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        General Assembly
20 November 1974

United Nations 2293rd
ASSEMBLY Wednesday, 20 November 1974,

Official Records NEW YORK
Agenda item 108:
Question of Palestine (continued) 993

President: Mr. Abdelaziz BOUTEFLIKA

In the absence of the President, Mr. Datcu (Romania), Vice-President, took the Chair

Question of Palestine (continued)

1. Mr. KARHILO (Finland): The situation in the Middle East has, since the Second World War, constituted a serious danger to the international political situation as a whole. This unsettled conflict has been and still is like a grave illness in the body of the international community. Our inability to find a remedy for it has caused immense suffering to the population in the region and has sometimes brought the international situation to the verge of a world-wide conflagration.

2. The Government of Finland has repeatedly expressed the fervent hope that the parties concerned and the great Powers, having special responsibilities under the Charter for the maintenance of international peace and security, will do their utmost to bring about a just and lasting solution to the conflict through peaceful means. The United Nations, of course, has been engaged in the search for peace in the Middle East in a number of ways, such as good offices, mediation and peace-keeping. It is encouraging to note that nowadays a variety of countries, both developed and developing, render their services to the United Nations peace-keeping operations on a wide geographical basis.

3. It is also true that the entire membership is involved in the search for peace, not only through its participation in the deliberations in the General Assembly but also through its collective contribution to the upkeep of the United Nations peace-keeping forces in the area. However, the time may have come for us, as Members of the world Organization, which was established for the maintenance of peace, to ask ourselves whether we have been able or willing to evaluate realistically enough all the pertinent factors in this tragic conflict.

4. My delegation believes that it is revealing in itself that this time the General Assembly, having approved a separate item on the subject, is focusing its attention on the question of Palestine rather than on the conflict in the Middle East in a more general sense. In our view these two questions are inseparable. Therefore, when my delegation was faced in this Assembly with the proposal to invite the Palestine Liberation Organization [PLO] to be represented here in our deliberations it voted in favour. We considered it important that the PLO present its views to us on a matter of direct concern to the Palestinians. We sincerely hope that this debate will evolve in such a way as not to undermine the efforts so far undertaken to further a solution to the conflict but, rather, to enhance the possibilities for peace. Thus this debate, reminding the international community as it does of the need to take into account the legitimate rights of the Palestinians could bring us a step closer to and not move us further away from a peaceful settlement. We realize, of course, that this debate of itself will not suffice to bring about such a settlement. We look forward to peaceful efforts by the parties principally concerned, and in particular we consider it important that the Geneva negotiations on the Middle East be resumed as soon as possible.

5. From the recent history of the Middle East, and from the conflicting positions of the parties here, one thing clearly emerges. It is that the only effective way to advance towards durable peace is to remove the condition of insecurity that has long prevailed in the area. My delegation has consistently stressed the principle of the inadmissibility of territorial occupation through conquest. We consider, therefore, that Israel should withdraw from all the Arab territories occupied in 1967

6. At the same time, my delegation has emphasized the right of all States of the region, including Israel, to live in peace and security and free from the threat or use of force. We believe that when the United Nations is trying to uphold justice for one it cannot do injustice to others.

7. To conclude, I should like to quote from a speech made by the President of the Republic of Finland on 19 December 1973. He said

8. Mr. JAMAL (Qatar) (interpretation from Arabic): The historic decision of the General Assembly to study the cause of Palestine and to invite the PLO, as the legitimate representative of the Palestinian people, to participate in the discussion was a wise one, which has given us satisfaction and a feeling of security. That decision in itself constitutes support and encouragement not only for the deprived and struggling Palestinian people but also for all peoples desiring to achieve their objectives of freedom, independence and self-determination -- objectives enshrined in the Charter of this august Organization and in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

9. The spirit of tolerance and magnanimity of the Palestinian people and its desire for peace based on justice were truly represented and expressed by Yasser Arafat, the Chairman of the Executive Committee of the PLO in his speech to the Assembly [2282nd meeting]. That spirit of tolerance shown by a dispersed and anguished people towards those responsible for their dispersal and their anguish should be compared to the spirit of ferocity, overweaning pride and innate arrogance of the Zionist rulers, with their insistence on aggression and their denial of the very existence of the Palestinian Arab people.

10. The people of Palestine is not just an idea in the minds of some, it is not a temporary, ephemeral phenomenon that has appeared on the horizon; it is a fixed, tangible reality as witnessed by the continued existence of this people even 25 years after its dispersal. It is tangible in its singular ancient civilization and its history, teeming with glorious events, and rooted in its deep faith in its right to exist and prosper in the land of its forefathers. It is fixed in the blood shed by its sons in defence of its territories, in its unity, its rights, its heritage and its nationalism.

l l. The Zionists who pretend that Palestine was simply a desert area devoid of people when they decided to emigrate to it deceive no one but themselves. Was Jerusalem a ghost city? And who lived in Yafa, Haifa, Lod and Ramallah? Were those ghosts turned into human beings by witchcraft once the Zionist plan of seizing Palestine became obvious? No: the Palestinian people had a homeland in Palestine and lived continuously in Palestine from the earliest times. Therefore to uproot them was a crime that should be paid for as soon as possible. The right of the Palestinian people to remain on their territory cannot be bargained over and no one who believes in justice or in the simplest human values can deny or ignore that right.

12. The crimes committed by the Nazis against the Jews in Europe, the oppression and torture to which the Jews of that continent were subjected at that stage in history or at any other time by one regime or another were used by zionism as a pretext for committing crimes against a people that had nothing to do with the tragedies in Europe, a people that was pained and continues to be pained by the sufferings of those innocent victims.

13. We cannot conceal this question. Does the fact that a crime is committed against a person give the victim of that crime the right to commit another crime against innocent people? That is the logic of zionism, which is at the same time the starting-point and the corner-stone of its State.

14. We have often heard words spoken by the Zionists and their allies in justification of the creation of the State of Israel, saying that this State is the fortress and the outpost of the West in the East and that it is the springboard for Western civilization in a backward and uncivilized area. This sick, racist logic, which is self-condemnatory, is one of the reasons for the tragedy of the Palestinian people. It is ironic that the Zionist regime, which has denied all human values and violates every rule. should continue its attempts to convince the world that it is the defender of Western civilization in the East.

15. As regards Arab civilization, history has recorded its great achievements, which had a deep effect on Western civilization. Can anyone forget that Palestine, which was the cradle of sacred religions, was the cradle also of the most ancient civilization known by man?

16. Our contemporary society is passing through a period of history in which the curtains of imperialism and secular racism have been lifted, as far as 70 peoples and States are concerned. Therefore, this increases the depth of the tragedy of the Palestinian people because they have lost not only their independence but also their land, their most precious possessions, at the very time when dozens of peoples have achieved independence and the right to self-determination.

17. It is not logical that anyone should ask the Palestinian people to accept this unnatural situation or to give in to the forces of injustice that have driven them away from their lands and their property or expect them to become the sacrificial lamb on the altar of zionism and its closed oppressive regime.

18. The racist Zionist regime in Israel has two allies and companions in isolation from the international community. They are the white minority regimes in South Africa and Southern Rhodesia. These three regimes depend on their belief in racial superiority, which gives them the right to expel or enslave the indigenous population. In the belief that the enslaved and the persons who have been driven away will not willingly submit, they have resorted to methods of force, murder and terrorism to attack these persons and weaken their determination to achieve their rights. But history, as the President of the Assembly knows from his personal experience, bears witness to the fact that attempts to extinguish the flame of liberty will only make it burn brighter and that the nightmare of injustice must give way and be replaced by the dawn of freedom.

19. The expulsion of the people of Palestine from its lands, on the one hand, while the Jews of the world have been invited to emigrate to Palestine, on the other, constitute two integral objectives in the framework of Zionist ambitions, which are aimed at setting up a Zionist empire extending from the Nile to the Euphrates. Proof of all this can be seen in the fact that Israel does not permit the Palestinians to return to their homes and gives their houses and properties to the emigrating Jews who have come to Palestine from every part of the world. The Jew who comes to the land of Palestine today is immediately given, by the oppressive Law of Return, all the rights of which the Arab Palestinian has been deprived -- the Arab Palestinian who was born and grew up on this land.

20. There is now no need to doubt the existence of the expansionist policy of Israel. One look at the map of Palestine and the neighbouring Arab areas around it and the changes imposed by zionism through the force of arms since 1947, and down to this very day, gives proof positive of the inherently aggressive nature of the Zionist regime. The truth of this is demonstrated by the statements of the Israeli authorities themselves. For example, Moshe Dayan has said that the frontiers of Israel are the farthest points that the Israeli soldier can reach, and the Israeli Minister of Tourism has said that Israel has been building up colonies in the occupied Arab areas since 1967 because Israel will maintain and keep them. The acts and statements of responsible authorities in Israel have unmasked the true face of their reactionary, expansionist regime.

21. We believe that the immediate withdrawal of Israel from the Arab territories occupied in 1967 and the abrogation of the Law of Return will constitute two effective elements in bringing a just and durable peace to the area.

22. The Arab peoples, which have rejected and continue to reject with determination the dispersal of the Palestinian people and the usurpation of its rights have welcomed in the past and continue to welcome the Jews who have emigrated from the oppression of the fascist regimes of Europe. I should like to remind this Assembly that the Arab peoples have throughout history opened their doors wide to all those of various religious beliefs who have sought refuge, including the Jews who came there to escape from religious oppression in Europe beginning with the end of the fifteenth century.

23. Mr. Yasser Arafat also explained in his statement before this Assembly that the people of Palestine still differentiate between hated zionism and the Jews of Palestine and the world. Zionist racism has changed the Jewish religion into a cheap tool that it uses in its campaign to liquidate the Palestine cause and the Arab people of Palestine.

24. The only resolution of the United Nations that has been accepted by world Zionism is the ill-fated resolution calling for the partition of Palestine and the creation of the State of Israel in 1947. It is, of course, known that the United Nations at that time was under political pressure by a small number of States and that, at the same time, it was not representative of the will of the international community as it is today.

25. Even the decision on partition included a call to ensure justice for the Arabs of Palestine, but Israel rejected that call, as it has continued to reject all the decisions in support of the rights of the people of Palestine taken by the United Nations since that year. For that reason, Israel today finds itself in virtually total isolation in this international Organization. In fact, the question of its continued membership here should be reviewed. We believe that the United Nations, which adopted the resolution containing the Plan of Partition in 1947 [resolution 181 (II)] without consulting the Arab people of Palestine is today a fitting place in which to review the cause of this dispersed and deprived people.

26. We also hope that the talks on the Palestine cause will achieve impartial and tangible results in the context of the restoration of the legitimate and natural rights of the Palestinian people, which has not lost all hope in the justice of our Organization, despite the fact that the Organization originally participated in the tragedy, and at the time ignored the rights of that people.

27. The failure of the efforts exerted by the United Nations in the past is due to the fact that those efforts were confined to trying to mitigate the effects of the conflict without trying to solve its root cause.

