Question of Palestine home
26 July 1980
Seventh emergency special session
PROVISIONAL VERBATIM RECORD OF THE TWELFTH MEETING
Held at Headquarters, New York,
on Tuesday, 24 July 1980, at 3.30 p.m.
Mr. SALIM (United Republic of Tanzania)
Mr. A.M. ADAN (Somalia)
- Question of Palestine [
The meeting was called to order at 3.50 p.m.
AGENDA ITEM 5 (
QUESTION OF PALESTINE
: Before calling on the first speaker, I should like to bring to the attention of the General Assembly document A/ES-7/9, which contains a request that the Permanent Observer of the League of Arab States be given an opportunity to address the Assembly in the course of the debate on the question before us.
May I consider that, taking into account resolution 477 (V) of 1 November 1950, by which the General Assembly granted observer status to the League of Arab States, the Assembly accedes to that request?
It was so decided
: Accordingly, at the appropriate moment I shall invite the Permanent Observer of the League of Arab States to address the Assembly.
(BURUNDI ) (interpretation from French): Mr. President, the delegation of Burundi would like to take this opportunity to renew its expression of confidence in you and to pay a tribute to you not only for the outstanding work that you have done during the two last sessions of the General Assembly but also for the invaluable services that you have already rendered to the international community. We are confident that under your enlightened guidance, the present deliberations will be crowned with success.
The flagrant violation of and continuing disdain for the fundamental rights of the Palestinian people, the refusal of Israel to comply with the resolutions of the General Assembly and the Security Council on the question of Palestine, the blocking immobilism and paralysis of the Security Council, and the deepening tragedy of the Palestinian people are the reasons for the convening of this emergency special session devoted to the question of Palestine.
For more than three decades the United Nations has been considering the question of Palestine. An impressive number of resolutions have been adopted by the Organization. And still the scattered,exiled and persecuted people of Palestine remain excluded from their homeland, Palestine. That, then, is the meaning and what are the implications of this emergency session?
Some have already stated arrogantly that nothing positive can emerge from these deliberations and that the resolution to be adopted by the General Assembly will serve only to fill the shelves of the United Nations library, thus meeting the same fate as its predecessors. Such an attitude shows once again their disregard for our Organization and tends to underestimate the historical role played by our Organization in what might be termed the drama of the Palestinian people.
In view of its historical role in the thorny problem which is of concern to all mankind, the United Nations must face up to its obligations until the Palestinian people can fully exercise its inalienable rights. Otherwise the Organization will be unable to fulfil the objectives of the Charter and will thus have created the conditions for its own demise. The partition of Palestine has had two consequences: the implantation of Israel in Palestine and the despoiling and exile of the Palestinian Arab people.
My Government finds totally unacceptable the theory behind the partition of Palestine, which gave birth to two States, Israel and Jordan. Our Organization must, therefore, continue to bear full responsibility with regard, to the people of Palestine, which some would see reduced to wandering.
Hence, the General Assembly cannot shirk its historical responsibilities. On the contrary, it must take the energetic and effective measures required by the present situation. Failure to assume its responsibility would have deleterious effects for international peace and security in the Middle East and throughout the world and it would constitute a betrayal of the Palestinian people, as well as further undermining the credibility of the Organization and destroying its very foundations.
In other words, the survival of our Organization is linked to a just solution of the Palestine question.
Indeed, there can be no doubt that the question of Palestine is at the very core of the problem of the Middle East. This indivisible link has been created by history and no one is in a position to break it. It follows that no solution would be viable, let alone acceptable, unless it met the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people. Precisely because the Palestinian problem has not yet been resolved, the middle East remains the scene of violence, hatred and war. It is a centre for sales of an experiments in sophisticated armaments and horrific instruments of destruction.
Given the tension and insecurity in the region, attributable to the fact that the international community has not yet resolved the question of Palestine, nuclear programmes are currently under way in the area. Hence the dangers of the proliferation of nuclear armaments and the use of those instruments of mass destruction have today increased. Who, then, will be in a position to warm mankind of a third world war?
The strategic and wealthy region of the Middle East will never be able to experience true co-operation with the western world so long as the Arab people of Palestine is deprived of its homeland and of its inalienable rights.
No doubt some do not believe in the sacred link of the Arab people of Palestine with the other Arab peoples. They base their judgment on certain problems encountered by the Palestinians in one or another Arab country. It seems to me that that analysis is somewhat superficial, in that it is based specifically on certain, quite regrettable incidents – incidents of chance, which could as well have befallen the most closely- knit people and nation or the most united family. The ties that bind the Palestinian Arab people to other Arab peoples are strong and indissoluble because they are based on the same blood, the same religion, the same culture and the common struggle.
That solidarity will surely be strengthened in the future because of Israeli intransigence, because of the awakening of the conscience of progressive and democratic forces regarding the fate of the Palestinian people and because of the growing influence of Islam in the world. Hence we should take the problem of the Palestinian people more seriously, because it concerns not only the States of the Middle East but also all States Members of our Organization and all mankind.
In my delegation’s view, it is high time our Organization went beyond the stage of sympathy or compassion for the Palestinian people and committed itself to active solidarity with it by taking effective decisions. States Members have already made great strides on the path to such solidarity and should be courageous enough to face and overcome all obstacles so that the Palestinian cause may eventually triumph.
In its resolution 194 (III) the General Assembly recognized the natural and inalienable right of the Palestinians to return to their homes. This right has been recognized unanimously by the Security Council in its resolution 237 (1967).
The United Nations has repeatedly recognized the Palestinian people’s inherent right to self-determination, independence and national sovereignty in the land of Palestine. In so doing, the Organization has come out in favour of Israel’s withdrawal from the territories occupied in violation of the Palestine Partition resolution and from all the territories it has expropriated following the various Israeli-Arab wars.
By its adoption of those resolutions the United Nations has rejected the erroneous claim that the question of Palestine is only a refugee problem. Indeed, one would be disregarding history and conspiring against the identity of the Palestinian people if the Palestinians were to be reduced to the status of refugees or to be labelled as terrorists for the unavowed purpose of continued usurpation of their homeland and the prevention of any settlement in the Middle East. After all, it is that people which made Palestine a cradle of cultures and civilizations and which contributed, through its poets, its experts and its scholars, to would civilization.
It is this awareness of human solidarity and this political maturity which prompted the legitimate representative of the Palestinian people to declare that it is not opposed to coexistence with the Jews in a democratic State in Palestine.
It is this belief in the solidarity of peoples which impelled Yasser Arafat, Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), to appeal to the American people from this rostrum on 13 November 1974, as follows:
I cannot now forgo this opportunity to appeal from this rostrum directly to the American people, asking it to give its support to our heroic and fighting people. I ask it wholeheartedly to endorse right and justice, to recall George Washington to mind, heroic Washington whose purpose was his nation's freedom and independence, Abraham Lincoln, champion of the destitute and wretched, and also Woodrow Wilson whose doctrine of Fourteen Points remains subscribed to and venerated by our people, (A/PV.2282, p. 17)
Given this fact of the identity of the Palestinian people, it is noteworthy that Security Council resolution 242 (1967) is incomplete because it wrongly characterizes the tragedy of the Palestinian people as a refugee problem. Hence it is absolutely necessary to review and complete that resolution.
As regards negotiations aimed at reaching agreement on the Palestinian problem, my delegation feels that all parties should comply with General Assembly resolution 33/28 A, of 7 December 1978, which stipulates that:
“the validity of agreements purporting to solve the problem of Palestine requires that they be within the framework of the United Nations and its Charter and its resolutions on the basis of the full attainment and exercise of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, including the right of return and the right to national independence and sovereignty in Palestine, and with the participation of the Palestine Liberation Organization”.
Thus the PLO is considered by the General Assembly as an interlocutor on the same footing of equality as the other parties involved. My Government supports that resolution, for it considers the PLO the legitimate representative of the Palestinian people, engaged in the struggle for its dignity and freedom. This struggle of the Palestinian people is described by some as a series of terrorist operations, and the Palestine Liberation Organization, the sole representative of the Palestinian people, as a band of terrorists. These are the slogans of those who are forcibly occupying Arab Palestine and Jerusalem, who have been confiscating and expropriating property in the occupied Arab territories, establishing settlements in those territories, continually violating United Nations resolutions and showing callous disregard for the Universal Declaration of human Rights.
Can the Palestinian people be expected to resist the policy of extermination to which it has been subjected by simply raising the olive branch? What people in the world can undergo, without reacting, bombardments of its refugee camps, its schools, its fields and its hospitals? The Palestinian people, which is fighting and suffering, and which rejects colonization and conquest, cannot abusively be called, through the PLO, a band of terrorists.
Coming as we do, from a continent which continues to pay in blood for its liberation, we can well understand and appreciate the legitimate struggle of the Palestinian people. Like its brothers in Africa, Asia and Latin America, the Palestinian people has never resorted to violence as an end in itself: violence has always been imposed on it. That is why its heroic resistance and its determination to free itself from the colonizer and occupier earn it the admiration and support of the international community.
The mobilization of the Palestinian people has been carried out only thanks to its vanguard movement, the PLO, whose legitimacy has been acknowledged not only by the Palestinian intellectuals but by the masses, the Arab nation, the Islamic Conference, the Organization of African Unity, the Non-Aligned Movement and its crowning glory - by the United Nations.
In such circumstances, how can one dare to claim that the PLO is a terrorist organization? What are we to think, then, of the Governments that have welcomed liaison offices of that Organization? What are we to think of the countries' of the European Economic Community, which have taken the initiative and adopted a new approach to settlement of the Palestine question by advocating the participation of the PLO in any negotiation pertaining to that problem? Or what are we to think of the Non-Aligned Movement, the Arab League and other international bodies, which have conferred upon the PLO the status of full-fledged member? And, finally, what are we to think of the United Nations - to which we belong -which has taken the decision of welcoming the PLO as an observer?
Those who share such an opinion should have the courage to answer these questions and to be consistent.
As far as we are concerned, we think that no country, however powerful it may be, can impose on the Palestinian people its future or its government. It is up to the Palestinian people alone to choose their form of government. The responsibility of the United Nations is, in fact, that of helping it to achieve its aspirations. To this end, the General Assembly has already adopted many resolutions ordering Israel to evacuate the Arab and Palestinian territories it occupied by force, including Jerusalem. Unfortunately, Israel, assured of the veto of one permanent member of the Security Council, refuses to apply those resolutions.
In these circumstances, the General Assembly has no other choice than to make up for the obvious inabilities of the Security Council.
As Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Eights of the Palestinian People, I believe that the General Assembly is perfectly justified in resorting to coercive measures against Israel, as provided in the Charter and in resolution 377 (V).
That resolution, entitled "Uniting for peace" has already been used in the case of Korea, during the Arab-Israeli war of 1956 and in other similar cases where a negative vote had been cast by a permanent member of the Security Council.
We are nevertheless willing to hope that the Security Council will be able to overcome its contradictions and fully shoulder its responsibilities in this case, where it has already taken note of the existence of a threat to peace in its resolution 54 (1948), adopted following the first hostilities between Israel and the Arab countries.
Furthermore, we should like to clarify that these collective measures that the General Assembly is called upon to take, if necessary, have but one objective, that is, the creation of conditions of peace and security that are likely to guarantee the existence of all States and peoples in the region. The goal of our Organization is therefore not the elimination of Israel, as some are accustomed to asserting.
It is in this spirit that the delegation of Burundi appeals to all the parties concerned to show greater maturity and sense of responsibility. No one has the right to sacrifice an entire people for the material and strategic reasons at a time when the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is of crucial importance for peoples the world over.
We should like to reiterate that we condemn anti-semitism and racism' from whatever quarter they may cope, just as we condemn the senseless policy aimed at exterminating' the Palestinian people.
Finally, my delegation expresses the most ardent wish for the victory of the Palestinian people, for the establishment of an independent and sovereign State where Arab and Semitic inhabitants will live in harmony and in symbiosis for the greater well-being of all peoples of the region and for the welfare of all mankind.
Mr. vanden HEUVEL (United States of America) : Mr. President, I should like to begin by expressing the appreciation and admiration of my Government for your exemplary stewardship of this unique and important office, the presidency of the General Assembly. Your wisdom, common sense, impartiality and infinite capacity for hard work have won the respect of all of us.
The procedure under which this special session of the General Assembly has been called was set up by the resolution known as “Uniting for Peace”. There is surely no issue on which the international community stands more in need of unifying for peace than the conflict in the Middle East.
Today, the need for peace is greater than ever and the quest more urgent. The confrontation that has continued for more than 30 years has hampered the efforts of every nation in the Middle East to achieve the stability and prosperity that their peoples need and desire. It has caused profound dislocation for many of those people and has caused them to live their daily lives under enormous stress.
it continues to cause untold human suffering in terms of lives lost, families bereaved, grievous wounds inflicted, and it has made each day a time of fear and tension for Arab and Israeli alike.
The international community is gathered here today once more to consider this tragic conflict. 'Mr Government would like nothing better than to see this body make a genuine contribution towards building a lasting peace. But the record of the past does not provide encouragement. Innumerable resolutions have been passed, but we are no closer to peace as a result of them. The reason is simple and apparent to all: resolutions that do not take into account the legitimate rights and concerns of both sides will not be accepted by both sides and therefore cannot be the basis for negotiations and without negotiations we cannot move forward towards peace.
We do not pretend that the course of negotiations opened up by Camp David is more than a start. There is a long way to go before a just and lasting peace is assured. But we do believe that a major step has been taken, and no country should begrudge or attack a result that moves the world closer to peace. What better alternative to the negotiating process of Camp David do those who oppose it suggest? Neither the endless sessions of the Security Council nor the deliberations of this Assembly on the problems of the Middle East have produced an answer to that question.
The proposals circulated by the proponents of this emergency special session of the General Assembly do not offer a realistic alternative. They are totally one sided and as such totally unrealistic. They are not founded on the one agreed basis on which a settlement in the Middle East could be constructed - resolution 242 (1967).
They make no attempt to understand, much less accept, Israel's concern for its security. Nor do they make any attempt to understand, much less reflect, a realistic procedure for moving towards peace through concrete agreements. When was a negotiation for peace ever achieved or encouraged by an intervention so careless of the real concerns of the parties involved?
Nor can this tragic conflict be resolved by one-sided rhetoric of the sort that characterizes the proposals which have been advanced. There are two sides to the Arab-Israeli conflict, and each has legitimate interests, aspirations and concerns. Any nation that wants to contribute to bringing peace to the Middle East must understand those interests, aspirations and concerns. To urge the interests of only one side does a disservice to the peoples who have suffered most from the conflict and who yearn most for a change in the
The United States has considered the provisions of the draft resolution being discussed, as it has all others on the complicated problems of the Middle East, on its merits. We shall continue to ask, as a minimum, of any resolution on which we must vote whether it will help or hinder the process of negotiating a just, lasting and comprehensive peace settlement within the framework of Security Council resolution 242 (1967).
Today it is possible to say that, as a result of the negotiations launched at Camp David, an important start has been made towards the objective which all of us share: the achievement of a just, lasting, comprehensive peace in the Middle East. For the first time in more than 30 years, two major warring Powers of the region, Egypt and Israel, are at peace, with a commitment to continue their efforts to achieve a comprehensive peace.
For the first time also in 30 years, the Palestinian question is inscribed on the agenda of a continuing negotiation in which important elements of the Palestinian question related to the West Bank and Gaza are being addressed concretely and in ways that can produce specific, tangible benefits for the Palestinians.
