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Official Records NEW YORK
Agenda item 108:
Question of Palestine (continued) 897
2. 1 also wish to convey my condolences to the family of the deceased to the group of Arab States and to the international Organization, which has often witnessed Mr. Sakkaf's participation in its work and paid a tribute to the efforts that he exerted in these halls [2286th meeting].
3. May the Lord gather the deceased into His paradise together with all good men who have passed away in their time.
4. The President of the Somali Democratic Republic had the opportunity of addressing the General Assembly at this session [2262nd meeting], on behalf of OAU, of which he is the Chairman this year, and on that particular occasion he expressed to you, Mr. President, his congratulations on your election as President of this session of the General Assembly and on the confidence placed in you by the international community. Nevertheless, I should also like to seize this opportunity to pay tribute to your great character, which we appreciate, and for the fact that you are one of the militant revolutionaries who have set a noble example in the struggle for independence and freedom. We should like to congratulate you as a representative of the Algerian people, of Algeria, which is known as the land of the million and a half martyrs, a country whose policy is known as that of the revolutionary elite. You who represent Algeria now occupy this very important post in international politics and you have gained the respect of one and all.
5. I should also like to add my voice to that of my President to express our appreciation to the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr. Kurt Waldheim, for his great services to the international community, for what he has done and still does for just causes, and for his wisdom, personal knowledge and great experience in conducting the work of this our international family.
6. It is a great honour for me to have the privilege of addressing the General Assembly on this historic occasion as the representative of my President, General Mohamed Siad Barre, Head of State of the Somali Democratic Republic, and current Chairman of OAU.
7. My Government wishes to express its great satisfaction at the fact that the world community has been able to hear the authentic voice of the Palestinian people through the presence at the General Assembly of Mr. Yasser Arafat, Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization [PLO]. This debate, and his presence here, are new evidence of the triumph of the principle of the right of peoples to self-determination and a reaffirmation of inalienable human rights.
8. Moreover, the presence here of the representative of the PLO for this debate is also a practical demonstration of an important aspect of international practice that has developed in response to the legitimate struggles of oppressed peoples for freedom and independence. Great emphasis has been placed in recent times on the exclusive right of a people with a national identity to speak and to negotiate on its own behalf. Common sense as well as international practice tell us that a political question cannot be satisfactorily dealt with if any of the parties to the question is not represented in discussions and negotiations concerning their national rights and status.
9. The PLO has long represented and led the exiled Palestinian people in their bitter struggle for national survival and has been the symbol of their indomitable spirit. The support the organization has gained from the Conference of Non-Aligned Countries, from the Islamic Conference, from OAU, from the socialist countries and from many other States, is evidence of the fact that it is widely recognized as the legitimate representative of the Palestinian people.
10. We should not forget, however, that it is because of a General Assembly resolution that it has become possible for Mr. Yasser Arafat to address us in this forum as Chairman of the PLO. The Assembly of Heads of State and Government at the eleventh ordinary session of OAU, held at Mogadiscio from 12 to 15 June 1974, agreed unanimously to support the cause of the Palestinians because they were convinced of the just and urgent need to settle the Middle East crisis and to reduce world tension which could lead to a devastating war.
11. The solution of the problem of Palestine is indeed the very heart of the matter and as the President of Somalia, General Mohamed Siad Barre, said when he addressed this Assembly on 9 October:
" . . .
"Confronted by this problem, with all its implications for the countries of the area, we can no longer afford to bury our heads in the sand like ostriches. We should recognize the inevitability . . . Of a Palestinian State; and once that is accepted in principle by all concerned, including the world Organization, then and only then can we hope to be on the threshold of peace in the area." [2262nd meeting, paras. 92 and 94.]
13. In 1969, the General Assembly reaffirmed the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people--for they are rights founded on the justice of their national aspirations expressed since the early years of this century. My delegation takes pride in the fact that it was Somalia that introduced resolution 2535 B (XXIV) of 10 December 1969, in which this important reaffirmation was first made. Ever since 1969, the General Assembly, by a steadily increasing majority, has repeatedly expressed its concern for the fact that the people of Palestine is being prevented by Israel from exercising its right to self-determination. Again, the Israeli response has been one of arrogant contempt for the General Assembly. The Israelis have denied the legitimacy of Palestinian national aspirations in complete disregard of those principles of the Carter which have allowed for the self-determination and independence of a large majority of Member States, and they have even attempted to deny the very existence of the Palestinian people.
14. There were a few voices raised in 1947 and 1948 to protest against the establishment of a State founded on terrorism; of a State the proposed leaders of which would be the leaders of the terrorist organisations of the Irgun and the Haganah; above all, they protested against the establishment of a State, the creation of which would be a usurpation of the rights of those whose claim to Palestine lay in an uninterrupted occupation of some 2,000 years. Yet these few voices were drowned by the clamour coming from the powerful international interests supporting the Zionists. We know, too, that in 1948, nearly a million Palestinians were terrorized into leaving their homes and that their families were then dispossessed, so that at the present time one and a half million refugees still live in the wretchedness and frustration of forced exile, knowing that the Jews of the world have been invited to come and take their homes and occupy their lands in Palestine. Finally, we know that since 1967 another million Palestinians have been under an Israeli military occupation characterized by dispossessing and displacing Arab peoples and bringing about fundamental changes in the status of Arab territory in contravention of international agreements to which Israel is a party.
15. These are not judgements of sentiment, partiality or malice. These are the facts of history. They are facts that cannot be divorced from the reality of the Middle East situation today if we really want to deal with the crux of the matter.
16. The third preambular paragraph of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states:
". . . it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law"
17. The Israelis, in a callous abuse of law, have violated numerous articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, both with regard to the original Arab refugees and with regard to the more recent refugees exiled by the war of 1967.
18. The refugees who have languished for over a quarter of a century in the squalor of the camps, the refugees whose only support has been their unquenchable resolve to retain their national identity--these refugees were arbitrarily deprived of their property in contravention of anile 17 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and have remained in exile in contravention of anile 9. This exile forced upon them has certainly not permitted them to enjoy the right, laid down in article 25, to a standard of living adequate for their health and well-being, one of the things which Israel denies these Palestinian refugees. Anile 15 speaks of the right to a nationality, and the deprivation of this right has contributed most to the bitterness and frustration faced by the Palestinians.
19. My delegation sincerely hopes that the authority of the General Assembly will be placed behind a new impulse towards the resolution of the Palestinian problem--an impulse based on proper historical, national and political perspectives. We must see how ironical it is when the originators of terrorism in the Middle East, who continue their terrorist activities against Arab refugee families in neighbouring territories, speak with an appearance of righteous indignation about terrorism on the pan of their victims. We must not be taken in when those whose expansionist aggression has, directly or indirectly, provoked four wars in 26 years accuse the objects of their aggression of belligerence and hostility. We must not fail to recognize that it is the Israelis who are enjoying the fruits of aggression in contravention of established principles of international law. We must not fail to recognize also that Israel has refused every opportunity to bring about a just and lasting settlement, starting with the opportunity presented by General Assembly resolution 194 (III) to that of Security Council resolution 242 (1967) of 22 November 1967. This latter was an unequalled opportunity for peace. As Member States will recall, the Jarring Mission received the full co-operation of Arab States and uncompromising rejection by Israel.
20. In this connexion, I wish also to point out that eminent African heads of State gave much thought to the dangerous crisis in the Middle East and how best to contribute to the attempt of the United Nations to promote a reduction of tension and the realization of a lasting peace in the area. A mission of four African heads of State visited Egypt and Israel in 1971 for this very purpose. It was Israel that once more failed to co-operate with this historic mission. The facts were reported to this august body by General Yakubu Gowon, Head of the Federal Military Government of Nigeria, who was at the time the Chairman of OAU. As a result of the report of the OAU fact-finding mission of the four heads of State, a resolution was adopted by the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of OAU at its tenth ordinary session, held at Addis Ababa from 27 to 29 May 1973, the following pertinent extracts from which were quoted by General Gowon in the General Assembly on 5 October 1973:
. . .
"Recalling in this respect the negative attitude of Israel towards the mission of the ten African Heads of State mandated by the OAU to work for the implementation of Security Council resolution 242 (1967) of 22 November 1967, which stipulated in particular withdrawal of Israeli forces from all the occupied territories, in conformity with the principle of the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territories by force, . . .
"2. Strongly condemns the negative attitude of Israel . . ." '
22. We have all heard the moving speech of Mr. Yasser Arafat on behalf of the Palestinians 12282nd meeting]. We have all heard enough to understand that the outlook he portrayed is oriented to the future and to peaceful co-existence. A sincere effort is being made to break away from the hatred and fears of the past.
23. We also have all heard the impassioned speech made by the representative of Israel. The bitter and adamant stand of Israel can be seen from the following extract of his mocking comments on the deliberations of the United Nations when he said:
25. My country will support any significant initiative taken by the General Assembly at this time in support of the rights of the Palestinian people. We feel very strongly that a grave responsibility lies with the world community for some substantial and meaningful contribution that will help towards a just and lasting peace in the Middle East.
26. We must reach decisions on this problem that will be in keeping with the responsibility we carry by reason of our presence in the General Assembly as representatives of all the nations in the world, and as those responsible for expressing the wishes of our People for peace, justice and human values.
27. Two days ago, Mr. Yasser Arafat, head of the PLO, came into this hall [see 2282nd meeting]. He was here to express the hopes and aspirations of the Palestinian people, and he declared before us here, from this very rostrum, that in one hand he was carrying an olive branch, symbol of peace, love and coexistence; and that in his other hand he held the weapon of the revolutionary and the militant, symbol of the just struggle to which the Palestinian people have been forced. He appealed to us not to let the olive branch fall from his hand. I am certain that the representatives in this General Assembly, as they represent the conscience of the world, will not disappoint him and will not allow the olive branch to fall from his hand.
28. Mr. ALMUFTI (Jordan) (interpretation from Arabic): Jordan, in taking pan in this historic debate on the question of Palestine, is fully and most profoundly cognizant of the far-reaching gravity, dimensions and obligations that are involved, for our debate concerns the elements of life for a whole people --the Palestinian people, upon whom has fallen a catastrophe almost unique in its all-embracing ferocity. This is so even when measured against a world history fraught with every kind of calamity. And while the outcome of this question affects primarily the Palestinian Arab people, it also affects, in a fundamental way, the fate of every other Arab people. The repercussions of this question on the fate of world peace are so obvious as to require no elaboration or proof.
29. Jordan welcomes the participation of representatives of the PLO in the debate on the question of the Palestinian people, as it welcomes its leadership of the struggle for the restitution of the national rights of the Palestinian people on their national soil in Palestine. Jordan, which has shouldered the task of direct responsibility for a substantial segment of this brother nation, for two consecutive decades, fully realizes the burden of the responsibility now entrusted to our brethren in the PLO. We wish their efforts every success, while recognizing the immensity of the burden that falls upon them.
30. While fulfilling its historic, national and moral responsibilities towards its brothers, the Palestinian people, with whom we have shared our common hopes and agonies, the good days and the bad days, and the joint efforts at building in every field of life, Jordan reiterates its national commitment to remain forever a pillar of support to the Palestinian people and their brothers. Jordan will remain the staunch supporter of the Palestinian people until their aspirations are fulfilled and their national rights are fully restored over their soil, in accordance with their leadership's formulations and in accordance with what the peoples of that Arab nation and of peace-loving nations throughout the world hope they will achieve.
31. The question of Palestine pertains to the fate of the Palestinian Arab peoples in their entirety. The sons of this people belong to the land of Palestine, as did their forefathers over thousands of years of recorded history. The archaeological layers of the ruined city of Jericho have proved an undisputed Palestinian existence of at least 7,000 years. It proves, if proof is needed, several thousand years of uninterrupted association between the people and the land, generations and generations before the Israeli tribes ever set foot as conquerors in the ancient and highly developed lands of Canaan, and several thousand years after they had departed or had been assimilated into the indigenous inhabitants.
