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Provisional agenda (S/Agenda/1920)
Adoption of the agenda
The situation in the occupied Arab territories:
Letter dated 3 May 1976 from the Permanent Representative of Egypt to the United Nations addressed to the President of the Security Council (S/12066)
President: Mr. Louis de GUIRINGAUD (France).
Present: The representatives of the following States: Benin, China, France, Guyana, Italy, Japan, Libyan Arab Republic, Pakistan, Panama, Romania, Sweden, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United Republic of Tanzania, United States of America
1. Adoption of the agenda
2. The situation in the occupied Arab territories:
Letter dated 3 May 1976 from the Permanent Representative of Egypt to the United Nations addressed to the President of the Security Council (S/12066)
The meeting was called to order at 3.55 p.m. Adoption of the agenda
The agenda was adopted.
The situation in the occupied Arab territories: Letter dated 3 May 1976 from the Permanent Representative of Egypt to the United Nations addressed to the President of the Security Council (S/12066)
1. The PRESIDENT (interpretation from French):
In accordance with the decisions taken earlier [1916th to 1918th meetings], I shall now invite the representatives of Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, the Sudan, the Syrian Arab Republic and Yemen, as well as the representative of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), to participate in the debate without the right to vote.
At the invitation of the President, Mr. Herzog (Israel) and Mr. Terzi (Palestine Liberation Organization) took places at the Council table and Mr. Abdel : Meguid (Egypt), Mr. Sharaf (Jordan), Mr. Bishara (Kuwait), Mr. Baroody (Saudi Arabia), Mr. Hussen I (Somalia), Mr. Medani (Sudan), Mr. Allaf (Syrian I Arab Republic) and Mr. Sallam (Yemen) took the i Places reserved for them at the side of the Council chamber.
2. The PRESIDENT (interpretation from French):
In addition, I should like to inform the members of the Council that I have just received a letter from the representative of Qatar in which he asks to be invited, under rule 37 of the provisional rules of procedure, to participate without the right to vote in the discussion. Accordingly, if I hear no objection, I propose, in accordance with the practice of the Council and with the relevant provisions of the Charter, to invite the representative of Qatar to participate in the debate without the right to vote.
At the invitation of the President, Mr. Jamal (Qatar) took the place reserved for him at the side of the Council chamber.
3. Mr. KIKHIA (Libyan Arab Republic): First of all, Mr. President, I should like to express, on behalf of the Libyan delegation and on my own behalf, our warmest welcome to you as President of the Security Council for the month of May. It is most gratifying to know that this important debate will be conducted under your wise leadership, and we look forward to co-operating with you in every way.
4. I should like also to extend to the representative of China, Ambassador Huang Hua, the thanks of my delegation for his most competent leadership and guidance as President of the Council during April.
5. It is a particular pleasure for me to welcome back Ambassador Malik of the Soviet Union. We are fortunate that he has been able to return to his place on the Council in time for the discussion of this most crucial issue. I should like also to extend a most sincere welcome to Ambassador Abe of Japan and to congratulate him on the assumption of his new and important post with the Organization.
6. One might well question why another series of meetings of the Council must be called only one month after the debate in March on the same subject. However, as several of our Colleagues have pointed out, the subject is not quite identical to what we discussed in March. It is now far worse. I call to the attention of the Council four letters that were addressed to the President of the Council by the observer of the Palestine Liberation Organization—documents S/12029, S/12052, S/12058 and document S/12067—all of which cite examples of Zionist brutality and mistreatment of inhabitants in the occupied territories, most of which incidents have occurred since the debate in March.
7. On 17 April, for instance, armed Zionist demonstrators under the protection of the Zionist army spent two days marching through the West Bank to show their support of the Government's policy of annexation and expansion. Unarmed Arabs, protesting against that officially sanctioned disregard for their rights to their own land and property and protesting against the continued military occupation, held counter-demonstrations and were fired upon by Zionist troops. Some were killed and many more were wounded. Again, on 1 May, Zionist troops opened fire into a crowd of unarmed Palestinians protesting the occupation of their lands and homes and the imminent establishment of more Jewish settlements. Further deaths and injuries resulted.