28. Israeli methods and practices in the occupied Arab territories since 1967 contravene the simplest basic principles of human rights, and are in violation of the United Nations Charter. Hundreds of Palestinians are thrown into Israeli gaols without having committed any crime and without any trial. Their torture and their murder remind us of the barbaric methods practised by Hitler and his gang. These facts are proved by the report of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Population of the Occupied Territories [A/9817], to whose members the authorities in Israel refused permission to enter the country to carry out their task, for fear that they might find out the truth that is now emerging, and that is admitted even by some of the Israeli organizations and newspapers themselves, such as the organization of Mr. Israel Shahak, which is concerned with human and civil rights.

29. Acts of terrorism carried out by Israel against the Palestinian civilians and the Arabs have extended even outside the borders of Palestine -- to schools and hospitals in Egypt; to refugee camps in Lebanon; and to the Golan Heights, where the Zionist forces have destroyed the city of Quneitra, which has an ancient history. The acts of oppression and terrorism carried out by the authorities of Israel will only increase the determination of the Palestinian Arab people, to reclaim their usurped rights.

30. We believe that the international community has now become convinced that a prompt and permanent peace will not be brought about in the Middle East unless and until the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people have been restored in full. The United Nations, as the supreme international Organization responsible for the strengthening of international justice and the maintenance of peace and security in the world, is called upon, and is in duty bound, to correct the unjust situation imposed on the Palestinian people throughout the last 26 years and to implement its various decisions and resolutions affirming the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people. Those legitimate rights require that that people should return to its homeland and set up an independent State on its territory after liberating it from the racist Zionist faith.

31. The State of Qatar, its Government and its people stand firmly behind the noble Palestinian people in its struggle to achieve a political and national existence and its right to self-determination on its own territory. Inevitably, the march of history is on the side of militant people in every part of the world, and the people of Palestine will be victorious just as the people of Algeria were victorious, just as all the other peoples of the third world were victorious, and right and justice will be restored to their rightful place.

32. Mr. BAROODY (Saudi Arabia): The Mayor of New York has complained that the security arrangements to guard United Nations diplomats are costing the city $700,000 or so and he has appealed to the Federal Government of the host country to assist the City of New York by contributing to these extraordinary expenditures.

33. Most of us, in the late 1940s, were not in favour of having the United Nations Headquarters established in New York City, for many reasons which


else in the world. Man was born to die. His life is a short span. Let him die peacefully. No, you have to come from abroad, using Judaism -- a noble religion -- as motivation for a political end. You are not the first to use religion as a motivation for wars. I feel sorry for you. Do not think that I hate you. I pray for you that God may guide you.

46. Here, Sir, is the Bible. In Genesis, chapter 2, verse 22, we learn that Adam was in the garden of Eden and Eve was a rib of Adam. I am not going into the allegories of the Bible. It is a holy book. Everyone is entitled to believe in what he wishes to believe, and not to believe if he refuses to believe. "There is no compulsion in religion". Therefore, Adam and Eve, according to the Bible, happened to be the ancestors of the whole of mankind. Therefore, what privilege have some over others? Now, mind you, I am addressing this to the Zionists, not to the Jews. The Jews never acted in such a way as to use the Bible for political or economic ends.

47. Again, we go to the Bible, to Exodus, chapter 22, verses 21 to 23:

"Thou shall neither vex a stranger, nor oppress him: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt.

"Ye shall not afflict any widow, or fatherless child.

"If thou afflict them in any wise, and they cry at all unto me, I will surely hear their cry."

48. You came from central and eastern Europe and killed not only strangers, but killed the people of the land and I am going to surprise you. I mentioned this to the United States Secretary of State, Mr. Kissinger, when I met him a few weeks ago. I said, "Do you know, Mr. Kissinger -- perhaps you can correct me if I am wrong -- who left Germany during the Hitler era? Mostly the affluent and the influential. Otherwise, there would not have been any Jews left in Germany to kill or to persecute." He said, "That is right".

49. Let us go back to 70 A.D. I was not merely quoting from history books; I spent years researching what happened in the region of the Middle East, and especially in Palestine, since we were afflicted with this new form of colonialism. The Romans were interested in ruling. Like the British many centuries after them, they did not interfere with the existing traditions; the British did not want to Anglicize their colonial peoples -- and the Romans before them had the same approach. They propitiated the Jews -- our Jews -- in Palestine. Remember, they had Jewish leaders who were in authority. They could not please them. They are Semites as we are -- the Arabs are Semites, we are very tenacious. So finally the Romans said, "The best thing would be to destroy the Temple". That was in 70 A.D. Unfortunately, they did destroy the Temple -- and I will come to that later. They talk of the Diaspora. Who left Palestine? The affluent and the influential. The bulk of the Jews that lived in Palestine then remained there. The Romans did not have any quarrel with the common man, with the peasant, with the small tradesman. They were after the influential and the rich who stirred up trouble against the Roman Empire.

50. And many of those Jews who were in Palestine embraced Christianity -- they became Christians. Then Byzantium came on to the scene, and Byzantium deteriorated: its people did not live up to the Christian religion they professed. And it so happened that, 14 centuries or so ago, the Prophet Muhammad appeared in our region, and the torch-bearers of Islam spread westward, and many of the disgruntled Christians embraced Islam.

51. Ethnologically, the Muslims and the Christians of Palestine were the real Semites -- the original Semites.

52. And then who comes? Those converted Jews.

53. If anybody speaks a word against the Zionist machinations, he is "an anti-Semite". They have a Semitic religion, but the English have a Semitic religion and that does not make them Semites. The French have a Semitic religion -- Christianity -- but that does not make them Semites. Many of our African brothers who are Muslims belong to a Semitic religion -- which is Islam -- but that does not make them Semites. Semitism is a composite of a way of life, of language, of belief, of common interests in an area, of geography.

54. And they come -- they who are descended from inhabitants of the northern tier of Asia. Their ancestors never set eyes on Palestine, yet they have the nerve to say: "We are the people of the Holy Land; we are the people of Palestine". Whom do you think you are fooling? You cannot fool me. You may fool those on whose emotions you play. You cannot fool us.

55. The propaganda of the Zionists in this host country is something the like of which I have never seen before. Yasser Arafat stood behind this podium. All that was lacking, perhaps, was an actual olive branch so that he might have waved it and not left it to the imagination. But in the best Semitic-Arab tradition he said. "I bring you an olive branch." And what did they respond? ''Ah, you terrorist!" No, not Mr. Tekoah -- Mr. Tekoah only said it in his speech -- but almost the whole gamut of the mass media today. And look at this headline today: "The Arab mask is off. They reject peace and want war". They have always prided themselves on freedom of speech, but when a certain general -- I do not know whether he is the Chief of Staff; I am not a military man -- says, "These Zionists are involving us too much; we do not have any more tanks", and this and that, there is a public outcry on the part of the Zionists: "Resign, you traitor". He is probably an Anglo-Saxon, but not a Khazar. "You traitor." And then the Pentagon officials -- and this is in today's newspaper -- say that increased arms shipments to Israel leave some United States military units short.

56. I think the next thing they might do is boycott The New York Times: The New York Times is owned by Jews. Do not think it is funny: they will boycott it. Sulzberger, not this present Sulzberger, not the correspondent himself, but one of the owners, said, 20 or 30 years ago -- I have forgotten when, but I have it all written down -- "Let us be good Americans; we do not want to be Zionists." And Morganthau, the American Jew, who was one of the most prominent diplomats sent to Turkey in 1917, said in his memoirs -- I wish I had his book so I could read chapter and verse: "We are Americans, first and foremost. Our religion is between us and our conscience".

57. Most of the Jews identify themselves with their country of birth or adoption; but those Zionists want every Jew to declare himself an Israeli. Why? It is a psychosis. That is why I feel sorry for them. It is a psychosis on the part of the Zionists' leaders. This psychosis is best described in a passage in a book of Maurice Samuel, the Jewish writer who was given so many awards by B'nai Brith. He was much revered as a writer, and I must say that he was a very good writer in English. And on page 55 of his book, what does he say? Incidentally, he was a Zionist. If they have not yet stolen the book from the public libraries, I can furnish them with a copy. He said:

Thus wrote that prominent author. Do you want to know the publishers? Harcourt Brace and Company of New York published it in 1924. How could he have written such a thing if he had not had a psychosis? "We want to destroy everything in order to have a world of our own."

58. I have thought and pondered over that for some 50 years, and have come to this conclusion: some Zionists believe, or want to make believe, that Jesus of Nazareth was a false prophet -- that he is not the Messiah. I remember from my younger days a very nice upholsterer who used to come to our house to upholster the mattresses. He was a Jew; his name was Aslan and because of his old age I used to call him Uncle Aslan -- I was seven or eight years old. It was during the First World War. " Has the Messiah come or not?" I would ask. And he would say: "No, my son, he has not come yet". And my grandmother used to chastise me, saying: "Leave that man alone." We used to respect his food habits: he would not have eggs fried in anything but an earthenware pan, with olive oil -- not with samna, but butter. And we liked him, and I called him Uncle Aslan because of his age.

59. So the Zionists want to make believe that they are still waiting for the Messiah to come.

60. A Jewish liberal -- I mean "liberal" in the sense of broad-minded; he was not a fundamentalist -- once said this to me: "Do you know what some of our fundamentalists think, fools that they are? They think that the Messiah will not come until the Jews are in control of the world". All right; it is their privilege to think that, in order to control the world, they must occupy Palestine, and then the Messiah will come. But why must the whole of mankind follow suit and believe what they believe? We -- whether Muslims or Christians -- believe in Christ. The Holy Koran says that Christ is of the Spirit of God. Some of the Catholic and Protestant churches -- not all of them; there are some that are nonconformist -- go so far as to say that Jesus is the Son of God. Of course, we are all sons of God, but they say that he is more of a son of God.

61. I have no intention of going into theology. I would merely say that if they are going to occupy Jerusalem to await the advent of the Messiah, we might as well all commit suicide.

62. I have been speaking for half a century on this question; I was speaking on it 20 years before the United Nations was established. I wrote for Asia Magazine in this city of New York; I wrote for The New Statesman and Nation. In the 1940s. and even before. I frequently sharpened my pencils on this subject. In 1944, I appeared at Town Hall with some Zionists; I happened to be stranded here during the Second World War. I did not know that I was to be the only Arab speaking on that occasion. Fourteen Zionists had come here in 1944. They were influential Zionists and the British had sent them here to propagandize the American people. You know where Town Hall is: on 43rd Street off Sixth Avenue, now called the Avenue of the Americas. As I have just said, I was the only Arab appearing there, with 14 Zionists. The audience booed me. I asked: "What have I done to you? Why are you booing me?" A few persons in the audience -- Jews, I am sure -- said, "Give the man a break." I might say that that was when I learned that the word "break" in the American language can mean "chance" . And I managed to have my say, even though there were 14 Zionists and I was the only Arab.

63. That is how the Zionists indoctrinated the American people. We have no quarrel with the Jews. Some of my best comrades at school were Jews, and I still cherish the memory of them.