32. The lands of Palestine have always stood in the path of the conquerors and empire builders of ancient, medieval and contemporary times. The people have often found themselves either subjects or citizens of those large conglomerations. But the indigenous people were so enmeshed, so intertwined, so attached to their soil, that the outsiders sooner or later were absorbed or, if they persisted in their alienation from the mainstream of life in Palestine, were doomed to disappear.
33. In the light of what I have said, the contemporary Zionist adventure into Palestine is the first and only occasion when the indigenous inhabitants from time immemorial have been forcibly and in great numbers uprooted from their national home and dispersed to every corner of the globe.
34. It may seem far-fetched to invoke past history to vindicate a present and living cause, particularly in this, the highest forum of the United Nations. But what else is to be done in the face of Israel's audacious claims, repeated so often here, in other forums of the United Nations and elsewhere, that the 3 million Palestinians are a non-people, a myth, a mirage, a fabrication of forces hostile to Israel?
35. Anyone who knew Palestine during the 1920s, which was just before the Zionist immigration began in earnest, knows that the Arabs of Palestine made up 95 per cent of the population and owned 97 per cent of the land and property. There were, of course, Palestinian Jews who had pioneered immigration on a modest scale as early as the nineteenth century. But they were citizens of the land and they lived with their Arab neighbours in perfect amity. And then came the massive onslaught of Jewish immigration spurred, no doubt, by the inhuman manner in which the Nazi regime treated their citizens of the Jewish faith and, subsequently, the holocaust of the Second World War.
36. But even after all those momentous and tragic events, when the British Mandate came to a bloody and disorderly end in 1947-1948, the Palestinian Arabs possessed a majority of two thirds in the country.
37. What is germane to our discussion and what constitutes the core of our subject is that the people of Palestine have never ceased to be the indigenous and rightful owners of the land, through thick and thin, in war and peace, for thousands and thousands of years of perpetual habitation, which was ruthlessly interrupted and shattered a mere two decades ago. What grounds either in law or in ethics could bestow a more prestigious entitlement than the thousands of years of continuous habitation in the land of Palestine?
38. This long history became a victim of subversion in the very recent past. It started on 2 November 1917, when Lord Balfour, the British Foreign Secretary, issued his discreditable and notorious Declaration in which he promised his country's assistance towards the establishment in Palestine of a Jewish national home, it being understood that nothing would be done to prejudice the rights of the existing population. Here we wonder what right had the Foreign Secretary of a country which then had no jurisdiction over Palestine to hand it and its people over to a third party which did not even exist as a people? Palestinians of all denominations naturally rejected an illegal and immoral promise intended to bring about their demise.
39. Such a travesty, such violations, could only have been conceived and implemented in the era of colonialism when people, in the eyes of the colonials, were chattels and impediments that might be removed, and not human beings with the inherent rights belonging to all humanity without exception.
40. Resistance to implementation of those illegal policies continued unabated until 1939, on the eve of the Second World War, when Britain finally came to see the futility and injustice of its policies. A White Paper was issued which recognized the right of Palestine to independence, on the basis of the population ratio, which consisted of a two-to-one majority in favour of the Arabs. Yet even before the war was over, Zionist terrorist gangs launched a campaign of ruthless and indiscriminate murder and terror whose avowed aim was to nullify the White Paper and force Britain to change its policy in favour of the Zionist plans and aspirations. The British Government knuckled under and turned over the entire problem to the United Nations in 1947-1948.
41. Herein begins the long and frustrating relationship between the United Nations and the people of Palestine. Starting with the original sin of deciding on 29 November 1947 on the dismemberment of Palestine without the consent of the people most directly and intimately concerned, the United Nations has since been confronted by Israel with one fait accompli after another, with the Palestinians losing more and more ground as years went by, until today they have nothing else to lose except their tragic status as refugees, or the equally tragic status of existing as a people under Israeli military occupation and despoliation.
42. We should also bear in mind that the United Nations that bears responsibility for the tragedy of the Palestinian people is not the United Nations of today, which represents the vast emancipated masses of mankind. The United Nations then was, by and large, a small minority of mankind, dominated by Powers whose sense of justice and conscience were, to say the least, minimal, and which were oblivious to the rights, aspirations and suffering of the less-privileged peoples of the world.
43. But even with that qualification of the United Nations of that time, the partition of Palestine, though lacking in validity, was devised in such a way as to leave for the Palestinians important centres of the country, which at the time were considered by the Zionist leaders as not worthy of their interests and aims. Thus, the Zionist leaders, exploiting the Palestinians' spontaneous, and, in the circumstances, understandable dejection at the dismemberment of the country, seized the opportunity to grab the maximum amount of territory that their superior military preparedness made possible.
44. Almost 80,000 of their well-organized, well-equipped Haganah--not to mention the lesser terrorist organizations--launched a systematic campaign of terror and territorial conquest against an almost totally unarmed population. The Israelis thus seized almost four fifths of Palestine, even before the end of the British Mandate on 14 May 1948.
45. The Israeli reply to mere civil disorder and demonstration by the Palestinians--an activity that takes place in every country in the world as a protest against minor issues--was the full might of their military machine. The Israelis were thus able to fulfil their preconceived plans and ambitions to conquer most of the country, and seize an area far in excess of what the United Nations had allotted to them under the Plan of Partition [resolution 181 (II)]. Moreover, by organized terror they expelled the majority of the inhabitants of Palestine, who for over 25 years have constituted the suffering masses known as "the Palestinian refugees", and Israel confiscated their lands and properties.
46. In the face of this organized military attack by the Zionists against the Palestinians in 1947, some Arab States were forced to send some contingents of their armies to meet this threat to the Palestinians, particularly after news reached them of some of the more notorious massacres of Palestinians, such as at Deir Yassin, where 250 people were killed, mostly women and children. The result of the Israeli plans was the exile of not less than a million Palestinians from their land and their homes.
47. After the cease-fires, truces and armistices imposed by the big Powers, efforts were made to achieve a viable, just and lasting settlement. The opportunity was eagerly grasped by the Arab States concerned--as evidenced by their agreement to the Lausanne Protocol on 12 May l949 2 -- but was rejected by Israel.
48. It is important to recall on this occasion that the United Nations accepted Israel into its fold only after recalling resolutions 181 (II) of 29 November 1947 and 194 (III) of 11 December 1948, and after it had taken note of the declarations and explanations made by the representative of Israel to the Ad Hoc Political Committee in respect of the implementation of the said resolutions [see resolution 273 (III)].
49. It is now evident that Israel's primary acceptance of the Lausanne Protocol as the basis for solving the issue was merely a manoeuvre to obtain membership of the United Nations. This is corroborated by the fact that, in its declaration of independence on 14 May 1948, Israel deliberately refrained from delineating its boundaries. Following the 1967 war, one Israeli leader declared: "Israel's boundaries will be the farthest point that Israeli soldiers can reach". Another Israeli leader declared that the first generation achieved the armistice lines of 1949; the second generation reached the cease-fire lines of 1967, and that it was now for succeeding generations to achieve Israel's ultimate goals in territorial conquest and acquisition.
50. The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan is closely linked to the Palestinian cause and the Palestinian people. This relationship, based on culture, nationalism, geography, history and common aspirations, was reinforced by the Kingdom's historical association with the development of the Palestinian cause. The Jordanian Army, then young and small in size, was in the forefront of the Arab armies that came to the assistance of the Palestinian people in 1948. It succeeded in defending the West Bank and Jerusalem against Israeli despoliation.
51. The identity of aspirations and brotherhood reached its peak when agreement was reached between the leaders of Jordan and of the West Bank to establish a constitutional political unity. That was accomplished after the general elections which took place in 1950. The new People's Assembly which emerged issued, by unanimous consent, a decision proclaiming the unity, while:
"... preserving the Arab rights in Palestine and the defence of those rights by all legitimate means, and without prejudice to the final settlement of their just cause, within the framework of the national aspirations, Arab co-operation and international justice ...".
52. Jordan has adhered to this principle and this commitment and has exerted its efforts towards their fulfilment. Jordan's principal objective over the past quarter of a century since the establishment of unity was not the assumption of the Palestinian rights or identity--as the Israelis claim, in order to cover up their occupation of the whole of Palestine. The land of Palestine is the land of Palestine, and the land of Jordan is the land of Jordan.
53. The unity that was established between the two banks of the Jordan was a unity between the Jordanian people and the Palestinian people living on the West Bank. Israel's efforts to grab Palestinian territory--the whole Palestinian territory--and to cover up this aggressive design by semantics and the manipulation of words, at the expense of the Palestinian people and the Jordanian people alike, represent a brazen attempt which must be rejected.
54. The Arab peoples are entitled to build their unity in the manner and at the time of their choosing. But Arab territories, regardless of their location, cannot be disposed of, and are not open to occupation and usurpation by any aggressive party.
55. Jordan has exerted every effort, in various political and international forums, to expound the rights of the Palestinian people. It has also had to bear the brunt of continued Israeli attacks ever since 1949 when it signed, along with the other Arab countries concerned, the Armistice Agreements. Within the framework of unity, the Palestinian Arabs marched towards consolidating their roots in their territories which had escaped aggression and made their contribution towards the prosperity of the West Bank and the Kingdom as a whole in creating a modern and stable society
56. While the unity of the two banks existed, the Jordanian leadership was anxious to keep the Palestinian identity alive before the world, convinced that at the appropriate time, and when the practical and international circumstances become propitious, the Palestinian people must exercise their categorical right to self-determination and unite themselves in a unified entity.
57. In 1967, the Israeli leadership decided to deal with the consequences of its 1948 aggression by yet another massive aggression against the neighbouring peoples, in the forefront of which was the people of Palestine on the West Bank and in the Gaza Strip, in addition to the peoples of Egypt and Syria.
58. Israel achieved its immediate military objective by occupying the territories of three Arab States and
refusing to withdraw, even within the framework of a political settlement. It also continued to deny the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, which have been on the records of United Nations resolutions since 1948. Jordan, together with the other Arab countries that had been the targets of Israeli aggression, made continued and persistent efforts, at the international level, over a period of seven years, to bring about Israeli withdrawal from the occupied Arab lands within the framework of a just political settlement. But all such efforts came to naught; they were wrecked on the rocks of Israeli arrogance and intransigence. The increased Israeli avarice and inflexibility only served to increase the Arabs' determination to adhere to their rights and to struggle for their redemption.
59. Within this framework, the Palestinian resistance movement expanded and grew, as did also an intensified feeling on the part of the Palestinian people that the initiative in the effort to recover its rights, which had been usurped in toto by Israel's occupation of the whole of Palestinian territory in 1967, should be in Palestinian hands. The changes in local and international factors convinced the Arab countries as well as the Palestinian resistance movement that the time had come for the Palestinian resistance movement to assume the full responsibility, on behalf of the people of Palestine and in its own name, to work for the restitution of Palestinian rights by all the means provided for in the United Nations Charter, and within a framework that would restore to the cause of the Palestinian people its true character, that of a cause in confrontation with aggressive and expansionist Israeli policies.
60. During October of this year, the Arab States unanimously endorsed this principle and this policy, and the State of Jordan agreed to its endorsement. Jordan will continue to be, as I said at the outset, a bulwark of support and assistance to the Palestinian people in their efforts and the efforts of their leaders to achieve justice in Palestine, in accordance with the United Nations Charter, and to establish the principle of peace based on justice.
61. Any just and permanent solution to the question of Palestine and any support for the rights of the people of Palestine must be based on clear and fundamental principles .
62. The first of these principles is to reaffirm the right to repatriation of the people of Palestine who have been forcibly expelled from their homes. This is a principle that the General Assembly has repeatedly and categorically affirmed over the past 25 years in various resolutions .
63. The second principle, concomitant with the first, is the right to self-determination and national independence.
64. There is also, of course, the right of the Palestinian people to struggle for its rights, and the duty of the international community to support such a struggle.