8. The Zionists refer to their Government as the only democracy in the Middle East. I should like to ask how it is that in the so-called only democracy in the Middle East, armed troops are permitted to shoot and kill unarmed demonstrators who are only asking for their freedom from occupation, for the right to their own property and for their legally established right to self-determination and national sovereignty. I fail to see how the Zionists can behave in that manner and still call themselves a democracy, unless perhaps there is a special meaning of democracy of which we are not aware.
9. The problem in this case is not only one of military occupation, although conquests, occupation and oppression are provocation enough in themselves. One of the main problems here is the continuing Zionist policy of displacing the Arabs from their homes and their lands and planting Jews in their place the transfer out of the people who have lived many hundreds of years in their villages and on their plots of land and the transfer in of a settler population whose hollow claim to those villages and lands is based solely on its adherence to a particular religion, and not on any legally recognized basis of ownership.
10. To this end the Zionists are building settlement after settlement, eating further and further into the occupied territories, absorbing all of Palestine and the surrounding regions piece by piece like some insatiable jelly-like creature of science fiction. Even outside Palestine, in the Sinai desert in Egypt proper, they are building the city of Yamit, which they plan to make their third largest community after Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, with a population of a quarter of a million. This is outright, unabashed annexation. Yet what they are doing to Palestine is totally obliterating it. They intend to leave nothing for the Palestinian Arabs, who, before the Zionists established a foothold in 1918, formed 93 per cent of the area's population and who ask only to be allowed to stay in their own homes and live in peace with their Jewish neighbours in a democratic, non-racist State, in which a human being's religion is a private matter between himself and his God, and not a basis for special privilege and special rights.
11. In building those settlements the Zionists are depending upon the passage of time and a do-nothing apathy on the part of the rest of the world in order to create their own facts, which they hope will eventually become accepted as fails accomplis. Only last week, according to Newsweek of 3 May, Prime Minister Rabin told settlers in the Jordan Valley, "We don't establish new villages only to pull them down later"; Exactly a year ago in that same place, Shimon Peres declared that the Jordan Valley and the Rafah salient, were "intended for widespread Jewish settlement" as was the area around Jerusalem.
12. The intention is obvious. It appears that if the Zionist entity intends to give anything back to the; Arabs it will be the population of Palestine, and not the territory. Joseph Weitz, head of the Jewish Colonization Department, once said: "Between ourselves it must be clear that there is no room for both peoples, together in this country. The only solution is Palestine without Arabs. And there is no other way but to transfer all of them: not one village, not one tribe should be left." And Moshe Dayan, when he appeared on United States television, said, "There are about a million Arabs which we don't want as citizens of Israel". When asked whether it was possible for Israel to absorb the Arabs in the territory it now occupies, he answered, "It is not in accord with our aims in the future. It would turn Israel into either a bi-national or a poly-Arab-Jewish State instead of a Jewish State, and we want to have a Jewish State." That is the ultimate aim of the Zionists—the final solution to the Palestine problem: total deportation, total removal. It would appear that the Zionists cannot live side by side with other people. They cannot share a land with anyone whose religion and culture may differ from their own.
13. There are now some 60 Jewish settlements in the occupied territories forming a chain which encircles the Gaza Strip, the West Bank and the Golan Heights, all in order to swallow the land, to take it from its Arab owners and to people it exclusively with Jews. As Moshe Dayan frankly stated:
"Our people have been in the process of building up the country and the nation, of expansion, of getting additional Jews and additional settlements in order to expand the borders here. Let no Jew say that the process has ended."
