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        General Assembly
13 November 1974

United Nations 2283rd
ASSEMBLY Wednesday, 13 November 1974,

Official Records NEW YORK
Agenda item 108:
Question of Palestine (continued) 869

President: Mr. Abdelaziz BOUTEFLIKA

Question of Palestine (continued)

1. Mr. ADJIBADE (Dahomey) (interpretation from French): There may be some surprise that Dahomey, a country on the Bight of Benin and thus far from the area concerned, finds it necessary to make a statement on the question of Palestine. However, such surprise would reflect failure to understand the ideas underlying the international policy of Dahomey. Since the accession to power of the Revolutionary Military Government in October 1972, Dahomey's guiding principle has been to protest against injustice, no matter in what quarter, and to defend justice and equity, so that peace may prevail wherever it is in jeopardy, and the question we are now considering seems to my delegation to be a question essentially of injustice -- an injustice that has gone on far too long, in all its diverse forms.

2. We have already said, and repeat now, that we in Dahomey believe that the basic cause of the imbroglio that the United Nations itself created in Palestine nearly 27 years ago was essentially a colonial situation, aggravated by expansionist designs, whose consequences must be eliminated if there is to be any chance of restoring a solid and lasting peace to the region. A quick glance at past history shows irrefutably that the problem of Palestine was engendered by a colonial Power, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The Mandate over Palestine that the League of Nations entrusted to that Power covered a single entity, the State of Palestine, and everyone knew who were the people of that State.

3. It might reasonably have been expected that, once the British Government had decided to withdraw from the Territory and to ask the United Nations thereupon to decide the future of its administration, Great Britain would have done everything possible to preserve the territorial integrity of Palestine, or at the very least to take due account of the freely expressed will of the inhabitants of the Territory. That would have been to ignore commitments entered into by the British authorities, particularly the Balfour Declaration. Thus, upon the initiative of Great Britain, and then with its complicity and that of others, the Palestinian people has been the victim of a succession of plots.

4. The people of Palestine was first of all the subject of a plot by the United Nations itself, and we must have the courage to recognize the fact, for, instead of granting independence to the Palestinian people and guaranteeing the integrity of its territory, the United Nations preferred in 1947, for selfish and partisan reasons, to destroy the entity that was Palestine and to divide the Territory by the artificial creation of a Jewish State and an Arab State. In doing so, the international community of that time deliberately violated the Charter by denying to the Palestinian people the exercise of its right to self-determination. That was indeed a plot whose effects we must hasten to remedy if we still wish to give any real substance to the ideals of our Charter. With its membership of that period our Organization, instead of giving serious and impartial consideration to the problem put to it by Great Britain, could find nothing better to do than support the British position, unjustified and unjustifiable as it was.

5. It is against this background of plots that we must view the establishment of a committee of inquiry, which was to proceed to the area to hear the parties concerned. It is easy to see that from the outset the plot was well laid, in the light of the statement by the representative of the Soviet Union, who at the time said that the mission should reconcile the legal interests of the Arabs and the Jews, if possible, by the creation of a single Arab-Jewish State with equal rights for the Arabs and the Jews and, if not, by the creation of two separate States, one Arab and one Jewish.1

6. Such a statement explains the situation of confusion and crisis which subsequently prevailed. The Special Committee on Palestine, thus guided in its investigations, merely helped to strengthen the plot, since instead of conducting its inquiries with impartiality, it thought fit to inject into what was a simple problem of decolonization religious considerations that were intended only to complicate further the solution of the problem, or at the least to give it an irrational slant.

7. There was really nothing that forced our Organization to tie the problem of Jewish refugees from all over the world to the problem of Palestine; nothing, if not an obvious determination, supported by the great Powers, to stand by commitments undertaken to Jews, or to a Jew. There was nothing to compel our Organization to sacrifice the interests of the inhabitants of Palestine for religious or racial reasons, were it not that it had been blinded by those who were in the habit of imposing their will on others. The natural rights of the Palestinians were perfectly obvious and clearly recognizable on the basis of the principles of the Charter, and there was no need for any committee of inquiry to determine them.

8. The Assembly, dominated at that time by certain pressures, evaded the substantive problem and adopted its partition resolution, whose eccentric and unjust nature is more obvious today than ever. Nevertheless, some voices were raised against that unsatisfactory solution. Apart from the noteworthy abstention of New Zealand, there were protests by the delegations of Syria, Iraq and Egypt, which pointed out that partition was an unjust solution, one that could not be applied, and one that was contrary to the Charter.

9. Given these highly significant reactions, our community should have pulled itself together and made good the injustice resulting from this violation of its Charter. Instead, the coalition of imperialist forces allowed it only to concentrate on certain aspects of the question, which over the years became submerged beneath purely humanitarian considerations. The Jewish State was created and it seems that no one is now willing to question its existence. Yet we are still awaiting the creation of the Arab State of Palestine. Since, in view of the torturing and extermination of the Jews by the Nazis, the international community believed it had a duty to give the Jewish people a homeland, it should have no difficulty today in understanding the reality represented by the Palestinian people, and showing them the same justice and equity. Unfortunately, the very birth of the Jewish State changed the course of history. Thus it was that the plot perpetrated by Great Britain with the blessing of the United Nations of that time was succeeded by other even more serious plots orchestrated and maintained by the State of Israel.