My Government intends to persevere in the effort to make progress in the negotiations. As we do so we are guided by a number of principles with respect to the Palestinian question, and I welcome the opportunity to restate those principles:
The search for peace must be based on the principles of Security Council resolution 242 (1967), which is the only internationally accepted foundation for a resolution of the Middle East conflict.
The United States is committed to help the parties to the conflict achieve a just, lasting and comprehensive peace settlement. We will not be satisfied with partial solutions; as the Camp David framework acknowledges, a real peace will not come to the area until all aspects of the conflict are resolved.
Peace cannot be imposed on the parties. A lasting peace can only come through negotiations among the parties in which detailed accommodation on the complex issues is worked out. There can be no short cut to this requirement. On the other hand, history has amply demonstrated the power of the negotiating procedure. Faced with real and practical choices, negotiating parties have changed their perspectives on issues in a manner that has made agreement possible.
We have made it clear that any concerned party may participate in the search for peace if it accepts Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973), including the recognition of Israel's right to exist within secure and recognized borders.
We recognize that no peace will be just or lasting unless the independence and territorial integrity of all the States in the Middle East, including Israel, is explicitly acknowledged by all the parties to the conflict. Let me repeat the phrase, "including Israel"; there cannot be peace and there will not be a negotiated settlement that brings an end to this conflict unless all parties recognize that one of the significant elements is the recognition of Israel's right to exist and to exist with assurances of its security in the context of the military, terrorist, economic and political assaults that threaten it.
We recognize as another fundamental principle that peace will not be comprehensive unless the Palestinian problem is resolved in all its aspects. The Camp David framework recognizes that there are dimensions to the Palestinian question beyond the refugee problem that must be addressed. We believe that the Palestinian people should have the opportunity to secure for themselves and their future generations, through negotiations, the right to live in dignity and freedom, the right to economic, social and cultural fulfillment and the right to responsible political expression. The Camp David framework establishes a course of negotiations envisaging Palestinian participation to achieve these rights in the context of arrangements that will at the same time ensure Israel's security and fulfill Israel's own deep desire for peace with its neighbours.
Next, it is a self-evident historical truth that the political rights of any people can only be given expression in the context of the maintenance of the rights of neighbouring peoples. Surely no one would deny the Palestinians their fundamental human rights. Surely also, no one would deny that the unique conditions that govern the Arab-Israeli problem - the tightly-confined geography, the legacy of suspicions, emotions and unresolved issues resulting from 30 years and more of conflict - make the working out of these rights in practical and real ways exceptionally complicated. Yet we are convinced that they can be worked out through the negotiating process, if the two sides bring determination, patience and good will to the task.
We further believe that the Palestinian people must be able to participate through negotiations in the determination of their future. As Secretary Vance said in his remarks in May 1979 at the opening of the autonomy negotiations, the United States believes deeply in the principle that "Governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed".
We also recognize that the full spectrum of issues involved in the Palestinian problem is far too complex to be resolved all at once, but that the problem should be resolved in all its aspects. The only realistic approach to such a constellation of issues is to establish a transitional period during which the decisions that need to be made can be dealt with in a measured and logical way.
And, finally, we know that all parties in the conflict must renounce the use of force and violence against each other if peace is to be assured.
We believe these principles are the essential underpinnings of a successful negotiation. We call on all other Members of the Assembly to work responsibly with us and with the parties to expand on these principles in a manner which retains the parties' confidence in and adherence to them.
The United States is not merely committed to the objective of peace, but is determined to work towards it in concrete and realistic ways. In that process, we seek a resolution of all aspects of the Palestinian question; a peace that will make refugee camps and violence of all kinds no more than a gruesome memory; a peace that will make it unnecessary for the Palestinian question to be inscribed on the agenda of the General Assembly as it has been annually since the founding of this Organization; a peace that will assure the security of Israel and of all its neighbours.
That peace will not come without efforts by men of good will and of courage on all sides. The participation of the Palestinian people, as well as other Arabs, and of Israel, is an essential prerequisite to full success. My Government is committed to this effort. This is the route we have chosen and which we will follow. We cannot and will not abandon it for the declarations that offer only the illusion of progress but which contribute nothing towards achieving the just and lasting peace to which the peoples of the Middle East and the world aspire.
The United States calls on those who would foster peace, as a sign of good will, not to indulge in inflammatory rhetoric without even a pretence of a balanced approach.
We call on those who would foster peace to refrain from prejudging the results of negotiations between the parties and to do everything possible to encourage the achievement of meaningful results.
We call on those who would foster peace to take no steps that would undermine, or be perceived as undermining, the prospect of achieving a negotiated settlement.
This admonition applies equally to Israel, the Palestinians, the Arab countries - indeed, to all of us represented here.
We call on those who would foster peace to sense that there is a real opportunity for that peace, that the time is at hand to grasp that opportunity and encourage it, that this world and its people are weary of conflict and to pray that those nations which live in the cradle that produced mankind's noblest dreams and ideals may now find the will and the leadership to move courageously towards peace.
(Lebanon) (interpretation from Arabic): Mr. President, you are indeed a very patient individual, and you love us as much as we respect you. Discussions continue, statements are made - in fact, some may be the same statements which have been heard in this Assembly since the United Nations was created, the United Nations which, in its turn, created Israel and the question of Palestine and the Middle East conflict, bringing in its wake war and destruction. However, there is a difference between this session and those we have been holding, year after year, for more than a quarter of a century. And because of that difference, expressed in the words "special session", what we are saying today will go further than what we have said in the past. While some think that the Middle East has been set on the path towards peace by partial means that have no future, what we see today proves that the cause of the Palestinian people -the cause of the people and the land of Palestine - cannot just be forgotten in a peace of which it does not partake. The war was Palestinian in origin and content; the peace then must also be Palestinian in origin and content.
I shall repeat here what Lebanon has already said from this rostrum, for my tormented country has always been a trial ground both in war and in peace. Out of the bitter experience of Lebanon we have in the past proposed the following, which we hope the Assembly meeting in special session will approve today.
First we must proceed from the stage of recognized general principles to the operational stage: that is to say we must set up an effective and efficacious international presence in the occupied territories, so that that area becomes the responsibility of the international Organization which will return it to its legitimate owners. We must put an end to Israel's contempt for the United Nations resolutions which have not been able themselves to put an end to occupation and terror.
Secondly we must take the peace issue out of the tortuous negotiations in which it has become involved and bring it back to the legality of the United Nations forum, so that no one can impose their peace on the Palestinian people, whether from within or outside, and so that the international Organization can use the means at its disposal to set up an independent and legitimate Palestinian State and entrust its governance to its sole legitimate representative, the Palestine Liberation Organization.
For the PLO has over time become the representative of the Palestinian cause everywhere, internally and externally, vis-a-vis the enemy and in friendly transactions.
Thirdly we must completely renounce any policy aimed at attracting the exiled Palestinians to a substitute country or placing them under a substitute authority in a disguised situation. For a policy of colonial plotting, which sometimes even cunningly pretends to identify with Palestinian interests, has driven and is still driving the Palestinian revolution into wars that exhaust it and destroy others, not to speak of distancing it from its real objective, the Palestinian homeland, and from its nearest and most natural allies.
These three fundamental principles show the only way that can lead to peace. The alternative would be total war, the presages of which are clear for all to see. What we know and what we have heard clearly shows us that the status quo will lead to a world catastrophe that at best would be an economic disaster leading directly to war and at worst that hideous kind of war that we are told is preventive but that we would not be able to control before it erupted in a wild nuclear explosion.
In conclusion I wish to return to the experience of Lebanon. The present session is marked by the fact that it is exclusively devoted to the consideration of the question of Palestine. But we wish to distinguish the Lebanese crisis from the other aspects of the Middle East conflict and concentrate on it in particular. We must do this because some speakers have referred to the question of Lebanon in condemnation of the continued Israeli aggression and we must thank those of our brothers and friends who have done this for this proof of their solidarity and their protection.
The Lebanese problem is extremely complex. The President of the Republic and many representatives of the legitimate authorities have explained the different aspects of the problem and have called for solutions that would guarantee Lebanese independence, complete Lebanese sovereignty over all its territory and the safeguarding of the unity of the people, the land and its institutions. It goes without saying that the Lebanese best know the ramifications of the problem and it is their exclusive right to analyse its causes and effects, to work out solutions and to state their claims. But two conclusions can be drawn from the interest shown in the Lebanese cause.
The first is that effective international intervention such as that which followed the adoption of resolution 425 (1978) and the subsequent resolutions places the United Nations in a position not only to limit war but also to lay the foundations of a genuine peace, if the warring parties co-operate in full and unreserved implementation of the resolutions.
The second is that when the door is open to regional and international conspiracies in a war torn country, that country is brought to ruin, it is made a powder-keg that sparks off conflagrations involving the communities and the States of the region - setting light to hopes here, a revolution there, a civil war elsewhere. From the ruin of Lebanon, the greedy desires aroused by its collapse and the ambition of some to fill the vacuum thus created it is not only Lebanese who suffer but the whole region, for it has lost its balance to such a point that we wonder what the Arabs themselves will win if they lose Lebanon.
We note that the Palestinian problem has the same context as the Lebanese problem: we have lost Palestine, the region is aflame and today there will be no peace if peace is not born again in Palestine.
By the same logic there can be no peace in Palestine unless Lebanon recovers its full strength, for peace in Palestine depends on peace in Lebanon and on Lebanese independence and sovereignty; and Lebanese peace cannot be made subordinate to peace elsewhere in the region. So there will be no peace in the Middle East at Lebanon's expense; there can be no peace in the Middle East as long as Lebanon burns and as long as the Palestinian revolution pursues its quest for a land and a State.
Such is our responsibility and the responsibility of those on our side if they would be true to themselves, to the cause of their security and to the cause of peace.
(Finland):Mr. President, it is a privilege for the Finnish delegation to continue to work under your presidency which, in the intensity of the work of the General Assembly, has few precedents in the history of the United Nations.
The convening of this emergency special session of the General Assembly underlines the increasing importance of taking into account the rights of the Palestinians in the continuing search for a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East. This search has to be pursued in accordance with Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973) which continue to be the only viable basis for a durable peace in the region. At the same time, the t eight of events has made it increasingly clear that, the co-operation and the participation of the Palestinians is crucial for this process.
Finland remains committed to a political settlement of the Middle East conflict through negotiation in accordance with the basic documents of the United Nations which would govern the achievement of such a solution.
The basic principles of a peaceful settlement remain immutable: the acquisition of territories by force is inadmissible. Israel therefore must withdraw from Arab territories occupied since 1967. Likewise, it is imperative that the right of Israel and all other States cf the area to exist within secure and recognized borders be guaranteed. Furthermore, provision must be made for the legitimate rights of the Palestinians, including their right to national self-determination. This presupposes their right to participate in negotiations on their own future within a comprehensive solution in the Middle East.
In accordance with its policy of neutrality, Finland has taken a balanced and conciliatory position on the various controversial issues in the Middle East. We have thus maintained good relations with all nations concerned, including the most immediate parties to the dispute. It is our firm intention to continue this policy and thereby preserve the confidence of all parties to the conflict in the Middle East. Thus we have been able to render such peaceful services to all concerned as required. A tangible expression of that is the sizeable contribution which Finland has made to the United Nations peace-keeping activities in the area from their very beginning.
It had been the hope of the Government of Finland that the Peace treaty concluded between Israel and Egypt would have made possible a more comprehensive solution, as indeed the Governments concerned had declared was the aim. While the implementation of the peace treaty itself may have proceeded as agreed, even initial steps towards a more comprehensive solution seem to have met with insurmountable obstacles. A major obstacle has been the settlement policy of the Government of Israel in the occupied territories and similar measures undertaken by Israel. Unilateral actions designed to change the status of Jerusalem, a holy city of three great faiths, are universally considered illegal and have been declared as such, most recently by the Security Council on 30 June. Israel has pursued those policies in defiance of the relevant rules of international law and despite the repeated warnings and condemnations by the Security Council. Israel's actions thus are in basic contradiction with its obligation to withdraw from occupied territories in accordance with Security Council resolution 242 (1967). On the occupied West Bank that has led to growing frustration and despair. Acts of defiance and resistance have multiplied leading to tragic instances of violence; and bloodshed.
The tension thus created has spread in the region. It is affecting southern Lebanon in particular, where the functioning of the United Nations peace keeping forces has been placed in jeopardy. Yet, those same forces perform their duties in the interest of peace and with the consent and concurrence of the parties concerned. It is imperative therefore that they receive the necessary co-operation from all the parties for the fulfilment of their mission. At the very least, their physical safety should be respected, their operations should not be obstructed, nor should their mandate be violated. As a genuine representative of the national aspirations of the Palestinians, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) was invited to participate in the work of the General Assembly in the capacity of observer as early as 1974. The Government of Finland then supported that decision. It has been and is our policy to maintain contacts and continuously to exchange opinions with the representatives of the Palestine Liberation Organization. We have thus recognized the PLO as the most significant representative of the Palestinians. We therefore support its right to participate in the negotiations on the implementation of the legitimate rights of the Palestinians in the context of a comprehensive solution to the Middle East problem.
Today, hardly any region is more crucial to peace in the world than the Middle East. There hardly is any region in the world where peace is more urgent. Peace is urgent not only for the peoples who live there but for all nations. Although the final success of any solution depends on the parties concerned, including those so far neglected during the negotiations, the leading military Powers have a special responsibility to act in the interest of peace. The use of force and violence, whatever the justification claimed for it, negates peace. The only way to peace is negotiation and compromise. That is whet the United Nations Charter enjoins nations to do.
It is the hope of the Government of Finland that this emergency special session of the General Assembly will contribute to that end.
(Senegal) (interpretation from French): Mr. President, first of all I should like to state how happy we are to see you presiding over the work of this important emergency special session of the General Assembly on the question of Palestine. Your great experience in international problems along with your outstanding qualities as an experienced diplomat give us hope that our debates will take place in the light of wisdom. Actually, after 30 years of vain attempts, of heightened emotion, of injustice, of dialogues of the deaf and of armed conflicts, what we need most today for a settlement of the Palestinian question is indeed wisdom.
This emergency special session of the General Assembly on Palestine comes at a crucial moment in the development of the Israeli-Arab conflict. Tension and violence continue. The peace negotiations on Palestine are marking time and the United Nations finds it impossible to play its rightful role in the search for a peaceful and just solution to the Palestinian problem. It is this last element which we find the most alarming and which has compelled Senegal, along with other countries and pursuant to the recommendations of the Sixth Summit of the Non-Aligned Countries and the Eleventh Ministerial Conference of the Islamic Countries, to request the convening of this emergency special session of the General Assembly, in accordance with resolution 377 A (V).
In proposing the holding of this session, we wanted above all to show that we refuse to see the situation in Palestine continue to deteriorate and to see international peace and security endangered every day without the United Nations being able to play its important role to halt such a dangerous process. In do doing, we were not trying to provoke fresh tournaments of words, as sterile as they are useless, between the partisans and the adversaries of a just and lasting peace in the Middle East. What we wanted was an in-depth effort, with the participation of all, so as to get the peace process going again on an enlarged new basis, bearing in mind the aspirations and rights of all the parties concerned.
We should like, thus, to renew our confidence in the ability of the United Nations to play a useful and effective role in settling the Palestine problem. For most of the countries which are generally regarded as small, the United Nations indeed symbolizes the dawning of a new world based on law and justice, a world in which the strong will not oppress the weak and in which international problems will be solved on the basis of justice and equality. That is why we feel it is urgent to settle this crisis which now faces the United Nations, because of the near-paralysis of the Security Council and the defiant attitude taken by Israel with respect to the Council's decisions.
