the United States, is in your hands. We all know very well that this is an election year, but what is an election? A President comes and a President goes, a President is confirmed or he is not confirmed. That is your problem as well as ours. You want peace, we want peace and those people want peace. I shall have occasion to speak again after our friend Mr. Moynihan has spoken and I hope he will be as moderate as we expect him to be—I mean his Government, of course. We all love the United States. Who does not love the people of the United States? We do not love the CIA, of course, but the CIA is not the United States; nor is the KGB the Soviet Union. We do not want war by proxy. Let us open our hearts.

117. Incidentally, before I conclude I want to say that 10 years ago a rather mischievous correspondent—he must have been an outside correspondent, the correspondents here are good—said to me, "Would you not be happy if you saw Abba Eban molested or beaten on First Avenue?" I said, "What?" He said, "He is your enemy". I said. "Yes, in politics, but as a human being he is like me. I would go and snatch him away and save him if I could. He said, "What?" I said to him, "You are a barbarian. Did we not reprieve Richard the Lionhearted? We could have cut his head off." I said, "We are not like you, like what you did in Europe or in the Tokyo tribunals." He shut up. They surrendered to them and then they were hanged. Have you ever heard of anything more lacking in chivalry? We are not like that. We want to assure the Israelis that they have nothing to fear once peace is established. The people, including our Jews, are magnanimous and chivalrous. I said to the Europeans, "You are still children, since, had it not been for the Renaissance in Italy, you would still be barbarians. And you, the United States, with all due respect we love you, you are great in technology and in industry, but in culture you are babies—some 200 years, 1776".

118. We have had our heyday. We had empires which fell, and rightly so, because we got drunk with power. We had three Arab empires which fell, and rightly so. But we have a legacy of magninimity and of chivalry. If he were here, I would tell Mr. Herzog and his Government not to be afraid. Those Palestinians are their brothers in humanity. We want peace and I am sure that the people—leave aside the Government—of Israel want peace. The people of the Soviet Union, who are maligned day in and day out by the Zionists want peace. The people of the United States want peace. It is those darned politicians who do not want peace, not maliciously so, but because they are still following an antiquated system. If there is no new approach to international affairs, the human species will become extinct.

119. Mr. President, I have promised you that there will be another occasion on which I shall speak, especially after my good friend Mr. Moynihan has spoken. If he goes off at a tangent, in my view, I shall address him in an amicable way, not using any epithets or obscene terms. We shall talk together and reason with him, noting that the United States has the key to solving the problem. Do not underestimate the Soviet Union either. They can also push the door once the key to peace is in it. Would you not do that, Mr. Malik, if the United States opens the door for peace? I am sure the Soviet Union would push the door ajar and we would have concord and harmony between the great Powers, and peace would also reign between Jew and Gentile in the land of Palestine, regardless of the ethnic origin of those who are now at war.

The meeting rose at 1.20 p.m.


Notes

1/ See General Assembly resolution 181 (II).

2/ A/10217, para. 54.

3/ See Official Records of the General Assembly. Twenty-ninth Session, Plenary Meetings, 2292nd meeting.



Follow UNISPAL RSS Twitter