10. Israel, itself a result of the partial implementation of the resolution on partition, has stopped at nothing to delay or prevent the application of the part of the same resolution concerning the Arab State of Palestine. The United Nations has looked on while Israel continued its subversive and aggressive designs, while its representatives maintained their arrogant and pathological stubbornness in ignoring over 160 United Nations resolutions on Palestine. Proof of this arrogance and stubbornness may be seen in the statement made by the representative of Israel in the procedural debate on 14 October 1974 [2267th meeting, paras. 89-129].

11. Very soon after its creation, Israel could no longer be satisfied with the 55 per cent of Palestinian territory assigned to it, it had to take more, and its expansionist appetite led it to extend octopus tentacles into the lands reserved to the Arab State, so that from all over the world the Jews of the Diaspora might immigrate into Israel. The Palestinians thus expelled from their lands and despoiled of their property became stateless persons and emigrants, reduced to beggary and poverty. Worse, the Jewish State plunged into wars of aggression and occupation against the neighbouring Arab territories in the hope of realizing a dream so dear to its representatives, a dream restated by its Minister for Foreign Affairs in our General Assembly [2255th meeting] when he said that his country would ensure that Jews from all over the world would be enabled to emigrate to Israel.

12. The outcome of these expansionist plans may be seen in the successive wars which have afflicted Palestine over the past quarter of a century and more, and in the situation of "neither peace nor war" which continues to this day.

13. Our Organization can no longer allow a situation where a people to which it has allotted a homeland does not understand that, first and foremost, the Palestinians must be accorded that same right. Our Organization can no longer allow its resolutions to be trampled underfoot by a State created by the United Nations itself. Because it failed to act in time and to act firmly, the international community has obliged the people of Palestine to resort to extreme measures of violence and force in order to alert world opinion to its fate and to its status. This shows clearly that any injustice not made good in time can only engender anger, rebellion and acts of despair.

14. In my delegation's view it is in this context, and in this context only, that we must view all the outbreaks of violence, which have, here and there, been attributed to the Palestinians and which represent the inevitable reaction to acts that Israel itself has instigated. In these circumstances it would be unreasonable -- indeed, it would be quite wrong -- to tax the Palestinians, and the Palestine Liberation Organization [PLO] in particular, with being terrorists. The Palestinians do not beget violence for the sake of violence; they are using violence for a very specific cause, which is to say, the right to a homeland and rejection of the fait accompli.

15. The Chairman of the PLO solemnly declared this morning [2282nd meeting] that his movement did not wish one drop of either Arab or Jewish blood to be shed, and that his organization takes no pleasure whatever in the continuing loss of human lives, which should come to an end as soon as a just peace is established, based upon the rights and aspirations of the Palestinian people. It is in this context, too, that we must view the various wars that have flared up from time to time in the Middle East -- most recently in October 1973.

16. Thus, 29 years after the creation of our Organization and 27 years after the adoption of the resolution on the partition of Palestine [resolution 181 (II)], the problem remains intractable, precisely because the underlying injustice has not been remedied. Worse, the situation is complicated by the stubborn insistence of the Jewish representatives on ignoring the resolutions of our Organization and their fanatic assertion of their determination to remain as long as possible in the territories occupied as the result of war. It is true, as my delegation recognizes, that many efforts have been made to resolve the crisis. We should recall here the work of the United Nations Conciliation Commission, the efforts that were pursued -- not without an eye to their own interests -- by the great Powers, the efforts of the Jarring mission and those of the "wise men" of the Organization of African Unity [OAU], to name but a few. But we must recognize that everything attempted to date has proved incapable of bringing a final settlement any closer or restoring lasting peace to the Middle East.

17. The situation in the region remains explosive, and war may break out at any time, although no one wants it. It would therefore seem necessary for our Organization to take stock, and to ask itself what is the reason for this situation. Our Organization must ask itself whether there are not some elements it has overlooked, whether there is not a major element that has been neglected thus far.

18. In my delegation's view, our Organization's inability to provide an adequate solution to the problem of the Middle East stems from the fact that, rightly or wrongly, the United Nations has chosen to disregard the fact of the existence of Palestinians in the region. This is a grave omission, which must be made good as soon as possible if we really want a just and lasting peace in the Middle East. While it may seem unrealistic, if not Utopian, to try to drive the Jewish people back into the sea today, it seems no less dangerous and irrational to go on watching impassively the tribulations and the tragedy of the Palestinian people or to wish them to be continually driven back into the sands of the desert.

19. Dahomey thinks that there can be no just and lasting solution that does not take account of the legitimate interests of the Palestinian people, which has the right to a homeland. The distribution of subsidies and other humanitarian actions are not sufficient. We must arouse our consciences to the fact that this is a homeless people, which needs a home and guarantees of its right to sovereignty. It would be a grave mistake to suppose that the problem of the Middle East could be resolved without the Palestinians. Rather than considering them, without just cause, as being terrorists, we should take the authentic representatives of the Palestinian people for what they really are, namely, the leaders of a liberation movement and the parties principally concerned, and treat them as valid interlocutors without whose participation no negotiations can culminate in lasting peace in the region. Our Organization must see to it that the PLO participates in every quest for a solution and that it is no longer reduced to being a sort of refugees' club. Taking this essential condition into account, and respecting it, will suffice to get the Geneva Peace Conference on the Middle East moving again, if we want a just and genuine peace to be restored at last to the region. This condition must be complemented by Israeli withdrawal from the occupied Arab territories and the observance by the Jewish State of all United Nations resolutions on the question.