64. Shall I go on and on? There are other speakers. I hear laughter. Do not laugh. This is not a matter for laughter; it is a matter for tears.

65. I asked my office to get me about 15 or 20 speeches that I had previously made on this subject in the General Assembly and the Security Council. I shall not burden the Assembly by reading out everything I have said. My speeches on this question fill volumes. But I have marked certain passages that I wish to read out because they are still true. I do not claim to be a prophet; I claim only that I happen to be a son of the region, that I have seen things and am still learning. It is through an analysis of the matter that I have come to my conclusions. You Zionists sitting there behind the name-plate of Israel, you can judge for yourselves. I do not loathe you or hate you. On the contrary, I feel sorry for you. Look at that man sitting there all by himself, so isolated; after all, he is a human being. 66. This is what Baroody -- the same Baroody -- said to the Security Council on 20 October 1966:

our friend Mr. Goldberg was the representative of the United States to the United Nations at that time --
67. May I read a passage from a statement that I made in the Special Political Committee on 9 November 1966, a few days over eight years ago:
The President took the Chair.
68. I have a few more passages, not as long as the one I have just read. On 26 June 1967, over seven years ago, I stated the following before the General Assembly:
69. This is the last of the quotations I have chosen from the speeches on this question of Palestine. I find that I said the following on 21 July 1967:
70. This is my humble contribution to the discussion on this item. There is nothing new, but I want to repeat a suggestion that I have made before. I mentioned the flag. Many people have marched to their death for that piece of cloth for it so happens that it symbolizes the aspirations of a people whether they are realizable or not. I once suggested that there should be a flag over Palestine with a crescent. I remember that as a child I used to be told that when you see the crescent you make a wish and look at it because you are looking towards the heavens, and beyond the crescent God dwells. The crescent is a symbol of the Middle East and has been adopted by many nations of the Middle East. They happen to be Muslim nations. Let there be inside that crescent the symbol which our Jewish brothers so much revere, the sign of David, those two triangles. And, since Palestine was the cradle of the three religions, or rather is associated with the three monotheistic religions, let there be a cross also inside the crescent. If you have the courage and can free yourselves from that psychosis, the distance is not far. Here in this chamber even you could go and say to your Palestinian brothers. "We will forget." Wherever you came from, whether you came from Northern Europe or from elsewhere, you are Jews, you are our brothers. Stretch out your hand and we will take it. We want peace, otherwise there will be an explosion. You do not want a Masada, and if you think you can overpower the Arabs, remember that the Arab world extends from the Atlantic, Morocco and Mauritania, and if you draw a straight line it goes through the whole of North Africa to the Arabian peninsula.

71. That is the Arab world, but where is the Muslim world? It still extends to Iran, Pakistan and Bangladesh and also in the northern tier to Afghanistan and Turkey. You cannot play the fool with the Muslim world. The Muslims are as one on the question of Palestine. Leaving aside the Arabs, can you blow up the Muslim world? You and your allies try and if any one of you Zionists thinks of conniving against us because we happen to have been showered with God's blessing, the oil -- well, as I mentioned in the Special Political Committee, if anybody wants to take any oil by force he should remember that we have existed for 6,000 years and have only had oil for 60 years. We will go back to our tents if we are tribal people and back to our caves if we are urban, and live with our heads high. And if some of us die and become martyrs, yet the Arab world cannot be killed unless you blow up the earth, and then it does not matter who survives.

72. Mr. KANTÉ (Mali) (interpretation from French): While the after-effects of the last world war have disappeared from Europe and America, they still persist in Africa and Asia. The Middle East crisis, the long war in Indo-China, the tension in South-East Asia and the armed confrontations in southern Africa are grim reminders of that fact.

73. The third world does not seem to be concerned by détente, which is so highly acclaimed, particularly in this Organization. It is clear that détente is still for the mighty of this world and for them alone. The United Nations has so far been dominated by certain interests and does not carry out properly its mission of safeguarding and maintaining peace. It has even become involved in certain conflicts that continue to bring sorrow to the world.

74. In placing the item "Question of Palestine" on its agenda, the General Assembly certainly wished to break with its past, which was marked by aimlessness and compromises.

75. Indeed, the persistence of the grave crisis in the Organization's having become involved in the dealings leading to the creation of the State of Israel. And that is why it has striven in vain for 25 years to find some semblance of a settlement.

76. The problem of Palestine is at the root of this crisis. Not only has it always received piecemeal treatment, but it has also been considered as a secondary element in the question. Thus the so-called humanitarian aspects were dealt with, while the fundamental aspects, which are political and juridical, were deliberately ignored.

77. As Mr. Yasser Arafat, the Commander-in-Chief of the Palestinian revolution, said in his important and moving statement on 13 November [2282nd meeting], the crisis in the Middle East is not a border war between the Zionist State and its Arab neighbours. Let us face facts: it was born of the fact that the Palestinian people have been denied their national rights.

78. As we know, the idea of establishing the theocratic State of Israel goes back to the last century. It arose following the pogroms and the persecutions the Jews had suffered throughout Europe. The Basle Congress of 1897, meeting on the initiative of Theodor Herzl, the pioneer of Zionism, prepared the programme.

79. At the time, the idea was more to establish a spiritual sanctuary for the Jews than to create a State, strictly speaking.

80. The Zionist ideology that led to the creation of Israel was therefore not born of the Jews who had remained in Palestine, but of the Diaspora Jews, in Europe. It is based on the well-known Law of Return. At the outset its advocates had no idea what territory would be used to establish the Jewish national homeland that they demanded. Theodor Herzl himself was not yet concerned with that problem; and Weizmann, his successor, said quite openly that he was not seeking a "religious sanctuary".

81. The Jews of the Diaspora were divided into two camps: zionism, on the one hand, and the so-called Bund "Diasporan socialism", on the other. The former advocated a return to the "Promised Land", whereas the latter was in favour of the assimilation and integration of Jews in their States of residence in Europe. The two schools of thought subsequently merged, and militant Zionism then dominated the movement.

82. It was therefore not until the twentieth century that the Zionist movement gave thought to where the national homeland would be. The choice lighted first on the United States, where a majority of European Jews had emigrated; then on Latin America, and later on Africa; only after that did the choice finally settle on Palestine.

83. Herzl died in 1904, and Weizmann took over the leadership of the Zionist movement. Weizmann's efforts directed at the British Government resulted, on 2 November 1917 -- in wartime, in that famous declaration of Lord Balfour, the then Secretary for Foreign Affairs, which stated:

84. Here we should mention that Weizmann had Middle East is essentially the result of the Organ previously failed in his approaches to the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire and to the German Kaiser with a view to the establishment in Palestine of a Jewish national homeland.

85. The Balfour Declaration violated not only the 1915 Damascus Protocol but also the Agreement concluded between Sir Henry McMahon, the then British representative in Egypt, and Sherif Hussein

Emir of Mecca, by means of an exchange of letters on 24 July 1915 and 10 May 1916, in which the Arabs committed themselves to the cause of the Allied forces on the promise that the latter would grant them independence as soon as the enemy was vanquished.

86. The Arabs honoured their commitments, but the Allies failed to honour theirs and mortgaged the future of the Arab States by agreeing to the Zionist claims.

87. The Sykes-Picot Agreement of 16 May 1916 had already dismembered the Middle East by dividing it between the French and the English, who had put it under military occupation. The Paris Peace Conference of the Allied Powers gave formal recognition to that partition.

88. On 24 July 1922, the League of Nations conferred the illegal Mandate over Palestine upon Great Britain. Indeed, article 4 of the Mandate recognized the Jewish Agency as a power, in violation of articles 22 and 28 of the Covenant of the League.

89. Palestine at that time had some 80,000 Jews, as against slightly over 750,000 Arabs. Muslims Christians and Jews lived there on good terms and even intermarried. The land was bountiful and peace reigned in every home. 90. It was because of the Mandate that, over Arab protests, Zionist infiltration intensified in Palestine.

91. But, in 1939, on the eve of the Second World War, the Mandatory Power, in order to prevent the Arabs from tilting towards the Axis camp, published a White Paper6 promising to proclaim the independence of Palestine within 10 years. That document limited Jewish immigration in Palestine and provided regulations governing the sale of land, which were supposed to benefit the indigenous population, that is to say, the Palestinian Arabs.

92. In spite of these commitments, particularly those in the White Papers of 1930 and 1939, clandestine Jewish immigration continued. Furthermore, the onslaught of nazism was seized on as an opportunity to intensify the exodus of German Jews to Palestine. The Mandatory authorities promoted Zionist investment.

93. A Jewish police force was established. That was the nucleus of the Haganah and the infamous terrorist groups of the Irgun and the Stern Gang.

94. Protest movements were then mounted by the Palestinians. General strikes were staged and continued for six months.

95. At a round table conference held in London from 10 September 1946, the Palestinian Arabs proposed in vain the establishment of a provisional executive of 10 members, 7 Arabs and 3 Jews; the election by universal suffrage of a Constituent Assembly; freedom of religion; and the proclamation of the Palestinian State on 31 December 1946.

96. It is true that the "Biltmore programme", which openly advocated that Palestine should be a Jewish State "integrated" within the structures of the new world, had already been adopted in 1942 by the American Committee for Zionist Affairs, which met in New York.

97. Persecution was then visited upon the Palestinians. More than a thousand lost their lives. Many of those who escaped went underground. The Palestine liberation movement was then created and the great Palestinian revolution began.

98. The cycle of violence then began in the country. The Palestinian people had at one and the same time to cope with the armed forces of the Mandatory Power and Jewish paramilitary groups from the Haganah, the Irgun and the Stern Gang. It was in this state of chaos and confusion that, on 2 April 1947, Great Britain, in the United Nations, proposed a new status for Palestine.7 The first special session of the General Assembly was convened about three weeks later. By its resolution 106 (S-l), the Assembly created a committee of enquiry, the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine [IJNSCOP]; at its second session, it established an ad hoc committee.8 On 21 August 1947, UNSCOP submitted its report9 proposing, in violation of Article 1, paragraph 2, of the United Nations Charter, a plan to partition Palestine, advocating the creation of three entities on the territory, namely, a Palestinian State, a Jewish State and an international enclave, Jerusalem, which was to be administered by the United Nations.

99. While the British Government had announced on 13 November 1947 that the evacuation of its troops would begin on 14 May 1948, and would be completed on I August 1948, the General Assembly, meeting in regular session on 29 November 1947, adopted the plan to partition Palestine [resolution 181 (II)]. It allocated 55 per cent of the land to the Jewish minority, which represented only one third of the population and possessed only 5.67 per cent of the land. It might be mentioned here in passing that the plan to partition Palestine was adopted by 33 votes in favour to 13 against -- including the Arab States and India -- with 10 States abstaining.

100. On 29 November 1947, the General Assembly set up a five-member Commission to ensure the implementation of the Plan of Partition as provided for in resolution 181 (II), part I, section B, paragraph 1. The United Nations Palestine Commission held three unproductive meetings.