Even as far back as 1943, President Roosevelt's personal representative in the Middle East, General Patrick J. Hurley, reported:
"The Zionist Organization in Palestine has indicated its commitment to an enlarged programme for:
"1. A sovereign Jewish State which would embrace Palestine and probably eventually Transjordan;
"2. An eventual transfer of the Arab population from Palestine to Iraq."
14. This transfer of the Arab population from Palestine is being implemented in a number of ways. Displacement through the establishment of Jewish settlements is one; forcible transfer and deportation is another. The latter occurred on a particularly large scale during the wars of conquest in 1948 and 1967, but it continues all the time, never ceasing.
15. Another method is through the confiscation of Arab land under several so-called laws, the legality of which might well be questioned under the terms of the United Nations Partition Plan [General Assembly resolution 181 (II)], but, of course, as we know, the Zionist entity tends to disregard any law or resolution adopted by the community of nations which does not suit its convenience.
16. When the Arab residents of an area coveted by Jewish developers refuse to leave their homes, the Zionists set about destroying their property and making their lives miserable. In the village of Akraba, on the West Bank, when the Arabs did not want to sell their land, Israeli planes sprayed a chemical defoliant on the villagers' fields, destroying their entire crop. In East Jerusalem, when Arabs refused to sell their family homes, bulldozers piled rubble round them, shaking them to their foundations. These families were more fortunate than others, however, All too often the pattern is simply to order the Arabs out of their homes and then to destroy their houses.
17. All this is justified in the name of Zionism and by a racism which is officially perpetrated and taught. In an interview on United States radio, an Israeli Jewish humanist, himself a former prisoner of the Nazis, stated:
"It is completely taught now in all Israeli schools that extermination of peoples, of other peoples than the Jews, carried out by the Jews, is the good and proper thing to do. The idea is that Jewish interests are the only interests to be considered, and Jews for their own must have a piece of land in which they will live in purity. The point is the purity. Purity means without strangers."
And he went on to quote from the important Zionist newspaper Ha'aretz, which referred to "an Israeli society clean from non-Jews". That these attitudes are officially taught in the schools has been confirmed by former students of those schools.
18. On 30 April another leading Zionist newspaper quoted the Chief District Judge of Jerusalem, Rabbi Eleazar Yehuda Willdenberg:
"I am for the implementation of the halakah, which means that it must be forbidden for any non-Jew to live in Jerusalem. Accordingly, we should have kicked out all the Gentiles from Jerusalem and purified it from them completely. We are also forbidden to allow the Gentiles to be a majority in any town of Israel. God forbid that we should leave the Temple Mount in the hands of the Ishmaelites."
Rabbi Willdenberg, who uttered those words, is far from being a pariah on the lunatic fringes of Zionist society. Only a few days ago, on 6 May, the State honoured this man by giving him the highest award it has: the Prize of Israel.
19. This attitude—that the holy places of Jerusalem should belong exclusively to the Jews rather than to all three faiths whose roots are in the city—is all too prevalent among the Zionists and has been since the 1967 war, when Christian churches holy to the followers of Christ were bombed and fired upon and Moslem holy places were desecrated by improper behaviour, by persons wearing skimpy clothes and even by the presence of dogs. These things are not done out of ignorance but out of a conscious desire to annoy and offend religious Moslems and Christians.
20. The problem in Jerusalem is not only one of the holy places, however, but also one of people. The violations of human rights in all the occupied territories take place equally in Jerusalem—as, for instance, when several hundred Arab homes were torn down to build a plaza in front of the Wailing Wall and no provision was made for the people thus rendered homeless. They wandered the streets until eventually they found their way to Jordan.
21. What the Zionist entity is doing in the area of Jerusalem is annexing the city, although we might say they have annexed the land but not the people, since the people, being Gentiles, are considered insignificant as well as undesirable. Since the first few weeks after the 1967 war, the Zionists have been erecting those five-story fortifications which they call apartment houses in a determined attempt completely to isolate that area from its Arab neighbourhood. Citizens of Jerusalem are faced with constant pressure and threats to leave or surrender their houses and property. There is no need to give examples, since anybody who reads will know what I mean.