The paralysis of the Security Council comes, paradoxically, at a time when, after three decades, a consensus is emerging for the first time on the need to implement the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people. Should we resign ourselves to seeing a small number of States blocking the possibility of our Organization's determining the elements of a global settlement which would enjoy broad political support? We think not.
At present we must all, as Members of the United Nations, finally try to heed the voice of wisdom and reason, the voice of history and peace, and draw the right conclusions from a consensus on the rights of the Palestinian people in order to renew the peace process which was begun in 1973 with the Geneva Conference.
The appeal which we make from this rostrum is an appeal for open-mindedness and for a willingness to hold a dialogue, frankly and sincerely, not only on the part of the interested parties but also and above all on the part of those who support them.
The Israeli-Arab conflict has always been a source of deep concern for my country. Actually, as President Leopold Sédar Senghor has often said, Jews and Arabs and Blacks constitute a trilogy of suffering peoples. Have they not for many centuries endured oppression, persecution, discrimination and exploitation throughout history? This common past should bring them together. The conflict which divides Arabs and Israelis today in may respects appears to be fratricidal in nature.
The basic underlying fact is that the Palestinian people has not yet been in a position to exercise its right to self-determination in, Palestine. On the contrary, for 30 years the Palestinian people has been dispersed, ignored and attacked. It has endured a thousand sufferings which cannot help but affect any human being who is the least bit concerned for justice. Hence, today it is paradoxical that it should be Israel, whose people has long, claimed for itself justice and consideration, which most strongly opposes the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, affirming that the realization of the aspirations of that people would be incompatible with the security of Israel.
Nevertheless, we believe that while in the outcome of a global settlement the right to the existence of Israel must be recognized by all the parties to the conflict, that should not be done to the detriment of the right of self-determination of the Palestinian people.
Senegal, for its part, reaffirms the fact that it firmly adheres to the spirit of General Assembly resolution 181 (II), which proposed, as Members will recall, the creation of two States in Palestine, one Jewish and the other Arab. Now that the Jewish State has been created, the present task of the international community is in fact to help to establish an Arab/Palestinian State.
Senegal, from the time it achieved its independence, has constantly supported the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, to national independence and the right to return to its homeland under the aegis of the Palestine Liberation Organization, which we should all consider to be the sole and authentic representative of the Palestinian people, an organization led with wisdom and effectiveness by our brother, Yasser Arafat.
It is because we have profound respect for human rights that we have always supported all activities directed towards putting an end to the injustices and privations which face the Palestinian people.
Has not the political history of the world taught us that peoples struggling for their independence and dignity have always ended up by gaining them, whatever barriers, and however much reluctance, misunderstanding and intolerance have accumulated along the path of their legitimate struggle? The same will be true of the liberation struggle waged by the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Palestinian people.
Our solidarity with the Palestinian people struggling fully to regain its inalienable rights has been translated into fact as an expression of a bounden duty. We were one of the first African States to authorize the Palestine Liberation Organization to open a bureau in its capital, Dakar. Recently we gave full diplomatic status to its bureau, which is now an embassy: that of Palestine, with all the prerogatives and immunities of diplomatic status. With the same determination, here in the United Nations we will continue to struggle tirelessly for implementation of the recommendations and resolutions of the General Assembly concerning ,just solution to the Palestine question.
If the efforts that have been undertaken for many years now to find a just and lasting solution to the Palestine problem have failed, that is really because the national dimension of the Palestine problem has often been overlooked if not disregarded or neglected. Today, again, the desire to ignore the national rights of the Palestinian people underlies the difficulties facing the peace talks that have been undertaken outside the framework of the United Nations.
In this regard, my country has always adopted the following attitude. On the one hand, we recognize that every State has the right to use all the means permitted by the Charter to regain that part of its territory that has been under foreign occupation. My country’s position accords with Article 33 (1) of the United Nations Charter, which states that:
"The parties to any dispute, the continuance of which is likely to endanger the maintenance of international peace and security, shall, first of all, seek a solution by negotiation, enquiry, mediation, conciliation, arbitration, judicial settlement, resort to regional agencies or arrangements, or other peaceful means of their own choice."
Since Egypt - a brother country - is a sovereign country, we believe that it is up to Egypt's leaders freely to determine the means by which they wish to regain part of their territory, which was placed under foreign occupation following the unjust war that had been forced upon it. That right of Egypt, which cannot be challenged as far as its being a State is concerned, should also be recognized by all for the Palestinian people, which should thus be able to participate freely and fully in the determination of its own future and to choose without any limits or constraints its representatives in any peace negotiations on Palestine.
In my country’s view, any settlement of the Palestine issue, in order to be acceptable, requires the full participation of the Palestinian people, represented by the Palestine Liberation Organization. The Palestinian people is a mature people. It began its struggle to exercise its right of self-determination over 60 years ago, and as early as 1947 the United Nations recognized its right to self-determination, in its resolution 181 (II) of. 29 November 1947. The General Assembly subsequently confirmed that right in several of its other resolutions.
Today, enjoyment of that right is being demanded by more than 100 countries, so it seems to us unrealistic and dangerous to want to reduce the right of the Palestinian people to create a sovereign State in Palestine to the more right to administrative autonomy without any real content or significance.
Just as it vigorously rejected the policy of bantustanization of the racist regime of South Africa, Senegal cannot agree to having Palestinians reduced to the status of foreigners in their own country or to inhabitants who have no rights in the land of their ancestors and who will be administered illegally by illegal occupiers.
The history of the world shows that to be lasting peace must be just. The Palestinian people today is in fact thirsting for justice, and as long as we do not take its legitimate aspirations into account, there will be no access to the path leading to peace, The absence of progress in the negotiations now under way on Palestine is yet another illustration of that. Here again the experience of several decades of national - liberation struggle has certainly proved that a people does not accept fictitious independence negotiated without the participation of its principal representatives. In this regard it is enough to refer to the famous internal settlement in Zimbabwe, for, as right and reason dictated, the people of Zimbabwe has freely established the system that suits it best, just as Palestine will establish a system suited to its profound aspirations.
In order to look truth in the face it is now urgent to undertake negotiations with a view to settling the Palestinian problem in accordance with the principles contained in Security Council resolution 242 (1967) and General Assembly resolutions 3236 (XXIX) and 3375 (XXX). We feel that the Palestine Liberation Organization must inevitably be involved in the negotiations, because otherwise, quite obviously, no final solution can be expected from such negotiations.
As we have already stressed, one of the priority tasks of this emergency special session is to overcome the present paralysis of the Security Council and to find a complete, just and lasting solution to the Palestine problem. Almost the whole international community today agrees that the Palestine question is and has always been at the heart of the Israeli-Arab conflict. Without a solution to the Palestinian problem, no settlement will be either lasting or acceptable. The General Assembly has, as will be recalled, adopted several resolutions on this subject, notably resolution 3236 (XXIX), in which it unambiguously defined the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people. Furthermore, it also adopted resolution 3375 (XXX), in which it has expressed its conviction that the participation by the Palestinian people was fundamental and essential in all efforts to reach a just settlement of the Middle East conflict. Those resolutions have always had the support of the non-aligned countries members of the Organization of African Unity and of the Islamic Conference, including Senegal itself. Is it not high time that that reality was taken into consideration by other States that today still want to close their eyes to the demands of history, to truth and to reason?
Recently, on 13 June 1980, in Venice, the representatives of the European Economic Community,
that the Palestinian problem is not a simple refugee problem but that the Palestinian people must be enabled fully to exercise its right of self-determination. We feel that that is an appreciable step forward in the desired direction. But it should be followed up with other concrete positive steps.
The consensus that is now emerging on the Palestine question, which is a real consensus, requires that the Security Council modify its present approach to an over-all settlement of the problem. That approach should be based on the famous resolution 242 (1967) of 22 November 1967. That resolution does not bear in mind two of the three elements in he conflict: Israelis withdrawal from all Arab territories occupied since 1967, and recognition of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of all the States of the region, as well as their right to live within recognized and guaranteed borders.
One can see that that resolution does not solve the problem as a whole because the central element of the problem, the question of Palestine, is dealt with in an incomplete manner, which does not take account of the local political situation. If the Security Council wishes to contribute effectively to the establishment of a just and lasting peace in the Middle East, it ought to alter its approach to take account of the various elements of the conflict, as well as of their respective importance. In that connexion it has been emphasized on several occasions that a new resolution should correct the imbalance of
(1967) of 22 November 1967, thus leading the Security Council to recognize and support the implementation of the inalienable right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, that is, on the one hand, its right to establish an independent State in Palestine, in accordance with the principles of the Charter and, on the other hand, the possibility for those refugees who wish to do so to have the option of returning to their hones and of living in peace with their neighbours. Those refugees, who did not desire to return to their homes ought, in that case, to receive fair compensation for all the goods they had lost or had taken from them.
Recently several countries have once again proposed that a new resolution be adopted on an urgent basis by the Security Council in order to correct the imbalance of
(1967) since, in the annals of the United Nations, resolutions inspired by right and reason have often served to correct or supplement others.
For all these reasons, Senegal, which has always stressed the incompleteness of
(1967), urges the Security Council to adopt a new resolution affirming the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, to set up an independent State in Palestine and to return to its homeland. If such a resolution were adopted, it would contribute to broadening the basis of the peace negotiations and would permit the focusing of efforts on the substantive problem, namely, the peaceful coexistence of two States in Palestine, one Jewish, the other Arab. We should like to make clear that any contacts in that regard should be made with the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) as far as the defence of the rights and the future of the Palestinian people is concerned.
In this context, the Security Council, which is the principal organ for the maintenance of peace, should - we would repeat - perform its task correctly and completely. It should not serve as a means of blocking recommendations of the General Assembly, particularly with regard to the problem of Palestine. And we should like to appeal to the United States of America, which once inspired the historic Acheson resolution, called the "Uniting for peace" resolution, to make the effort that the world expects of it.
The current situation in the Security Council has, to our mind, been a disservice to peace. That the Security Council has to date been unable either to take a decision on the recommendations of the General Assembly on Palestine or to modify its
(1967) of 22 November 1967 does not appear to give us any ground for rejoicing, since both steps are desired by the large majority of Members of the Organization; we are convinced that the United States will one day attend to that desire.
In this spirit, it is today necessary and desirable to enable the Security Council to get out of the impasse so that it can play the role allocated to it The blocking of the work of the Security Council cannot serve the cause of peace and, if it should continue, the prestige and authority of our Organization would suffer considerably.
My country believes that the Security Council should revise its position on another question, namely, with regard to the recommendations prepared by the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, which were adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations. Those recommendations are all based on earlier resolutions and decisions of the United Nations. They offer the advantage of a plan for the gradual implementation of the rights of the Palestinian people without calling in question the legitimate rights of any other party to the conflict in the Middle East. Those recommendations enjoy broad support and should be taken into account in the search for peace in Palestine.
It is well known that the Security Council has so far been unable to take a positive decision on the recommendations because of the use of the veto.
We should like to take this opportunity to congratulate the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People for its tireless efforts to promote the rights of that people. My country, which serves as Chairman of that Committee through its Permanent Representative, Ambassador Falilou Kane, would like once again to express solemnly here the fact that it is deeply aware of the importance of its task and of its sacred character, and to renew its commitment to spare no effort in carrying out that task.
Another problem, which is of concern to many Members of the Organization, is the attitude of defiance, if not scorn, taken by Israel towards the decisions of the United Nations. We note that unfortunately, this year alone the Security Council adopted six resolutions on the Middle East, all of which called upon Israel to cease its violations of the principles of the Charter and of international law. Alas, Israel has abided by none of them. This situation is, beyond any doubt, serious for the Organization, for that country which undertook in good faith to fulfil the obligations it assumed under the Charter is most persistently transgressing the principles of that same Charter.
Just like any other State Member of the Organization, Israel is bound by Article 25 of the Charter, which states:
“The Members of the United Nations agree to accept and carry out the
decisions of the Security Council in accordance with the present Charter." The Government of that country must realize that its current attitude is not in its best interests since, after all, Israel owes its legal existence to the United Nations. Unfortunately, the Government of Tel Aviv seems ill-disposed today to hear the voice of reason. Quite to the contrary, it appears to be continuing its policy of refusing the people of Palestine their right to self-determination. That attitude today is one of the most serious threats to peace in the Near East.
The Israeli Prime Minister himself confirmed that policy anew when he stated in the Knesset on 26 December 1979:
"There are no grounds for affirming that autonomy for the West Bank and the Gaza Strip would signify the establishment of a Palestinian State.”
He continued :
It is my understanding and my conviction that autonomy prevents and will continue to prevent the establishment of such a State."
That statement, coming after many others, demonstrates that the Israeli authorities still refuse to consider our Palestinian brothers as a people with national rights just like the Israeli people.
That attitude is fortunately not shared by all the Israeli authorities. It is somewhat comforting to note that a man like Mr. Abba Eban, who so often spoke at this rostrum, stated in the April issue of The Jerusalem Post:
“In our view, the millions of Arabs in the West Bank and Gaza make up a separate, collective entity with national characteristics that indicate that they have a specific destiny without regard to the Zionist adventure, in which they have no part."
It was Mr. Abba Eban who said that.
Another individual, Mr. Nahum Goldmann, former President of the World Jewish Congress, wrote in the
of 19 July 1980:
"If the State of Israel continues to focus above all on security, military power and pre-eminence, rather than on acquiring a new understanding of power, it will never achieve a true peace with the Arab world and will continue its slide dour the slope that leads inevitably to the brink.'
That was Mr. Nahum Goldmann speaking.
Such an attitude permits one to hope that the Israeli leaders will heed the voice of reason in the end, and, we hope, before long.
For the time being, the Israeli authorities are continuing to practise a policy of annexation and of altering the demographic, economic, cultural and religious character of the occupied Palestinian territories. What is even more serious, according to the Prime Minister of Israel,
“... the Israeli Government has never recognized Judea, Samaria and Gaza as occupied territories”.
Obviously, such a position runs counter to the principle of the non-acquisition of territory by force, as contained in Security Council resolution 212 (1967). Moreover, it confirms Israel's desire for continued territorial expansion - a desire which is still impeding all peace - making efforts.
As early as 1971, the Mission of African wise men, led by President Léopold Sédar Senghor, ran up against Israel's refusal to promise to withdraw from the occupied territories. Today, the Saudi proposal, which takes up anew approximately the same idea, has met with a similar rejection.
The Senegalese Government, for its part, firmly maintains that Israel should withdraw from all Arab territories occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem, a city which in no way can be recognized by the international community as the capital of the State of Israel. In this connexion, my country reaffirms its support for the relevant resolutions adopted by the Organization of the Islamic Conference. In fact, we consider that the eastern part of the Holy City should be returned to Arab sovereignty. Israel's plans to turn Jerusalem into a Jewish city are a real provocation and demonstrate a total lack of regard for the faith of millions of Christians and Moslems.
The Israeli occupation seriously imperils the unique character of Jerusalem as a place of meeting and communion of the three great revealed religions. This occupation, far from unifying the City, has accentuated divisions and inter-ethnic conflicts and endangered free access to the Holy Places.
According to Mr. Nesviski, former assistant to the Israeli Mayor of Jerusalem:
"The Holy City of Jerusalem, after 13 years of occupation, is less unified than ever. The two communities, /he continues/ Arab and Jewish, have remained alien and hostile to each other.”