101. On the evening of 14 May 1948, Ben Gurion proclaimed the birth of the State of Israel, although resolution 181 (II) stipulated in part I, section A, paragraph 3, of the Plan of Partition that the States that had been constituted on the territory of Palestine should come into existence two months after the evacuation of the armed forces of the Mandatory Power had been completed but in any case not later than I October 1948. This piece of trickery needs no comment.

102. And then as might have been expected, the Haganah, the Irgun and the Stern Gang began to take action. Jewish terrorism reached its peak. Houses were dynamited, villages were levelled by bulldozers. The inhabitants were systematically massacred. This action was epitomized by the cold-blooded extermination of the inhabitants of the martyred town of Deir Yassin, the Lidice of the Middle East. There followed the exodus of more than a million Palestinians into the lands of Arab neighbours, leaving behind them their lands, their goods and the burial grounds of their ancestors, pursued by the killers of international zionism. At that time they represented two thirds of the population of the country and owned more than 95 per cent of the land. Many children and old persons perished on the way. Families were broken up, never to be reunited. That was how those who escaped the death camps behaved directly after the Second World War.

103. Those are the historical facts. Perhaps this reminder of the facts has been somewhat wearisome but it was undoubtedly necessary to shed light on this grave problem at present under debate and to provide a better understanding of the real tragedy of the Palestinian people, which we are now discussing for the first time.

104. As we have just seen, Israel represents a colonial situation, and the motives of international Zionism remain imperialistic. Let us listen to its great advocate, Theodor Herzl:

Is it not in the name of the same civilization that Asia, Latin America, Africa and Oceania were colonized, oppressed, exploited and subjugated by Europe? Is it not also in the name of the same civilization that apartheid has been set up as government policy in South Africa and in Southern Rhodesia?

105. But if, to ease its conscience, Europe at one time could find no better solution than to create a Zionist State in Palestine by force, the international community should not agree that the blood shed by the Jewish people and the persecutions of which they have been victims throughout history, should be paid for by the Palestinian people, which had no part whatever in their martyrdom. It was under the seemingly inoffensive standard of a particular faith that the first Zionists infiltrated Palestine. We know what happened thereafter. After three wars of aggression against the Arab nations, Israel occupies 102,000 square kilometres of Palestine, whereas the Plan of Partition, biased though it was, had allocated only 14,300 square kilometres

106. Israel is exploiting the resources of the Sinai, persecuting the people, continuing to destroy houses, conducting murderous raids against neighbouring States and putting Jewish settlers on occupied Arab land. It plans to submerge the Palestinian people by settling 5 million Jewish emigrants from different countries of the world

107. Most of the Palestinian refugees in 1967 went into exile for the second time. The Government in Tel Aviv did not allow them to return to Palestine. Their goods and chattels, placed under the administration of the United Nations by a decision of the General Assembly, were frozen in Israel by the Zionist authorities. But, the great Palestinian revolution of 1936 forged ahead in the towns and underground, and a war was waged to win back the usurped homeland. Today the Palestinian hydra has risen from the shadows of exile, to the surprise of its tormenters. It has utterly destroyed the bogus slogan of the Zionists -- "A land without a people for a people without a land".

108. The presence among us on 13 November [2282nd meeting] of Mr. Yasser Arafat is eloquent testimony to this. Once again history is proving that no material force in the world can overcome a people determined to live in freedom and independence. Those who would bury the Palestinian people, who would annihilate them, who would destroy their national identity by means of tragic exile are having to count the cost. The theory of ''strategic space" and the doctrine of a "greater Israel", so dear to the Zionists, have been destroyed. The children born in tents to those who have been referred to, with paternalistic condescension, as refugees, are today adolescents who have joined hands with their brothers in the Palestinian underground to throw out the Zionist usurpers from their homeland. Brought up with deep feelings of frustration, having known only the horrors of war, the trials, humiliations and deprivations of exile lasting for more than a quarter of a century, they are growing impatient, and justifiably so. to go back to their homes, their lands and all that they hold dear.

109. They have closed their ranks year after year, especially on the various fronts of the theatre of operations in the Middle East. Their bitterness, their rancour and their recriminations have only grown in the face of the unjustified procrastination of our Organization. Like the Viet Namese, they have decided to take the law into their own hands to see to it that justice is done in their generation. They can no longer wait for resolutions, which may or may not be adopted, to liberate their homeland.

110. The so-called political terrorism to which our attention has been drawn is but one aspect of that all-out war, a just war the Palestinian people has been waging with selflessness and courage to win back their fundamental national rights.

111. Some of the privileged few of this world had to feel the fall-out from the cycle of violence they helped create before they emerged from their lair and tried to get people to do something about what they like to call terrorism, which is, in fact, nothing but counter-terrorism engendered by the frustration of an entire people. Events took them unawares, wallowing as they were in their comfortable but inevitably short-lived circumstances. Even their computers, their favourite tools for forecasting events, were found wanting. Those privileged few pretended to disregard the fact that the cycle of violence that had just emerged in our society was the result of their indifference in the face of oppression, vilification, subjugation and the exploitation of men and of peoples.

112. Belatedly, they have acted noisily and agitatedly, but there can be no absolution. Once again, events have confirmed the fact that the interdependence of men and nations is a law that governs contemporary society and will brook no opposition.

113. It should be clear to one and all that the violence that is a constant and daily threat to each and every one of us, to our property and our goods, cannot be removed from society until we renounce the use of force in both relations between States and relations -between communities.

114. As far as the Zionists, who have set up terrorism as a State doctrine, are concerned, it ill behoves them to deny the Palestinian people its choice of means to wage its fight to win back its fundamental legitimate rights. Underground fighters cannot be called patriots in Europe and terrorists in Palestine.

115.-. In our mission to safeguard and maintain peace in the world, the crisis in the Middle East is a vital test for our Organization. That is why we need to find a settlement, and speedily. We must draw lessons from these events. We must put an end to the partial treatment of problems that is at the root of the insecurity that has shaken the world.

116. Summit meetings of international repute have easily removed the historical, theological, political and moral justifications for the Law of Return on which Zionist ideology is based. Although the Hebrews occupied Palestine for more than 13 centuries, they did not originate there. In fact, they left it 2,000 years ago. Are not the Palestinians more Semitic than most of those who today claim to be Jews throughout the world? Surely the Assembly will agree with me that if one were to return to the world of 2,000 years ago a good many independent States would disappear from the map. Mankind would be caught up in widespread war. It would be chaos.

117. Our Organization, then, has a duty to put an end to the usurpation of Palestine by international Zionism. It must seek absolution first and foremost vis-a-vis the martyred people of Palestine, whose national right it helped deny in resolution 181 (II) of 29 November 1947. Palestine, the ''land of milk and honey", must go back to the Palestinians, Muslims, Christians and Jews.

118. On 13 November, before the Assembly, Mr. Arafat set our minds at rest when he very solemnly declared that the Palestinian revolution, which he has guided so ably and with such authority, had not been

119. The problem of Palestine was brought into being by a succession of sordid transactions, acts of betrayal, manipulation, violations and dealings behind the backs of the people. The people have been fighting for the past 25 years, and their fight is part of the widespread fight of peoples for freedom and independence. As we know, Palestine was not colonized in accordance with the tenets of the Charter. That is why the Palestinian revolution today enjoys the sympathy and moral political and diplomatic support of more than 90 countries throughout the world.

120. Our Organization has already changed its mind about its former partial treatment of this distressing matter. Is that not the meaning to be attached to General Assembly resolutions 194 (III) of 11 December 1948, on the return of the Palestinians, 2535 B (XXIV) of 10 December 1969 and 2672 C (XXV) of 8 December 1970, recognizing the right to self-determination of the Palestinian people in accordance with the Charter? And is that not the meaning of the resolution that affirmed the legitimacy of the struggle of the Palestinian people to win back its national rights?

121. Those different positions were confirmed by the historic decision of 14 October 1974 [resolution 3210 (XXIX)] in which the General Assembly invited the PLO, as the representative of the Palestinian people, to take part in our deliberations on the question.

122. Furthermore, is it not true that UNESCO also has recognized the justice of our views by suspending assistance to the Zionist State for its having systematically profaned the Holy Places of Jerusalem, the city of the three monotheistic religions of the world?

123. The presence among us of the delegation of the PLO is an historic event. It is a pleasure for my delegation to bid it welcome. Through it, our greetings go to the Palestinian revolution. We wish to assure it of the militant support of the people and Government of Mali, which endorses its just struggle for the freedom and independence of its homeland.

124. If the Assembly does not wish to go against the current of history, it must not allow the olive branch with which Mr. Yasser Arafat came to us on 13 November to fall. We owe it to that guerrilla, that freedom-fighter, to rehabilitate our Organization and to live up to the hopes and expectation of the peoples that have sent us here. Any other stand on our part would be inconsistent with our responsibilities on behalf of mankind.

125. Zionism is essentially expansionist and annexationist. In 1948, following its war of aggression, it annexed part of the Palestinian territory given to the inhabitants by the United Nations. In 1956, it was the Gaza Strip, and in 1967 it occupied by force the Sinai, the Golan Heights and Transjordan.

126. We can no longer limit its forthcoming colonial conquests without taking into account the risks of widespread conflagration that its wars of aggression give rise to throughout the world.

127. It is high time for our Organization to come to its senses and, before it is too late, to put an end to the imperialist designs of the Zionist State. The effective co-operation of all its Members is indispensable if such an action is to be successful.

128. We hope that the three Powers that signed the London Declaration of 25 May 1950 will recall in this connexion their commitments to the international community regarding security in the Middle East, following the war of aggression of Israel of 1948, namely, that should they find that any of these States was preparing to violate frontiers or armistice lines, the three Governments would ... immediately take action, both within and outside the United Nations, to prevent such violation .10

129. We merely wish to tell them that today that status quo they promised to guarantee has been more than disrupted in the Middle East and that the next step surely will go beyond the confines of that part of the world.

130. My delegation remains convinced that, among the choices open to it, the Assembly will opt in favour of the people of the world, in favour of history, and will restore the national rights of the Palestinian people by implementing the pertinent decisions that have already been adopted on the question, and will recognize the observer status of the PLO.

131. Peace will then come back to that beleaguered land of the Middle East, which will flourish again thanks to the efforts of its children.

132. The Palestinians -- Muslim, Christian and Jewish -- who are all still the greatest victims of that grave crisis, may then be able, with their great spiritual and material potential, to devote themselves to the development of the region and at the same time contribute to the strengthening of peace throughout the world, that peace for the advent of which they have paid such a price.

133. The promised land of Palestine, land of milk and honey, will then be what it always should have been, and that will be a great victory for the cause of peace throughout the world.

134. Mr. ANWAR SANI (Indonesia): There can be no misunderstanding regarding the Indonesian position on the question of Palestine. It has been made clear on every occasion when the question of the Middle East has been discussed, either here in the United Nations or outside the Organization. In normal circumstances, I do not think it would be necessary for my delegation to reiterate at length that position, based upon our unwavering support of the Arab cause and the just and legitimate rights of the Palestinian people. This is, however, an historic occasion, as it is for the first time that representatives of the Palestinian people have been invited to participate in the Assembly's debates, discussing a problem which concerns them directly. My delegation will therefore put the Indonesian position once again on record in the context of this historic meeting of the General Assembly.