65. The United Nations, by adopting these principles, would be taking an important step forward towards tackling the roots of the crisis in the Middle East. And even though many steps must follow before a final solution is achieved, the road always begins with a first step. The United Nations, in whose lap the Palestinian tragedy was born. should fittingly be the architect
in the formulation of the just, human and lasting solution.
66. Mr. PETRlC (Yugoslavia): Let me first express to the delegation of Saudi Arabia the deepest condolences of my delegation on the grievous loss they have suffered in the passing away of their distinguished Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Omar Sakkaf.
67. May I now extend our warm greetings to the legitimate representatives of the heroic Palestinian people, headed by the Chairman of the PLO and leader of the Palestine revolution, Yasser Arafat. Their participation in the work of the General Assembly is symbolic of the success of the long and arduous liberation struggle of the Palestinian people and is an expression of the positive changes that are taking place in international relations at the present time. We consider the speech of the Chairman of the PLO as very important for the solution of the question of Palestine on the basis of recognition of the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, national independence and sovereignty.
68. The struggle of peoples for freedom, independence and free development, for more equitable international political and economic relations, and for the eradication of the remnants of colonialism, racism and domination in all its forms, has changed, and is continuing to change, the world in which we live. As a part of and as an active participant in this struggle, the Palestinian people has proved once again, by its example, that no one can defeat a people that is determined to fight for its national identity, self-determination and freedom.
69. Reflecting these changes, the General Assembly decided, by an overwhelming majority, to place the question of Palestine on the agenda of this session and to invite the legitimate representatives of the Palestinian people to take part on a footing of equality in the consideration of this problem. The initial conditions have thereby been created for the beginning of substantive efforts to eliminate effectively the injustice that was done to the Palestinian people. This would constitute an important contribution to the solution of the Middle East crisis, which has been threatening world peace for more than a quarter of a century and has affected in the first place the Palestinian people as well as the other Arab peoples of the region, the victims of Israeli aggression.
70. It is difficult to find another example of the violation of fundamental human rights and freedoms of an entire people to match that of the Palestinian people, whose very right to existence was denied and who were forcibly driven out of their homes in an attempt to make them refugees. Unfortunately, for a long time the international community, through actions in the United Nations, treated this question as a merely humanitarian problem. However, this is a question of paramount political significance not only for the countries of the Middle East but also for the world at large, for peace and security are seriously threatened by the prolongation of the Middle East crisis.
71. In spite of constant pressure, persecution and sacrifices made in the course of numerous wars in the Middle East, the Palestinian people has succeeded in preserving its national identity. Through revolutionary struggle, similar to the struggle that other peoples had to wage to regain their freedom, the Palestinian people has succeeded in establishing a broad national front, united in the PLO.
72. As the only legitimate representative of the Palestinian people, the PLO is widely recognized by the international community. Supporting the just liberation struggle of the Palestinian people, the Fourth Conference of Heads of State or Government of the Non-Aligned Countries, held at Algiers from 5 to 9 September 1973, clearly declared "its recognition of the Palestine Liberation Organization as the legitimate representative of the Palestinian people and of their just struggle".3 A large number of States maintain relations with the PLO, which participates in the conferences of non-aligned countries, in the work of OAU, in many international conferences, and now, for the first time, in the work of plenary meetings of the General Assembly.
73. No one can question any longer the existence of the Palestinian people and its basic right to self-determination, independence and its own State, as well as the right of Palestinians to return to their homes as required by the relevant resolutions of the General Assembly, which are in full accord with the basic principles of the Charter of the United Nations. After the Palestinian people's struggle and its plight for the past quarter of a century, the international community and, primarily, the United Nations are morally and politically obliged to help it to achieve these legitimate rights.
74. Proceeding from its policy of consistent support for the liberation struggle of peoples against imperialism, colonialism, occupation and all forms of foreign domination, Yugoslavia has been constantly lending political, material and other support and assistance to the just liberation struggle of the Palestinian people. In accordance with that, I wish to recall here that relations between my country and the PLO, as the only representative of the Palestinian people, have been based on firm friendship and full mutual understanding for many years. The PLO has had a mission in my country for more than a decade. From the very outset we supported the admission of the PLO to the ranks of non-aligned countries, and today we are lending all-out support to the struggle of the Palestinian people for the realization of its inalienable rights.
75. I should like to recall what President Tito recently stated with regard to the basic problems of the Middle East--namely, that we continue to believe that a just and durable solution to the Middle East problem can be found only on condition that Israel completely withdraws from all Arab territories occupied in June 1967 and since then, that the legitimate national rights of the Palestinian people are restored, and that the right of all countries and peoples in the Middle East to sovereignty and integrity, to a life in peace, is recognized.
76. Yugoslavia welcomes and supports the decision of the Seventh Conference of Arab Heads of State held at Rabat to stimulate constructive efforts towards finding a peaceful and just solution of the question of Palestine.
77. However, it is very disturbing that we are again faced by stagnation in the Middle East in spite of the conciliatory attitude of Arab countries. Israel not only has failed to show the necessary readiness to make constructive and peaceful efforts for the achievement of a just peace and security in the region, but continues to pursue a policy of aggressive acts and terror. Such an Israeli policy of intransigence, of activating militarist forces and of maintaining aggressive ambitions--accompanied by further delay in solving the Middle East crisis--is causing the gravest concern. Unless efforts towards further progress are made as a matter of urgency, new armed conflicts in that region may again erupt. with unforeseeable consequences.
78. Israel must recognize the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and independence in accordance with the Charter, and must withdraw completely from all Arab territories it occupied during the 1967 war and has occupied since then.
79. There are many examples in history of the struggle of peoples for liberation being described as "terrorist" by those who endeavoured to impose upon those peoples their domination, occupation or colonial system. That is also the case of the struggle today of the Palestinian people, whose liberation movement Israel is trying to label ''terrorist", although Israel itself is resorting--ruthlessly and flying in the face of the whole international community--to acts of state terrorism against the Palestinian people and its Arab neighbours, violating the Charter of the United Nations and the norms of international law. We are confident however, that the Palestinian people and the Arab peoples will achieve, with the support of the international community, their just objectives.
80. Now is the time to accelerate the efforts aimed at building peace in the Middle East. We deem it indispensable for the General Assembly to adopt--on the basis of the debate on the question of Palestine-- an appropriate resolution that will affirm unequivocally the national rights of the Palestinian people to self-determination, including the right to its own State. The Palestinian people has the right to wage its liberation struggle for the realization of these rights and principles, in accordance with the Charter, and to expect our full support. The outcome of this debate should contribute towards speeding up the process of a comprehensive solution of the Middle East crisis, which is impossible without the solution of the Palestinian problem. It is necessary for the representatives of the PLO to participate in all the phases of the solving of the Palestinian problem and of the Middle East crisis as a whole, including their constant participation in the consideration of this problem by the United Nations.
81. The role and the framework of the United Nations remain indispensable for the achievement of a just and lasting solution of the Middle East problem. The non-aligned countries, through their joint stand and action, remain a major international factor making its special contribution towards that end.
82. Mr. FALL (Senegal) (interpretation from French): Before beginning my statement I should like to say that I share the emotion expressed by you, Sir, and by those who have spoken today, on the death of the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs of Saudi Arabia, Mr. Omar Sakkaf. On behalf of my delegation and of the Government and people of Senegal I should like to extend our deepest condolences to the delegation of Saudi Arabia and ask that delegation to convey to the Government and people of Saudi Arabia, to His Majesty King Faisal and to the family of Mr. Sakkaf the expression of our deep sympathy. God bless his soul, and may he rest in peace.
83. The General Assembly, when it decided at this session to place on its agenda the item entitled "Question of Palestine", and when it made that decision complete by inviting the qualified representatives of the Palestinian people to share in our work and participate in the debate on that item, was finally putting the problem so frequently described as "the Arab-Israeli crisis" in its true context. The question of Palestine is indeed the key to the Middle East conflict, whose crises and vicissitudes are but the side effects of that central problem, even though international opinion at times tends to regard them as being the basic elements of the question.
84. The present debate, which has been given heightened significance by the presence of the lawful representatives of the Palestinian people, will undoubtedly help our Assembly to have a better grasp of the scope of this serious and painful problem.
85. The question of Palestine is not a simple humanitarian matter: it is essentially a political problem, the problem of the right of a people to justice and self-determination, the right of a people to the realization of its legitimate national aspirations. It goes without saying that if we wish to have a rational and objective analysis of this question we must remove it from the emotional and heated atmosphere which has thus far been its characteristic element. Similarly, it would be pointless to maintain that past or future resolutions of the United Nations are powerless to change the policies of any one of the parties to the conflict. It is both a paradox and a regrettable truth that the party to the conflict in the Middle East which rejects the decisions of the United Nations with such unbridled arrogance is precisely the country which owes its existence to a resolution of our Assembly. This negative attitude could gravely jeopardize not only the credibility of our institutions but could also challenge the de jure existence of the country whose spokesmen are guilty of such irresponsible behaviour.
86. I do not believe it is necessary for me to go back over the various events that have taken place since that historic vote of 29 November 1947, a vote described by a distinguished figure of our Assembly as "a notorious vote", a vote which has since led to four wars, short in duration, to be sure, but none the less the source of blind violence, bringing in their wake much mourning, many tears and incalculable and unnecessary destruction. Nevertheless, we must recognize that this succession of events has had the effect of making the international community forget the real origin of the conflict, that is, the unjust despoilment inflicted on the Muslim and Christian Palestinian Arabs who have now been living without home or homeland for over a quarter of a century.
87. It is true that our Assembly has repeatedly affirmed the right of the Palestinians to recover their homeland but the ways and means of making possible the practical realization of those declarations still remain to be determined. Such an operation would, of course, require a fundamental change in policies and in thinking on both sides. Israel. in particular, would have to give up its expansionist and arrogant policies, which it pursues unswervingly on the fallacious pretext of security needs.
88. This short-sighted policy is, unfortunately, supported by influential figures and statesmen in Israel. Thus Mr. Ben Porat, a journalist thought to be close to General Dayan, believes that the expulsion of Palestinian Arabs is an integral part of Zionism, the essential objective of which is to bring about the return of the Jewish people to their homeland and to their lands. According to him:
"There is no Zionism, there is no settlement of lands, there is no Jewish State without the evacuation of Arabs, and without the confiscation of their property. All those who claim otherwise are naive or are hypocrites. Yet a courageous clarification of the Zionist concept which underlies the Jewish State would expose the Government to criticism inside Israel and to venomous attack outside."
89. A few weeks later the same journalist published two articles in which he maintained that thousands of Palestinians had been forced to leave their lands even before the creation of the State of Israel, without any compensation, by the very force of the Zionist nation; that in 1947 and 1948 the Palestinian refugees did not leave their homes voluntarily and that--and once again I quote Mr. Porat--"here and there the Israelis helped them to reach the Jordan".
90. A well-known Israeli writer, Mr. Bar Yossef, while deploring the fact that the Palestinians are forced to leave their territory, thinks that no one has the right to be sentimental "when it comes to Zionist settlement" .
91. An editor of the Social Democrat newspaper Davar, confirming this interpretation of Zionism, writes that we must not minimize the argument according to which zionism expelled the Palestinian people from its territories, but "it is certain that the rights of Palestinians clash head on, without any possibility of compromise, with our own rights. There is no other solution than to respect the imperatives of the existence of the Jewish people".
92. Only recently we learned from a press dispatch that General Dayan himself, who is regarded as one of the most influential figures in the Jewish world, signed a petition drawn up by the bloc of right-wing parties in Israel ''demanding that the Government not give up an inch of the West Bank, which is regarded by nationalist and religious elements as the historic heritage of the Jewish people".
93. Nevertheless, we owe it to the truth to recognize that these positions are not shared by all Israelis. Thus Mr. Dov Bar Nir, one of the leftist socialist leaders and a member of the first Knesset, has said that he would never have agreed to emigrate to Palestine if zionism had had to be founded on the expulsion of others because, he said, "I would never have agreed to wipe out the unhappiness of my own exile by giving rise to a new unhappiness, the dispossession of the rights of a people".