That attests very well to the fact that some Israeli authorities recognize the failure of the attempts to unify and Judaize Jerusalem by force.
The Israeli authorities, not content with making claims to the occupied Palestinian territories, are busily striving - thanks to the implantation of Jewish settlements- to ensure the perpetuation of the Israeli presence in those territories and, what is more, to prevent the establishment of an independent Palestinian State.
According to the report of the Security Council Commission of inquiry established pursuant to resolution 446 (1979), the Israeli authorities, in the course of recent months, have confiscated more than 100 hectares of land so as to make possible the expansion of the settlements on the West Bank.
The same Israeli authorities have expanded and fortified the existing Israeli settlements; they have lifted every legal restriction on the massive transfer of Israeli populations to the occupied territories, notably by authorizing Israeli citizens to acquire land there. Thus the Government of Israel, on many different pretexts, has to date confiscated 31.4 per cent of the land on the West Bank.
This policy has been unanimously denounced by the Security Council in its resolution 465 (1980), of 1 March of this year. In that resolution the Security Council:
“.. call/ed/ upon the Government and people of Israel ... to dismantle the existing settlements and in particular to cease, on an urgent basis, the establishment, construction and planning of settlements in the Arab territories occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem”.
In response, Israel has continued to pursue its policy of establishing settlements and, as recently as 6 June 1980, the Israeli Prime Minister announced the establishment of 10 new settlements.
To be sure, the Palestinians in the occupied territories are not impassive witnesses to the plunder of their own land; they have reacted with all the means at their disposal, and today a climate of agitation and tension exists on the entire West Bank of the Jordan, and there has been an increase in the incidents between Israeli occupation forces and Palestinian demonstrators. Brutal repression has been inflicted on the Palestinians, whose leaders are often expelled from their country on the flimsiest grounds. Meanwhile, the Israeli settlers continue to engage in acts of provocation by settling in the very heart of Arab cities such as Al Khalil (Hebron) and by committing acts of terrorism. The violence that is thus reigning on the West Bank is hardly likely to promote peaceful coexistence between Jews and Arabs. It daily jeopardizes even further the chances for peace and endangers international peace and security, as well as peace in the region.
Under these circumstances, the Security Council ought to take new measures to put an end to this situation as soon as possible.
With reference to Lebanon, we cannot forget that that Middle Eastern country also has been the victim of an acute tragedy; it has been the object of constant Israeli acts of aggression which daily violate its territorial integrity, as well as its sovereignty. Southern Lebanon continues to be occupied by proxy by Israel. Indeed, the support which that country gives to the
forces in southern Lebanon is a way of maintaining Israeli presence there and of preventing the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) - in which my country is a participant - from properly discharging the duties entrusted to it by the United Nations.
This is a dangerous policy, because it saps the credibility of our Organization and imperils the existence of a Member State to which we owe protection and solidarity.
Senegal condemns the Israeli armed interventions in Lebanon and calls upon the Israeli Government to put an end to them as speedily as possible.
I should like to take this opportunity, Mr. President, to thank you and Secretary-General Kurt Waldheim, on behalf of the Senegalese Government, for your tireless efforts to secure the freedom of the Senegalese soldier, Sergeant-Major Papa Coly Sarr, a member of UNIFIL whom Israel had been illegally detaining for several months and who was just released several weeks ago.
In conclusion, I wish to say that the question of Palestine is complex and delicate; it has a human as well as a political dimension. Senegal is pleased to have participated, together with other States and with the PLO, in the convening of the present emergency special session, which has the overwhelming support of delegations, including my own. That is why my delegation believes that this session should yield concrete results, consisting in the adoption of a resolution likely to initiate a process leading to a just and lasting peace in the Middle East. This presupposes a text in keeping with past United Nations resolutions unequivocally and unambiguously reaffirming the inalienable and imprescriptible rights of the fraternal Palestinian people.
In the event of the Security Council's reaching a deadlock, as has occurred on three occasions in the past, and being thereby unable to discharge the duties conferred on it by Article 24 of the Charter, the General Assembly ought to envisage ways and means of implementing its decisions in conformity with the Charter and the relevant resolutions of our Organization.
(United Arab Emirates) (interpretation from Arabic): Sir, it gives me great pleasure, on behalf of the United Arab Emirates, to extend to you my sincere congratulations on your election to the presidency of this emergency special session of the General Assembly. Your election to preside over this important session, which follows your election as President of the thirty-fourth regular session, is proof of the international community's confidence in your wise and competent leadership and of its deep respect for you personally and for the country you represent. Let me say once again how honoured we are to see you presiding over another session of the General Assembly. We wish to assure you of our full readiness to co-operate with you in ensuring the success of this session.
We wish also to take this opportunity to express our gratitude to Secretary-General Kurt Waldheim for the efforts and endeavours he is making to strengthen the effectiveness of our Organization and to promote the fulfilment of its goals.
This is the second time that an emergency special session of the General Assembly has been convened at the request and with the agreement of States Members of the United Nations. Both sessions were convened for the purpose of considering certain aspects of the question of Palestine relating to the consequences either of Israeli aggression, as in the case of the 1967 session, or of the refusal by Israel, supported by certain States, to implement resolutions of the United Nations advocating the exercise by the Palestinian people of their inalienable rights, including the right of return to their lands, their right to self-determination and their right to establish an independent State in Palestine.
As everyone knows, the convening of this session comes after the United States veto of the draft resolution on those rights that was submitted to the Security Council last April.
Similarly, all are aware that this session is being held as a result of that veto and in accordance with resolution 377 (V), entitled “Uniting for Peace”, which authorizes the General Assembly to meet in emergency special session to adopt practical and concrete recommendations for the maintenance of international peace and security whenever the Security Council is unable to do so as a result of the use of the veto by one of its permanent members.
Israel's practices in the occupied territories, especially in the West Bank and Gaza Strip and in Jerusalem, its continued denial of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people and its escalating military aggression against southern Lebanon are what constitute a threat to peace and security, not only in our Arab region but at the international level as well. Accordingly, the United Arab Emirates expects that at this session resolutions will be adopted which go beyond urgent appeals and recommendations and expressions of hope and. are more than just criticisms and condemnations.
My country expects that from this session a resolution will emerge that contains concrete measures and practical steps and procedures, in accordance with the powers conferred on the Assembly by the "Uniting for Peace" resolution. We expect that the resolution will provide for the application and implementation of the programme drawn up by the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Eights of the Palestinian People regarding the rights of the Palestinian people and consequently the settlement of the Palestinian problem.
My country believes that this is the minimum that can be expected from this session. The incorporation of these expectations in a resolution will serve to emphasize the degree of United Nations commitment to its Charter and to bring about the realization of the hopes placed in it for the establishment of a world in which justice, right and peace prevail.
This is what the United Arab Emirates expects and hopes for, and we are prepared to offer our ready and fullest participation in efforts for the achievement of this goal.
This emergency special session of the General Assembly is convened amid significant events and developments relating to the question of Palestine Some are reflections of the degree of deterioration that the situation in Palestine has reached as a result of Israel's policy and practices, while others warn of the need for the international community to take action on the matter before it is too late. They might lead to the outbreak of another war that will not be confined to our region but will affect the entire world and present a threat to international peace and security.
The first of these developments is Israel's persistence in its policy and practices with regard to the establishment of settlements on the West Bank and in the Gaza Strip. Israel's purpose in this is clear to all. Israel is trying to change the demographic character of these territories, destroy their Arab identity and confront the world with the fait accompli of the Israeli presence there, with the consequence of precluding the exercise of the inalienable rights by the Palestinian people in Palestine.
The world is in agreement regarding the invalidity of that policy and in calling for a halt to it and for the removal of those settlements. This agreement is reflected in the numerous resolutions adopted by the United Nations, the most recent of these being resolution 465 (1900), which was adopted by the Security Council last March. In spite of this, Israel still persists in this policy and is escalating the establishment of settlements, in defiance of world opinion and international law.
We, for our part, call upon the General Assembly at this current session to put an end to this policy by adopting concrete and practical measures against Israel to halt the establishment of settlements.
The second of these developments is the recent Israeli measures, both legislative and administrative, aimed at annexing Jerusalem and making it the capital of Israel.
The Islamic States, on the occasion of the Conference of Islamic States held at Islamabad in May, expressed their condemnation and unequivocal rejection of those measures. The Conference declared its decision in the fourth operative paragraph of its resolution
"to confirm the commitment of all the Islamic countries to sever all relations with any country that supports the decision of the Israeli enemy to annex Al Quds-Al Sharif and consider it its capital, or that recognizes it, or contributes to its implementation, or moves its embassy to Al Quds".
We wish to repeat here what we said in the Security Council on 27 June 1980, namely, that the Government of the United Arab Emirates will be guided in its relations with any State by the guidelines set forth in this paragraph.
As Arabs and Moslems, we will not in any event accept or agree to the erasure of the Arab or Islamic character of Jerusalem. For us Jerusalem is the first of the two Kiblahs and the site of the two Holy Places and of the
of our Prophet Mohammed.
In spite of the recent resolution adopted by the Security Council, Israel is still going ahead with its aggressive measures regarding Jerusalem, thereby defying the conscience of mankind, the international will and international law.
We therefore call upon the General Assembly at this session to take all possible concrete and practical measures to halt this aggression against Jerusalem.
The third of those developments is the escalation of Israel's savage attacks on southern Lebanon. Those attacks are a threat to Lebanon's sovereignty; and their aim is to wipe out the Palestinian people, put an end to all manifestations of their resistance to Israeli occupation and sow the seeds of turmoil and dissension between the Palestinian and Lebanese peoples.
We urge the General Assembly to halt this carnage that is being committed by the Israeli authorities and to put an end to it once and for all.
The fourth of these developments is the failure of the talks held among the parties to the Camp David agreements on so-called autonomy for the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Although their term, which was originally only through 26 May 1980, has been extended for a further period, they are already doomed to failure before very long. Wrong assumptions can only lead to wrong results, and, hence, the result of those agreements has been the escalation of tension in our area.
The United Arab Emirates has opposed those agreements from the outset and has predicted their failure. Our opposition stems from the fundamental principles which guide our State in the formation and adoption of its policy regarding national liberation issues generally and the question of Palestine in particular. We believe that only the people directly concerned has the right to negotiate on the question of self-determination and on concrete measures for its implementation. The Palestinian people, therefore, has the sole and absolute right, shared by no one else, to conduct negotiations on the issue of self-determination and on the procedures and concrete measures for its implementation. We are thus unable to accept any negotiations concerning this right which are conducted by other parties on the Palestinian people's behalf.
The Palestinian people has declared in various ways that the Palestine Liberation Organization is its sole legitimate representative, and the great majority of the States of the world and many regional and non-governmental organizations have endorses that representation. Hence, the PLO has the sole and absolute right to conduct negotiations regarding the rights and future of the Palestinian people.
We also believe that the question of Palestine is the core of the Middle East problem and that the settlement, in whole or in part, of the Middle East problem is related to and dependent on the settlement of the question of Palestine. We cannot, therefore, accept any settlement that is based on any other premise.
In the light of these principles and facts, we have stated our absolute and final rejection of the Camp David agreements because, collectively, individually and as regards their effects and consequences, they constitute a violation of those principles.
The fifth of those developments is the statement issued by the Heads of State and Government and Ministers for Foreign Affairs of the Common Market countries at their meeting in Venice last June.
Although the statement represents only one step on the road towards a just and comprehensive peace, it contains three major indications which have a bearing on the issue under consideration. The first is the expression of the conviction that the autonomy talks are a failure and are not the way to settle the Palestinian question. The second is a warning about the danger involved in leaving the problem unresolved. The third is the determination of those States to take an initiative in the search for a solution.
Both together and individually, these three indications only serve to confirm the fact that Israel's persistence in its policy of aggression and defiance of the international will is a threat to international peace and security and that no one can remain unconcerned or neutral regarding this policy.
We for our part hope that the General Assembly will take into consideration the statement issued by the Common Market countries and will comprehend the serious danger which they warn will arise if the situation remains unchanged.
That we are gathered here at this present session is an indication of the danger the Palestinian question carries with it and the explosion it could detonate in our region and in the world as a whole.
We believe that the range of Israeli practices, menacing Arab existence and threatening an explosion in the whole of our region, could not have reached such a degree of ferocity had it not been for the military, political, financial and moral support rendered by the United States to Israel. That is the reason for Israel's defiance of the will of the international community, the United Nations Charter and the principles of human rights.
Thus, we must all face up to our responsibility objectively and seriously with a view to drawing up a practical and concrete programme for the implementation of the United Nations resolutions on the matter. The major Powers especially bear great responsibility in this matter and we hope that in shouldering this responsibility they will rise above the politics of confrontation, alliances and self-interest. We nurture the hope that these Powers will work towards the realization of the main purpose of our Charter: the maintenance of international peace and security, through the prevention of an explosion in our region, an explosion caused by Israel's persistence in its policies and practices.
That goal may be achieved by finding a peaceful, just and lasting solution to the Palestinian question on the basis of the full exercise by the Palestinian people of its inalienable rights.
(Algeria)(interpretation from French): It is in the nature of problems deliberately left for a long time unsolved that they provide the opportunity to bypass the basic axioms with the clear result of perpetuating the faits accomplis which they generate. The question of Palestine, in the United Nations, is the best example of this.
While the General Assembly devoted the whole of its first special session to it, the fragmentation which has since taken over its consideration has undoubtedly contributed greatly to the concealment of the fate of the Palestinian people who are doomed to the torments of repression and exile as a result of an initiative of our Organization which has shown itself to be disastrous for a people and perilous to international peace and security.
More than 30 years later, the General Assembly is meeting in an emergency special session to assess the efforts made towards the exercise by the Palestinian people of its inalienable national rights, which are intrinsic to its status as a people.
The solemnity of this session attests to the deer concern of the international community concerning the question of Palestine and reflects its anxiousness to repay the immense debt to equity and law which it took on when it did not guarantee to the Palestinian people the exercise of its right to self-determination while the Charter of the United Nations obligated it to do so.
Today our Assembly is taking over from the Security Council, which, by refusing to do justice to the Palestinian people, rendered itself incapable of discharging its major responsibility. In so doing, it has caused further reverberation of the outcry of the international community against the dangerous and unacceptable situation imposed upon a people aspiring to a national independent existence.
This is the sixth time in less than five months that our Organization has considered the Palestinian problem. On five occasions already the Security Council has had to debate some aspects of this question, albeit in fragmentary fashion.
It is in order to bypass the inability of the Security Council to implement the General Assembly resolutions recognizing the national rights of the Palestinian people that this emergency special session is being held, on the initiative of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People. While the convening of this session reflects the fact that the world's conscience has been aroused, it is also evidence of the challenging of a myth tantamount to a form of mental terrorism that made any discussion of the true nature of zionism taboo.
Mr. President, under your guidance, our debates will undoubtedly reach a new stage in the long and stormy process of restoring the Palestinian people's national rights. Your dedication to the cause of peoples, which found full expression particularly in your work as Chairman of the Committee of 24, your wide knowledge of our Organization, which you have served steadfastly, the skill with which you guided the work of the thirty-fourth session of the General Assembly, together with the able participation of all Member States and of the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), augur well for a fruitful session.
While the question of Palestine is today clearly the central aspect of the Middle East conflict and is duly recognized as such, many sacrifices have been required of the Palestinian people and the international community has taken more than a quarter of a century to relinquish a fallacious approach which related the genesis of the crisis to its effects, the numerous consequences of the Zionist acts of aggression against Arab countries bordering occupied Palestine.