135. Representatives who have spoken before me have explained exhaustively the historical facts and developments surrounding the Palestinian question. They have done so with great eloquence. It is not my intention to repeat what has been said- I would confine my remarks to considerations which are relevant to Indonesia's position.

136. Indonesia has always been of the view that the conflict in the Middle East cannot be resolved unless the just and legitimate rights of the Palestinians are upheld and respected. Of course, the withdrawal of Israel from occupied Arab territories is a basic condition for a solution, but no less basic for the return of peace to the Middle East is the respect for the just rights of the Palestinian people.

137. The President of Indonesia, General Suharto in his address to the Third Conference of Heads of State or Government of Non-Aligned Countries, held at Lusaka from 8 to 10 September 1970, stated the following on the question of Palestine:

President Suharto further stated that the position of Indonesia is based upon "our firm belief in the purposes of the Charter of the United Nations".

138. This position, which recognizes the right of self-determination for the Palestinian people, has been reflected in the statements of Indonesian representatives in the various organs of the United Nations and in international meetings outside this Organization.

139. The Minister for Foreign Affairs of Indonesia, Mr. Adam Malik, said the following on the question of Palestine in his statement during this year's general debate in the Assembly:

140. It remains Indonesia's considered view that the representatives of the Palestinian people should participate in the efforts aimed at finding a solution for the Middle East problem, a problem which directly affects them. I myself expressed the view, during the debates of the Security Council on the Middle East in June last year, that the voice of the Palestinians as one of the most directly interested parties should be heard in the efforts to arrive at a definitive solution. It was therefore logical that my delegation supported the resolution to invite representatives of the Palestinian people to participate in the Assembly's discussions when we decided to put the question of Palestine on our agenda.

141. My delegation is gratified that the Assembly agreed to invite the Chairman of the PLO, Mr. Yasser Arafat, to address the Assembly as the representative of the Palestinian people. We have listened to his moving statement with the serious attention it certainly merited. It has been contended that the PLO has no right to represent the Palestinian people. The Arab countries, at the meeting of their Heads of State or Government, recognized the PLO as such, and the recent demonstrations by Palestinians in Israeli-occupied territories are testimony to the fact that the PLO is indeed the authentic representative and voice of the Palestinian people.

142. Some people are against the idea of the participation of representatives of Palestine in the Assembly's discussions. My delegation finds it only logical that the Palestinians should be represented in the United Nations efforts to solve the problem of the Middle East, which was created by their expulsion from their homeland as the result of a United Nations decision when the United Nations in 1947 agreed to the creation of Israel and, subsequently, by the occupation of the remaining part of that homeland by Israeli armed force.

143. Nor can my delegation accept the contention that the United Nations should consider the Palestinian question mainly from its humanitarian aspect, as a refugee problem. It is certainly much more than that: it is essentially a political problem created by a political decision of the United Nations when it acted as midwife at the birth of the State of Israel on the land of the Palestinians. It is a case of self-determination ignored by the United Nations at that time, when it decided the future of Palestine without the participation of the Palestinian people, inhabitants of the land.

144. Since 1947 more and more of the Palestinian homeland has been occupied by the Israeli military forces. Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians have been forced to leave their homes and their possessions. They have become refugees in the neighbouring Arab States, living in hardship and misery in the refugee camps maintained by the meagre charity of the international community. Those who have remained in that part of Palestine which was proclaimed the State of Israel through United Nations intervention and in the territories since occupied by Israeli forces have had to live as second-rate citizens in their own land, at the mercy of the Israeli authorities.

145. The face of Palestine has changed. The process of Israelization has taken place in the occupied areas. Hundreds of Arab villages have vanished, and in their place Israeli villages have appeared. The status of the Holy City of Jerusalem has not been respected. It is as if Israel would like to obliterate any remnant of the Palestinian presence in the occupied territories -- this despite the resolutions adopted by the General Assembly and the Security Council.

146. In the circumstances, it is only natural that the Palestinians are using every method and every means at their disposal, including the use of arms, to regain their just rights.

147. Since 1947 we have been listening to statements, and we have made statements ourselves, on the Palestine problem. The question now is: Where are we going from here? How do we proceed further? How do we rectify the errors committed by the General Assembly in the past? How do we prevent the renewed outbreak of armed conflict? How do we arrive at an acceptable and workable solution?

148. The United Nations acted as midwife at the birth of Israel on the land of Palestine without consulting the people who inhabited the land. The decision was made without due consideration for the rights and interests of the Palestinians; rather it was made to accommodate the interests of Powers committed to supporting the creation of a Jewish State in Palestine.

149. It is my delegation's view that the United Nations should not make the same mistake again: the United Nations should not discuss a solution without heeding the voice of the most directly interested parties, without listening to their views. The United Nations should not decide on issues directly involving the Palestinian people in their absence and without their participation. 150. We have listened to Mr. Yasser Arafat, the Chairman of the PLO, as the representative of the Palestinian people; we have also listened to Mr. Tekoah, Israel's Permanent Representative to the United Nations, as the spokesman of Israel. Most of us, including

my delegation, were moved by Mr. Arafat's words; but emotions alone will not bring us much nearer to a solution, towards the restoration of genuine peace in the troubled land of Palestine. A combination of a strong sense of realism, justice and compassion will certainly be needed if the Assembly is going to play a useful role.

151. The way towards peace in the Middle East is an extremely difficult one; it is mined with explosive issues planted there because of short-sighted views as to where the interests of parties lie. It remains the view of my delegation that the withdrawal of Israeli forces from occupied Arab territories, and the recognition of the just and legitimate rights of the Palestinians, continue to be basic requirements which have to be fulfilled if efforts towards a peaceful solution of the problem can be expected to be successful, if lasting peace is to return to the Middle East.

152. Mr. Arafat concluded his statement on 13 November with the following plea to the Assembly:

153. My delegation hopes that the Assembly by its action will be able to convince him and his organization, representing the people of Palestine, that they should hold on to the olive branch, let us not, by our inability to act, by our incapability to find a way out, force the Palestinian people to choose the gun and throw away the olive branch.

154. Mr. SHEVEL (Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic) (interpretation from Russian): For more than a quarter of a century, events in the Middle East have occupied the attention of the whole world. That vitally important region of the world has been turned into a dangerous source of international tension. The blame for this situation created in the Middle East must be borne entirely by Israel, which, enjoying the support of outside imperialist forces, continues its aggressive policy, stubbornly refusing to implement United Nations resolutions or to liberate the occupied Arab territories, and crudely tramples on the rights of the Arab people.

155. The danger of the situation in that region and the continued existence there of a threat to world peace was once again confirmed by the outburst of military activity in October of last year. Israel's aggressive acts are a threat to the positive changes occurring in the world leading towards a reduction of international tension. The problem of the Middle East is complicated and multifaceted, but the essence of its solution is the withdrawal of the Israeli forces from all Arab lands occupied since 1967, and the ensuring of the legitimate national rights of the Arab people of Palestine. It is perfectly obvious that all the issues involved in a political settlement in the Middle East cannot be resolved unless there is a settlement of the Palestine problem.

156. The inclusion of the question of Palestine in the agenda of the current session of the General Assembly [item 108], on the initiative of a number of Arab States and with the active support of the Socialist and non-aligned countries -- that is to say, the question of the status and future of the Palestine people -- was logical and timely.

157. The United Nations, in many resolutions, has confirmed the right of the Arab people of Palestine to self-determination, but those resolutions remain unimplemented. As early as 1947 -- almost 30 years ago -- the United Nations adopted a decision [resolution 181 (II)] calling for the abolition of the British Mandate over Palestine and the partition of that territory into two independent States: one Arab and one Jewish. However, that United Nations decision was only half implemented, and on the political map of the world there appeared only the Israeli State. As for the Arab people of Palestine, it was deprived of the possibility of creating its own State, despite the fact that the United Nations recognized its right to national existence, self-determination, State independence, security and an independent development on an equal basis with all other peoples of the Middle East.

158. This right is recognized, in particular, in General Assembly resolutions 2535 B (XXIV), 2672 C (XXV), 2792 (XXVI) and 2963 E (XXVII), and in a number of other resolutions.

159. The General Assembly, in paragraph I of its resolution 3089 D (XXVIII), adopted at the twenty-eighth session, reaffirmed that

But the Israeli Zionists drove out the Arab inhabitants of Palestine from their native land. They illegally appropriated the Arabs' land and property. For a very long time, hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees have been eking out a pitiful existence in camps established in a number of countries of the Middle East.

160. In an attempt to terrorize the Arab people of Palestine, to compel them to end their legitimate struggle to free the occupied territories, the Israeli aggressors have been carrying out raids on the refugee camps, and, as a result, many innocent people -- including women, children and old persons -- have been killed. And while all that is going on, the Israeli aggressors are slandering the PLO and attempting to undermine its authority with the people struggling for the liberation of their country.

161. But the ruling circles of Israel and the Zionists in other countries should remember that the PLO must participate in the search for a solution to the problem of the Middle East. The PLO has been recognized as the only legitimate representative of the Arab people of Palestine by decisions of the Conference of Heads of Arab States that took place at Algiers in November 1973 and of the Conference of Heads of State and Government of the Organization of African Unity [OAU] that took place at Mogadiscio in June 1974. The Conference of Heads of Arab States that took place at Rabat last month11 also confirmed the right of the Palestinian people to establish its independent national authority under the aegis of the PLO, the only legitimate representative of the Palestinian people in all parts of the land of Palestine, which will be liberated.

162. That authoritative opinion must be taken into account, however much it may displease certain Western capitals and however much the governing circles of Tel Aviv may object to it.

163. My delegation cannot but state how great an impression the statement [2282nd meeting] of the leader of the PLO, Mr. Yasser Arafat, made on us and on many other delegations; in form it was brilliant, in content profound. We should like in the first place to note the peaceful character of that statement, the desire manifested in it for true and just peace in the Middle East, the sense of high political responsibility evident in the approach to a solution of the Palestine question. That was in striking contrast to the speech made by the representative of Israel. That speech was completely unrestrained and, as usual, full of aggressiveness and manifestations of the desire to carry out policies founded on a position of strength, combined with a complete lack of political responsibility and complete scorn for the opinion of the overwhelming majority of Members of the United Nations.

164. Speaking from this rostrum, the representative of Israel accused the PLO of practising terrorism. The representatives of a number of countries here have already fully refuted his slander. Our delegation feels it necessary to state the following. The Israeli aggressors have seized the land belonging to the Palestinian people and have occupied a substantial part of the territories of neighbouring Arab States. As occupiers they are behaving in a crude and cruel way on the land they have seized. They are trampling international legal standards under foot. The struggle of the Palestinian people, led by the PLO, against the Israeli occupiers, who are genuine colonizers, is legitimate and just. The struggle is an example of a national liberation movement of a people fully resolved to exercise its legitimate right to self-determination. The legitimacy of the struggle of the Palestinian people for self-determination and national liberation has been confirmed by the United Nations in a number of resolutions, and particularly in General Assembly resolution 3089 D (XXVIII).