94. The historian Igal Eylam, a specialist in the history of zionism, has written that, in his opinion, the ignorance in which Israeli opinion is maintained concerning the rights of the Palestinian people is detrimental to the State, and he adds: "A show of good will is essential if we do not wish to see the first cracks appearing in our sense of our own justice. So long as we continue to ignore this problem we shall see our faith in our own justice progressively eroded. The practical realization of zionism cannot be accompanied by conscious and organized oppression of the rights of another people."
95. On the Arab side, it remains understood that any idea of "driving the Jews into the sea" must be rejected. And it must be recognized that no one any longer seriously believes that the solution of the Middle East problem necessarily implies the elimination of the State of Israel. The point really is the integration of that State in a regional whole within which it has thus far lived as a completely alien entity. That is why we are even more gratified by the presence among us of the representatives of the Palestinian people who will be able henceforward to consider with us the fundamental political facts of this explosive problem, which continues to become more complicated day by day despite a quarter of a century of every kind of effort and negotiation.
96. We are well aware that our feelings about the participation of the Palestinian leaders in our debates are not shared by everyone. Thus the representative of Israel very recently carried invective to the point of describing the vast majority of the members of this Assembly as accessories to murder because they voted for the invitation addressed to the representatives of the PLO.
97. It seems that such behaviour does not take sufficient account of the lessons of history. The national liberation movements have always been regarded as associations of evil-doers by the oppressors against whom they are compelled to take up an armed struggle.
98. This was the case with Lenin and Mao Tse-tung who at one time were regarded as mere terrorist ringleaders by the very ones who were oppressing their peoples. Yet their heroic struggle has now made it possible for more than 1,000 million men and women to live in freedom and prosperity.
99. The Irgun and the Haganah were also terrorist organizations, but their erstwhile leaders are now the heroes of a free and independent people and the State of Israel is a Member of the United Nations.
100. The Mau-Mau too were described as a band of murderers. Today Kenya, headed by its highly esteemed chief, President Jomo Kenyatta, is seated in the United Nations and is even a member of the Security Council.
101. Amilcar Cabral was also termed a terrorist agitator. Now the world respects and honours his memory, Africa venerates his name and Guinea-Bissau is a Member of our Organization.
102. I could go on to mention hundreds, even thousands of other such examples, but I am quite sure there is no need for that because you all know what they are.
103. We might note in this connexion the position outlined recently by Mr. Yasser Arafat, the leader of the Palestinian resistance, who indicated with the utmost firmness the position of his organization with regard to the terrorist acts of certain irresponsible elements claiming to represent the Palestinian cause. He said:
105. No one can any longer deny that the settlement of the Palestinian problem is the keystone of any just and lasting solution in the Middle East. On 11 December 1948, on the basis of the report of Count Bernadotte, the United Nations Mediator in Palestine, our Organization adopted resolution 194 (III), in paragraph 11 of which it resolved:
107. Nevertheless, throughout this period of harsh trials, children were born who have now grown to adulthood. These young people too have shared the Calvary of their parents, and their revolt against the injustice visited upon their families is growing ever more intense as one opportunity after another is missed.
108. I am aware that there is a school of thought in the world to the effect that the dispute between Arabs and Jews is rooted in an eternal hatred going back to who knows what legend lost in the mists of time. But people often forget to say that most Jews who were in Palestine at the time of the last world war had sought refuge there from the persecutions of which they were the victims in Europe; and, yet, they found Arabs there and lived in peace with them.
109. Arabs and Jews are in fact two peoples whose history, geography, community of interests and--why not say so?--ethnic origins should encourage them to live and to work together. To accept the impossibility of coexistence between these two peoples would be implicitly to assert that might is right; it would be to admit that one of these two peoples must inevitably eliminate the other. The international community has no right to allow itself to be trapped in such a vicious circle of absurd and dangerous assertions.
110. In this country which houses our Organization --our host country, the United States--we see men and women of all races, of all colours and of all religious beliefs or philosophical persuasions freely and democratically coexisting, people from the various continents of the world who all feel themselves to be the citizens of a single homeland.
111. You may say that this coexistence is not always smooth, is not always easy; that is true. But nobody would any longer deny that this is the best formula for today and, without a doubt, the ideal solution for tomorrow.
112. In his statement at the 2234th meeting, on 18 September last, delivered from this rostrum in our Assembly, Mr. Ford, the President of the United States, reminded us of what we already knew, namely, that his country and the Soviet Union both are nations that have the "power to destroy mankind". Well, we know that these two powerful nations do not share the same view on the Middle East crisis--to say the very least.
113. "The Middle East could explode at any time like a powder keg, and the recovery of the rights of the Palestinian people is an essential prerequisite to the establishment of peace in the region." This is not a comment of mine; this is an excerpt from a recent statement by the First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, Mr. Leonid Brezhnev.
114. In the face of the gravity of this situation, can the problem of the Middle East be regarded as a matter concerning only Arabs and Jews, the more so as our Organization is responsible for the decisions that were at the root of this crisis? Current disquieting developments in the Middle East may have consequences for the maintenance of peace and security--and even the survival of our planet--too serious and important for our Assembly not to make it an imperative duty to give this question the most absolute priority among its most urgent concerns.
115. We should accordingly welcome the signing of the agreements concluded between the belligerents with a view to the disengagement of conflicting forces on the Egyptian4 and Syrian5 fronts. Nevertheless, we consider that this partial settlement can be regarded as a positive element only to the extent that it represents a start towards the over-all settlement of the problem, including, of course, a final settlement of the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people.
116. Such a settlement must rest on the totality of resolutions and decisions of the United Nations, which have dealt with the question in the smallest detail:
117. Thus the particular nature of our Charter in fact makes it a source of contemporary international law, which takes precedence over the domestic laws of the States that form our Organization, all of which are committed to respecting its rules under the provisions of the Charter. The resolutions and decisions are the expression of the collective international conscience, and every Member of the United Nations must not only respect them but also see to it that they are scrupulously respected and carried out. In taking as a basis the resolutions and decisions of the United Nations, it will be possible to consider and to resolve all the aspects of this delicate crisis in the Middle East.
118. Any other approach could only take us even further from the final objective, which must be for us the establishment of a just and lasting peace throughout the Middle East. Whether that objective takes the form of the establishment of two States, one Arab and one Jewish, distinct or federated, or of a single democratic lay State within which Arabs and Jews would live free and equal in respect of rights and duties, is not the fundamental element of the question. The essential element now is to implement one or the other of these different solutions. It is the choice of an alternative which could lead to the establishment of true peace, a peace as real on the battlefield as in the hearts and minds of men; an alternative culminating in the building of a new human community founded on freedom and justice for the benefit of all men and women in all the region.
119. Thus that heritage of God whence over a thousand years ago sprang the divine message of "On earth peace, good will toward men" would once again be true to itself, true to its vocation as a land of love, of light and of charity.
120. Mr. HOLLAI (Hungary): Mr. President, permit me for a second to depart from my statement in order to associate myself with previous speakers in expressing sincere condolences to the delegation of Saudi Arabia upon the death of Omar Sakkaf, the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs of Saudi Arabia.
121. Hungary is one of those States which have spoken in support of both the inclusion of the question of Palestine in the agenda and the invitation to the representatives of the PLO to the twenty-ninth session of the General Assembly. We are therefore especially pleased to welcome to our midst several outstanding leaders of the Arab peoples fighting for national independence and social progress, among them the representatives of the PLO. We were pleased to hear the important statement by the leader of the PLO, Yasser Arafat. We hope that the members of the PLO delegation will profit from the results of the current General Assembly debate so as to succeed completely in solving their national and social tasks.
122. The purpose of this debate is to do historical justice. Grave wrongs committed against the Palestinian people over a long period have to be righted. Let us add at once, for the sake of historical truth, that the blame for the immense suffering of the Palestinian Arab people should not be put upon the United Nations or its various resolutions. The responsibility lies solely and exclusively upon the Zionist leading circles of Israel who persist in their aggressive policy of expansionism, and upon their inspirers and unconditional supporters. It is they who have time and again started hostilities, who have driven hundreds of thousands and millions of people from their native land and made them homeless. Those circles have until now also prevented the United Nations from considering the question of Palestine in its entirety as a political question of utmost importance, with the active participation of the only legitimate representatives
of the Palestinian people, the representatives of the PLO. Those circles have transformed the Middle East region into a sort of powder keg which constantly threatens all mankind with explosion.
123. This year's General Assembly session, including our current debate, well reflects the change of wind in international affairs, in which the forces of peace and social progress and the advocates of détente are gaining ground. The aggressive circles, ignoring the norms of the peaceful co-existence of nations, have become more and more isolated in these past years. Co-operation between the socialist countries and the developing world, and the movements of working people of capitalist countries, make it increasingly difficult for the imperialist, Zionist circles to carry out their plans. We think that of particular importance is the strengthening of the bonds of loyal friendship and mutual assistance established between the socialist countries and the progressive Arab countries fighting for the definite liquidation of the consequences of imperialist aggression in the Middle East. The socialist countries have no ''special interests" in any one of the Arab countries. The socialist countries do not own a single oil well or share, not a single mine or plot of land in Arab countries. Our aid and our cooperation are intended for the victims of aggression, for the peoples struggling for progress. The assistance we provide to them springs from our socialist conviction and world outlook; it is not a kind of tactical operation, nor a short-term policy.
124. It is deplorable that there are also, both in this General Assembly Hall and outside, dissonant tones accompanying the debate on the question of Palestine. Those who engage in casting slanders upon the PLO and its leaders should be recommended to make a little study of history. Who does not know from his history lessons that the French Revolution, which opened up new vistas for the whole world, was called a revolt of the rabble by the feudal barons? And should we refer here to how the leaders of the British Empire at that time described the illustrious American patriots who had launched and brought to victory the War of Independence here on American soil? How did international reaction qualify the Great October Socialist Revolution in Russia, the emergence of the socialist States, or the struggle by the leaders of the peoples fighting against colonialism? The reactionaries are always ready to cast aspersions upon the fighters against national and social oppression. And those who give credit to cheap propaganda only deceive others and themselves.
125. There are some who think that the Middle East problem, including the question of Palestine, has become so complicated and twisted by varying interests and emotions during the past quarter of a century that any step towards a solution can only further entangle the issues. The Hungarian delegation and the Hungarian People's Republic do not share these views and suggested fears. We are convinced that the solutions and conditions for them are at hand, and that any delay involves further dangers. The basic condition is that the continuing Israeli aggression should be stopped immediately and all the occupied Arab territories should be returned forthwith to their rightful owners. Provisions for this are in fact contained in a number of Security Council resolutions, which are still in force and binding upon all parties. It is not sufficient to talk in general about the necessity of enforcing legality in international life; the Security Council resolutions on a Middle East settlement must also be implemented.
126. Not long ago, more precisely between 12 and 14 October of this year, we in Hungary had the privilege of welcoming to Budapest a delegation of the PLO, headed by Mr. Yasser Arafat, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the PLO. In the communiqué issued on the talks which took place in a spirit of friendship and mutual understanding it is stated among other things:
"The delegation of the Palestine Liberation Organization spoke in terms of appreciation for the steadfast attitude of the Hungarian people in promoting the cause of the peoples fighting for their national liberation and social progress. It expressed its gratitude for their solidarity with the just struggle of the Arab peoples, the Palestinian Arab people in particular. The PLO asks the Soviet Union and other socialist countries for continued support in its struggle against Israeli aggression, against the attacks and intrigues of international imperialism and Zionism, and for the recovery of the lawful national rights of the Palestinian Arab people. This support is a valuable contribution to the achievement of the goals of the Arab national liberation movement. The delegation of the PLO condemned the imperialist, reactionary manoeuvres intended to disrupt friendship and co-operation between the progressive Arab forces and the socialist countries."