20. We are more than ever convinced that if the United Nations ensures respect for and the exercise of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, that if Israel agrees henceforth to respect the pertinent resolutions of the Organization, while withdrawing from the occupied Arab territories, and that if the representatives of Israel agree to allow the authentic representatives of the Palestinian people to sit down with them, as an interested party, in order to arrive at a definitive settlement in the region, the world will be able to forget, once and for all, the turbulent emotions that have arisen from time to time in this area of tension.

21. The remote-controlled demonstration of 4 November and the demonstrations of all kinds that followed it can change nothing in this situation. We must render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's. The Palestinian people has waited long enough. It is our duty to accede to its aspirations by restoring its homeland to it and assisting it to establish the political regime of its choice. That is the price to our Organization of peace in the Middle East. It is in those conditions, and in those conditions alone, that our Organization will be able to make an effective contribution to the establishment of a real and lasting peace in the Middle East.

22. Before concluding, I should like to repeat our expression of welcome to the representatives of the PLO and to assure them of the active support of the Revolutionary Military Government and the people of Dahomey whom I represent.

23. By his important statement before our Assembly, the Chairman of the PLO has vindicated the views of those who worked to bring about the participation of the Palestinians in our debates. That positive participation will without any doubt assist the General Assembly better to grasp all the aspects of the problem, with a view to a final, just, equitable and lasting solution, in the well-understood interest of the international community in general and all the peoples of the Middle East in particular.

24. Like the leader of the Palestinian revolution, we hope that in the more or less near future the dream will become a reality and the Palestinian State will take its rightful place in our Organization.

25. Mr. TEKOAH (Israel): I come before the General Assembly on behalf of a nation which has struggled through 20 centuries for its liberty and equality and for the restoration of its independence. I rise to speak in the name of a people, which having at long last regained its freedom and sovereignty in its national homeland, remains embattled, beleaguered by those who deny to it the rights of all nations. One third of the entire Jewish people was annihilated in the Second World War, which gave birth to the United Nations. A million Jewish soldiers in the Allied armies and in partisan ranks helped make the United Nations a reality. Representatives of the Jewish people were among those who drafted the Charter of the United Nations.

26. Yet today Arab States, most of which knew not the struggle that made the world safe for the United Nations; Arab States, some of whose leaders collaborated with the forces of darkness in their fight against the United Nations, are in the vanguard of a fanatical assault on the Jewish people, an assault that tramples to dust the ideals of the United Nations.

27. On 14 October 1974 the General Assembly turned its back on the United Nations Charter, on law and humanity, and virtually capitulated to a murder organization which aims at the destruction of a State Member of the United Nations. On 14 October the United Nations hung out a sign reading "Murderers of children are welcome here".

28. Today these murderers have come to the General Assembly, certain that it would do their bidding. Today this rostrum was defiled by their chieftain, who proclaimed that the shedding of Jewish blood would end only when the murderers' demands had been accepted and their objectives achieved.

29. On 14 October, the United Nations and Governments that made the invitation to the PLO possible became the object of world-wide criticism. Editorials and caricatures in the press and demonstrations on all continents expressed revulsion at the spectacle of the United Nations tearing asunder its own principles and precepts and paying homage to bloodshed and bestiality.

30. Today bloodshed and bestiality have come here to collect the spoils of the United Nations surrender. This surrender must be absolute they told the world this morning. The victim of bloodshed and bestiality should not even defend himself.

31. The United Nations is entrusted with the responsibility of guiding mankind away from war, away from violence and oppression, towards peace, towards international understanding and the vindication of the rights of peoples and individuals. What remains of that responsibility now that the United Nations has prostrated itself before the PLO, which stands for premeditated, deliberate murder of innocent civilians, denies to the Jewish people its right to live, and seeks to destroy the Jewish State by armed force?

32. Throughout the years, the United Nations has dealt with the problems of many peoples in many parts of the world. On no people, however, has it lavished greater attention than on the Arab inhabitants of Palestine.

33. Is it because the problems of others have been solved?

34. Has the Kurdish people, subjected to a continuing war of annihilation by the Iraqi Government, ever had its plight discussed and its rights upheld by the United Nations? Has this Organization tried to avert the massacre of half a million non-Muslim Africans in South Sudan? Have the fundamental human and political rights of the hundreds of millions who live under totalitarian regimes been ensured by the United Nations?

35. Is it because the needs of others are less pressing and less deserving than the needs of the Palestinians?

36. Are the Arabs of Palestine suffering starvation as are, according to United Nations statistics, almost 500 million people in Asia, Africa and Latin America? Has the United Nations left the Palestinian refugees without assistance as it has tens of millions of refugees all over the world, including Jewish refugees in Israel from Arab lands? Are the Palestinian refugees the only ones who cannot be reintegrated as others have been? Have the Palestinian Arabs no State of their own? What is Jordan if not a Palestinian Arab State?