165. That is no doubt why the Israeli representative has been attacking and slandering not only the PLO but also the United Nations itself, and why the enraged Zionists, supported by United States Senators and spurred on by Israeli Ministers, have gone so far as to burn the flag of this international Organization in front of the United Nations building. As the saying goes, one could hardly go any further than that.

166. Over a year has now passed since the cease-fire was established in the Middle East. At that time the Security Council adopted a decision calling for an immediate political settlement of the conflict in the Middle East [resolution 338 (1973)]. That task was to have been carried out in the Peace Conference on the Middle East held at Geneva. As a first step on the road to a solution of the Middle East problem, the disengagement of forces was useful, but it must be regarded strictly as a first step; it cannot and will not be a substitute for the settlement of the whole series of issues involved in this complex and multifaceted Middle East problem.

167. Only the withdrawal of the Israeli forces from all the Arab territories seized in 1967, the guaranteeing of the security and independence of all the countries of the area and the satisfaction of the legitimate interests of the Arab people of Palestine, including their right to self-determination and to their own State, can and will bring a stable and lasting peace to the Middle East. That is precisely the task facing the Peace Conference on the Middle East, which must immediately resume its work at Geneva. It is perfectly obvious that all the interested parties, including the representatives of the PLO, must participate in the work of the Peace Conference .

168. Unfortunately, there are many facts that indicate that Israel, with the support of its patrons abroad, is doing everything to freeze the situation in the Middle East and to prevent the resumption of the Geneva Peace Conference. These subversive actions by Israel have their roots in its unwillingness to liberate the Arab territories it has seized, but if those territories are not liberated there can be no true peace in the Middle East.

169. Obviously, the disengagement of forces in Sinai and the Golan Heights is viewed in Tel Aviv not as a first step towards a general settlement but as a tactical manuvre designed to freeze the situation and consolidate Israel's occupation of Arab territories. What is more, Israel, relying on broad military, economic and political support from abroad, is continuing to pursue its adventurist policy of blackmail and threats designed to extract from the Arab countries the maximum number of territorial and other concessions during the process of the settlement of the question. In its relations with the neighbouring Arab countries, Israel is placing its bets on a policy of force and is sabotaging in every possible way the efforts of the peace-loving countries to settle the Middle East problem.

170. It can be stated with confidence that that adventurist policy of Israel is doomed to failure. The will of the peoples to support the victims of Israeli aggression has already been expressed in the decision [resolution 3210 (XXIX)] of the General Assembly to invite the representatives of the PLO to participate in the deliberations on the question of Palestine. It is also evident in the friendly reception which the Assembly has given to the delegation of the PLO, led by that striking revolutionary fighter for the freedom and happiness of his people, Yasser Arafat. All the representatives who have participated in the discussion of the question of Palestine, except for the representative of Israel, have spoken in support of the just rights of the Arab people of Palestine. That is the voice and the will of the peoples of the world.

171. In conclusion, I should like to quote the following from a statement made by the General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, Mr. Brezhnev, in Kishinev on 11 October this year:

172. The people of the Ukrainian SSR, like the peoples of the other Socialist countries, has always supported and will continue in future to support the struggle of the Arab peoples for the liberation of the territories seized by Israel, for the restoration of the legitimate rights of the Arab people of Palestine, and for the establishment of a just peace in the Middle East.

173. Mr. NDABANIWE (Burundi) (interpretation from French): By deciding to include the question of Palestine in the agenda of the twenty-ninth session of the General Assembly, and adopting, by an overwhelming majority, resolution 3210 (XXIX) inviting the Palestinian people to participate, through the PLO, its only legitimate and full-fledged representative, in a debate concerning it directly, the United Nations finally decided to reconcile itself with the spirit and lofty ideals of its Charter, concerning the endless and anguishing problem of the Middle East.

174. By its vote of 14 October 1974, the United Nations recognized that the problem of the Middle East, of which it has been seized for 27 years, had been posed until now in such a way that only its more apparent effects appeared, namely, a territorial dispute between the State of Israel on the one hand and the Arab States in the area on the other hand.

175. By that decisive vote, the General Assembly recognized that the moment has finally come to go directly to the source of the conflict; that is to say, the fate of the Palestinian people in the wake of the Zionist take-over of their country.

176. The Government of Burundi has always thought that all equitable and lasting solutions to the Middle East crisis must include the restoration to the Palestinian people of their legitimate national rights. That is why my delegation is very happy to see the complete and full participation of the PLO in this historic debate. We avail ourselves of this opportunity to extend the most heartfelt welcome to the PLO delegation. We reiterate the expression of our deep sympathy. our active solidarity and our brotherly co-operation.

177. The tragedy experienced by the Palestinian people is a result of an imperialist-colonialist plot, conceived and completed at the end of the nineteenth century, and carried out coldly and cynically by the world Zionist movement under the protection of Great Britain, the Mandatory Power in Palestine since 1922, and with the surprising, I would even say, scandalous, complicity of the League of Nations and of the United Nations.

178. In August 1897, Theodor Herzl, founder and theoretician of the Zionist movement, launched the idea of the creation of a Jewish State in Palestine through a rational settlement of Palestine, where Jewish farmers, industrialists and handicraft workers would be brought in. As for the borders of the future State, according to Theodor Herzl, it was to include the area between the Mediterranean, the Nile and the Euphrates. The Zionist purpose was clearly defined and two conditions were necessary for its full implementation.

179. First of all, it was necessary to find the material means that would allow Jewish immigrants to acquire land, property and assets in Palestine, at the expense, of course, of their legitimate owners, the Arab inhabitants of Palestine. The creation of financial institutions, such as the Jewish Colonial Bank and the Jewish National Fund, would satisfy amply the needs of successive waves of Jewish immigrants to the Holy Land. Then it was necessary to obtain the assent and the support of the main European Powers to ensure the success of this vast undertaking.

180. To achieve that, the Zionist tactic was to convince the colonial and imperialist Powers of the time, through contacts, approaches, pressure and all types of bargaining, that the creation of a Zionist State in the Middle East accorded with their interests and ambitions in that area. In that connexion, Theodor Herzl wrote in his famous book The Jewish State12 the following:

181. A British political personality felt that the Zionist objective deserved the enthusiastic support of his Government for:
182. In those circumstances, Europe's support came quickly. It appeared in the shape of the deplorable Balfour Declaration, according to which:
183. In July 1922, the League of Nations gave Great Britain the Mandate over Palestine, having incorporated in it the text of the Balfour Declaration. In doing this the League of Nations violated its own Covenant. It gave Great Britain the right to dispose as it wished of Palestinian territory, which did not belong to it because it was simply placed under the trusteeship of Britain pending its coming of age and accession to independence. Thus it seems clear that, contrary to the objectives of the Mandates System of the League of Nations, the British Mandate over Palestine was placed in the exclusive service of the strategy of world zionism in the Middle East instead of helping to safeguard the territorial integrity of Palestine, promoting the well-being and progress of the Palestinian people and helping it to achieve national sovereignty at the appropriate time.

184. The British Mandate in Palestine became an effective instrument for Jewish penetration and settlement of Palestine. Jewish immigration became better organized, better planned and more intensive, by means of systems of quotas established by the Mandatory Power, which were often greatly exceeded. Thus, while the Jews represented barely 5 per cent of the population of Palestine at the time of the Balfour Declaration, their proportion exceeded 25 per cent in 1936 and 32 per cent just before the ill-fated partition of Palestine.

185. In February 1947, Great Britain, fighting the Jewish terrorist organizations -- which, however, had developed under its eyes and with its blessing -- decided to go to the United Nations for a solution to the Palestinian problem and suggested that the General Assembly make recommendations concerning the future regime for Palestine.7 Although five Arab countries submitted a counter-proposal requesting purely and simply the termination of the British Mandate over Palestine and the declaration of the independence of that country,13 the General Assembly, after considerable pressure, blackmailing manoeuvres and intimidation exerted on its members by the Zionist lobby, adopted by its resolution 181 (11) of 29 November 1947 the famous Palestine Plan of Partition.

186. We are perfectly justified in calling into question resolution 181 (II), which was adopted in flagrant contradiction of the principles of the Charter, among them the right to self-determination of the Palestinian people and respect for the territorial integrity of Palestine.

187. In the opinion of my Government, General Assembly resolution 181 (II) is unjust and indefensible because Palestine was mutilated without the Palestinian people having been properly consulted and without its having given its prior agreement to the Plan of Partition.

188. By its resolution 181 (II) on the partition of Palestine, the United Nations gave the Zionist movement the support and the springboard it needed to launch the conquest, first of all, of Palestine and then of the Arab territories in the vicinity of Israel in order to make the cherished dream of Theodor Herzl and his disciples come true; one of the most faithful and illustrious of those disciples, David Ben Gurion, declared in 1950 to students of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem

In 1952, that same David Ben Gurion stated in the Israeli Parliament:
189. Since the proclamation of the State of Israel on 14 May 1948 the Palestinian people has been deprived of its assets, expelled from its homeland and condemned to exile by means of complex and discriminatory legislation supported by the many Zionist organizations, of which the most notorious are the Haganah, the Irgun and the Stern Gang, which have harassed the defenceless Palestinian Arabs.

190. Among the laws and the provisions passed by the State of Israel in order to confiscate the assets and properties of the Palestinian Arabs for the benefit of the Jewish occupants can be cited the law of absence, the legislation concerning abandoned assets and regions, and the law of prescription, all of which have as their objective the condemnation of Palestinians to permanent exile to the advantage of the Jews of the Diaspora whom the Law of Return, of 5 July 1950. urges to go back to the State of Israel.

191. Determined to eliminate every Palestinian presence and trace from the State of Israel, the authorities of that country have always encouraged Zionist terrorist organizations in their criminal undertakings directed against Palestinian children, women and old people. As an example we would recall the massacre of the population of the village of Deir Yassin in April 1948. Forced to choose between exile and death the Palestinian people has opted provisionally for a tactical withdrawal to the neighbouring Arab territories in order better to organize its liberation struggle and win a decisive victory over the enemy with the support and assistance of peoples that love peace, justice and freedom.

192. The State of Israel is thus a colonial reality on Palestinian soil. Palestine has been subjected to occupation, domination and usurpation, while the Arab people of Palestine has been subjected to humiliation, exploitation, frustration, expulsion and exile by a foreign minority on its territory. The Arabs. who constituted 95 per cent of the population at the time of the Balfour Declaration saw that proportion reduced to two thirds in 1947, and today they represent a minority, a symbolic and marginal group of 10 per cent with the status of second-class citizens, if not of pariahs.