The communiqué goes on:
"The negotiators on the Hungarian side expressed the view that it was an essential condition of the solution of the Middle East crisis that the Israeli forces of occupation should be withdrawn from all occupied Arab territories and that the lawful rights of the Palestinian Arab people should be restored. They support the international efforts aiming at a just and permanent solution of the Middle East crisis and the earliest possible convening of the Geneva Peace Conference. They pledged their support for the policy programme adopted at the twelfth session of the PLO National Council, setting as an aim the assertion of the right to self-determination of the Palestinian Arab people, and the creation of an independent Palestinian national power in the spirit of the United Nations Charter and its resolutions. They welcomed the proposal by the Arab countries for the United Nations General Assembly to discuss the question of Palestine as a separate item of the agenda. They favoured the proposal that the PLO be invited to the debate. They are of the opinion that the PLO, which is cementing the unity of its ranks and improving collaboration with the progressive Arab forces, can with good reason count upon continued support from working people all over the world, including the Hungarian people. The representatives of the Hungarian Solidarity Committee and the PLO agreed that they would continue to develop their ties of friendship and co-operation. The PLO is going to set up a mission in Budapest."
127. The above quotation also represents the official position of the Hungarian delegation regarding the current debate. We are convinced that peace in the Middle East can be re-established only if the Geneva talks are resumed shortly, and if the PLO, as the only legitimate representative of the Palestinian people can participate in the talks with full powers. Any other course is likely to lead to an impasse, and endanger not only the countries of the Middle East but the entire process of international détente, of the peace of the world.
128. Mr. SALIFOU (Niger) (interpretation from French): Allow me first of all to express our condolences to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. We learned with grief and sorrow of the sudden death, which occurred yesterday in New York, of the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs of Saudi Arabia, the highly esteemed Omar Sakkaf.
129. Mr. Sakkaf died as a pilgrim of peace, having come to this great city to make his valuable contribution to our Organization's work of peace.
130. On behalf of my delegation and on my own behalf, I should like to request the representative of Saudi Arabia to be so good as to transmit our profound sympathy and most heartfelt condolences to His Majesty King Faisal, to the entire Saudi Arabian people, and to the mourning family of the great man who has left us.
131. The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Co-operation of the Niger, Mr. Moumouni Djermakoye Adamou, in addressing the General Assembly during this twenty-ninth session, clearly defined the situation in the Middle East and the point of view of the Niger on the settlement of this painful problem. He said, inter alia:
" My delegation will, of course, also support any resolution which recognizes the Palestinian people's inalienable right to self-determination and the recovery of all the territories of which they have been dispossessed." [2253rd meeting, para. 232.]
132. Later, my country had occasion to take a stand on the subject of our debate today, together with 70 other Powers that requested or supported the inclusion in our agenda of the question of Palestine.
133. In fact, what is the truth of the matter? We face a situation of marked injustice which was created more than half a century ago by the "makers of history", the very ones whose laurels include such references as South Africa and Southern Rhodesia. At that time the emerging United Nations, faced with a fait accompli, could only vote for the partition of Palestine, which was not a realistic solution.
134. Let us say it forthrightly, the Palestinian problem took root, above all, after the famous Balfour Declaration, of sad memory, in the First World War. But time has passed, and it is not my intention to do now what more than one well-informed speaker has done in the way of recalling facts or denouncing wrongs, or to put a past age on trial. The very brilliance of the speakers who have preceded me at this forum, among them the venerated President of the Republic of Lebanon and Mr. Yasser Arafat, the Chairman of the PLO, underline the great importance that the vast majority of our Assembly attaches to the solution of the Palestinian problem.
135. The time is past for hiding behind the subterfuge of an obsolete legality, which has provided shelter for more than one veto. As we know, the right of veto is a matter for the great Powers, and some days ago, to our great regret, we saw how some of them could use it to frustrate the will of the majority. But it is not my intention here to cast anathema on anyone.
136. On 14 October last, 105 Members of this Assembly voted to invite the PLO, the representative of the Palestinian people, to participate in its deliberations on the question of Palestine in plenary meetings [resolution 3210 (XXIX)]. The representative character of the PLO needs no comment and it is not superfluous to recall that it received, among others, the unanimous endorsement of the recent Seventh Arab Summit Conference at Rabat. As Mr. Kelani of the Syrian Arab Republic said: "The PLO was born of a long struggle waged by the Palestinian people for more than half a century" [2267th meeting, para. 5].
137. The history of that valiant people is marked by indescribable trials. It is a complex of frustrations, expropriations, spoliation, occupation of territories conflicts, exoduses and heart-rending exile caused by the very ones whom a great French statesman described as 'a dominating and conquering people". And those deeds, carried out in broad daylight, have regularly been brought before the General Assembly and its executive organ since 1947. What is more, realizing the danger of perpetual exile which threatens more than a million human beings, the Arab delegations, with the support of a growing number of friendly delegations, have for a quarter of a century unsuccessfully placed before the General Assembly the question of Palestine as such, as well as the questions of the status and fate of the Palestinian people.
138. The crux of the problem is, in fact, the unjust and humiliating situation of the Palestinians. Having been forced to abandon the land of their forefathers, have they not thereby also been compelled to live in refugee camps at the mercy of international charity?
139. When seized of this problem, the General Assembly at first was content for some time to recognize only the rights of the Palestinian refugees to repatriation. We had to wait until 1970, after three of the most bloody wars in the Middle East, for the General Assembly finally to reaffirm the inalienable right of that people to self-determination and independence. And that is, indeed, the key to the question.
140. Without minimizing the patient efforts on all sides to arrive at a just and equitable peace for the Middle East, my delegation nevertheless believes that too much time has been uselessly wasted because of certain subjective considerations. How can one conceive of a just, equitable and lasting peace in that part of the world without the effective participation of all the parties to the conflict? How can one speak of peace in the Middle East without the participation of the people of Palestine? In other words, I would ask why would anyone want to ignore the personality and the identity of the people directly at the centre of the conflict?
141. There is no doubt that the opportunities given to the small countries in the settlement of disputes so far have been truly negligible. Everything happens as though the small countries must endure events and accept whatever solutions are proposed to them, it being understood that the settlement of grave disputes arising in various parts of the world, and in which they are most often the victims, is the exclusive preserve of the great Powers.
142. The question of Palestine is without doubt a case on which the great Powers have not been able to reach agreement. But I think that the small and the great Powers, acting together, can arrive at an honourable solution, if there is good will to assist them.
143. The Palestinian people need justice, and the United Nations has the duty today more than ever to make up for a mistake that dates back to 1947. It seems an aberration to my delegation to refuse to that people what was unhesitatingly given to others in the past.
144. Two days ago we heard the moving speech of Mr. Yasser Arafat. As an enlightened and responsible politician, the Chairman of the PLO presented to our Assembly a comprehensive analysis of the situation and stated his views on the solution.
145. It is now up to the Members of the General Assembly to seize the profound sense of his message, by not allowing the olive branch that he bore to fall and by committing all the parties to the conflict to working more actively in seeking and achieving that peace which all sides desire.
146. If there has been an injustice--and my delegation believes that there has been--then we maintain it is high time to make up for it.
147. My delegation considers that no just and lasting peace is possible in the Middle East without the effective participation of the qualified representatives of the Palestinian people. We solemnly pronounce ourselves in favour of the restoration of the inalienable right of the Palestinian people to self-determination.
148. Finally, my delegation believes that the Organization must act in such a manner that the Palestinian people will fully recover its rights as a nation.
149. Mr. FLORIN (German Democratic Republic) (interpretation from Russian): Before beginning my statement, I should like to express the heartfelt condolences of my delegation to the delegation of Saudi Arabia upon the untimely death of the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs.
150. I should like on behalf of the delegation of the German Democratic Republic to express our satisfaction and joy that, here in the General Assembly Hall, a delegation of the PLO is taking part in the debates on the agenda item entitled "Question of Palestine", which is of such great importance for a political settlement of the Middle East conflict.
151. We welcome the statement made in the United Nations by the Chairman of the Executive Committee of the PLO, Mr. Yasser Arafat, who has more than once been a welcome guest of the German Democratic Republic.
152. The German Democratic Republic, its Government and its whole people consider support for the just cause of the Arab people of Palestine an important integral part of its anti-imperialist solidarity. The question of whether the PLO is the sole lawful representative of the Arab people of Palestine has for long been unambiguously answered by the German Democratic Republic in favour of the PLO. Pursuant to decisions by the Sixth Conference of Arab Heads of State held at Algiers in November 1973, the Second Islamic Conference of Kings and Heads of State held at Lahore in February 1974 and also the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of OAU at its eleventh session, held at Mogadiscio in June 1974, the German Democratic Republic has recognized the PLO as the sole lawful representative of the Arab people of Palestine.
153. The communiqué concerning the visit of the Chairman of the Executive Committee of the PLO to the German Democratic Republic, dated 8 August 1974, reaffirmed that position. The close and friendly relations between the German Democratic Republic and the PLO were reflected in a telegram from the Chairman of the Executive Committee of the PLO, Mr. Yasser Arafat, at the end of October this year, to the First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany, Erich Honecker. The telegram said:
"The position taken by the friendly German Democratic Republic and its wise leadership has considerably helped to ensure that at the last session of the United Nations General Assembly all sincere voices were raised together on behalf of law and justice. This position gave an important impetus to the successes which will assist the struggle of our people and urge it on towards victory and to the restoration of its lawful national rights."
154. The correctness of our position on the just cause of the Palestinian people and also towards the PLO, has been borne out by time. This is also indicated by the decisions of the United Nations. By placing the question of Palestine on its agenda at this session and by inviting the PLO to take part in the discussion of the item, the United Nations has in fact recognized that the question of Palestine is not a problem of refugees, but one concerning the right of that people to exercise self-determination.
155. The cause and the essence of the Middle East conflict, as has been shown by the experience of past decades, can be traced to the imperialist policy toward the Arab peoples on the part of the ruling circles of Israel, behind which there stand, first of all, certain imperialist groups of the United States. Those circles of the United States and the rulers of Israel who refuse to reconcile themselves to the national liberation struggle of the Arab peoples and to the change in the relationship of forces resulting from that struggle, bear a heavy burden of responsibility for the situation threatening international peace and security in the Middle East.
156. On the Israeli side, invidious attempts are again and again undertaken to present Israel as the State and the homeland of Jewish people all over the world. That assertion is an unfounded propagandistic legend and an illusion harboured by the great-Power chauvinist circles of Israel, contrary to the real facts. There are Jewish people living in many States of the world, including the German Democratic Republic, and they feel themselves to be nationals of their respective States. They have no wish to sacrifice their lives in pursuit of Israel's adventurist and chauvinist political ambitions and very firmly condemn the aggressive policy of Israel's ruling circles.
157. Various organs of the United Nations have adopted many resolutions, particularly in recent years, directed against Israel in connexion with its policy of oppressing the population in the occupied Arab territories. The policy of "Israelization" and enslavement practised there is reminiscent of the reprehensible acts, any recurrence of which was to have been made impossible by the creation of the United Nations and the proclamation of the Charter Those acts can only be compared with the darkest days of colonialism.
158. The representatives of Israel complain that the Palestinian people refuse to bow to the Israeli oppressors and that they offer resistance. However the awareness that it is impossible for any length of time to enslave other nations with impunity should by this time have reached even the ruling circles of Tel Aviv. The representatives of Israel complain loudly about the methods used by the Arab people of Palestine in their resistance struggle. I should like to put a question: what is one to call the method used by the Israeli military when, on official instructions from their Government, they intrude into Lebanese territory and forcibly kidnap peaceful citizens, old men and children, as has once again happened recently?
159. It is imperative to put an immediate end to all acts of aggression and terror perpetrated by Israel in the occupied Arab territories and against neighbouring States, since such acts whip up tension in the region and are a substantial obstacle to a just and lasting settlement of the Middle East conflict.