37. The real reason for the special consideration accorded to questions concerning the Arabs of Palestine has been one and one only -- the continuous exploitation of these questions as a weapon of Arab belligerency against Israel. As King Hussein said of the Arab leaders: '-They have used the Palestine people for selfish political purposes". This is also the real motivation of the present debate.

38. In fact, no nation has enjoyed greater fulfilment of its political rights, no nation has been endowed with territory, sovereignty and independence more abundantly than the Arabs.

39. Of common language, culture, religion and origin the Arab nation stormed out of its birthland in the seventh century and conquered one people after another until its rule encompassed the entire Arab peninsula, the Fertile Crescent and North Africa.

40. Everywhere in these areas ancient cultures were replaced by the Arab civilization. Everywhere the vanquished were, with a few exceptions, assimilated into the Arab nation. There was, however, one people which refused to disappear and to shed its national identity. Whether in the Land of Israel or in regions such as present-day Yemen, Iraq, the Syrian Arab Republic, Egypt and Morocco, the Jewish people maintained its national personality and preserved its own culture and faith.

41. Now, as a result of centuries of acquisition of territory by war, the Arab nation is represented in the United Nations by 20 sovereign States. Among them is also the Palestinian Arab State of Jordan.

42. Geographically and ethnically Jordan is Palestine. Historically both the West and East banks of the Jordan river are parts of the Land of Israel or Palestine. Both were parts of Palestine under the British Mandate until Jordan and then Israel became independent. The population of Jordan is composed of two elements -- the sedentary population and nomads. Both are, of course, Palestinian. The nomad Bedouins constitute a minority of Jordan's population. Moreover, the majority of the sedentary inhabitants, even on the East Bank, are of Palestinian West Bank origin. Without the Palestinians, Jordan is a State without a people.

43. That is why when, on 29 April 1950, King Abdullah inaugurated the commemorative session of the Jordanian Parliament he declared: "I open the session of the Parliament with both banks of the Jordan united by the will of one people, one homeland and one hope".

44. On 23 August 1959, the Prime Minister of Jordan stated: "We are the Government of Palestine, the army of Palestine and the refugees of Palestine".

45. Indeed, the vast majority of Palestinian refugees never left Palestine, but moved, as a result of the 1948 and 1967 wars, from one part of the country to another. At the same time, an approximately equal number of Jewish refugees fled from Arab countries to Israel.

46. It is, therefore, false to allege that the Palestinian people has been deprived of a State of its own or that it has been uprooted from its national homeland. Most Palestinians continue to live in Palestine. Most Palestinians continue to live in a Palestinian State. The vast majority of Palestinian Arabs are citizens of that Palestinian State.

47. "Jordan is Palestine and Palestine is Jordan", declared on 9 December 1970 the late Dr. Kadri Toukan, a prominent West Bank leader and former Foreign Minister of Jordan.

48. Mr. Anwar Nuseibe, another Palestinian West Bank personality and a former Jordanian Defence Minister, stated on 23 October 1970:

49. This is recognized even by the PLO Covenant, and the Rabat resolutions2 do not alter this reality.

50. Even if the appellation "Palestinian" were confined to the West Bank, there is today, as already indicated, an overwhelming preponderance of Palestinians of West Bank descent in the population of the East Bank, as well as in the Jordanian Government. For instance, Queen Alia, Prime Minister Rifa'i, more than half of the Cabinet Ministers and of the members of Parliament, the Speaker of the Parliament, the Mayor of Amman, all hail from the West Bank.

51. Certain Palestinians might be unhappy with their system of Government, with the constitutional structure of their State or with its leadership. This, however, can in no way substantiate a claim that the Palestinian Arabs have been shorn of their rights as a people. Like all other branches of the Arab nation, the Palestinians too possess the political entity within which they exercise their national, political and cultural rights. To the extent that some of their needs have not been fully satisfied, to the extent that some aspects of their national identity require solutions, they could be dealt with in the context of negotiations between Israel and its eastern neighbour, the Palestinian State of Jordan.

52. In these circumstances it is obvious that the initiators of the discussion of the so-called question of Palestine are concerned primarily not with the realization of the rights of the Palestinians but with the annulment of the rights of the Jewish people. Israel's destruction and the denial to the people of Israel of its rights to self-determination and independence are the officially enunciated objectives of the PLO, at whose behest the Arab Governments have asked for this debate. By doing so, by initiating the invitation extended to the PLO and by the decisions adopted at the recent Rabat Conference,2 the Arab Governments have reaffirmed their association with the umbrella organization of the Arab murder squads. This is not surprising. The PLO did not emerge from within the Palestinian community. It is not representative of the Palestinian community. It is a creation of the Arab Governments themselves. It was established at the first summit meeting of the heads of Arab States at Cairo in 1964 as an instrument for waging terror warfare against Israel. Its Covenant stipulates: "The establishment of Israel is fundamentally null and void. The claim of historical or spiritual ties between Jews and Palestine does not tally with historical realities. The Jews are not one people with an independent personality". In the pursuit of its objectives the PLO employs the barbaric method of deliberate murder of guiltless civilians. This is not the accidental loss of civilian lives that occurs in warfare against military targets, but wilful, cold-blooded, carefully prepared, bestial assaults on innocent and defenceless children, women and men in towns and villages, in schools and market places, at airports, in the air and on the ground. No wonder that associations of anti-Nazi freedom-fighters have repeatedly condemned the PLO atrocities as crimes reminiscent of Nazi savagery.