22. I should also like to point out that those same Zionist policies are imposed upon the Arabs living in the areas of Palestine occupied since 1948, despite the pretence of the Zionist officials that they treat their Arab minority as equals. The opposition shown by those Arabs in recent months shows all too clearly how pleasant their treatment must have been to win such co-operation, even after 28 years of so-called citizenship in the Zionist entity. And the Zionists are not yet satisfied. They are still expropriating Arab lands in the Galilee, still displacing Arab people, still imposing curfews and military oppression.
23. On the eve of 30th March last, the Day of the Land, without any Arab demonstrations or provocation, Zionist troops entered several Arab villages and imposed a curfew so strict that people could not stand on the balconies of their houses or cross their own courtyards to get water without being shot at, wounded and even killed. One girl was murdered when she tried to bring her little brother in from the street. Two people were killed for trying to help neighbours who had been shot. Perhaps this is some new type of democracy, or equal citizenship, with which we are as yet unfamiliar.
24. I could go on and on discussing the various racist and inhuman actions committed by the Zionists against the non-Jewish inhabitants of occupied Palestine. I will spare the Council these horrors and will close my statement with the simple appeal that we put an end to this misery and remove this blot on humanity. Last March, all but one of us agreed upon a draft resolution [S/12022] condemning the policies of the Zionist entity in the occupied territories. Let us hope that what has happened during the period between these two related series of Council meetings will have made it clear to all, including the representative of the United States, that urgent action must be taken to stop the oppressive Zionist policies and to remove the cause of so much misery for the Palestinians.
25. The PRESIDENT (interpretation from French):
The next speaker is the representative of Qatar. I invite him to take a place at the Council table and to make a statement.
26. Mr. JAMAL (Qatar): Mr. President, my delegation would like to join those who have already spoken and extend our sincere congratulations and express our highest esteem for you on your assumption of the post of President of the Security Council for this month. Your exceptional qualities and skills are well known to all of us here within the United Nations as well as outside it. We are confident that they will be a great asset to our deliberations. Equally, my delegation is grateful to you, Mr. President, and to the members of the Council for giving me this opportunity to present my Government's views on a question that has the deepest relevance to the establishment of a just and durable peace in the Middle East.
27. I should like also to join the representatives who have already spoken in welcoming back Ambassador Malik, the representative of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. We are very pleased indeed to see him in good health. I wish him and Mrs. Malik continued good health and happiness. My delegation would like, too, to welcome the representative of Japan, who has just assumed his duties here, and we wish him every success.
28. Once again the Security Council has before it the serious situation arising from the events that have been taking place in the occupied Arab lands for several weeks now. The whole world has been witnessing the bloody clashes between the civilian populations of the occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip and the Israeli soldiers, which have caused many victims. The facts are known to all; they have been set forth eloquently by several speakers who have preceded me here.
29. Since the 1967 war, which resulted in the acquisition of further Arab territories, Israel has been trying in different ways to annex the newly occupied lands, especially those of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip and the Golan Heights. The Israeli position in relation to those territories has been simply that of an army of military occupation, subjecting the Palestinian Arabs to an administration that has all the aspects of colonial rule.