160. A year ago the policy of aggression carried on by the ruling circles of Israel, and in particular their refusal to withdraw their troops from the Arab territories occupied in 1967, led to a new war. The result of that war is well known. The Israeli leadership's idea of the supposed invincibility of their army and the supposed invulnerability of their country and of their ability to continue their policy of aggression with impunity has proved unfounded. Israel's external political isolation and its growing domestic political difficulties forced it to sit down at the negotiating table of the Geneva Peace Conference on the Middle East.
161. It has become obvious that the times have completely changed. It is probably an awareness of this change that prompted remarks made by the Chairman of the United States Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Mr. Fulbright, in his speech on 2 November at Fulton. In that statement, he complained that Israel was obviously trying to hold off the inevitable and to get all the arms and money it could get from the United States. He concluded that, if there was no general settlement, there would almost certainly be war --a war that would quite possibly devastate Israel. The date of the next Middle East war is already being discussed in the United States press.
162. But we consider that it is high time to put an end to the continuous danger of war in the Middle East by a political settlement of the conflict and to establish a just and lasting peace for the benefit of all the peoples and States of the region. The principles of peaceful coexistence, which are gaining more and more ground, should be successfully applied in the Middle East as well.
163. Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973) and the pertinent resolutions of the General Assembly are a suitable basis for progress towards a political settlement of the Middle East conflict.
164. Only by eliminating the causes of the conflict in the region can détente be brought to the Middle East. Of crucial importance here is the withdrawal of Israel troops from all Arab territories occupied in 1967 and the exercise of the lawful national rights of the Arab people of Palestine, which imperialist circles have neglected for many years and continue to neglect. The lawful national rights of the Arab people of Palestine fully include the right to national independence. Nobody can dispute the lawful right of the Palestinian Arabs to statehood.
165. The Israelis stubbornly refuse to recognize the PLO as the sole legitimate representative of the Arab people of Palestine and deny the right of the Palestinians to their own statehood. Israel applies a strange logic: while demanding the right to its own statehood it denies another people the same right. If Israel, taking into account the world-wide recognition of the PLO as the only legitimate representative of the Arab people of Palestine, were to cease resisting the participation of the PLO in the Geneva Peace Conference, it would be acting in the interests of peace in the Middle East and not least the interests of the people of Israel themselves.
166. The German Democratic Republic, like the Soviet Union and other States of the socialist community, fully supports the just demands of the Arab peoples. The German Democratic Republic was and is a true friend and reliable ally in the struggle for national freedom and independence and social progress against imperialist and Zionist aggression. As a socialist State, the German Democratic Republic will continue to practise active solidarity with the Arab peoples in their arduous and complex struggle. This struggle is in full conformity with the principles and purposes of the United Nations Charter and the corresponding decisions of our Organization.
167. It is becoming increasingly obvious that there is a law governing international development that indicates that the forces joined in the struggle against imperialist aggression are gathering strength. The unity of the anti-imperialist forces throughout the world, the joint efforts and actions of peoples fighting for their full national independence and the exercise of their right to self-determination with the Soviet Union and other States of the socialist community, are a guarantee of success along this road. This is also applicable to the Middle East. We note with satisfaction that the change in the international balance of forces in the direction of a realistic approach to a political settlement of the conflict in that part of the world is becoming more and more obvious.
168. This situation was noted here at the present session of the General Assembly a few weeks ago, on 14 October 1974. The vote by 105 States in favour of inviting the PLO [resolution 32/0 (XXIX)] testified to the isolation of those who continue in their attempts to distort the nature of the just struggle of the Arab people of Palestine. The recent Conference of Arab Heads of State that took place at Rabat adopted a five-point resolution reaffirming the right of the Palestinian people to establish an independent national authority in the liberated areas of Palestine under the leadership of the PLO, the sole lawful representative of the Palestinian people.
169. Israel's calculations have gone awry, as have those of its imperialist backers. Their hopes of sowing discord and thus being able to carry through their political designs have been dashed. Furthermore, the Rabat Conference unambiguously declared that the Arab countries reject any plans for "partial, stage-bystage or separate solutions" in the Middle East.
170. The German Democratic Republic believes that the Geneva Peace Conference on the Middle East is the appropriate forum for the achievement of a just and lasting peace settlement in keeping with the legitimate interests and the security of all peoples and States of the region. We support the independent and equal participation of the PLO in that conference, which should resume its work without delay. The presence of the PLO here in the General Assembly, on the basis of a decision by the overwhelming majority of the United Nations membership, is cause for optimism .
171. Mr. MAKKI (Yemen) (interpretation from Arabic): Allow me, Mr. President, to express to you, in the name of the delegation of Yemen and in my own name, our full appreciation of the great efficiency and seriousness with which you have handled and guided the work of this session of the General Assembly.
172. Two days ago, there stood on this rostrum a man representing the legitimate struggle in defence of right and justice, a man of nobility and great talent, and this Hall welcomed and applauded him. Later on there stood on this same rostrum another man, representing aggression and injustice, the violation of justice and of human rights, and this spacious Hall stood empty, except for a very few. A shadow darkened their faces as the representatives listened to the open defiance of our resolutions and rules and the continuing disregard of this world Organization and its Charter.
173. You have thus heard, and the whole world has heard, the voice of the Chairman of the PLO, the authentic representative of the Palestinian people, declaring before the whole world its ideals, its hopes and its noble human aspirations to a dignified life within a framework of friendship and brotherhood, free from any discrimination against the Jews now living on the land of its forefathers. We have heard him extend his sincere invitation to every Jew in Palestine to live with him, on its sacred soil, a life based on love and tolerance, a life in which Christians, Jews and Muslims alike may live in harmony, side by side under the banner of justice, fraternity and equality.
174. We all listened with the greatest attention to this pious son of Jerusalem, to this great militant, and we warmly applauded him when he explained the justice of his cause and his adherence to tolerant human principles. We listened to the rightful owner announcing these human aspirations and accepting on the soil of his homeland all those living there and all those prepared to live there with him in friendship and brotherhood. On the same day, we also listened to the voice of the usurping intruder, shouting, complaining, threatening, slandering, denying to the rightful owner the right to go back to his homeland and exercise his national authority and to build a tolerant national entity on the soil of his sacred land.
175. Thus, on 13 November 1974, we listened to two different voices, one of them, the voice of justice, defending the dream of a bright future built on reason and democracy, and the other defending obsolete concepts that are abhorred by the civilized international community and that are based on fanatical hatred, militarism and terrorism, concepts founded on the remnants and vestiges of the hateful, backward and racist past.
176. It was natural, once the United Nations had adopted its historic resolution inviting the representatives of the PLO to participate in the discussion of their cause in the General Assembly and in the presentation of the facts concerning their cause, that we should listen attentively to the rightful owner, as we did, before our world Organization adopts its expected resolution that will reaffirm the legitimate right of the Palestinian people to go back to its homeland and exercise the sovereignty of which it was deprived by usurpation and aggression.
177. It is appropriate for us briefly and rapidly to recall here the painful circumstances that led to the tragedy suffered, and still being suffered, by that noble, valiant people.
178. At the end of the last century and the beginning of the present century, world zionism conspiring with the imperialist countries and particularly with Great Britain, was able to obtain a document from that then imperialist country enabling zionism to establish a home in Palestine and to settle there when Great Britain was given the Mandate over that country. It is well known that, under the concepts of the imperialist era, developed countries were able to occupy any part of the territory of third-world countries and to dominate the people of those countries, without any regard for the rights of the original population or for the principles of self-determination and legitimate human rights.
179. That hateful alliance between a racist, inhuman movement and hateful imperialism led to what was called the Balfour Declaration and to the entry of a large number of Zionists into Palestine, which had been placed under a British Mandate. Under the protection of British imperialism, the Zionists were able to expand, to organize, to acquire arms. At the end of the Second World War they had no less than 70,000 fighters in military organizations and terrorist groups. The original inhabitants, on the other hand, were unable to acquire any modern weapons that could have helped them to defend their rights and their homeland.
180. Subsequently, the Zionists were able, thanks to their alliance with Great Britain and other countries of the technically developed world--which then dominated the United Nations--to mislead the international community and to establish themselves in the land of Palestine. Of course, that happened before about 80 countries of the third world had joined the international Organization.
181. Great Britain thus gave the Zionists the right to a land it did not own, and the United Nations gave rights to those who had no rights, thereby violating the principles of the self-determination of the original inhabitants, the owners of the land, the people with legitimate rights. The countries neighbouring Palestine were not able to defend the Palestinian people, whose right to self-determination had been violated by the entire world and whose destiny had been decided through a great injustice and in utter disregard for their rights . At that time, the neighbouring countries were still dominated by conspiratorial imperialism, or they were newly independent, having acquired their independence only one or two years before. That was true of the majority of those countries.
182. Thus, that people was made homeless by the intruders. Its land was seized and its homeland and property were usurped. Those who remained there under Zionist rule were turned into second-class citizens, and their dignity and rights were violated.
183. We must make clear two basic facts, which the Zionists have always tried to conceal.
184. The first fact is this. The Arab world and all those who are aware of the essence of the Palestinian cause differentiate between Judaism, a respected religion just like other religions--there are about 6 million persons of that faith living in this great country, the United States--and zionism, a political and racist movement that regards the Jews as a chosen people, superior to other peoples, having the right to seize the property of others for their glory and to establish an empire to extend, as they hope, from the Nile to the Euphrates. Zionism also considers that the technical supremacy of the European part of its population, which has benefited from recent technological developments, gives it the right militarily to dominate other countries of the Middle East through the use of terrorism and to exploit the natural resources of the region for their own benefit. Furthermore, zionism believes that sovereignty is based on modern imperialist concepts. And, of course, everything is to be done at the expense of the Arab peoples of the region.
185. That first fact clearly demonstrates that the Zionist movement is fully in keeping with the Nazi movement and the racist movement in South Africa. The facts prove that there is an alliance between the racist movement in South Africa and zionism. Both are dangerous, racist movements.
186. The second fact concerns the attitude of the Arab countries towards the Zionist movement. We must make it clear here that the Arab opposition to the Zionist movement is based on a moral and human principle, which requires that we reject the position of and resist any inhuman, arbitrary, racist movement and that we support the victims thereof. In this case the victims are the Palestinian people, who have suffered and are still suffering greatly, just as the people of South Africa are suffering from the racist colonialism there. To that must be added the fact that Israeli expansion has brought an even larger area of the land of Palestine and the lands of neighbouring countries under the domination of terrible Israeli military rule. The plans were stated from this rostrum by the ex-Foreign Minister of Israel, Abba Eban--who recently personally supervised the burning of the United Nations flag in front of the United Nations building. He reaffirmed from this rostrum Israel 's desire to establish its economic, and hence its political, domination over the entire region.
187. Whoever wishes to ascertain these facts has to go back to the official records of the General Assembly. On 8 October 1968, Mr. Abba Eban said [speaking of nine principles of peace. the ninth being regional co-operation]:
188. We can find many similar declarations and statements. A professor at the Sorbonne University, Maxim Rodonson, has said that the imperialist concept that used to prevail at the end of the nineteenth century and the beginning of this century applies to Israel.
189. And when we say "this region", there are several documents reaffirming that the desire of Israel is to infiltrate into the whole region, and not only into the Arab countries, with a view to the domination of their natural resources and their policies, as it is doing in other countries. The studies conducted by some Zionists, including the economic expert Shaul Zarhi, reaffirm that the natural resources of petroleum and the like in Iran, the natural resources of Turkey and all the riches of East Africa are the objects of imperialist expansionist designs of Zionism. These reports have referred to Ethiopia and other countries situated to its south.
190. Now that the whole world, with the exception of three countries that supported Israel out of 138 Member States of the United Nations, has agreed to accept the Palestinian personality and has listened to the real representative of the Palestinian people, the world and this Organization are to be congratulated on the fact that the United Nations is once more dealing with this subject in its proper perspective--the subject with which the conscience of the world has been preoccupied for more than a quarter of a century. This is so because Israel, after having obliterated the name of Palestine from the map of the world, wanted also to remove the word "Palestinians" from the vocabulary.