53. Support for the murderous ideology and sinister objectives of the PLO is expressed in the United Nations in various terms. References are frequently made to "the root problem" of the Palestinian question, a euphemism for Israel's statehood . On occasion, speakers lash out unabashedly against Israel's independence, slander it as colonialism, call for its replacement by a second Palestinian Arab State, in addition to Jordan. At times, the terms employed are more general, such as restoration of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, self-determination, and so on. Since the 8 June 1974 Cairo meeting of the PLO and the Rabat Summit Conference the talk is of establishing PLO authority in territories wrested from Israel, making it clear that this would be only a first step towards Israel's elimination.

54. Indeed, whatever the phraseology, its true meaning remains obvious.

55. In a press conference held at United Nations Headquarters, after the General Assembly vote on 14 October 1974, the PLO representative declared:

56. The official organ of the Syrian Government, El-Baath, wrote on 17 October 1974 about the 14 October resolution to invite the PLO: 57. Yasser Arafat made this view even more specific. In an interview published on 21 October 1974 in the Cairo daily Rose el-Yussuf he declared:

"I do not see the possibility of a peace settlement in the Middle East, but a fifth war."

58. On 28 October, the Arab Governments and the PLO decided at Rabat that the immediate goal should be the establishment of a PLO base to the east of Israel. The ultimate objective remained the same -- the destruction of Israel and its replacement by an Arab State.

59. At a press conference at Rabat on 30 October, Yasser Arafat had no qualms about confirming that this was the meaning of the decision adopted two days earlier. He said that the establishment of PLO authority in areas that might be evacuated by Israel would be "the first stage towards the creation of a democratic State where Jews, Christians and Muslims could coexist". And this he reiterated in interviews - published in The New York Times on 9 November, in the 11 November issue of Time, and in other recent pronouncements, including this morning's statement [2282nd meeting]. Still fresh in the minds of all are Arafat's own explanations that such terminology is used only because it is more "civilized", and that behind it looms, as always, the design to deprive the Jewish people of its independence, to liquidate the Jewish State and to establish on its ruins another Arab State in which Jews would again live as a minority as they do today, persecuted and tortured in Syria, and as they did in the past in countries such as Iraq, Yemen or Algeria, suffering all the pain and sorrow of oppression.

60. This is the supposedly moderate objective of the PLO leader, the man who continues to serve as commander of El Fatah-Black September, the gangster who received $5 million from President Qaddafi of Libya as a prize for the slaughter of Israeli sportsmen at the Olympic Games at Munich, the criminal who personally directed the murder of diplomats at Khartoum.

61. Some of his henchmen disagree with his "civilized" terminology. They would like him to be more outspoken, more blunt, as he was when he told the Italian weekly L'Europa:

"Our goal is the destruction of Israel . . . Peace for us means Israel's destruction, nothing else."

62. Arafat, today, prefers the Nazi method. The Nazis killed millions of Jews in death camps, the gates of which bore the sign ''Work brings freedom". Arafat kills Jewish children and seeks to strangle the Jewish State under the slogan of creating a "democratic Palestine". Neither kings nor presidents, neither artifices of speech nor the plaudits of accomplices or of the misguided can conceal this sinister fact.

63. The speakers who opened today's debate have confirmed its real purpose -- to undermine Israel's rights, to question the inalienable right of the Jewish people to its homeland, to strengthen and encourage the PLO in its activities directed against the life of Israel and of its people, to establish a PLO springboard from which the murder organization can continue its efforts to destroy the Jewish State. This is what justice means to the PLO. This is what the PLO's olive branch is.

64. Jewish history is the saga of a people which has remained one with its land through millennia of independence and foreign conquest, of uprooting and dispersion, of struggle to rebuild its statehood and of final restoration of national liberty. Unparalleled national tragedies, centuries of suppression, repeated massacres through the ages culminating in the genocide of 6 million by the Nazis, have never weakened the Jewish people's attachment to its land and its resolve to live in it in freedom and independence. Since the dawn of history thousands of years ago and until the creation of Jordan in a part of Palestine, no people, other than the Jewish people, ever established or even thought of establishing a State of its own in the land of Israel. No people, except for the Jewish people, ever looked upon the land of Israel as a separate entity. To the Jewish nation, however, this land has been the very essence of its existence.

65. Even when defeated by the Roman Empire and carried off to bondage in foreign countries, the Jews of the Diaspora continued to live in spirit in their homeland. They prayed for rain when rain was needed in the land of Israel. They celebrated the harvest when it was harvest time in Israel. They retained the customs of the land, its traditional holidays and its ancient language. Above all, they never ceased to struggle againt the consequences of foreign imperialist subjugation. They never stopped striving to regain their independence and sovereignty. In the Land of Israel itself, though decimated by successive conquerors, the Jewish community clung to the soil of its forefathers, determined that the day should come when it would be free again.