The question of Palestine, which has left its mark on our Organization, has finally been revealed as the result of the denial of the rights of the Palestinian people. There is no doubt that for this enterprise of plunder, which turned the Middle East into a focal point of constant tension the United Nations has a responsibility in history.
The unilateral proclamation of the Zionist entity, arranged through the exploitation of the West’s guilty conscience regarding the crimes committed against the Jewish minorities in Europe, could not fail to engender a dual injustice, making the innocent Palestinian people pay for the crimes of Europe and denying the national rights of the Arab people of Palestine, which was turned into a wandering people.
Aware of the tragedy visited upon each Palestinian Arab with regard both to his dignity and to his property, the United Nations has affirmed the "right of refugees to return to their homes". Although it limited its action to that particular aspect, the United Nations did not even succeed in having the Zionist leaders implement its decisions aimed at attenuating the suffering of a people unacceptably banished from its homeland. Zionist ideology, fundamentally intolerant and racist, cannot adjust to a State of many religions and to peaceful coexistence among the sons of Palestine, whatever their religion.
Furthermore, the international community has frequently expressed its deep concern about the situation which continues to exist in the Palestinian and Arab occupied territories, where the Zionist entity is systematically expanding its settlements, supporting that policy by blind repression of all the Arab populations, including the municipal authorities recognized by the Zionist Administration itself.
The savage reprisals of which Arab mayors of Palestine have recently been the victims, just like the brutality towards the Palestinians at the least sign of resistance to the occupier or any legitimate protest against the establishment of further settlements are extremely serious and only result in further aggravating tension in the area.
Together with all those exactions and the planned plunder of the Palestinian land the Zionist entity pursues its sinister enterprise of definitively uprooting the Arabs from their homes by constantly establishing new settlements in a climate of terror.
The adventurist policy of the Zionist entity, its institutionalized terrorist actions, the blows it strikes against fundamental human rights and freedoms in the occupied territories, the acquisition of territory by force, the provocative establishment and expansion of settlements, the arrogant disregard of its leaders for the decisions of the international community would not have been possible without the network of support it enjoys as a result of the role assigned to it by imperialist strategy in a sensitive area of the world. It is that connexion between Zionist ideology and imperialist interests that explains the impunity of which Israel is assured and the unceasing development of its infernal war machine.
After a long period of conditioning, international opinion, whose good faith had been abused, finally accepted the Zionist power frenzy as a struggle for survival. Thus a thick veil descended over the status of the Palestinian people, international charity being called upon to respond to all its aspirations wrongly understood as mere subsistence requirements.
However, whatever the motives invoked, whatever subterfuges utilized, the course of history cannot be stopped. Thus, the Palestinian people, despairing of obtaining justice from an international community of whose guilty conscience it is the living incarnation, has undertaken a noble struggle to recover its right to national sovereign existence. Despite its disproportionately small means, this people, strong in the justness of its cause and the solidarity of the peoples that value the exemplary character of its struggle because they themselves have shaken the yoke of enslavement, has, weapons in hand, imposed the existence of the Palestinian nation and its right to live.
It is this struggle for national liberation which has lifted the Palestinian cause out of the inferior situation to which an entire people had been confined.
When material power leads to belief in the permanence of a military fait accompli, when an international conspiracy undermines the right to resist by discrediting its validity, revolutionary violence and the people's liberation war testify to its determination not to give up and, in the circumstances, such action falls within the context of the legitimate right to self-defence enshrined in the United Nations Charter. Contemporary history shows that only such a struggle can guarantee true liberation.
It is Palestinian resistance and the sacrifices of the Palestinian people that have brought the international community to view the question of Palestine in its political dimension.
At the twenty-ninth session of the General Assembly, the international community decided, in a welcome change, to restore the inalienable national rights of the Palestinian people and to recognize the representative character of the PLO, a liberation movement responding to its aspirations and guiding its struggle, by granting it observer status in all the organs of the United Rations.
The Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable-Bights of the Palestinian People, established as a result of this continuing universal awareness, has, with exemplary devotion, to which I should like to pay particular tribute, embarked upon the drafting of practical measures that will enable the Palestinian people to enjoy its rights to self-determination, independence and national sovereignty.
However, the recommendations of this Committee, which are designed only to restore the national rights to the Palestinian people on the basis of General Assembly resolution 32/36, were blocked in the Security Council.
Because of the responsibilities it bears in the field of international peace and security, the Security Council was in duty bound to adopt concrete decisions so as to guarantee that the Palestinian people could effectively exercise their inalienable national rights. The partisan policy of the United States has blocked that process, running counter to the will of the international community resolutely to confront the source of conflict in the Middle East and to lay down the bases for authentic and definitive peace in the region.
Despising this unanimous impulse from the international community, which has laid out the path for a true settlement of the question of Palestine, and at a time when the true facts of the Middle East conflict had been grasped, imperialism, and zionism, assured of the support and co-operation of the leaders of a front line Arab country, hatched a monstrous plot to create the peace of the grave over the mortal remains of the Palestinian people.
The Camp David accords and the treaty of Washington are merely the legal trappings of that plot. The indescribable pretension of the parties to the said accords in laying down the law to the Palestinian people is as anachronistic as it is vain.
The source and origin of the international society of today, the right of peoples to self-determination, inscribed in the United Nations Charter, constitutes an imperative principle of international law from which no derogation is possible. It is upon that basis that at the last regular session of the General Assembly it was stated that the Camp David accords and other arrangements were totally null and void in that they claimed to determine the future of the Palestinian people.
Beyond this broad current of universal reprobation, the failure of that attempt at a separate peace resides also and especially in the reaction of the Arab masses in the occupied territories who, with vigorous unanimity, have proclaimed their rejection of the Camp David accords and their support for a Palestinian State under the leadership of the PLO, the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people. This vote of the Palestinians in the occupied territories, added to that of the Palestinian Diaspora throughout the world, is renewed confirmation of the insistent fact that no solution is possible without the restoration of the sovereignty of the Palestinian people. The consolidation of popular resistance in the occupied territories, a major phenomenon that dispels many mirages and impedes Zionist policy, increasingly demonstrates the strength and vitality of Palestinian national feeling and a will for liberation that is as imperious as it is irrepressible.
The persistence of the Zionist leaders in presenting the international community with a fait accompli, the most recent illustration of which is their obstinacy in ratifying in their domestic laws the annexation of the Holy City of Al-Quds, is a result of the continued survival of the annexationist ambitions they nurture which are the very essence of zionism.
Assured of impunity and strong in its intransigence, the Zionist entity, systematically pursuing its policy of expansionism and of the extermination of the Palestinian people, does not hesitate to attack Lebanon, an independent country and Member of our Organization. Flouting the principles of the territorial integrity of States and of their national sovereignty, the Zionist forces have carried their war into Lebanon only to imperil the very bases of the Lebanese nation. For in addition to the extermination of Palestinian. refugees by bombing in Lebanon, the Zionists in fact are aiming at splitting up the Lebanese State and threatening its national unity. The invasion of Lebanon and the murderous attacks to which it is regularly subjected - the whole tragedy experienced by the fraternal Lebanese people - place the United Nations squarely before its responsibilities. Those facts, as well as demonstrating the criminal designs of the Zionist entity, also confer a new dimension upon the situation in the Middle East.
That series of faits accomplis and challenges, which in themselves constitute flagrant violations of international principles, fall within a plan that has been painstakingly put together and developed on two sides, on the one side to achieve the mad dream of zionism, and on the other to make the effects of its aggressive and annexationist policy the focus of any debate concerning the question of Palestine, thus impeding efforts of the international community to find a just and lasting solution.
After the failure of all attempts to distort the problem and after the failure of the Camp David accords, the United Nations must now more than ever shoulder its responsibilities so as to ensure that the inalienable national rights of the Palestinian people will be achieved, as that constitutes the only just and lasting solution.
The current session, the convening of which was decided by the Sixth Conference of Heads of State or Government of Non-Aligned Countries, to take up the challenge represented by the persistent blocking of the situation in the Security Council, offers a timely opportunity to Member States to analyse why the numerous resolutions of the United Nations relating to this question have not been applied, and to agree to practical measures to implement the recommendations of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People.
Aware of the many serious precedents inherent in the cynical determination of the Zionist entity to ignore all United Nations resolutions, Algeria considers that our Assembly is in duty bound to consider coercive measures so as to ensure respect for the decisions of the international community.
In truth, the seventh emergency special session of the General Assembly will be judged by the importance of the decisions that it takes and the determination that the international community demonstrates in ensuring their application.
The United Nations today, strengthened by its universality and the trust of our peoples, is now invested with the duty of judging its own past action. This is more than simple self-criticism; it is the righting of a historical injustice and it is within its grasp. The broadening of the international consensus on the question of Palestine and the correct perception of political facts involved, which is becoming clear even among those who did not associate themselves with the decisions of the twenty-ninth session of the General Assembly, attest to the fact that the time has come for bold decisions, following the tide of history, for the restoration of the national rights of the Palestinian people.
(Mongolia): Mr. President, I should like to associate myself with all the other representatives in expressing our deep satisfaction that you are presiding over the deliberations of this emergency special session of the General Assembly. 'I am confident that this session will benefit from your wisdom, skill and experience in dealing with its task.
The General Assembly and other organs of the United Nations have time and again reaffirmed that a just and lasting peace in the Middle East cannot be established without the achievement of a just solution of the problem of Palestine on the basis of the attainment of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, including the right of return and the right to national independence and sovereignty in Palestine, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations.
The latest developments in the region clearly testify to this conclusion. Israel, in. absolute disregard of all appeals and numerous resolutions of the United Nations General Assembly and the Security Council, not only continues to deny the inalienable right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, but is also stepping up its efforts to perpetuate the occupation of Arab lands and to destroy the Palestinian people as a nation. In order to achieve this aim, the Israeli authorities resort both to ruthless suppression of the resistance of the Palestinian people and to manoeuvres designed to mislead world public opinion.
In open defiance of the world community, Israeli Zionists in cold blood continue their annexationist and repressive policy towards the occupied Arab territories and carry out aggressive and subversive activities in south Lebanon and barbarously shell the Palestinian camps. These acts of aggression, expansion and reaction pose a grave threat to the peace and security not only of that region but of the entire world.
The so-called plan for administrative autonomy in the occupied Arab territories is nothing but a camouflage of the annexationist policy of Israel and a direct outcome of the separate Camp David agreements which have been totally rejected by the people of Palestine as a conspiracy against justice and peace.
In this connexion, I wish to note that the Camp David accords not only stand in the way of a just and lasting settlement of the Palestinian problem in particular, but also add to the deterioration of the grave situation in the regions of the Middle and Near East as a whole. Military facilities in Egypt and certain other countries along with those in Israel have been used by the United States for-its military adventure in Iran, and there is no guarantee that they will not be used by the imperialist, expansionist and hegemonist forces against the revolutionary, progressive regimes of that or nearby regions.
Under the cover of the talks on the so-called autonomy, the Israeli authorities are now intensively engaged in creating illegal settlements in the occupied lands. 'These measures, designed ultimately to annex the Arab territories, are very often accompanied by mass repressions against the peaceful population and ruthless exploitation and expropriation of the natural wealth and resources of the occupied territories. 'According to some press reports, the military authorities of Israel have expropriated 32 per cent of the entire territory of the West Bank of Jordan; 64 settlements have already been established and 60 others are planned. Thirty-nine of the existing settlements have been set up by the Begin Government after the Camp David separate accords were concluded,* (Mr. A.M. Adan (Somalia) Vice-President, took Chair.)
The New York Times
of today states that the Israeli Parliament has adopted a bill declaring Jerusalem to be the capital of Israel. This is clear evidence of the policy of fait accompli pursued by Israel and of an open challenge to this world body while it is seized of the relevant issues. This act is a fresh attempt by Israel to legalize its annexationist policy. This unilateral wanton act should be most strongly condemned and repudiated as illegal, null and void.
The world community should not allow Israel to annex the Arab territories acquired as a result of aggression and to flout the rights of the 4 million Palestinian people.
It is obvious that without enormous military and economic aid Israel, in the words of the representative of Israel "one of the smallest nations on earth", would be unable to challenge the United Nations and the international community. It is the United States support that enables the Israeli Zionists to persist in their aggressive and annexationist policies with regard to Arab States and the occupied territories. In its determined opposition to the will of the United Nations, Israel has always counted on the support of the United States. For instance, within the period of less than a year between December 1975 and June 1976, the United States exercised its veto four times to defeat resolutions in the Security Council which condemned Israeli aggressions against neighbouring Arab States and affirmed the inalienable right of the Palestinian people to self-determination. 'Of the 53 meetings of the Security Council held in the first six months of this year, 33 were devoted to various aspects of the Middle East crisis, and each time the United States blocked the adoption of effective measures that would compel Israel to respect the United Nations decisions and promote the solution of the Palestinian problem.
In view of this impasse, the convening of this emergency session to consider exclusively the question of Palestine as a key problem of the Middle East conflict was a timely and right decision.
It is the earnest hope of my delegation that this session of the General Assembly will adopt effective practical measures which will ensure the implementation of the early decisions of the United Nations pertaining particularly to the exercise of the inalienable national rights of the Palestinian people, including the right to set up their own independent, sovereign State.
My delegation fully endorses the view that, in the event of non-compliance by Israel with the decisions to be taken by the General Assembly at this session, the Security Council should be requested to review the situation and to adopt the most effective measures possible under Chapter 7 of the Charter of the United Nations.
The present situation in the Middle East and the events taking place in that region once main confirm that a just and lasting peace can be achieved only through an over-all settlement with the participation of all the parties concerned, especially the Palestine Liberation Organization, the sole representative of the Palestinian people. The most essential elements of a comprehensive settlement are the complete and unconditional withdrawal of the Israeli troops from all the Arab territories occupied in 1967, including Jerusalem, and the ensuring of the exercise by the Arab people of Palestine of their legitimate national rights, including the right to self-determination and the creation of their own State.
The Mongolian people follows with sympathy and admiration the just and consistent struggle waged by the Palestinian people under the leadership of their legitimate representative, the Palestine Liberation Organization, for the restoration of their lawful national rights and for their freedom and self-determination, and once main expresses its full support for them and fraternal solidarity in their struggle for their just cause.
(Libyan Arab Jamahariya) (interpretation from Arabic): Mr. President, it is a great pleasure for me to express, on behalf of the delegation of the Libyan Arab Jamahariya, appreciation of your tireless efforts and the serious work you have performed and are performing as President of this Assembly.
At this emergency special session, -as we discuss again the question of the exercise of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, allow me, on behalf of my delegation, to salute the members of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People and thank them for their continuing efforts in fulfilling their task. I should like to thank Ambassador Medoune Fall the Committee's past Chairman and Ambassador Falilou Kane, its current Chairman, as well as its Rapporteur.
The question that this special session is considering once again is a fundamental issue that has been disturbing the international community increasingly for more than 30 years. It is the cause of the Palestinian people and their legitimate inalienable rights. That people has lived and is still living through a tragedy unique in history as a result of the Zionist and colonialist conspiracy against it. The Palestinian people has been subjected to direct settlement and aggression without parallel in modern history. That Zionist-colonialist aggression is a special kind of colonialism. Most of the countries represented in this Assembly have known colonialism - in Africa, in Asia and in other parts of the world. We have known colonialism as a cruel force of the colonialist States which have come to occupy our countries, exploit our wealth and persecute our people. But at least -the peoples affected were allowed to live, whereas what world-wide Zionism and its imperialist allies have perpetrated against the Palestinian people is a type of colonialism designed to drive the Palestinians from their land and expel them from their homeland, in order to replace them by invading racist immigrants from all parts of the world.