193. Israel, born of the colonial and imperialist expansion at the end of the last century, behaves like an imperialist, annexationist and expansionist State which disturbs the peace in the Middle East and constantly threatens the territorial integrity, independence and national sovereignty of the Arab States of the region. Faithful to the aims and ambitions of its founders, it has continued to grow by means of aggression, invasion and occupation, to the detriment of its Arab neighbours. While the 1947 Plan of Partition presented it with a territory of 14,000 square kilometres, the area of Israel increased to more than 20,000 square kilometres after the 1948-1949 war and to 88,000 square kilometres after the aggression of June 1967.

194. It is against this colonial phenomenon that the Palestinian people, regrouped in the PLO, has decided to carry on the struggle to regain its rights and dignity, which have been trampled in the dust, its usurped homeland, in order to live in freedom and pride in the homeland of its ancestors and to build in peace and progress a better future for its children.

195. To Israel, the PLO is a mere band of terrorists representing only themselves. All movements of national liberation have been dubbed as terrorist by the colonial Powers. Their leaders have been called bands of rebels, adventurers and murderers having no popular base whatsoever in the colonial territories. As Israel is an imperialist entity, its mendacious propaganda against the PLO does not surprise us in the least, because that organization is a national liberation movement.

196. The PLO enjoys the esteem, the sympathy and the solidarity of all the peoples of the world devoted to peace and progress. It has been formally recognized by the Arab world, OAU, the Fourth Conference of Heads of State or Government of Non-Aligned Countries and, on 14 October 1974, the international community, as the only legitimate representative of the Palestinian people. Since 13 November, the day when Mr. Yasser Arafat, Chairman of the PLO, spoke before the twenty-ninth session of the General Assembly, the Palestinian people in the territories occupied by Israel have unleashed demonstrations of support for the PLO and its illustrious Chairman. In its cries of "Long live the PLO" and "Long live Arafat" in the face of Israeli repression, the Palestinian people wish to confirm to the whole world that the cause of the PLO is its own cause, and that Mr. Yasser Arafat is the prestigious leader, the respected and uncontested guide and the faithful and eloquent spokesman of his people.

197. It is never too late to do the right thing. The United Nations bears a grave share of responsibility for the injustice and the tragedy imposed on the Palestinian people for the past 27 years. It is now up to us to repair the serious mistake made by the United Nations in 1947 if we want to restore its prestige, its moral authority and its credibility before world public opinion.

198. The Chairman of the PLO came before us bearing an olive branch. He declared that the objectives untiringly pursued by his movement are peace and justice in the Middle East and understanding, brotherhood and co-operation among all the peoples of the area. These objectives are just and reasonable and meet with the enthusiastic approval of each of our delegations .

199. However, the establishment of peace and justice in the Middle East requires as a prerequisite the restoration to the Palestinian people of its legitimate national rights. The Palestinian people is entitled to a homeland, to self-determination and to national independence .

200. The General Assembly laid down as a condition for the admission of Israel to the United Nations that the Jewish State implement the prior resolutions of the General Assembly with respect to the return of the Palestinians to their homes, especially resolution 194 (III) of 11 December 1948. The General Assembly is fully entitled to request Israel to give an accounting as regards the implementation of the commitments it freely and solemnly undertook when it was admitted to the United Nations on 11 May 1949 [resolution 273 (III)]. Its remaining in our Organization should logically be conditional upon that.

201. It is inadmissible that the Palestinian nation should continue to wander about in camps and to live under tents in inhuman conditions while the land which has belonged to it for more than 2,000 years is occupied by people having no roots there whatsoever and no other links among themselves but the fact that they belong to the same religious community.

202. That is the situation to which we must put an end if we wish to help, as the Charter invites us to do, to make this region, which has suffered so much, a haven of peace, love, harmony and brotherhood.

203. Mr. MacEACHEN (Canada): No one who is familiar with the developments in the Middle East in the past quarter of a century can fail to be deeply moved by the human suffering which has been caused by the perpetual upheaval, insecurity and armed conflict in that region. Though far removed from this area, Canada has not and could not remain indifferent to this tragedy and has tried to make a helpful contribution to the United Nations efforts to grapple with the problem.

204. Canada's fundamental concern has always been to help bring about a just and durable peace. To be just, it must take full account of the legitimate interests of all the peoples, and to be durable, it must be developed and accepted by all. No imposed solution could endure.

205. We consider it essential to any lasting and comprehensive settlement that there be respect for the sovereignty, the territorial integrity and the political independence of Israel and of every other State in the Middle East. We remain opposed to any attempt to challenge the right of Israel or the right of any other State in the region to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threat and acts of force.

206. The important issue we are now examining, concerning the status of the Palestinians and their role in efforts to achieve a negotiated peace, has figured prominently in this tragic history. From the outset, Canada has recognized that the Palestinians represent a major interested element in the Middle East situation. Security Council resolution 242 (1967) firmly subscribed to by Canada since its adoption, called for a just settlement of the Palestine refugee problem. Canada has given and continues to give substantial financial support to UNRWA. Recent developments, including this debate, testify to the growing acknowledgement that cognizance must be taken of the need for the Palestinian people to be represented and heard in negotiations involving their destiny. Canada is fully in accord with the view that any enduring peaceful settlement of the Arab-Israeli dispute must take account of the legitimate concerns of the Palestinians.

207. But we are convinced that these concerns must be, and realistically can only be, pursued by nonviolent means. Canada vigorously condemns terrorism in whatever form and from whatever source it may occur. It has no place in any efforts to resolve the differences between the parties to this dispute. No one who seeks a role in a negotiated settlement, no matter how legitimate his grievances are or how deep his frustrations may be, can expect to be accepted at the negotiating table unless he sheds violence in favour of dialogue. Meaningful dialogue depends upon full recognition of the existence of Israel and its right to survival.

208. We have noted with satisfaction that there have been, within a relatively short space of time, territorial adjustments on two fronts in the form of the existing disengagement agreements.14 We may also be witnessing a fundamental change in the appreciation of existing realities on the part of both sides to the dispute. On the one hand, Arab Governments appear more disposed to recognize Israel's right to exist. Israel, for its part, has reaffirmed its intention to pursue the search for peace with its Arab neighbours and to that end has indicated greater recognition of the fact that Palestinian concerns will have to be taken into account in the same way if real peace is to be achieved .

209. That said, the question is: How are legitimate Palestinian concerns to be brought to bear in efforts to reach a just and durable settlement? Canada has firmly resisted giving advice as to what form Palestinian representation should take in future negotiations. The claim of the PLO to represent the Palestinians is thus one which, in our view, is not for Canada to decide. It is a question which remains to be resolved by the parties directly involved in the course of their continuing efforts to work towards an agreed peace, and Israel is an essential party in deciding the question.

210. If recent developments have placed new emphasis on certain elements among the numerous factors which must be taken into account in any realistic move toward a peaceful settlement, nothing which has occurred derogates from Canada's conviction that Security Council resolution 242 (1967) constitutes a valid framework for a just and equitable settlement. It remains our view that the equitable balance of the obligations thereby laid down for the parties continues to provide them with important guidelines for their efforts to resolve their differences.

211. The integrity of that Security Council resolution must be maintained, in particular by refraining from any action which would tend to emphasize one aspect to the exclusion of other equally valid principles. That applies, of course, to the Palestinian issue as to all the others involved. While important and, indeed, fundamental to the Arab-Israeli dispute, this issue evidently cannot be resolved separately and without consideration for other elements of the problem. We would be opposed to any unilateral actions which could be prejudicial to the comprehensive negotiated settlement which is being sought.

212. I have said that the manner in which legitimate Palestinian concerns are to be represented in the course of the search for a peace settlement is a matter for agreement by the parties involved. The same principle clearly applies to the declared aspiration of the PLO to establish an independent national authority in the region. If the emergence of any Palestinian entity were to be envisaged at some stage, it would be essential that that should be the result of agreement among the parties directly involved, which, of course, includes Israel. In this respect the establishment, evolution and existence of any such entity should in no way prejudice the continued existence of the State of Israel.

213. From what has been said, it will be clear that the Canadian Government believes a settlement cannot be imposed in the Middle East by outside forces. The will to make peace and the modalities and structures of an eventual settlement must be evolved by the parties directly concerned. We shall evaluate objectively any particular course which may be followed in the pursuit of peace, basing ourselves on certain fundamental principles but free of any preconceived ideas as to the form and content of an eventual settlement. We shall continue to weigh events in direct relation to their likely impact on what has always been and remains for Canada the cardinal objective: the achievement of an agreed and lasting settlement between Israel and its Arab neighbours enabling all the States of the region to live in peace and security. Canada will continue whole-heartedly, through whatever means may be open to us, to support all efforts to that end.

214. Mr. CARAYANNIS (Greece): My Government has welcomed the opportunity of discussing the Palestine question as a separate item in the current session of the General Assembly. We feel that in spite of the acrimony, due to the nature of the problem, this discussion may yet prove to be useful and constructive, especially if it is approached with responsibility and realism. It may force us to answer some difficult questions if, in the process, we realize that there have been difficulties on both sides, and it will mean, I believes that we shall have made some good progress.

215. From the beginning and through the years we have always maintained that the Palestine question was the heart of the Middle East problem. One may have differing views on Palestine itself and the rights of the Palestinians, but to ignore the fact that they constitute the real problem, only because it happens to be a difficult problem, is, I am afraid, an attitude of wishful thinking which will lead Israel, the Arab countries and this Assembly nowhere. The Palestinians have the right to seek a future for themselves and to organize it in the same way other peoples do, and the General Assembly has the moral obligation to help and guide them in doing so.

216. The Palestinians have expressed themselves through different organizations and they now seem to agree to be represented in a unified form through the PLO. We welcome this development and we consider it a constructive one. It is up to the Palestinians to decide who will represent them. When their independence is reached, as we hope it will be, they will surely provide for themselves a more official representation. For the moment, what is important for us is to hear the voice of the Palestinians.

217. Their voice must be heard, and it is better if it is heard directly from them than through other Arab countries, no matter how faithfully the message is carried.

218. That is why we voted in favour of the invitation to the representatives of the PLO to take part in our deliberations . We believe their presence lends our work new significance and may eventually open new doors to a solution.

219. If the Palestine question is the heart of the Middle East problem, it is obvious that a solution cannot be found elsewhere. In the view of my Government, the Palestine question must find its solution in the context of the Middle East. The Palestinians have the right to a homeland and to independence, and all other countries, including Israel, have the right to be secure and to remain independent

220. The leader of the PLO, Mr. Yasser Arafat, indicated at the opening of our debate that he accepts the presence of the Israeli people in Palestine. That is a different position from the well-known extreme view the Palestinians seemed to hold several years ago. It is, in the opinion of my delegation, a first positive approach and must be taken as such.

221. The position of the PLO remains vague on other fundamental issues, it is true, but similarly the position of Israel remains uncompromising. If we are to make some progress in the Palestine question we must, I suppose, as in so many other questions, make it step by step.

222. Some Arab delegations have taken that view in their statements and have indicated a sense of realism that we hope will keep the doors open and eventually lead to some real progress.

223. The position of the Greek Government on the different aspects of the general problem in the Middle East has remained unchanged through the years. We are not prepared to accept or approve the acquisition of territory through military conquest. That is a principle to which we and, I believe, many others in this Assembly are very much attached. We have taken and strongly maintain the view that the territories occupied by Israel must be evacuated. What happens to those territories after their evacuation is the concern of their legal owners and their inhabitants.