30. My delegation asked for an opportunity to participate in the Council's debate in order to express my Government's grave concern about the serious situation arising from the recent developments in the occupied Arab territories. I do not wish to take the Council's time by setting forth at length the history of the application of the annexationist policy of Israel in the occupied Arab lands. Instead, I wish to state clearly that a policy of institutionalized terror is the official policy of the Israeli occupiers in the territories they have occupied. The laws applied in these territories —namely, the emergency regulations of 1945, inherited from the British Mandate period—were denounced by Palestinian Jewish lawyers in 1946 as fascist. Now they are being used against the Palestinians in the occupied territories and in the settler State of Israel. Among the methods used are the deportation of nationalist figures, mass arrests and imprisonment without trial, demolition of houses and whole villages, destruction of the economies of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip in order to make them dependent on Israel's economy, collective punishments designed to break the will and determination of the Palestinians to get rid of Israeli occupation, confiscation of property, imposition of long curfews and staging of sieges against whole villages. Those are the characteristic features of the occupation. Israel has confiscated more than one and a half million dunums in the West Bank, which amounts to more than one sixth of the total area of the West Bank, and one third of the Gaza Strip. Thousands of Palestinians in the Strip have been evicted from their lands. The so-called "thinning out" policy practised in refugee camps has entailed the mass expulsion of refugees and the destruction of many thousands of houses in the Jabalia and Shatti refugee camps in the Gaza Strip.
31. The expulsion of political leaders and other patriots is aimed at depriving the Palestinians of their leaders and moral supporters. Many hundreds of people were expelled during those dark years, but the Israeli occupiers committed an error common to all persecutors in human history: they thought that such measures would break the resistance of the persecuted.
32. Colonization of the occupied Arab lands by Jewish settlers is going on at this very moment. There e more than 68 settlements in these occupied territories, and more are planned; a new city is under construction. Such is the policy of creating new realities in the occupied territories. The Israeli authorities, who have been committing robbery for nearly 30 years and are continuing at this very moment to steal the land of Galilee and the triangle, have for the last eight years been stealing Arab land in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, changing Arab names into Hebrew ones, hoping—mistakenly—that they will thus be able to change the map of the Middle East and annihilate Palestinians as they did in Deir Yassin, Kafr Qassem and Palestinian refugee camps in Jordan and Lebanon. All those actions and activities of the Israeli authorities in the occupied territories contravene the provisions of international law and the Charter and principles of the United Nations, including the principle of the non-acquisition of territory by the use of force, as well as constituting grave breaches of the fourth Geneva Convention and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights—breaches punishable as war crimes under the law of nations.
33. How long can a people endure such an ordeal without revolting? How much longer can the world remain aloof and watch a whole nation being subjected to such treatment? It is very ironic that to the present day there are still head-hunters of Nazis while Zionists are running free, and nations are still being blamed for not opposing the Nazi occupation of Europe by the very ones who are perpetuating the occupation of Palestine.
34. After long years of waiting for the United Nations to restore justice in Palestine and after the failure of the Organization to take any positive measures, is it too much to hope that some of the Council's permanent members might some day, before it is too late, reconsider their policies of support to the expansionist forces and their financing of the occupation forces on Arab lands? Are we to understand that the only resolution those permanent members of the Security Council would not block would be one which exonerates the occupation of other peoples' lands and glorifies aggression and expansionism? Nevertheless, we still believe that time has not yet run out for the rectification of past mistakes. The Council can still keep its credibility by adopting a resolution which would restore justice to the indigenous inhabitants of Palestine.
35. Finally, I cannot remain silent on the long statement made several days ago by the Zionist representative. He lectured us on the freedom, democracy, prosperity, full employment, better education and so on which Arabs enjoy under the occupation forces. I believe that Council members are well aware of what is really going on in the occupied territories. I am sure that the Israeli General is fooling nobody but himself.
36. Professor Israel Shahak, President of the Israeli League for Human and Civil Rights, has expressed his feelings on Israel's image in the world as follows:
"Israel is widely described as a 'democratic State'. Nevertheless, throughout its history non-Jews in that State have been expelled, put in prison, limited in their movements, have seen their property confiscated and have suffered many other forms of oppression, without the fact even being noted except in the case of most flagrant crimes."
Professor Shahak's views on the administration of the occupied territories are as follows:
"In my opinion, the Israeli occupation regime in the conquered territories is not only not a liberal one; it is, in fact, one of the most cruel and repressive regimes in modern times."