The tragedy that has taken place in occupied Palestine, and the dispersion of the Palestinian people by the Zionists and colonialists are not only crimes against the Palestinian people but also a stab to all living consciences throughout the world. The case of the Palestinian people is one of the most dangerous problems the world is facing now. The wars that our Arab region has witnessed are considered among the most cruel the world has ever seen. From all standpoints - political, human and legal - this issue is a unique tragedy: the authentic people of Palestine, which inherited an ancient civilization and whose Arab land was the cradle of inspiration and the source of the religious belief that has been the guiding light of mankind, is today the victim of the most cruel crime. Instead of the Palestinians being granted their rights and enabled to attain them, like all the other peoples an the world, they had a protectorate imposed on them by the imperialist and colonialist forces, after which they fell easy prey to the racist Zionist invaders, who dispersed them and deprived them of their homes and their rights. For more than 30 years hundreds of thousands of Palestinians have been compelled to live in poverty and dispersion, Those Palestinians who remained in Palestine were deprived of their human rights.
We cannot fail to express the profound meaning of the holding of this special session of the General Assembly to consider the issue of the exercise by the Palestinian People of its rights. This session is being held at a time when the Zionist entity has intensified its practices against the Palestinian people and territories and has persisted in establishing settlements in occupied Arab territory. It has intensified its ferocious aggression against the Palestinian people and the Palestinians in the occupied territories to such an extent that elected officials in the areas have been attacked.
The United Nations has to act in view of the fact that the Israeli entity has scorned its resolutions; therefore we must shoulder our responsibility, remembering that the General Assembly has recognized the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, and the United Nations has recognized the Palestine Liberation Organization as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people.
We should remember, in particular, that it has adopted resolution 3376 (XXX) by which it reaffirmed the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, including its rights to self-determination, independence and national sovereignty, along with the right to return to its homeland, from which it had been expelled. Those resolutions, which have been reaffirmed by the General Assembly during its last four sessions, reflect an important development and a basic change in the attitude of the General Assembly to the Palestinian cause and indicate the decisive evolution that has taken place in world public opinion. A more objective and fair view of the Palestinian tragedy has emerged and that is important with regard to redressing the injustice perpetrated by the General Assembly itself against the Palestinian people following the Second World War, when this Assembly was wholly and completely dominated by imperialist and colonialist forces and represented only a very small number of States.
Having recognized the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people, and the PLO as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people, the United Nations must undertake before history to undo the harm it has done in circumstances of which we are all aware.
The report of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, which is indeed objective, and the important documents which accompany it, constitute important historical reference works describing the way in which the question of Palestine has been treated in the United Nations since it first arose. We support much of the analysis and many of the recommendations of that Committee on Palestinian rights and particularly the following:
First, the affirmation by that Committee that the question of Palestine is the core of the question of the Middle East and that therefore there can be no solution to the Middle East question that does not take into account the aspirations of the Palestinian people and its inalienable rights.
Secondly, the recognition of the legitimate, inalienable rights of the Palestinian people to return to its homes and property and to self-determination, independence and sovereignty, for we believe that the full implementation of those rights will contribute decisively to a comprehensive and definitive settlement.
Thirdly, the affirmation of the fundamental principle of the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by the use of force and the necessity for total and immediate withdrawal from the occupied Arab and Palestinian territories.
Fourthly, the affirmation of the role and the responsibility of all parties involved in order to enable the Palestinian people to exercise its inalienable rights.
Fifthly, the need for the United Nations and its bodies to assume a larger and more influential role in the solution of this Palestinian issue. It is up to the United Nations to take decisive, effective measures such as would enable the Palestinians to exercise their right to return to their homes and their lands.
The Security Council considered this question from 31 March to 30 April this year under the item on the Question of Palestine, under paragraphs 7 and 8 of General Assembly resolution 34/65 A. The report of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People was considered and examined, and the President and the Rapporteur of the Committee, along with other members of the Organization, took part in the work of the Council and submitted draft resolution S/13911. That draft resolution is moderate in form and in its provisions; it affirms the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, including that of return to their homes, independence and sovereignty over the whole of Palestine. Those rights have been reaffirmed by the Assembly during its last four sessions and they are in fact enshrined in the United Nations Charter. However, everybody knows that the Security Council was unfortunately unable to adopt any resolution because of the hostile attitude of the United States to the Palestinian people. The United States of America exercised the so-called right of veto and abused that right in regard to any resolution submitted. That action and the attitude of the United States is not new; the United States bears full responsibility with regard to the deterioration of the situation in the Arab region. In the past the United States has in a general way continually opposed the rights of the Palestinian people just as they have misused the right of veto against the peoples of Africa fighting for their freedom.
This discussion gives us an opportunity once again to reiterate our disappointment and that of the third world at the existence of the veto right in the Security Council. The time has come for the overwhelming majority of Member States to call for changes in the voting system and the veto in the Security Council. Otherwise respect for the Charter can never be guaranteed. In fact, although the Security Council was unable to discharge its responsibilities because of the hostile attitude of the United States to the rights of people, that can in no way prevent the General Assembly's taking a stand in keeping with the Charter and with the responsibility of this international Organization. Any weakness on the part of this Assembly regarding its sacred duty will open the way to the destruction of this Organization or its collapse. The time has come for all peace-loving countries that approve the right to self-determination of persecuted peoples to stand up energetically against those that only consider their own interests and refuse to grant the right of self-determination to others.
The failure of the Security Council to adopt a resolution regarding the Palestinian people because of the stubbornness of the Zionists and the totally biased attitude of the United States compels this General Assembly at the present session to shoulder its responsibilities by the adoption of the measures necessary to reaffirm the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people.
The General Assembly, the Security Council and other United Nations bodies have, over the last 30 years, adopted hundreds of resolutions and recommendations without having been able to find a solution to the problem of the Palestinian people. The main reason for the failure of the United Nations, even today when it represents more than 150 States, is the stubbornness and arrogance of the Zionist movement, that Nazi, neo-Fascist movement encouraged by a major State, a permanent member of the Security Council, the United States, which gives unlimited support in all fields to the Zionist entity. The United States of America, which claims to have the right to work for peace, and which takes upon itself the role of arbiter in this question, is in fact a party to the dispute on the side of the Zionists.
The United States can in no way, therefore, serve as an arbiter. The total partiality of the United States needs no further proof. Everyone knows that the United States of America supplies enormous assistance to the Zionist entity, including weapons to be used against the Palestinian and other Arab peoples. The military, political and financial assistance provided by American imperialism amounts to more than $10 million a day. As President Carter himself said:
(spoke in English):
"Since 1977, when I became President, we have recommended over $10 billion in military and economic assistance for Israel."
(continued in Arabic):
That is the policy of the United States, according to President Carter himself.
The United States supplies financial and material support to the Zionist entity, while refusing to recognize the PLO, which is the sole, legitimate representative of the Palestinian people, despite the fact that more than 110 States, including some allies of the United States, have recognized it.
The United States, in opposing the rights of the Palestinian people, is shirking its responsibilities, despite its claims that it is trying to achieve peace. As we have seen, the United States is hostile to the Palestinian people and, therefore, cannot act as an arbiter in this matter. The United States must bear primary responsibility for the suffering of the Palestinian people and for the intransigence and the arrogance of the racist, fascist, Nazi entity in Palestine and its rejection of all the resolutions of the United Nations. Moreover, in our view, the United States must assume the historical responsibility for all the tragedies and wars that have taken place in the area. The United States of America has not been content merely to oppose all resolutions which have supported the rights of the Palestinians; it has even stated, through its authorities, its commitment to opposing all future Security Council resolutions that recognize the rights of the Palestinians. This was what President Carter said before the meeting of the European Economic Community, which tried to understand this matter of Palestine. Consequently that statement and that threat influenced the drafting of the communique of the European group which did not really go beyond the context of the Camp David accords, which were prepared and signed by the United States of America.
The position of my country - which refuses to accept those accords - is well known: those accords have been condemned by summit meetings and conferences at various levels; those accords were also condemned by the United Nations in resolution 34/65, at the last session. For a mere glance at those accords we note that they run counter to international legality, since they fully and completely neglect the Palestinian question, which has been recognized by the entire world as being the very basis of this problem.
In addition, the accords deny the Palestinian people their legitimate rights. Everything in those accords is, in our view, a parody of autonomy.
Those Camp David accords have divided the Palestinian people in terms of what has been referred to as autonomy and have made autonomy something exclusively for the people who live in Gaza and the West Bank. The Palestinians, who were ousted from their lands, on the other hand, do not benefit from those rights - a conspiracy which would thus consolidate the aggression. The accords are therefore merely an extension of the Balfour Declaration; they do not refer to the right of all the Palestinian people to return to their homes and homeland, right of return being limited to people living in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. And they can return only in accordance with agreements made by the occupying Power. Those who were ousted in 1948 have thus been condemned to live forever as refugees under the terms of the Camp David accords.
The Camp David accords are a form of aggression against the sovereignty of other States, since they stipulate that their provisions apply to peace treaties between what is called Israel and all its neighbours - Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon - and thus we see how the parties to the Camp David accords have violated a fundamental principle of the United Nations Charter which refers to sovereign equality among all States.* (*The President returned to the Chair.)
Moreover, the Camp David accords were signed by parties which have no legitimacy and which are in no way mandated to speak on behalf of the Palestinians. The United Nations has recognized the PLO as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people.
The signing of the Camp David accords and the treaty has created a new situation of tension in the Arab region: not only will it disrupt the peace process there but it will, in fact, ensure deterioration of the situation and pose the danger of further wars.
The repeated Zionist aggression against Lebanon and the Egyptian regime's mobilization of its forces on the Libyan border have caused a state of emergency at that border, and this is the best proof of what is happening. The Egyptian regime, in planning war against Libya, has done so merely to break the state of isolation in which Egypt finds itself, and has thus achieved the American Zionists' goals and purposes - namely, to strike a blow against the Arab peoples' resistance. This has been at the urging of the United States, even though at the same time the United States is declaring that it is working for peace. Thus we note that it is, in fact, doing the opposite.
The United States has compelled Egypt to grant it military facilities and bases, which could be used to strike against Iran and which could be used at any time to further aggravate the situation in the region. Thus the United States has become one of the main parties in this manoeuvre designed to threaten international peace and security in that region.
The Palestinian people has inalienable rights, confirmed and enshrined by the United Nations Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Palestine question is a matter of national liberation and of militant action against colonialism. The Palestinian people, irrespective of the conspiracy plotted against it and of the attempts made by racists and their allies against it, is firmly resolved to continue its struggle to liberate its homeland and achieve self-determination. The rights of the Palestinian people are the key to peace in the Middle East. Peace and justice can be achieved in that region only when the Palestinian people has won the exercise of its rights over its entire homeland.
The Zionist information system, particularly in the United States, attempts to distort our position and accuses us of being against peace. On the contrary, we stand in favour of peace, for we know the meaning of war, with all its attendant ills. Peace is our dream, but we want a peace which is founded on justice, not on injustice and slavery - and not on the theory of zionism, which is an expansionist theory.
We should like to state that peace in the region cannot be achieved so long as international zionism keeps to its theory of building a racist State of ousting the Arabs from their lands and of using as many immigrants as possible to replace the Arabs. Thus, the non-Jew in that State becomes a second-class or third-class citizen.
The achievement of peace in our Arab region of the world is of extreme importance for us and for all those who are interested in safeguarding political stability in the world. But peace cannot be achieved through illegal means. Peace can be established only through granting the Palestinian people the exercise of their inalienable rights and their right to return to their homeland and a just solution of the question of Palestine can be arrived at only by putting an end to Jewish immigration to Palestine, by allowing the return of those displaced and giving the Palestinian people the opportunity to exercise its right to self-determination and to build a democratic Palestinian State whose subjects will be Palestinian Arabs and Jews and where the three religions will co-exist in a brotherly atmosphere.
History has taught us that liberation causes triumph in the end. The question of Zimbabwe is the latest example of that triumph. We have seen how that heroic people has been able to impose its will, thanks to the struggle, and how it was able to recover its homeland following a difficult fight. Zimbabwe was called Rhodesia for a period of less than a year, but now Rhodesia has disappeared and now it is Zimbabwe. And what is called Israel, in accordance with history, is condemned also to disappear, and Palestine will be restored in all its legitimacy.
Our country has considered this question of Palestine and the recovery by the Palestinian of its rights as its chief cause and we are fully in solidarity with the Palestinian people, as represented by the PLO, and with our Arab brothers in their struggle against Zionism. The Libyan Arab Jamahiriya will be faithful to its objectives and will spare no effort to work side by side with Arab and Moslem brothers in peace-loving countries to ensure that the final victory is achieved for the Palestinian people, so that they may return to their homes and build their own State in their homeland, despite attempts by the Zionists and colonialists against our nation. The justice of our cause is further strengthened by the struggle on all fronts in order to help us achieve all our objectives and attain the liberation of Palestine.
This Assembly has heard the statement of the spokesman of the Zionist gang. He spoke of their rejection out of hand of any resolution that might emerge from the United Nations. He referred to what he termed the fait accompli. These claims, this intransigence, albeit supported by the United States of America, will not last very long. Hitler perished; Nazism came to an end in Germany; Nazism and fascism will also come to an end in Palestine. As a nation in the Arab region and as an Arab nation before the existence of the Zionist entity, we experienced many years of the Crusades and we triumphed. The will of our peoples triumphed and the Crusaders were vanquished. I say to the pretentious representative of the Zionist entity that their end is near, and that what is now called Israel will become Palestine, just as what was once called Rhodesia is now Zimbabwe. The day will come soon.
(Madagascar) (interpretation from French): Mr. President, it is quite right that my delegation should be so pleased at once again seeing the General Assembly's taking advantage of your experience, and we are convinced that the atmosphere fortunately maintained in these deliberations by your outstanding qualities of deer reflection will have a positive effect on the results that we expect of this session to the benefit of our Organization and, especially, of the higher interests of peace.
One could go on endlessly discussing the applicability of resolution 377 A (v) to this present session, the authority of the General Assembly to take decisions on the maintenance of international peace and security, the urgency and importance of the question of Palestine, especially with respect to the effective exercise by the Palestinian people of its inalienable national rights; and we are fearful that the excesses of legalism into which we too often fall will prevent us from grasping certain truths and honouring our commitments.
It has been audaciously put forward here that the realities of the United Nations are different from the realities of the outside world, pointing to partial initiatives which, through the magic of propaganda alone and self-suggestion or hypnosis, one wishes to make universal, miraculous and final, so much so that any other approach should be subordinated to them. However, is it not true that in gathering together in an emergency special session, the General Assembly wished to highlight a certain number of facts which, unfortunately, are part of reality and cannot be disregarded even if some have chosen arrogance, complacency, intransigence and persistence in error?
These facts are indisputable and known to us all. They are: the absence of a final settlement of the problem of Palestine; the continuation and escalation of confrontation; the depredations of Israel with respect to the territories of the Arabs and Palestinians, including Jerusalem; disrespect for international conventions and practices; recourse to State terrorism, genocide, brutal judaization of Palestine; the iniquitous and deliberate destruction of southern Lebanon; the massive introduction of the most sophisticated weapons into the area despite a so-called peace process; the uncertainty of the situation in western Asia; threats of direct intervention by a super-Power caught in its own contradictions; the arbitrary use of the veto by one permanent member of the Security Council in order to evade its special responsibilities under the Charter and to satisfy the requirements of an opportunistic alliance; and, finally, the foreseeable failure of the tripartite Camp David arrangements, which have already been unremittingly condemned by resolution 34/65 B, which people have presented as an alternative to the resolutions of the General Assembly.