66. If in world history there is a classic example of a struggle for national liberty, it is the struggle of the Jewish people, pursued for almost 2,000 years in resistance to imperialism and colonialism, exile and dispersion, racial discrimination and physical annihilation. To vilify this age-long struggle, zionism, to question the Jewish people's equality with other nations, to deny the Jewish people's right to self-determination and independence in its homeland is wilful blasphemy. It is a sacrilege of the most revered concepts of the equality of peoples and of national liberation. It is Nazi-like abuse of the kind that has been heaped upon the Jewish people through the ages by bigots racists and anti-Semites. How sad that such anti-Jewish prejudices should be rampant in the United Nations.

67. The Jewish people, however, has defended its rights, fought and bled for centuries, outlived empires and survived holocausts not to be swayed from its course by a gang of murderers who thrive on Jewish blood or by the whims of regimes which claim to seek justice for Palestinian Arabs, but openly deny it to Jews.

68. The choice before the General Assembly is clear. On the one hand there is the Charter of the United Nations; on the other there is the PLO, whose sinister objectives, defined in its Covenant, and savage outrages are a desecration of the Charter.

69. On the one hand there is Israel's readiness and desire to reach a peaceful settlement with the Palestinian Arab State of Jordan in which the Palestinian national identity would find full expression. On the other hand there is the PLO denial of Israel's right to independence and of the Jewish people's right to self-determination.

70. The choice is between understanding and continued conflict in the Middle East, between suppression of terror and its encouragement, between satisfying the needs of Palestinians through the peacemaking process already under way or undermining that process by trying to introduce into it a murder organization which aims at the elimination of one of the negotiating parties.

71. The question is: should there be peace between Israel and its eastern neighbour or should an attempt be made to establish a PLO base to the east of Israel from which the terrorist campaign against the Jewish State's existence could be pursued?

72. On 14 October, the General Assembly opted for the PLO, it opted for terrorism, it opted for savagery. Can there be any hope that it might now undo the harm it has already done, by that action, to the cause of peace in the Middle East and to humanity in general? Israel has also made its choice.

73. The United Nations, whose duty it is to combat terrorism and barbarity may agree to consort with them. Israel will not.

74. The murderers of athletes in the Olympic Games of Munich, the butchers of children at Ma'alot, the assassins of diplomats at Khartoum do not belong in the international community. They have no place in international diplomatic efforts. Israel shall see to it that they have no place in them.

75. Israel will pursue the PLO murderers until justice is meted out to them. It will continue to take action against their organization and against their bases until a definitive end is put to their atrocities. The blood of Jewish children will not be shed with impunity.

76. Israel will not permit the establishment of PLO authority in any part of Palestine. The PLO will not be forced on the Palestinian Arabs. It will not be tolerated by the Jews of Israel.

77. Israel will continue to strive for peace with the Arab States. Peace would bring a new era of development, social progress and happiness for all the States and all the peoples of the Middle East.

78. In its decision of 21 July 1974, the Government of Israel declared that it would work towards negotiating a peace agreement with Jordan and that in the Jordanian-Palestinian Arab State east of Israel the specific identity of the Jordanians and Palestinians would find expression in peace and good-neighbourliness with Israel. This remains Israel's policy.

79. However, if the peace-making process becomes paralysed as a result of the Rabat and General Assembly resolutions, Israel will find a way, by the exercise of its sovereignty, to ensure its political and security interests, while also doing justice to the Arab population living in the administered areas.

80. No resolution of the General Assembly can mask the murderous nature of the PLO. No resolution can wash the hands of Yasser Arafat and his henchmen clean of the blood of their innocent victims. No resolution can confer respect on a band of cutthroats. No resolution can establish the authority of an organization which has no authority, which does not represent anyone except the few thousand agents of death it employs, which has no foothold in any part of the territories it seeks to dominate. The PLO will remain what it is and where it is -- outside the law and outside of Palestine.

81. A resolution that would respond to the PLO demands would, however, encourage the extremists in the Arab world who reject a peaceful settlement with Israel and call for continued war against it.

82. I repeat, Israel remains ready to take, together with the Arab States, the road of peace. Should they, however, espouse continued hostility and aggression, the Arab States will find Israel equally ready. The Jewish people's independence will be safeguarded with the same determination, with the same perseverance, with the same firmness with which it has been restored after an age-long struggle and defended since. The Jewish people's hymn, Israel's national anthem, says:

"Two thousand years we cherished the hope

To live in freedom in the Land Of Zion and Jerusalem."

To those in this Assembly who challenge or ignore our rights we reply: in freedom the people of Israel shall live now and forever.

83. The PRESIDENT (interpretation from French): I now call on the representative of the Syrian Arab Republic, who wishes to exercise his right of reply.

84. Mr. KELANI (Syrian Arab Republic) (interpretation from Arabic): In the face of the olive branch raised today in front of this Assembly by the head of the PLO, in the face of the declaration of peace reaffirmed by the leader of the Palestinian revolution -- in the face of all this -- we find the representative of Israel coming to reaffirm as usual that he is an enemy of peace and an enemy of the Charter and its principles. He cannot but express the essence of zionism and the basis on which the entity of Israel was established, namely, terrorism, the violation of the Charter and the rejection of United Nations resolutions.