224. We also maintain the view that the independence and security of all States in the area must be safeguarded. We are a small country, and we can understand the importance Israel attaches to its security. We also understand that, unfortunate as it may be, the United Nations is not yet in a position to effectively protect small countries. Yet to try to protect ourselves by enslaving others is a very old method of achieving security that has always in the long run paid bad dividends. Surely Israel is modern enough to organize its security in a more modern way.

225. Both the Arab and the Israeli people are ancient peoples we have known for centuries and have respected. We lived and worked with the Arabs on the basis of mutual understanding and equality before many others did so; we have lived and worked with the Israelis and we have the satisfaction of knowing that in their greatest trial, during the last war, they nowhere found more compassion and more protection under extremely difficult circumstances than in my country.

226. We will not favour any injustice to the Israelis. We are too small to support injustice. But they must also realize and accept that what has been happening to the Palestinians for many years now, and is still happening, is also an injustice.

227. We have in this Assembly had the courage to tackle the problem at its roots for the first time. We must now have the wisdom to show the necessary comprehension that will make it possible for the doors to remain open and for hope to persist.

228. My delegation earnestly hopes that the draft resolution we shall be called upon to vote on will reflect those views and will open the way for a constructive approach to one of the most tragic and difficult problems of our time.

229. Mr. YAGUIBOU (Upper Volta) (interpretation from French): The long march which we have all undertaken, each nation with its own forces and its own convictions, came to a significant turning-point with our historic decision to include the question of Palestine in the agenda of this twenty-ninth session.

230. The delegation of Upper Volta feels we have no right to miss the opportunity for achieving peace and justice that is thus presented to us. It is, indeed, profoundly convinced that wherever there is an opportunity for dialogue the chances of peace are immense.

231. In order to make its modest contribution to the laborious work of building peace and establishing an era of justice and equity, the delegation of Upper Volta speaks today in this important debate on the Palestine question.

232. Formerly a land of peace, of civilization and culture, a nerve-centre from which peaceful impulses spread throughout our world, Palestine is now confronted by all the upheavals that war brings in its wake.

233. The situation of today is obviously one of the many results of the colonialist and imperialist doctrine of those who once ordered the destinies of all the peoples of the world to suit their will. As all the delegations that have spoken here have said, a glance at history indicates clearly and undeniably that the problem confronting us today was created by the erstwhile colonial Power, which, in order to keep certain promises, quite simply decided to partition the region of Palestine in total disregard of the rights of its peoples.

234. However, the solution was simple: in putting an end to its Mandate, Great Britain should have obeyed the spirit of the times and the principle of selfdetermination of peoples and thus should have given to the Palestinian people the power that belonged to it, that is to say, its right to self-determination and sovereignty over its own land. Instead of that, the partition of Palestine was purely and simply decided over the heads of its people, and that division of the country was ratified by the United Nations itself. That outcome was hardly surprising in view of the character of our Organization and the power relationships within it at that time. Although ferociously opposed to this decision, the principal parties interested had to witness a decision being imposed on them, a decision contrary to their own fundamental interests and to their own legitimate aspirations, a decision that brazenly flouted the Charter of the United Nations and the sacred principles upon which it rests.

235. On 27 November 1947, by 33 votes to 13 with 10 abstentions -- the opposing votes being those of the independent Arab countries and India -- the partition of Palestine between a Jewish State and an Arab State was decided upon. with Jerusalem being given international status.

236. Under pressure from that inglorious majority, and despite the unanimous rejection of the Arab world and of the native population of Palestine, the Jewish State was created in the heart of the Arab world.

237. Why, therefore, should we be surprised at the resistance of those populations to those whom they regard as foreign settlers coming from Europe, America or elsewhere in order to take over their lands and their goods? Why should we be surprised at their resistance when the first Jews emigrating from Europe were preceded in Palestine by such shadowy, terrorist and fascist organizations as the Haganah, the Stern Gang and the Irgun, whose fearful activities achieved their culmination with the cruel massacres of such villages as Deir Yassin?

238. Ultimately, a million and a half Palestine Arabs were forced by this terrorism to leave their lands and their houses, and since that time have been refugees, scattered in tents in the sands of the desert.

239. The situation of the Palestinian people is what it is today because our Organization, which bears the basic responsibility, was unable or unwilling, at that moment in its history, to distinguish truth from falsity, or justice from injustice, at a time when the peoples of the third world were still muzzled and prevented from playing their part in the destiny of our world.

240. What is more, the expansionist appetites of Israel have little by little led it to extend its power over the Arab part of Palestine and over the territories of the neighbouring Arab countries, in defiance of the laws of the international community. My delegation would like now once again to reaffirm its condemnation of that policy, which can only set back the chances for peace.

24 1. And this is the context in which the United Nations has, in vain we must admit, attempted to make reparation for what we have called the error of the Middle East. How could it have done otherwise when we deliberately chose to ignore the essential element which is the very warp and woof of the situation, that is to say, the Palestinians? Recent lessons of history should have taught us, however, that one cannot with impunity trample upon the rights of a people, since that people will immediately contest the established order, from which it can hope for nothing. How could we then hold it against the Palestinians that they should completely ignore the rules of a society which had been ignoring them for so many years?

242. The essence of the Palestinian problem, however, is very simple. This people, by an unjust decision, has been deprived of its most inalienable right to live on its land and to prosper there' like any other people. The present need is to make reparation for that injustice by recognizing its right to self-determination and to the exercise of its legitimate national rights.

243. The historic decision taken here on 14 October 1974 to invite the PLO to participate in a debate which concerns it in a most intimate way is an important step for any over-all solution to the Middle East problem. After having heard the Chairman of the PLO, we are convinced that a final settlement of the Palestinian problem is impossible without the participation of those who constitute an essential element.

244. In an interview granted to the weekly newspaper Jeune Afrique, the Chairman of the PLO stated in a most sincere way:

He then added, with respect to the Jews:
After hearing these remarks, so rich in wisdom and realism, who in this Assembly would henceforth want to doubt the peaceful intent of the Chairman of the PLO?

245. We do not intend to rewrite history. We have to base ourselves on the existing data, the concrete realities in order to find an over-all solution. It can be no one's intent to want to see the Jewish people exterminated; this is a courageous people, which has made its decisive contribution to the evolution of the world. But, as one of my brothers has so well said, while it is unrealistic or even Utopian to want now to throw the Jews into the sea, it is no less dangerous and irrational to remain impervious to the tribulations and the tragedy of the Palestinian people, or to want that people to be continually thrown back into the sands of the desert. The Jewish people, after centuries of martyrdom, which have burnt into its spirit and its flesh, should have been the first today to understand how another people, also for long victims of an international plot, should want to claim its own rights, those which it had so long pursued. Instead of that, the Jewish people today in Israel make permanent aggression against their neighbours their national policy.

246. In any case, Israel must accept the situation, because the choice is simple: recognize the personality of the Palestinian people, recognize its rights, accept it as a valid negotiator and open up prospects for a lasting peace in the region; or continue to persist in its present attitude and thus have to confront, with increasing difficulty, the assaults of the people who are resolutely determined to recover their legitimate rights. In the latter case, in the long run, it will be the people of Israel itself who will start asking questions of its leaders, and in particular will want to know towards what dubious destiny they are being led. Thus it is indispensable that Israel should now recognize the Palestinians as valid negotiators and seek with them an appropriate formula for coexistence which has now become inevitable and which, moreover, could only serve to enrich the region of Palestine.

247. The statement made here by the Chairman of the PLO confirms our view that the leaders of that organization are now determined to shoulder their responsibilities before the international community, to respect its laws and decisions, and live as brothers with the Jews of Israel, if only the segregation to which they have been subjected is ended, and if only they are no longer treated as bloodthirsty terrorists.

248. Here in America we have seen a number of communities with apparently nothing in common -- neither colour, religion, nor historical background -- and yet, history accomplished its task. Thanks to the political will of their leaders, we can observe multiracial, multireligious nations with a technical and cultural wealth that is the envy of the entire world.

249. Nevertheless, for the time being, the question is no longer one of knowing what formula will be adopted to ensure that the Palestinians can exercise their right to self-determination. Even if it were, it is up to that people itself and the others in the region to determine how this will be done.

250. What seems to us more urgent -- and it is in this respect that our debate takes on its full importance -- is for the international community to recognize, despite any possible objection, the rights of the Palestinian people. The question of Palestine has been on our agenda for too long: the General Assembly has been seized of it for more than a quarter of a century. Yet the problem still remains unresolved because we have always approached it from a point of view which prevented us from dealing with all its aspects. To want to see it only as a humanitarian issue, to regard the Palestinian people only as refugees whose ills could be resolved by international charity, is to approach only the consequences of a problem the fundamental causes of which are political.

251. Nevertheless, truly formidable efforts have been made at all levels to overcome this crisis; while we have noted some shortcomings in our common effort, it can be said that today an encouraging historic stage has been reached. The problem confronting the world today, particularly in the Middle East, opens up to the world prospects of a true peace. We must now confirm the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people so that the land of Palestine may regain its original significance as the land of peace, civilization, charity and love.

The meeting rose at 7.25 p.m.


1 Official Records of the Security Council, Twenty-first Year, 1309th meeting, paras. 6468 and 70.
2 For a summary of this statement, see Official Records of the General Assembly Twenty-first Session Special Political Committee 510th meeting, paras. 25-28.
3 Official Records of the General Assembly Fifth Emergency Special Session Plenary Meetings 1536th meeting, paras. 205-206.
4 Ibid., 1558th meeting, paras. 263-265.
5 Ibid., Second Session Supplement No. 11 vol. 1 document A/364, annex 19.
6 Palestine: Statement of Policy Cmd. 6019 (London, HM Stationery Office, 1939).
7 Official Records of the General Assembly First Special Session Plenary Meetings Vol. 1 annexes, document A/286.
8 Ibid. Second Session Plenary Meetings, 90th meeting, sect. 19 (establishment of ad hoc committees).
9 Ibid. Second Session Supplement No. 11 (A/364), vols. I-IV.
10 See "Tripartite Declaration regarding Security in the Near East", Department of State Bulletin vol. XXII, No. 570 (Washington, D.C., US Government Printing Office, 1950), p. 886.
11 Seventh Conference of Arab Heads of State, held at Rabat from 26 to 29 October 1974.
12 Theodor Herzl, The Jewish State (New York, American Zionist Emergency Council, 1946).
13 Official Records of the General Assembly First Special Session Plenary Meetings vol. 1 annexes, documents A/287-291, requests from Egypt, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Saudi Arabia.
14 Egyptian-lsraeli Agreement on Disengagement of Forces (Official Records of the Security Council Twenty-ninth Year Supplement for January February and March 1974 document S/11198, annex); and Agreement on Disengagement between Israeli and Syrian Forces (ibid. Supplement for April, May and June 1974, document S/11302/Add . I, annex 1).

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