191. Here we recall what Mrs. Golda Meir, the former Prime Minister of Israel, said to the Sunday Times of London in an interview with that newspaper published on 15 June 1969:
"Palestinians? Who are the Palestinians? They have no existence."
So did Levi Eshkol, another former Prime Minister of Israel, when he said to Newsweek in its issue of 17 February 1969:
193. We should on this occasion mention also Israel's disregard of those resolutions and its challenge to the United Nations and the international community, a fact which led the Security Council and the Commission on Human Rights to denounce Israel and condemn its attitude and its aggressive conduct. Similarly a number of other resolutions have been adopted supporting the rights of the Palestinian people, among which I should like to mention the resolutions adopted by the Conference of Heads of State or Government of Non-Aligned Countries held at Lusaka in September 1970 and at Algiers in September 1973, as well as the resolutions adopted this year at the Fifth Conference of Islamic States, held at Lahore, and at the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of OAU, held at Mogadiscio.
194. Let us now see how the Palestinian people are treated by zionism. Let us see what has been done, as is proved through the discussions of the Commission on Human Rights which confirmed the following facts.
195. First, Israel has deprived the Palestinian people of their homeland, rendered them homeless and obliterated the name of Palestine from the map.
196. Secondly, it has turned more than 1,500,000 Palestinians into refugees living in tents and camps at the expense of the international community while the property of the Palestinians that has been seized by Israel could more than satisfy the needs of those refugees.
197. Thirdly, it has treated and is continuing to treat those Palestinians who continued to live under Israeli rule as second-class citizens. This treatment was accorded to them in their own homeland. So the intruder has been turned into an original inhabitant while the original inhabitant has been treated as an alien in his own country.
198. Fourthly, Israel has forced a large number of Palestinians to move from their villages and leave their homes.
199. Fifthly, Israel has subjected more than a million Palestinian to an arbitrary military rule on the West Bank and in Gaza.
200. Sixthly, Israel is continually bombarding the camps where the Palestinians live, wherever those camps exist, utterly disregarding the sovereignty of the countries where the Palestinians had sought refuge.
201. Seventhly, it has treated and is still treating the Palestinians living under its military Government in a most inhumane manner, similar to the Nazi treatment of the Jews--a fact that led the United Nations to set up the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Population of the Occupied Territories.
202. Eighthly, Israel did not allow this fact-finding committee on human rights to enter the territories subject to its authority. Nevertheless, the Special Committee has clearly proved that Israel resorts to torture, maltreatment and collective revenge. It is known that every year the Special Political Committee studies the reports of the Special Committee and renews its mandate because of the reports reaching it concerning Israel's violation of human rights in the territories it occupies and from which it has not yet withdrawn. The Special Political Committee adopted another draft resolution at the beginning of this week reaffirming its condemnation of Israel [see A/9872]
203. We hope that the international community, after having listened to the legitimate representative of the Palestinian people, will not allow that people to continue to live in despair. The Palestinian people are beginning to regain some of their confidence in international justice. Therefore it is our duty to restore them to their full rights so that they may regain confidence in the United Nations and so that this international Organization may be able to recover its dignity and its proper status.
204. Is the Organization going to allow Israel to continue to disregard it and its resolutions, as well as its representatives, as it has so far, or is it going to adopt the expected resolution giving the patient and struggling Palestinian people their legitimate right to go back to their homeland and to enjoy full sovereignty over it?
205. In conclusion, we expect this world Organization to adhere to the principles enshrined in its Charter by restoring to the Palestinian people their full and unrestricted rights to go back to their homeland; and by giving the Palestinian people, all the Palestinian people, the right to exercise their sovereignty over their own land in complete independence.
206. Mr. MALIK (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) (interpretation from Russian): The delegation of the Soviet Union would like to join in the condolences of the group of countries of Eastern Europe as expressed from this rostrum by the Chairman of the group, the distinguished representative of Czechoslovakia, on the death of the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs of Saudi Arabia, Mr. Sakkaf. For its part, our delegation also wishes to express its condolences on this very unhappy occasion, and I should like to express my personal condolences to my friend the Permanent Representative of Saudi Arabia to the United Nations, Mr. Jamil Baroody.
207. In recent years in the international arena, thanks primarily to the efforts of the socialist and other peace-loving countries, considerable positive changes have occurred tending towards the reduction of international tension, a reaffirmation of the principles of peaceful co-existence among States, a lessening of the threat of a thermonuclear war and the non-use of force in order to settle conflicts among States.
208. In these conditions and against the background of this general improvement in the international climate, our particular concern is aroused by the complex and dangerous situation that continues to exist in the Middle Eastern region. The main reason for this is seen to be rooted in the fact that Israel, with the support of external forces, continues to pursue an aggressive and expansionist policy vis-à-vis the Arab States and stubbornly refuses to withdraw from the Arab lands it has seized; it is grossly flouting the legitimate national rights of the Arab peoples and is provocatively ignoring the decisions of the United Nations aimed at bringing about a settlement of the Middle East conflict. The extent and repulsiveness of the aggression and expansionism of Israel has become much more clear and understandable to everyone who listened carefully to the brilliant and cogent statement made by the Chairman of the PLO, Mr. Arafat [2282rd meeting].
209. The fundamental and consistent position of the Soviet Union with regard to the situation in the Middle East and a Middle Eastern settlement is well known. The Soviet Union has been consistently in favour of establishing a just and lasting peace in the Middle East, taking account of the interests of all the States and peoples in that area. To do this, it is essential first of all to ensure the withdrawal of Israeli forces from all the Arab lands that they seized in 1967 and also to ensure the legitimate national rights of the Arab people of Palestine. Unless these key, paramount problems are solved, there can be no lasting peace in the Middle East.
210. The Soviet Union considers that there should be no delay in taking steps to bring about a radical political settlement in the Middle East. We are in favour of the immediate resumption of the Geneva Peace Conference, which provides the most appropriate forum for ensuring that the Middle East problem is considered in its full complexity and that decisions are found that will satisfy the parties involved in the conflict, including of course the representatives of the Arab people of Palestine.
211. The question of Palestine, which appears on the agenda of the twenty-ninth session of the General Assembly, in which it was included on the initiative of the Arab States with the support of the overwhelming majority of States Members of the United Nations, and has been accepted by the Organization for consideration, occupies a central place in the whole range of problems relating to a Middle East settlement.
212. The General Assembly has frequently had occasion at its plenary meetings to discuss matters relating to the situation in the Middle East. However, the present discussion of the question of Palestine differs in importance and scope from all previous discussions for the simple reason that, for the first time, this question is being discussed with the participation of a high-level delegation from the PLO, which has been invited to participate as the generally acknowledged representative of the Palestinian people. In this way the Arab people of Palestine now have an opportunity of being directly involved in the discussion in this authoritative international forum--that is, in the General Assembly--of a matter that is indissolubly linked with the fate and the long struggle of that heroic people for its legitimate national rights.
213. The United Nations took an historic step towards recognizing the legitimate rights of the Arab people of Palestine when, by a majority of 105 votes, with only 4 opposing votes, the Assembly decided [see resolution 3210 (XXIX)] to invite the PLO to participate in the deliberations on the question of Palestine at the twenty-ninth session of the General Assembly. That decision undoubtedly is a manifestation of the growing international recognition of the justice of the purposes for which the Arab people of Palestine are fighting. The result of the vote on that resolution shows that the international community and the United Nations recognize and acknowledge the reality of the situation in the Middle East and are mindful of the urgent need to settle the Palestine question as an integral part of a Middle East settlement.
214. The Soviet Union, guided by its fundamental position on the Palestine issue and in regard to the question of a Middle East settlement as a whole, together with other socialist and non-aligned States, actively supported the proposal of the group of Arab States Members of the United Nations that the General Assembly should discuss the question of Palestine at its twenty-ninth session [A/9742 and Add.1-4]. The Soviet Union was a sponsor of the General Assembly resolution inviting the PLO, as the representative of the Palestine people, to participate directly in the deliberations on the question in the General Assembly.
215. The discussion of the question of Palestine at this session of the General Assembly should bring a substantial contribution to the struggle to ensure the legitimate rights of the Arab people of Palestine and thus help to speed up the struggle for the liquidation of this dangerous source of military conflict in the Middle East
216. The Palestine question, as obviously everyone now understands, is an acute, urgent and primarily political one affecting the interests and the fate of an entire people which is defending its legitimate national rights. It has become quite obvious and abundantly clear to one and all that this question cannot simply be reduced to one of refugees, as the aggressor and those who protect it are still trying to do. It is only by guaranteeing the rights of the Palestine people, including the right to self-determination and the right to their own statehood, that a realistic and concrete approach can be found to a constructive settlement of this question within the context of the efforts aimed at bringing about a just settlement in the Middle East.
217. We are firmly convinced that there can be no durable peace in the Middle East without a solution acceptable to the Palestine people itself and in accordance with its national interests, to the problem of guaranteeing the legitimate rights of the Palestine people in accordance with the Charter and the decisions of the United Nations.
218. The question regarding the recognition of and respect for the legitimate national rights of the Palestinian Arabs is acquiring more and more significance as the years go by, because the fact that an entire people has been deprived of an opportunity to achieve its rights is one of the most serious sources of permanent tension in the Middle East. As a result of the aggression of Israel, the Arab people of Palestine has for more than a quarter of a century been deprived of any opportunity to enjoy its inalienable right to self-determination, which has been recognized and frequently confirmed in United Nations resolutions.
219. The Middle East conflict itself to a large extent was the result of the fact that the legitimate rights of the Palestine people were trampled underfoot and of the persecutions visited upon the Palestinian Arabs. The Arab people of Palestine has had to suffer severe trials. The Palestinian people, 3 million strong, is still deprived of those legitimate rights which are recognized as being due to all peoples in the world, in accordance with the principles of the United Nations Charter and contemporary international law. Half the Palestinians have been expelled from their homeland; they are suffering severe privations; they have been economically impoverished; and they are politically without any rights.
220. The reason for this is well known. It can be seen in the fact that the ruling circles of Israel, with the support and patronage of external forces, primarily international zionism, are pursuing in the Middle East an expansionist policy of aggression, international banditry and usurpation of foreign lands. In violating international law and the decisions of the United Nations on the inadmissibility of acquiring territory by force, Israel has for more than a quarter of a century aspired to expand its territory at the expense of the neighbouring Arab States and has pursued a policy of the forced expatriation of the Arab people of Palestine. Moreover, the Israeli aggressor has not only expelled an entire people from its traditional lands but also uses force and threats even against those States, such as Lebanon, for example, which have welcomed into their territory the Palestinians that have been expelled from their homeland by this wicked and cruel enemy.
221. The aggressive and illegal nature of the actions of Israel and Zionist circles towards the Arab people of Palestine and its legitimate rights has been particularly clearly demonstrated in recent days. In reply to the decision of the General Assembly to invite the PLO to participate in the deliberations on the question of Palestine, the Zionist circles staged demonstrations unprecedented in their character and cynicism against both the Palestinians and the United Nations, aimed at preventing the General Assembly from discharging its functions according to the Charter and discussing the question of Palestine with the participation of all the parties concerned. They disgraced themselves before the entire world by burning the flag of the United Nations. The Zionists have openly and with impunity threatened to assassinate the representatives of the PLO in New York, headed by the outstanding revolutionary and fighter for his people's rights, Yasser Arafat. The demonstrations organized by Zionist circles showed not only their hostile attitude to the rights of the Palestinian Arabs but also their complete lack of respect for the United Nations itself.
222. As far as the ruling circles in Israel are concerned, they have planned and instigated this whole campaign of hostility and hatred by their bellicose statements and reluctance to hold negotiations with the representatives of the Arab people of Palestine, threatening a new bloody war in the Middle East. Two former Israeli Ministers participated in this hostile and inflammatory campaign.