85. I do not wish to be lengthy in my reply to him, because the points he has brought up involve distortion, misrepresentations and many misleading facts, to which he is going to hear many replies containing many lessons during the days of the debate, be it from the Syrian delegation or from the other delegations supporting truth, justice and the Charter.

86. In the first place, he tried to distort history. He established nations and abolished countries and distributed peoples according to his whims. He gave Palestine to Jordan, and maybe he has given Jordan to Palestine. He makes all countries and all States a single entity. He said that the Arab nation is absorbing parts so if a certain people were expellead, the Arab nation could be allowed to do whatever it liked. It could absorb that people and repatriate them as if nothing had happened and as if there were no rights to be protected, no Charter, no homeland, no history, no principles -- nothing of the sort.

87. He made the United Nations, the whole of the United Nations, the object of insults when he declared that Arab countries had co-operated with the forces of darkness when they decided to invite the PLO to defend the rights of the Palestinian people. There are 20 Arab States, and there are 105 countries which have supported the invitation to the PLO. This means that there are 85 States which belong to these forces of darkness. This is the calculation presented to us by the representative of Israel: 85 States belong to this category of forces of darkness. In this way he is insulting the General Assembly in a very impertinent manner.

88. He has said that the murderers have come to the Genera Assembly. As far as I know, terrorism will be dealt with exhaustively in our discussions, but he has opened the subject in a very comprehensive manner. So let him hear what was said at the previous session about the history of Israeli terrorism, which can fill several pages -- and the United Nations itself knows how many pages in its records are about Zionist terrorism, which is unprecedented in history, either ancient or modern. He will of course hear a lot when this subject is brought up for discussion.

89. I should like to reply to him with a very brief statement as regards terrorism. The last thing said by Golda Meir was that she was extremely concerned when a Palestinian child was born. When General Moshe Dayan was asked about Palestinians, he said, "I have nothing for them but death". A people of more than 3.5 million would therefore be exterminated. That is what General Moshe Dayan, ex-Defence Minister of Israel, has said. That is what he wishes.

90. The representative of Israel has referred to the Ma'alot incident. The Israeli committee of enquiry itself, in Israel, which was asked by the Government to investigate the incident, has condemned the Israeli Government as responsible for this crime because it gave instructions to blow up the school, and that led to the death of the innocent children. The Palestinians did not wish to murder any of the children. They had only called for the release of some of their prisoners kept in Israel.

91. He has said that world criticism has been levelled at the United Nations because it has accepted within its ranks murderers who have come here to speak. Yes, the General Assembly is indeed an object of censure, because it includes in its ranks murderers who have built their State on terrorism and murder.

92. He has accused the PLO of not being representative of the Palestinian people. In all the history of revolutions, ancient or modern, no revolution has been elected by Parliament as other Parliaments are elected in all parts of the world. A revolution usually stems from the ranks of the people and it leads the people. There are several examples provided by history, and there is not time here to mention these examples. I do not wish to waste the time of the Assembly. The Palestinian revolution is only an example of this historical rule: namely, that revolutionary leaders are not elected by Parliaments but emanate from the ranks of the people themselves.

93. He has also not forgotten to speak of the Jews in Syria. In the Syrian Arab Republic the Jews are treated as Syrian citizens, and his interference in this connexion should be rejected in form and substance. I do not wish to reply to him, but I shall only refer to the draft resolution adopted by the Special Political Committee yesterday when it decided by an overwhelming majority that Israel was a war criminal and should be subject to the provisions of the Geneva Convention3 and the Charter of the N├╝rnberg Tribunal,4 a charter approved by the General Assembly in resolution 95 (I) at its first session in 1946. The Special Political Committee decided that Israel was a war criminal, and today we have listened to the statement of a war criminal.

94. Mr. SHARAE (Jordan): What a contrast there is between this morning and this afternoon. This morning we heard the Palestinian voice coming to us here, despite the tragedy and despite the agony, to plead for peace, to ask in all sincerity for justice and to ask for a lasting and constructive future for the area of Palestine and for the Middle East. This afternoon we heard the reply. We heard a reply which reflected the very root of the problem -- a state of mind reflected in the statement this afternoon, which closes itself to the realities, closes itself to rights, closes itself to the elements of truth and becomes a captive of its own mythology and its own dogmatism.

95. What a contrast there is between this morning and this afternoon, but it is also the contrast between 'the two positions in the Middle East. One, which emerges from agony and tragedy, seeks justice and peace and has been for the past 25 years asking that this world listen to it and accommodate its aspirations and rights in the context of a just peace, while the other voice has been a voice which draws upon an illegitimate and manipulated support from many quarters of the world to perpetuate an aggressive State, to make it more entrenched and to expand it. This is the situation in the Middle East. The Palestinians were the first victims. Other Arab States followed. They were in the second echelon of Israel's incursion and expansion at the expense of its neighbours.