The list is far from exhaustive, but it allows us to become aware -. if this is still necessary - of the seriousness of the crisis and the urgency of finding a way out of it in conformity with our principles, with the interests of the Palestinian people and within the framework of our own deliberations.
We cannot insist too much on the central role which the United Nations must play in the search for a solution to the Palestinian problem. In the past and more recently, we have witnessed other initiatives which have failed one after the other because they all basically ignored the Palestinian nation. Rhetorical flourishes, claims of age-old historical rights, appeals to often spurious imagery and the systematic denigration of the United Nations will not work; the historic, political and moral responsibility of the Organization for the Palestinians remains intact.
What a distance we have travelled between the iniquitous partition of Palestine which was imposed on us and the recognition of the inalienable national rights of the Palestinians: But we must acknowledge that the United Nations has not always been on the side of the law and justice; often, our hesitation, our foot-dragging, and our legal hair-splitting have played into the hands of the Zionist aggressors and expansionists. The United Nations has neither the time to, reverse itself, nor the possibility of doing so, and it is unthinkable that we should renege on our commitment to the Palestinian people, i.e., to secure full recognition of a sovereign, independent and separate Palestinian nation.
It is around this key idea that the recommendations of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People have been structured. Year after year, since the thirty-first Assembly session, we have ratified them, and year after year Israel and its allies have also contrived to distort them, contest them and reject them, thus creating even within the United Nations an unjustifiable confrontation between the democratic will of the majority of Member States and the
of a minority lost in its age-old dreams or in the tardy realization of its own guilt with regard to the Jewish people.
In accordance with practice, we addressed ourselves to the Security Council, but the Security Council did not heed us - or, to be more accurate, it was prevented from playing its primary role by one Member State which deliberately chose, in contravention of Article 103 of the Charter, to subordinate its international obligations to commitments whose morality and conformity with the principles of the Charger are highly dubious. [hat is even more serious is that attempts are being made to justify this attitude by sustaining a long-drawn-out and faltering peace process, and that thus peace is opposed for reasons of pride.
Faced with the regrettable failure of the Security Council, the General Assembly has the right and the duty to advocate measures which would give effect to the recommendations it has endorsed, thus bringing to fruition the work it has undertaken, with varying fortunes, for 35 years now.
There is no need once more to recall in detail the recommendations of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People. All of us remember them, we all have them in mind, and we do not think it necessary to discuss them or to engage in a lengthy explanation of them. But it is appropriate to dwell on the fact that the Committee recommended that the role of the United Nations and its organs be intensified and strengthened in the quest for a just solution to the question of Palestine and in the implementation of such a solution.
Two essential issues were pointed out by the Committee: the natural right of the Palestinians to return, and the unconditional evacuation of the occupied territories. This is not new, and the General Assembly resolutions adopted since the second regular session, as well as the decisions taken by the Security Council following various Israeli-Arab conflicts bear this out. Procedures are contemplated with which the United Nations could easily and legitimately associate itself in accordance with the purposes set forth in the Charter dealing on one hand with the maintenance of international peace and security and on the other hand with the rights of peoples. The delegation of Madagascar will support any initiative which will permit the Secretary-General
or any United Nations agency or body to play a decisive, positive role so as to ensure that the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, independence and national sovereignty will not once again be sacrificed on the altar of a precarious and fraudulent peace.
We have heard the representative of Israel state,
, things that are so absurd that there is no point in mentioning them, that the Zionist entity will consider any resolution adopted at the present session as illegal and will not consider itself bound by our decisions. It is thus refusing to fulfil the obligations it assumed under the Charter, especially that of accepting and applying the decisions of the General Assembly, which, under resolution 377A (V), has taken the place of the Security Council which was unable to act. It has only itself to blame, not any alleged prejudice of the international community against Israel, if in future we call for the application of sanctions and preventive, even enforcement, measures against it.
It remains for us to pay a special, brotherly tribute to the Palestine Liberation Organization, the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people, and to its leaders for their steadfastness in seeking by all the means at their disposal, including revolutionary struggle - a just and honourable peace, a peace which would not sacrifice the true interests of the Palestinian people, a peace which would be consonant with the principles of the United Nations, a peace which would imply neither conspiracy, abdication nor renunciation.
An appeal has been made to us not to content ourselves with merely reaffirming our intentions and our hopes for the Palestinian people and for peace and stability in the region, but rather to take action to reach our own objectives. Our most cherished hope is that that appeal will be heard. For its part, the Democratic Republic of Madagascar, along with those who share with it the same ideals of progress and social justice, recognizes that nothing can be decided without the full and effective participation of the Palestine Liberation Organization and that the rights of the Palestinians remain - whatever the political formulas that may be adopted - a fundamental and inevitable element in any solution for peace in the Middle East.
(Guyana): Mr. President, the warm brotherly relations which so happily exist between the United Republic of Tanzania and the Co-operative Republic of Guyana give me a special pleasure to see you presiding over this seventh emergency special session of the General Assembly summoned to consider the question of Palestine. Earlier this year - in February - it was our distinct honour to welcome you in Guyana, in your capacity as President of the General Assembly, on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of our Republic. Your visit provided us with an opportunity for wide-ranging discussions on matters of international import. Guyana benefited much from your wisdom, your experience and your judgement. It is that wisdom which, along with Tanzania's well-known contribution to the causes of peace and justice, gives us the assurance that the business of this session will be conducted in an efficient and profitable manner.
We meet in special session to debate the question of Palestine. We do so at a time when certain national and international tendencies reflecting the pursuit of class--ideological and strategic interests are promoting the consolidation rather than the dismantling of the global war system. We do so as well when liberation movements are hot upon the scent of victory and the forces for national liberation are growing from strength to strength. But, most importantly, we do so at a time when the urgency of the circumstances surrounding the plight of the Palestinian people, led by their authentic and legitimate representative, the Palestine Liberation Organization, has compelled increased international support .a moral, political, diplomatic and material.
As we meet, let us also be conscious of certain disturbing manifestations in the international arena attempts to render vulnerable the independence and security of small States: the increasing resort, under various guises, to interference in the internal affairs of States,. the scramble for spheres of influence; the stepped-up arms race°, and efforts to create an international climate of global confrontation, one in which detente takes on the aspect more and more of an enduring abstraction.
Historically, the Middle East has been one of the theatres in which both the drama and the tragedy of such features of international relations have been acted out. Today the situation is no different, though the implications for humanity have become far more ominous.
It is against such a background that I ask the question: How will the Palestinian people fare and what are their prospects?
Only a bigot or a knave can seek to deny that the question of Palestine is central to any comprehensive settlement of the Middle East problem - a settlement which must be as just as it is lasting. Acknowledgement of this reality is widespread; indeed, it is universal. And so too are the essential requirements for peace in the Middle East and for a settlement in an area which, from ancient times, has witnessed so much competitive struggle.
The requirements for a settlement have been spelt out umpteen times in this Assembly but, more specifically, in the all-embracing resolution 3236 (XXIX), adopted in November 1974. Those requirements have been articulated in, the declarations of the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries, more recently and most comprehensively in the declaration approved by the Sixth Summit Conference, held in Havana, Cuba, in September last year. The essential ingredients are well known. They are the non-acquisition of territory by force, the right of all States in the area to live in peace and security and,, finally but importantly, the restoration of the national rights of the Palestinian people.
The present turbulence in the Middle East has its root-cause in the expulsion of the Palestinians from their homeland and in the character of the Israeli presence in the area. The Israeli State cannot be permanently established on the denial of the rights of the Palestinians, The Israeli policy of basing survival on territorial expansion in accordance with its own self-.serving perception of its security needs must be abandoned. Those needs cannot be fulfilled on the basis of the continuing occupation and creeping annexation of Arab lands captured in the war of 1967, the expropriation of Palestinian property, the destruction of Palestinian homes and the establishment of new settlements coupled with the expansion of old ones. I ash these questions: Can those actions of the Israeli State assist in the search for peace? Is Israel ready to risk further war by determinedly holding on to the spoils of war?
The reasons for stagnation in the progress- towards a comprehensive settlement lie not in the lack of appreciation of the, prerequisites and prescriptions for peace. They lie elsewhere. First and foremost, there is Israeli intransigence and expansionism and the adherence of its leaders to outmoded concepts dominant in a bygone era of gross exploitation and manifest discrimination. Israelis odious policies have now taken a particularly aggressive and uncompromising turn with the steps which it brazenly contemplates in relation to Jerusalem. Another reason stems from the external support - sometimes manipulated - which Israel receives and which buttresses it in its blind pursuit of policies that are contrary to the objective of peace. In this respect Israel is encouraged to pursue negotiations in which both the scope and the participants are limited. To ignore the obvious fact that a solution to the Middle East situation cannot be based on exclusionary formulas is to indulge in self-delusion. And stagnation is in part attributable to efforts and actions within the United Nations which inhibit the capacity of our organization to play a full and meaningful role in the search for a solution consonant with the purposes and principles of the Charter.
In addressing our minds to the tasks before us during this session let us not overlook one of the current objective realities. It is that while logic - the force of argument - has a role to play, it is not by itself a mechanism for compelling beneficial change. It has to contend with a mix of factors, not least of which is the pursuit of perceived strategic national interests. Logic, in relation to the question of Palestine as elsewhere, is made to be subordinate to a welter of forces which form a power equation. The geometry of power becomes the important determinant for action.
Yet it is a truism that only within the framework of peace that enjoys widespread support in the Arab nation, the Non-Aligned Movement and the United Nations can we move positively towards a final and lasting solution of the Middle East problem. The centre-piece of that framework is the recognition of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people. Here the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People has shown the way forward. Its well-balanced recommendations,which have been endorsed by four successive General Assemblies, provide for a phased programme under which, with the complete withdrawal of Israeli occupation forces, the Palestinians would be able to return to their homeland and exercise their right to self-determination, national independence and sovereignty. In accordance with its recognition by the United Nations as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) has been assigned by the Committee a leadership role in the territories to be evacuated by the Israeli occupiers. Such a programme, if implemented, could go a long way towards ushering in the era of peace so desired in the Middle East.
It is 33 years since the first special session of the United Nations General Assembly took up the question of Palestine. It is 33 years since the stage was set for the fateful involvement of the United Nations in the destiny of Palestine. Recognition of the rights of an ancient nation to self-determination, freedom and independence was not to be the natural consequence, in those early years of this Organization's history, of the consideration of the question of Palestine.
What followed the adoption of a resolution on 29 November 19+7 providing for the partition of the land of Palestine between its majority Arab and its minority Jewish population contrasts most starkly with the great wave of decolonization that marked dramatic change in the international system which emerged in the wake of the Second World War. That great wave represents the crowning achievement of this Organization. But it has been the tragedy of the Palestinian people to stand most strikingly apart from the evolution which has taken place in international relations, an evolution that has seen nation after nation, including my own, Guyana, take its rightful place in this hall in fulfilment of its freedom and independence.
Instead the Palestinian people have been enveloped in a sequence of tragic events following the adoption of the partition resolution. A proud people was forced to flee the land of its ancestors. A whole region has been plunged into four wars and instability, the consequence of which obscured for almost 25 years the very nature of the origins of the Middle East conflict: the dispersal, displacement and dispossession of the Palestinians and the denial of their inalienable rights to self-determination, national independence and sovereignty and their right to return to their homes and property from which they had been driven.
Today it is incumbent upon us all, upon this Organization, to play a full role in redressing the inequities and injustices which have flowed from our first and subsequent considerations of the question of Palestine. It is a moral no less than a political responsibility of extreme gravity that we bear.
The Palestinians too have rights. They are a people. They are a nation. Let us not equivocate on the rights of the Palestinian people to self-determination; nor should we equivocate on their right to a homeland and indeed to a State of their own in Palestine.
The continuing violation of the rights of the Palestinians represents a challenge to the international community. More concretely, that violation confronts us daily with the threat of an outbreak of a regional and a global conflict of immeasurable proportions. It is clear that the geographical and economic importance of the region has created fiercely competitive relationships and conflicting national and strategic interests, thereby posing a constant and serious threat to international peace and security.
Let us as a result of this special session give unstinted succour and unreserved support to the Palestinian people, led by their legitimate representatives, the Palestine Liberation Organization, so that they may be enabled early to recover their freedom. Our task at this session is to reaffirm our support for the programme that has been mapped out for the fulfilment of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people and to adopt measures that can respond fittingly to the obstacles placed in the way of that fulfillment.
(Congo) (interpretation from French): It is a source of pride and pleasure for my delegation, Mr. President, to see you preside with such confidence and skill over the work of this emergency special session convened because of the deterioration of the situation of the Palestinians in the Arab territories occupied by Israel.
The Congolese delegation, together with the other members of the Mon-Aligned Movement, firmly supports the well-justified initiative taken by the Government of Senegal. The situation created in the West Bank and Gaza has opened a new era of unmitigated violence and tension brought to a pitch with the clear aim of nullifying the efforts made by the international community to implement the relevant resolutions of the United Nations General Assembly and the Security Council on the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people.
To understand better the scope of the tragedy of the Palestinians inside the territory and to grasp the psychological motivation and the insidious technique of the colonial policy which Israel imposes on the Arab population, we must have the courage to penetrate the very heart of the tragic reality which the people of Palestine live through every day in the occupied West Bank and Gaza.
The colonialist attitude of the occupation army and of the Israeli settlers in these territories is expressed in pathological outbreaks of the most barbarous instincts. For several years now the General Assembly has had to examine, with the complete file before it, the inhuman treatment which the Israeli occupation forces visit upon the Arab inhabitants of the lest Bank and Gaza. We have thus had an opportunity to gain information on the classic colonial type of repression which Israel uses to try to subjugate a people to its annexationist views, a people whose will to live freely and independently is common knowledge. I have every reason to believe that this Assembly is fully informed of the situation which many speakers in the main committees have often recounted with controlled emotion and without needless dramatization.
However, since the breakdown of the Camp David accords and the plan for internal autonomy, which all objective analysts have severely criticized, Israel has been deploying an enormous arsenal of repressive measures which, far from intimidating its victims, have, quite to the contrary, aroused passive but vigorous Palestinian resistance - mass demonstrations, strikes and so forth. The Israeli Government, of course, faced with this defiance, has not hesitated to react with extreme brutality - curfews often prolonged for several days, collective reprisals, public humiliations, dwellings blown up, Palestinian leaders expelled and. so forth.
Although the majority of Israelis remain behind the irrational policy of their leaders, voices are now being raised among the Jewish masses against the "curse of occupation". The most remarkable position is that adopted by the Israeli historian Talmon, who said:
"Our refusal to consider the Palestinians as a separate entity on the pretext that the entire country belongs to us and that the future of the Arabs must be determined by our aspirations and our strategic needs undermines the legitimacy of Israel in the eyes of the entire world."
That opinion is in fact a cry of alarm in the face of merely half the provocations aroused by the Israeli policy of establishing settlements in the very heart of Arab towns where the Israeli terrorist movement Gush Emunim, which is supported by the Government of Prime Minister Begin, is exerting pressure and fomenting trouble which, according to the instigators, will lead to a massive exodus of the Palestinians.
The notorious three obdurate refusals by Israel nullify the efforts of our Organization aimed at finding a just and lasting peace in the Middle Fast. They are its opposition to the creation of a Palestinian State,opposition to any dialogue with the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), and opposition to a return to the boundaries before the "six day war" in the West Bank and the Golan Heights.