223. Israeli statesmen, who talk so often and so much about the right of their State and their people to an independent and secure existence, for some reason deliberately forget or deny outright that the same right to an independent and secure existence should be accorded to every people, including the Arab people of Palestine. The logic of the Israeli politicians and diplomats who speak from this rostrum is strange, to say the least. According to this logic, the struggle of the Palestine people for its rights is regarded almost as an international crime, whereas the aggressive policy of Israel--its seizure and appropriation of Arab lands, its disregard for international decisions and the burning of the United Nations flag--is depicted as an international blessing and as protecting the national rights of Israel.
224. The Palestinian people is waging a just struggle, which is gathering momentum, for its national rights. In essence, that struggle is a national liberation movement. It is precisely from that angle that the Palestinian movement is regarded in the resolutions of the United Nations, and in particular in General Assembly resolution 2649(X X V) of 30 November 1970.
225. In attempting to mislead world public opinion regarding the true meaning and aims of the Palestinian struggle, Zionist propaganda and the representatives of Israel to the United Nations are depicting the Palestine movement as terrorist activities on the part of limited and small groups of Palestinians.
226. In this connexion, the view is held among delegations at this twenty-ninth session that, while Yasser Arafat spoke from this rostrum with an olive branch in his hand, the representative of Israel made a terrorist speech.
227. The whole world has now been convinced, particularly after the statement by Yasser Arafat from the rostrum of the General Assembly, that the Palestinian people are fighting for a just cause, for their legitimate rights, against cruel and unscrupulous usurpers and that struggle has now won broad international support. This is borne out by the reception given by the General Assembly to the Chairman of the PLO, Yasser Arafat.
228. Year by year the authority of the PLO, the guiding force in the struggle of the Palestinian people, is growing. In this connexion, we cannot fail to note the importance of the decisions adopted at the Seventh Conference of Arab Heads of State at Rabat in October of this year, which confirmed the unity of views of the Arab States on questions relating to the Middle East settlement, and their support of the right of the Palestinian people to create an independent national authority under the aegis of the PLO as the only legitimate representative of the Palestinian people throughout the territory of Palestine, which belongs to it and will be liberated from enemy occupation.
229. The Palestine resistance movement is becoming more mature and has now become a weighty and genuine factor in the political situation in the Middle East. It is quite obvious that no solution to the problem of how the Arab peoples of Palestine can regain their lawful rights, within the context of the efforts being made to bring about a political settlement in the Middle East, can be achieved without the full participation of the Palestine representatives at all stages of the talks relating to the Palestine problem. It is essential that the representatives of the Palestinian people, in the form of a delegation from the PLO, should take an independent part in the efforts made to bring about a peace settlement in the Middle East on an equal footing with other participants in the Geneva Peace Conference. No settlement behind the back of the Palestinian people, or that circumvents its interests, can be either just or lasting. That is a fact which has now become clear to all .
230. The duty of the United Nations is not only to confirm once again the national rights of the Palestinian people and to emphasize the need for them to be realized as the most important component in the common efforts being made to establish a lasting peace in the Middle East, but also to condemn resolutely and unreservedly those who prevent this and who threaten not to allow the Palestinians to return to their homeland. The main objective is to ensure the implementation of the United Nations resolutions and to use the full authority of this international Organization to support the just struggle of the Palestinian people for their rights so that they can bring that struggle to a successful conclusion.
231. The Soviet Union firmly and unswervingly supports the struggle of the Arab peoples, including the Arab people of Palestine, against the imperialist policy of aggression and for a just and lasting peace and for a solution to the key problems relating to the Middle East settlement, and it is in favour of guaranteeing the free development of the Arab peoples and their social and economic progress. The Soviet Union consistently strives to establish a genuine peace in the Middle East, a peace that would be in accordance with the interests of all peoples in that area without exception, and it spares no efforts to achieve that end. The broad and constantly developing friendly co-operation between the Soviet Union and the Syrian Arab Republic, Egypt, Iraq and other Arab States, and with the leaders of the PLO, is a not inconsiderable factor, which will help to remove the consequences of aggression and bring about a just peace.
232. In describing the policy of the Soviet Union on the question of a Middle East settlement, the Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Soviet Union, Mr. Gromyko, in his report in the Kremlin on 6 November of this year in connexion with the celebration of the fifty-seventh anniversary of the Great October Socialist Revolution declared:
"The Soviet Union is consistently in favour of establishing a just and durable peace in the Middle East. But this cannot be brought about so long as Israel keeps the Arab territories it has seized, and the legitimate national rights of the Arab people of Palestine are not guaranteed. No one can deny the Palestinian Arabs their legitimate right to self-determination, including their own statehood. The Soviet Union has rendered and will continue to render support to the just struggle of the Arab peoples including the people of Palestine."
233. Mr. ALINGUE (Chad) (interpretation from French): Allow me first of all on behalf of the delegation of the Republic of Chad to offer our condolences to the delegation of Saudi Arabia on the sudden death of the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Omar Sakkaf. We ask the Saudi Arabian delegation to accept this statement expressing the sympathy of the Government and people of Chad, especially in view of the many close ties between our two countries.
234. On behalf of the Government and the delegation of Chad I am pleased to welcome the authentic and undisputed representatives of the people of Palestine who, for the first time, are taking part in the debates of the General Assembly in pursuance of its historic resolution 3210 (XXIX) of 14 October 1974.
235. Once again, the General Assembly is seized of the Palestine question- in this regard my delegation does not intend to delve into past history. The General Assembly is called upon at present to come to grips with the substantive aspects of the problem in order to enable the people of Palestine to exercise effectively their inalienable rights in accordance with the principles of the United Nations Charter.
236. Indeed, the tension persisting in the Middle East is due to the hesitation of the international community to grant to the people of Palestine the possibility of enjoying its rights. Through innumerable resolutions the General Assembly and the Security Council have recognized the right of that people to return to its homeland, to determine its own future and, in brief, to be recognized as an indispensable element in the establishment of peace in the Middle East. Nevertheless, none of these resolutions has been given practical effect, and the evolution of the situation in that area continues to be a source of concern.
237. Israel not only refuses obstinately to withdraw from the territories it occupied in the course of successive wars, but categorically denies the very existence of the Palestinian people, which was recognized by the document that served as a basis for its own creation. I refer to General Assembly resolution 181 (II) of 29 November 1947 concerning the partition of Palestine.
238. The outbreak of the October 1973 war, which was a sequel to other Israeli aggressions against neighbouring countries, revealed that the policy of Israel with respect to territorial expansion was a rock against which all peace efforts have been dashed. The attempt to devise an agreement among the parties to the conflict has been the object of many initiatives, which have resulted in a stalemate and have been unable to provide any results. Among other points, we could refer to the indefatigable activities of the Special Representative of the Secretary General, Mr. Jarring; the series of meetings held in 1971 by the representatives of the major Powers, permanent members of the Security Council, designed to devise a common interpretation for resolution 242 (1967) adopted by the Security Council and a common formulation of the general provisions for a peaceful settlement of the conflict; the "committee of wise men", comprising 10 eminent African Heads of State whose mandate was to promote a peaceful settlement of the conflict and to safeguard the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people. The inauguration of the General Peace Conference on the Middle East towards the end of December 1973, the signing of the Egyptian-Israeli Agreement on Disengagement of Forces on 18 January,4 and the signing of the Israeli-Syrian Agreement on 31 May of this year5 dealing with the disengagement of the armed forces of both parties in the occupied Arab territories were welcomed with a great deal of relief and hailed by the entire world.
239. Nevertheless, the world has come to realize that the true aim of the Israeli Government is certainly not to seek peace, a peace we aspire to with all our hearts, but to prevail against all opposition, with the complicity of certain major Powers, in carrying out a territorial expansion policy to the detriment of the Arab countries. Israel's armed forces and air force constantly violate the cease-fire, particularly in the Israel-Lebanon and Israel-Syria sectors where we notice that incidents have worsened. Israel continues to prepare plans for the conquest and the annexation of neighbouring territories. The then Minister of Defence of Israel revealed his intentions without mincing words in his famous statement of 5 July 1968, when he expressed himself in the following terms:
"Our forefathers reached the frontiers which were recognized in the 1947 Plan of Partition. Our generation reached the frontiers of 1949; but the generation of the six-day war reached Suez, Jordan and the Golan Heights in Syria. There will be new lines but they will extend beyond the Jordan, perhaps even to Lebanon and perhaps even to central Syria."
240. The events which have occurred in the Middle East since that statement indicate to what extent the State of Israel is committed to carrying out its plans of conquest in contempt of world-wide public opinion and of the resolutions of the General Assembly and the Security Council. Only this week, on 13 November, from this rostrum, the representative of Israel, with his usual arrogance, confirmed that policy. This shows the true face of Israel.
241. Is the law of military conquest something that is to remain in effect? The answer to that question is certainly not. The United Nations is based on the hypothesis that war should not be a profitable undertaking. The General Assembly and the Security Council have, time and again, condemned territorial conquest by a State through the use of armed force. Regional organizations have adopted a similar position. The Bogota Charter of 1948, approved by the Organization of American States, the Charter of OAU, and the Conference of Heads of State or Government of the Non-Aligned Countries reject the principles of any sort of territorial conquest through the use of armed force. Israel should unconditionally withdraw its armed forces from all of the Arab territories that were occupied following repeated hostilities.
242. Speaking before the Security Council on IS June 1973,8 when the Council was considering the situation in the Middle East, the Minister for Foreign Affairs of my country pointed out that the resolutions of the General Assembly and the Security Council in this connexion contained certain gaps which needed to be filled, for they all called for a just and lasting solution to the Palestinian problems, without, however, making clear how that could be achieved, since they excluded the Palestinian people from negotiations on the questions which were first and foremost of concern to them. He added that it was high time to correct that which could still be corrected.
243. lt is for. this reason that my delegation gave its unreserved support to the historic resolution 3210 (XXIX) by which the General Assembly invited the PLO, the representative of the Palestinian people, to participate in its deliberations on the question of Palestine in plenary meetings.
244. The participation of the PLO in these debates is particularly necessary inasmuch as any settlement of the Middle East question that does not take into account the fact of Palestine cannot lead to a lasting peace in the region. This fact, which stands out more and more with each passing day, is a reality which should not be underestimated by our Assembly unless it wishes to incur the risk of thinking in terms of past arrangements.
245 Indeed, at present the Palestinian people is assuming more and more the responsibility for the struggle to recover its rights with respect to its country and for the sort of compromise that would make it possible to put an end to the situation. On its readiness for sacrifice, its sense of organization and particularly its maturity will depend the result of the political-military conflict, which the other Arab countries are not more qualified than the Palestinians to conduct but which they must support.
246. Whatever the solution to be explored and to be finally accepted by the Middle East, it could not be conceived and implemented without the participation and the support of the Palestinian people.
247. We have followed with a great deal of interest the important statement full of hope that was made here by the Chairman of the PLO and we are convinced that it represents a positive step in the search for peace and a lasting settlement of the situation in the Middle East.
248. I warmly greet the presence among us of the PLO delegation and wish to state that the Government of Chad is proud to reaffirm its support of the just cause and the noble struggle being conducted by the Palestinian people to recover its national heritage.
The meeting rose at 7.15 p.m.
2 Ibid. Fourth Session. Ad Hoc Political Committee, Annex to the Summary Records of Meetings, vol.II, document A/927, annexes A and B.
3 A/9330 and Corr.1, document NAC/ALG/CONF.4/P/Res.2.
4 Official Records of the Security Council, Twenty-ninth Year, supplement for January, February and March 1974, document ,S/11198, annex.
5 Ibid., Supplement for April, May and June 1974, document S/11302/Add.l, annex 1.
6 Official Records of the General Assembly, Twenty-eighth Session, Plenary Meetings, 2117th meeting, para 80
7 Ibid., Twenty-third Session, Plenary Meetings, 1686th meeting, para 118.
8 Official Records of the Security Council, Twenty-eighth Year, 1728th meeting, para 125.
* Resumed from the 2285th meeting.