96. If we have heard from the Israeli representative today an attempt to solve the problem semantically, it is because we have always heard the Israeli spokesmen over the last 25 years and probably more -- the Zionist spokesmen even before that period -- attempt to solve the problem semantically. According to them, originally the area of Palestine hardly existed and the people hardly existed. The people were not there. Israel descended upon an area that was empty. That was the myth, and the myth perpetuated itself and continued by attempting to reverse the positions. The Arabs were the aggressors, the Arabs were besieging Israel, the Arabs were trying to throw Israel into the sea while Israel was pleading for peace.

97. But what were the facts? They were quite the reverse. The Arabs were asking for justice while the character of their land was fading away before their eyes, while the Zionist movement and the Israeli establishment were growing in size on the ground, at the expense of the human barrier, namely, the peaceful people of that area, both in Palestine and in the surrounding Arab countries.

98. If the name of my country, Jordan, was injected in this debate it is in the context of the same Israeli attempts and the same Israeli style of fabricating facts and of attempting to solve the problem semantically. Whether you call Jordan "Palestine", or you call Jordan "Syria", or you call it 'X'', or you call it by the name of any Arab country, there are realities that exist there. There is a substantial fact, which is that Israel in 1947-1948 expelled a million people. Their number has grown to over 1.5 million people. Israel has attacked. In 1967 it attacked three Arab countries, one of which -- and call it by whatever name you want -- now has a million people under Israel's occupation. These are the facts.

99. The fact that Jordan has a special and intimate relationship with Palestine, that it feels with Palestine and the Palestinian cause, that it is sensitive to the agonies and the tragedy of the Palestinians, that it identifies with the aspirations of the Palestinian people for self-determination and for the restoration of their rights, is a credit to Jordan. The fact that Jordan amalgamated itself and its future and its destiny demographically and in terms of the structure of its Government, and materially and geographically with the cause of Palestine is a credit to Jordan and to the Arab people of Jordan, and it is also a credit to the Palestinians who have not and will not recognize barriers among the Arab countries. The fact that Jordan is described by the Israeli representative as Palestine and called such does not change the facts. By another token, Jordan can also be called "southern Syria". Would that allocate to Israel the right to take the East Bank and say, ''After all, this is only the south of Syria and the Syrians can go and live with their brothers -- Jordan and Syria together are part of the Arab nation"? Can anybody justify taking over Jordan and Syria and saying, "It is all right, because there are many Arabs and they still have many countries"? The problem cannot be solved semantically. We have been subjected to this exercise for over 25 years.

100. This august body, having been radically changed in structure between 1947 and today, has come to realize more than ever that there is a real and genuine problem in the Middle East, that the Palestine cause exists, that the Palestinian people are a reality, that the juggling of words and the seeking of semantic solutions will not solve the problem. This august body has given its recognition to and understanding of the fact that there is a genuine Palestinian grievance, that this grievance is shared by the Arab countries and by the various Arab peoples, including the Jordanian people, because the Arabs have an identification with the Palestinian people in terms of their cultural identity and common nationhood as well as in terms of the attachment of their people to the principles for which the Palestinian people have been defending themselves and raising their banner.

101. What we need in the Assembly is what the Palestinians have been asking for. It is not the continuation of acrimony; it is not totally closed positions. It is dialogue; it is the need for imaginative and constructive approaches to the solution of this problem. When the Israeli representative speaks of negotiating with its eastern neighbour, that is precisely what Israel has not been doing for the last seven years.

102. Whether the West Bank belongs to this State or that State, it certainly belongs to its people. Israel must end the occupation of that territory and Israel must recognize the root of the problem. The fact is that there are 1.5 million Palestinians in refugee camps, whose rights have been recognized repeatedly for over 25 years by the Assembly and who are waiting for the Assembly's action.

103. What is needed in this debate is not a perpetuation of the closed and rigid and dogmatic positions that we have been subjected to for the past 25 years. What is needed in this body is the opening of new avenues, the opening of minds, the opening of spirits; for Israel and the Israeli leadership -- perhaps it will be the people before its leadership -- to make an agonizing reappraisal and to come to terms with the realities and with the principles and recognize that the perpetuation of the present situation will end in a holocaust, in a confrontation, a continuous confrontation, with its neighbours. The only solution is an agonizing reappraisal of the basic premises and positions of the Israeli Government, which reflected themselves in and exploded into the catastrophe of 1948 -- positions that Israel has continued to maintain. What is needed is a reappraisal whereby a new understanding of the realities, more openness and sensitivity to the rights of all the people of the area will be established -- an acceptance of the very important and significant call today for the co-existence of the Jews and the Arabs, a co-existence in the area in openness, without dogmatism, without an attempt by one people to subjugate the other, without an attempt by one dogmatic closed ideology to impose and perpetuate its domination, but an attempt to open up new avenues to equality, to peace, to justice.

104. This is the call of today. This must be the spirit of the debate. This must be the spirit of the solution that we are seeking in all honesty and in all sincerity in this building.

The meeting rose at 5.40 p.m.

1 See Official Records of the General Assembly, First Special Session, Plenary Meetings, 77th plenary meeting, pp. 133-134.
2 Seventh Conference of Arab Heads of State, held at Rabat from 26 to 29 October 1974.
3 United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 75, No. 973.
4 Ibid., vol. 82. No 251

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