However, in 1948, General Assembly resolution 181 (II) on the partition of Palestine envisaged two States in that area, while today by the force of arms there is the State of Israel alone. It was also the United Nations General Assembly which adopted resolution 194 (III) on the implementation of the right of return of the Palestinians to their country and to their properties, as also resolution 3236 (XXIX) of 22 November 1974 which unambiguously affirmed the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination.
The Palestine Liberation Organization, chose authority the Israeli Government scorns, appears today more than ever as the sole, single representative of the Palestinian people. Within the occupied territories, defying pressure and intimidation, the Palestinians unanimously recognize and acclaim the PLO as their sole and authentic spokesman. Furthermore, in the municipal elections held in 1976, the candidates supporting the PLO won an overwhelming victory, as everyone will recall, which should prompt its detractors to be more fair and logical in their judgement.
To prove clearly that the intentions of Israel are not those of the international community one has only to note the fact that the Government of Israel even uses the war situation in which it supposedly lives and acts as a pretext precisely to disregard all international conventions concerning situations of war. In all its latest resolutions, namely, 465 (1980) of 1 March 1980 and 471 (1930) of 5 June 1980, the Security Council enjoined Israel once again not to violate the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 on the protection of civilians in time of war. The criminal assassination attempts recently made against the mayors of Nablus, Ramallah and El Bireh shed the greatest possible light on this type of policy.
Why ask Israel to respect law and international conventions or to observe fundamental human rights? A theocratic State certainly believes itself to be above earthly contingencies and to be governed by conventions which are beyond good and evil. The use of religion for political purposes is not without its dangers.
As a country devoted to peace and committed to the advent of a better world free from fanaticism and exploitation of man by man, the People's Republic of the Congo has always condemned the connivance that is expressed by disrespect for United Nations resolutions and by the active collaboration which exists between Israel and South Africa.
Both of those States employ the same methods; both utilize the same fascist language with respect to those they oppress. Israel and South Africa both claim to be bastions of Western civilization, of Judeo-Christian humanist values in their respective areas.
We should like to express our total astonishment at hearing Prime Begin state that:
“The free world does not depend on nuclear weapons that cannot be utilized but on conventional forces. Israel is fully prepared, with its well-trained army, to assist the United States in defending the interests of the West in the Middle East.”
At a time when we are living in uncertainty and peril, the Israeli Government is trying to revive the spectres of the cold war and is entrenching itself in rigidity and arrogant omniscience.
For our part, we say that the destiny of the peoples of the Middle East requires each and every one of us to turn our backs on fatalistic attitudes and to work to bring about peace and understanding for all in that area, which is so full of promises for the entire world.
It is in the highest interests of international peace and security and understanding and co-operation among peoples that the United Nations should perform its duty by firmly rejecting the leaden weight which some of its Members bring to bear on the Organization. The United Nations does in face have the right the duty to impose a just and lasting peace in the Middle East, just as it has in southern Africa. Millions of families that have been broken up, and millions of other families whose daily existence has been destroyed, look to us to realize the hope for which our Organization was established. It is in fact high time for our Organization to make that hope a reality, because the rights of the Palestinian people are and will remain inalienable, and those rights include, above all, its right to self-determination and its right to independence and sovereignty, and the right of Palestinians who were ruthlessly exiled to return to their homeland and to obtain fair compensation for the property of which they were dispossessed. States large and small must come to the realization that there can be no settlement of the conflict in the Middle East that is not based on these essential rights of the Palestinian people and that does not closely associate one of the parties most directly concerned – its undisputed spokesman, the Palestinian Liberation
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Before this Assembly my delegation would like to reaffirm that the Congo in no way questions the right of Israel to exist within secure and internationally recognized boundaries. It is nevertheless important and urgent for Israel to withdraw from territories that have been occupied by force and scrupulously to respect the international status of the City of Jerusalem, which is the capital par excellence of the groat monotheistic religions that emerged precisely in that land of Palestine, which include' Judaism and Islam.
Aware that the reign of violence, passion and abuse has reached a particularly critical and dangerous stage, my delegation supports the resumption of the international negotiations known as the Geneva Conference, the two co-chairmen of which are the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.
In that respect, there is no need to dwell on the central role that should be played by the Palestine Liberation Organization as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people. The United Nations has, furthermore, welcomed the Palestine Liberation Organization in its halls since 1974, as was endorsed by the historic General Assembly resolution 3237 (XXIX).
At a time when the problems of our world, and in particular those relating to peace and security, are becoming universal, making peace itself indivisible; it is worthwhile, at the end of such an important debate, in which at any moment the destiny of the world may be at stake, for the wisdom of man to be able to overcome partisan egotism. An important step was taken a short while ago by the nine member States of the European Community, when they adopted a declaration on the Middle East, placing the question of Palestine in its true context by recognizing the Palestine Liberation Organization as having a major historic role in the framework of a global settlement of this conflict.
It is not too late to stem the tide of hatred which threatens to become a permanent feature of that area of the world. It is not too late for the supreme Purposes of the United Nations to prevail or to erase the evil consequences of almost 35 years of tragic misunderstanding by reminding all the parties involved of the famous words of Saint Exupéry: "In my civilization, anyone who differs from me, far from injuring me, enriches me.”
(Uganda): Mr. President, it is a special joy for my delegation to see you presiding over this special session of the General Assembly, dealing as it does with the question of Palestine. The question of Palestine is fundamentally a question of freedom and self-determination for a people long dispossessed and oppressed. It is therefore most appropriate that you should be presiding over this historic session, because in you we have an unusual combination of distinctions.
The first distinction belongs to your great country, the United Republic of Tanzania, whose contribution to and sacrifice for the cause of liberation are too well known for me to recount here. The second distinction belongs to you personally, for we all know that you have been a tireless champion of self-determination and freedom for colonial peoples the world over. I am confident that the example of your great country as well as your personal commitment to the struggle for self-determination will be a source inspiration to us all in our present deliberations.
The question of Palestine remains a most potent source of conflict, the ramifications of which reach well beyond that unfortunate region. The question of Palestine is like a powder her; which, though physically located in the Diddle East, is in reality a constant threat to the peace and security of the whole world. We therefore owe it not only to the aggrieved people of Palestine but to ourselves to resolve this question as a matter of the utmost urgency.
My delegation is happy to participate in this special session. We trust that it will mark the beginning of a new hope for the Palestinian people that will eventually lead to the full implementation of their rights. But while we are hopeful of a positive outcome of this session, we cannot but feel sad about the circumstances that made it necessary, in the first instance, to hold it. We are sad because the convening of this seventh emergency special session of the General Assembly is a clear testimony to the failure of the Security Council to restore justice to the long - suffering Palestinian people.
It is also a grim reminder of Israeli intransigence and arrogance in the face of overwhelming international opinion, which has been clearly expressed in numerous resolutions of this Assembly, as well as in the forums of the various regional organizations and international agencies.
We cannot forget that this session is a consequence of the failure of the Security Council to take decisive and positive measures concerning the rights of the Palestinian people. All initiatives in the Security Council have been frustrated by the insensitive use of the power of veto by a permanent member of the Council. Thus, on 30 April 1980 the United States vetoed a proposal affirming the inalienable right of the Palestinian people to self-determination.
It was therefore only as a result of the frustration caused by the United States veto that many countries, including my own, decided to pursue the option of an emergency special session in accordance with the recommendation made by the Sixth Conference of Heads of State or Government of Non-Aligned Countries, held in Havana in September 1979.
In order for us to attempt to resolve the question of Palestine, it is important for us to have a clear appreciation of the nature of the problem.
Unfortunately, the notion still persists in some quarters that the problem of the Middle East is primarily one of conflict between the State of Israel on the one hand and the independent Arab States on the other. That is a distortion of the truth. Undoubtedly, as a result of the wars and territorial conquests of Israel, the Arab States have been drawn inevitably into the conflict. But it is clear to us that the original issue, which still constitutes the core of the problem today, is the question of freedom and self-determination for the Palestinian people, Unless we address that issue clearly and boldly, all efforts to resolve the conflict are doomed to failure.
There are also those who still view the Palestinian question as mainly a refugee problem, which calls for the sympathy and charity of the international community. That too is another distortion, meant to obscure the truth. The refugee aspect of the Palestinian question is merely a consequence of a fundamental political problem. The problem in the Middle East today is the direct result of a Zionist design on the land of Palestine, a design that was hatched in Europe early in the nineteenth century and later executed with the collaboration of the imperialist Powers. The Zionist design was first and most concretely manifested in the Balfour Declaration of 1917 and, thereafter, in various documents of the Jewish Agency as well as in declarations by Zionist leaders in Europe.
Following the Second World War the leaders of zionism and the imperialist Powers took advantage of a legitimate climate of sympathy for the Jewish victims of Nazi persecution to establish a settler colony in Palestine with the express intention of uprooting and displacing the indigenous Arab inhabitants.
As representatives are aware, my own country, Uganda, was once considered the best location for a Zionist colony. If that plan had been successful, today it would be my people struggling against Zionist oppression.
It is a very cruel irony of history that some of the erstwhile victims of racial and religious persecution in Europe have today become the architects of a genocidal programme against the Arab people in Palestine. That is perhaps less surprising when we realize that zionism is itself an ideology of domination and exploitation which is in no way different from other ideologies representing those same tendencies.
It is that affinity, at the levels of both ideology and practice, that has inspired such close collaboration between South Africa and Israel; a collaboration which dates back to the days of the very close relationship between General Jan Smuts; the notorious Prime Minister of South Africa, and Chaim Weizmann, the Zionist leader who became the first President of Israel. That collaboration has intensified over the years at the political and economic levels. But today it has reached a new and dangerous level with its extension into the fields of nuclear research and weapons technology.
Even as we deliberate here,, the situation in the Middle East is being aggravated daily by Israel's persistence in pursuing a policy of provocation, occupation and expansion. The Begin Government is continuing to swallow up more and more Palestinian land by the use of various devices, including the orchestration of new illegal settlements on the West Bank. The harassment and terrorist persecution of Palestinians on the West Bank has now reached a new level of intensity. The recent assassination attempts on the lives of the Mayors of Nablus , Ramallah and Al-Bireh, and the deportation of the mayors of Al-Khalil and Malhoul and the Islamic Judge of Al-Khalil, are all signs of the political desperation of the Israeli authorities in the face of the concerted resistance by the heroic Palestinian people.
Only yesterday the Israeli Parliament passed a resolution confirming the intention of the Zionists to move the capital of Israel to Jerusalem. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Begin is already making arrangements to move his office to Jerusalem shortly. All these are manoeuvres designed to change the historic, religious; cultural and political character of the Holy City. We must reject those manoeuvres in the most unequivocal terms.
The frantic manoeuvres of the Israeli authorities on the West Bank and in Jerusalem are acts of desperation and thus very dangerous. We therefore have a duty, more urgent now than ever, to work out a viable formula to resolve the question of Palestine. In our view; a viable formula must contain at least the following elements:
First, the right of self-determination for the Palestinians, in their homeland, without any external interference secondly, the right of the Palestinians to national independence and sovereignty in a State of their own; thirdly, the right of the displaced and dispossessed Palestinians to return to their homes and property, which must be coupled with a guarantee of prompt and adequate compensation for those who may choose not to return; fourthly, the withdrawal of Israel from all occupied Palestinian and other Arab territories; fifthly, the restoration of the City of Jerusalem to Arab sovereignty and the preservation of its historical and religious character.
Finally, since the Palestinian issue is at the core of the ,Middle East problem, it follows that any initiative must involve the full participation of the, Palestine Liberation Organization as the sole and legitimate representative of the Palestinian people as a whole.
We regret that the illusion still persists in some circles that it is somehow possible to resolve the Middle East problem without the full participation of the PLO, or by the use of other vicarious devices, This would be like having a Lancaster House Conference on the question of Zimbabwe without the participation of the Patriotic Front. Such a scenario would have been ridiculous in the instance of Zimbabwe; it is no less ridiculous in the case of Palestine.
Uganda will give its full support to a formula encompassing the elements I have just outlined.
Let me emphasize once again that a lasting peace in the Middle East must be both just and comprehensive.
: We have heard the last sneaker in the debate
for this evening;. I call on the representative of the Palestine Liberation Organization, who has requested to make a statement in reply.
(Palestine Liberation Organization): In his statement delivered this afternoon, the American representative said:
"Innumerable resolutions have been passed, but we are no closer to peace as a result of them. The reason is simple and apparent to all: resolutions that do not take into account the legitimate rights and concerns of both sides will not be accepted by both sides and therefore cannot be the basis for negotiations; and without negotiations we cannot move forward towards peace." (supra, page 13)
Then he went on to say:
"We believe that the Palestinian people should have the opportunity to secure for themselves and their future generations, through negotiations, the right to live in dignity and freedom, the right to economic, social and cultural fulfilment and the right to responsible political expression,"
(ibid., page 17)
Does this view, in the judgement of the American Administration, secure the legitimate rights and concerns of both sides? Is this the even-handedness long professed to be the basis of American policy on the Middle East conflict? Is it only our right to economic, social and cultural fulfilment that worries the Carter Administration? Does not economic social and cultural fulfilment need a framework, a ground, a country where it can be developed? Does not the human and political survival of the Palestinian people precede its cultural, social and economic development, no matter how essential the latter may be?
Although this emergency special session is being held solely in order to enable the people of Palestine to exercise their inalienable rights, deliberately ignored by the United States and Israel, the American representative went out of his way to assure Israel about its security; he even repeated the words "security of Israel" in order not to leave any doubt or ambiguity in anybody's mind about the United States Administration's dedication to Israeli policy, which is being condemned by the overwhelming majority of this body.
Moreover, not a single word was uttered by the American representative on Israel's behaviour in Jerusalem, already condemned by the Security Council; not a single word was uttered by the American representative on Israel's determination to establish further settlements in the occupied Arab territories, a decision already condemned by the Security Council - and an internal American issue, since President Carter had to backtrack in his condemnation of these settlements in the Security Council, under pressure from Israel and Zionist pressure groups.
Not a single word was uttered about the Palestinians' right to self-determination only about Israel's right to security although self-determination is a principle enshrined in the United Nations Charter.
Not a single word was uttered about the Palestinians' right to independence already recognized and reaffirmed by this body.
Furthermore, what does the term "right to responsible political expression for the Palestinians" mean? Does it mean, in American political terminology, that the Palestinians are a nation of adolescents who are incapable of acting responsibly? I beg your pardon: Palestinians are not a nation; they are a people. Nationhood is too ambitious an aim for the Palestinians. What they deserve is what Mr. Begin has consented to give them: limited home rule. And even this, apparently, is not working out.
But the question arises here: Has Israel, since its inception, been acting responsibly and in a manner commensurate with internationally acknowledged norms and codes of behaviour? I think United Nations records contain the answer about . Israel's irresponsible behaviour since it was created.
We fully understand the reasons behind the one-sidedness of the American statement this afternoon. This is an election year, and everything is seen, perceived and expressed in terms of the prospects of a second term of office for President Carter. Beyond this perception, nothing matters except winning votes. And Zionist support in this context is both decisive and indispensable.
Nevertheless, may we humbly but responsibly and I repeat: responsibly - offer a little advice to the American representative: Do not preach what you cannot practise. If you insist on the legitimate rights and concerns of both sides, do something about it, and do not simply say it. After all, actions speak louder than words, particularly in an election year.
The meeting rose at 8.10 p.m.
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