37. We have also heard the representative of the settler State of Israel calling for negotiation in order to establish peace in the area. I wonder whether the establishment of Jewish settlements on the occupied Arab lands is a sign of the establishment of peace in the area. Will the confiscation of Arab properties, the demolition of houses and the expulsion of nationalist figures lead us to believe that Israel wants peace with justice? The answer is well known to all of us: unless Israel ceases to annex Arab lands, withdraws totally from the occupied Arab territories and recognizes the national rights of the Palestinian people to self-determination, peace will not prevail in the area.
38. Mr. PAQUI (Benin)(interpretation from French):
Mr. President, our common past, the language we share and the special links of privilege which unite the People's Republic of Benin with France authorize my delegation to tell you that we are not merely paying li-service to tradition but expressing a profound and sincere feeling as we assure you of our satisfaction at seeing you presiding over the Council this month. This is particularly true at a time when, once again, we are dealing with so delicate a question as that of the occupied Arab territories. Our confidence in your gifts as a perfect diplomat is no greater than your intrinsic merit, the exceptional loftiness of vision you display and the discretion and the courtesy that are so familiar and so pleasing to us all. In other words, Mr. Ambassador—for you are among the rare French diplomats on whom this title has been conferred—it is the conviction of my delegation that, under the lofty authority of a political figure of your stature, an illustrious son of France—a country recognized for its revolutionary past, its struggle to win liberty, equality, fraternity—the work of the Council will be crowned with success.
39. In addition to these congratulations, I should like to express the great satisfaction of my delegation for the excellent manner in which Ambassador Huang Hua conducted the Council's work last month.
40. Before going further, let me discharge two pleasant duties. First, let me express once again to Ambassador Malik, the representative of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, how pleased my delegation is to see that he has recovered and is among us again after a serious car accident that immobilized him and his wife for some weeks. We express the hope that very soon Mrs. Malik will, like her husband, recover sufficiently to resume her usual activities side by side with him. Secondly, I wish to welcome most warmly Ambassador Abe of Japan, who is participating in our work for the first time, following the departure of Ambassador Saito, which we regret.
41. Doubtless you realize that I have deliberately mentioned the motto of France on the occasion of a further debate on the situation in the occupied Arab territories. In fact, as my delegation has already stated and can never repeat often enough, the withdrawal of Israel from all the Arab territories occupied since the 1967 war will constitute a decisive step in the search for a just and lasting solution to the eternal crisis in the Middle East. After having listened to the delegations of our Arab brothers, as well as the representative of Israel, stating their views, my delegation is convinced that, far from accepting the thesis that there is no problem in the occupied Arab territories, we must recognize that this problem constitutes a special aspect of the Middle East crisis. It is a question that cannot be underrated if one is not to be politically short-sighted, because, as my delegation stated on 25 March:
"any situation of occupation, if it does not draw to a close at an appropriate time, ends by exasperating the populations and provoking reactions of rebellion which the forces of occupation usually cannot control" [1899th meeting, para. 27].
The recent demonstrations, brutal confrontations and loss of human life which have been reported by the international press are an eloquent illustration of our assertion. That is why my delegation hopes that Israel will draw greater inspiration from the French motto in dealing with the populations of the occupied Arab territories until a final settlement of the problem is found. It is in Israel's own interest to do so; it is also in the interest of the peaceful coexistence to which that country is entitled to aspire, coexistence with the neighbouring Arab States, including the Palestinian State which, of necessity, is to be created.
42. We already discussed this question in March, and unless we are vigilant, a growing disaffection may emerge with regard to questions which keep coming before the Council without producing any concrete or positive results, since, obeying I know not what logic, the Council fails to demonstrate that it has a memory or to draw lessons from the past in order to determine its present attitude. To forestall this danger, my delegation believes that, as a practical matter, if we wish to do useful work and move forward, we should proceed by stages and advance from the less controversial issues to those which are increasingly difficult to solve.
43. To do so, before committing ourselves to concrete proposals, we must determine whether the parties to the conflict have the political will finally to settle, in the evident interest of the entire population of the Middle East, the dispute which divides them. We must ask whether they wish to demonstrate the will to act which is needed for any success. Finally we must ask whether they are determined to arrive at a genuine peace, which requires self-sacrifice and reciprocal concessions. Indeed, the parties to the conflict must recognize the imperative need of all States of the region; including Israel and the Palestinian State the creation of which is becoming more and more evidently necessary, to live together in peace and, harmony. This means that they would sit down around a conference table to discuss practical ways and' means of arriving at that peace, it goes without saying that the political will of the parties is of necessity! linked to the determination of the great Powers to, encourage and promote in each one of their customary partners this view of things. It is certainly good to give unconditional support to one's allies, but it is far nobler to have the intellectual honesty and the courage to impress upon them what seems right and clearly serves the interest of everyone, if they wish to live in peace in a region where all have so much to contribute to and to learn from one another.
44. My delegation listened with great interest to the statement made by the representative of Israel and took note of his country's will to achieve a negotiated peace with the Arabs. True, this was not the first time that we had heard such a statement. Nevertheless we shall ask him whether the Government of Israel has decided to recognize the imperative need for it to withdraw from all the Arab territories occupied since 1967, as well as the right of the Palestinian people to exist and to establish a State for itself. I need hardly say that a declaration of principle on these points by Israel would contribute enormously to lessening present tensions and to encouraging the Arabs to make a reciprocal gesture of goodwill in this respect. But it is not by encouraging settlements in the occupied territories that the Government of Israel can take this decisive step.
45. In spite of everything, my delegation ventures to believe that we may be optimistic, because if we are to believe certain information, within the State of Israel itself more and more voices are being raised in unconditional support for what the overwhelming majority of the international community has affirmed for a number of years: first, that Israel should withdraw from all the occupied territories, and secondly, that a dialogue with the Arab world must start with an understanding and peace with the Palestinians. Furthermore, my delegation considers the participation in our debates of the Israeli delegation and that of the Palestine Liberation Organization as a sign of the gradual change of circumstances that has occurred. While the two delegations are not discussing issues face to face, the very fact that they can address each other through us is a most encouraging development.
46. My delegation therefore appeals to Israel to show common sense and courage by adopting the kind of measures that will give specific content to the will it has so often affirmed to negotiate peace with the Arabs. My delegation likewise appeals to the United States to relinquish its isolationist policy that is dictated by domestic Jewish pressure and resolutely to follow the course of history, for sound judgement must be followed by sound political action. The ideal is not to give verbal support to one partner and invaluable political support to the other.
47. Bearing in mind that politics is, above all, the art of the possible, and particularly mindful of what took place here in March, my delegation wonders whether the Council would not be well advised, in coming to the decision which it will have to take this time, to concentrate on certain specific aspects of the question under discussion which at least have the advantage of being supported by all members. Indeed, all here recognize the inadmissibility of Israel's brutal and illegal actions in the occupied Arab territories, as well as the inviolable character of the Holy Places. Therefore, why could we not this time concentrate on these questions so that we may be sure that some substantive progress is made? This, then, is the question which, in conclusion, my delegation puts to the Council with the purpose of assisting you, Mr. President, in your difficult task, and to assist the United States in abandoning its awkward isolation.
48. The PRESIDENT (interpretation from French): I thank the representative of Benin for the extremely kind words, I might say even excessively kind words, which he was good enough to address to me. I should like to assure him that I am very touched by the reference he made to the special links existing between Benin and France. I am particularly moved by these remarks because during a rather prolonged stay which I spent in the neighbourhood of his country I was able to visit it frequently, and I value highly the outstanding qualities of its inhabitants.
1 United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 75, p. 287.