About the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People
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Question of Palestine (continued):
(a) Report of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People;
(b) Report of the Secretary-General
President: Mr. Hamilton Shirley AMERASINGHE (Sri Lanka).
1. Mr. NYAMDO (Mongolia) (interpretation from Russian): Our delegation would like to take this opportunity to reaffirm the position of principle of the Government of the Mongolian People's Republic on the question of Palestine, at this stage of its development. As the Assembly knows, the question of Palestine is one of the main elements of the Middle East problem. Hence, it is only natural that the international community is very concerned at the lengthy delay in solving that question, for it is the solution of the question of Palestine that will to a large extent determine whether a comprehensive political settlement can be reached in the Middle East crisis, which is creating an explosive situation in that part of the world.
2. It must be recognized that in discharging its main responsibility-that is, the responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and the security of the peoples—the United Nations has exerted great efforts to achieve peace in the Middle East. Since it was established, the United Nations has adopted more than 180 decisions and resolutions on the question of Palestine alone.
3.. Among those decisions and resolutions, of special importance are the four resolutions adopted by the General Assembly at its twenty-ninth and thirtieth sessions. I am referring to resolutions 3236 (XXIX), 3237 (XXIX), 3375 (XXX) and 3376 (XXX). Those resolutions confirm with the utmost clarity the inalienable right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, national independence and sovereignty. They also confirm the official international legal recognition of the Palestine Liberation Organization [PLO] as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people.
4. I agree with the Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, the representative of Senegal, who has quite rightly noted in his statement at the 66th meeting that with the adoption of the resolutions to which I have referred the United Nations chose a qualitatively new approach in the search for a positive solution to the Palestinian problem. Any attempts to consider only the humanitarian aspects of the question of Palestine-in other words, to consider it as a refugee problem-have clearly proved unfounded.
5. No less importance attaches to the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, which was established last year. That Committee was empowered to consider and recommend to the General Assembly a programme of action designed to enable the Palestinian people to exercise the rights recognized in the relevant General Assembly resolution and to take into account, in the formulation of its recommendations, all the powers which the Charter accords to the principal United Nations organs.
6. It can be said that the Committee has successfully begun its work.
7. On the whole, our delegation supports the report of the Committee containing its recommendations, its fundamental considerations and guiding principles. We are delighted to note that the international authority of the PLO is growing daily. The PLO has joined a number of international organizations and is taking an active part in the work of various United Nations organs as well as in the work of many international conferences.
8. As it expresses the will of its people, the PLO is worthily representing that people in international affairs. Despite the serious efforts of the United Nations and peace-loving forces to bring about a speedy solution of the Palestinian question, it remains unresolved. Hence the legitimate question as to why a just solution to the problem of Palestine has not yet been found.
9. We believe that the main reason lies in Israel's aggressive policy, which is supported by certain imperialist-States. Israel continues to flout United Nations decisions and world public opinion. Israel's refusal to cooperate with the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People is new evidence of the fact that Israel is still working against the joint efforts of States and Members of the United Nations and the will of the international community and is thus trying to prevent the Palestinian people from exercising their inalienable rights to self-determination and national independence.
10. Our approach to the question of Palestine is determined by the fundamental principles of the foreign policy of my country, in particular the principle of respect for the A/31/PV.71 right of every people without exception to self-determination. On the basis of that principle, our delegation has supported and will support all steps and measures to ensure the exercise of the inalienable legitimate rights of the Palestinian people, including its right to set up its own national State.
11. Summing up the position of the Government of the Mongolian People's Republic on the Middle East problem at this session, our Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Dugersuren, has stated:
"The Mongolian People's Republic continues to hold the view that the key to the solution of the Middle East problem lies in the unconditional withdrawal of Israeli troops from all the Arab territories occupied in 1967, the satisfaction of the legitimate national rights of the Arab people of Palestine, including their right to establish their own State, and respect for the right of all the States of the region to an independent existence." [16th meeting, para. 213.]
12. Our delegation considers that all the questions relating to the Middle East problem must be settled within the framework of the special international machinery. I am referring to the Geneva Peace Conference on the Middle East. All parties directly involved in the conflict, including the PLO, must participate in that Conference on an equal footing.
13. And here I should like to note the significance of the new Soviet proposal concerning a Middle East settlement and the Geneva Peace Conference [A/311257], which is most timely and will undoubtedly have a positive effect on the solution of this intricate problem.
14. In conclusion I should like to express the hope that the United Nations will take the most effective measures for the implementation of its resolutions in order to ensure the exercise of the inalienable right of the Arab people of Palestine to an independent existence.
15. Mr. LAI Ya-li (China) (translation from Chinese): The United Nations has been discussing, year in and year out, the situation of Palestine and the Middle East. But the question has thus far remained unsolved, and to date the situation there remains turbulent.
16. The Palestine question is an integral part of the whole Middle East question. We have repeatedly pointed out that the essence of the Palestine and the whole Middle East question lies in Israeli Zionist aggression and the rivalry between the two super-Powers, the Soviet Union and the United States, for hegemony in the Middle East versus the struggle of the Palestinian and other Arab peoples against aggression and hegemonism.
17. The root-cause of the non-settlement of this question over a long period lies in the super-Power expansion and rivalry there. This has been borne out even more clearly by the developments in recent years. The emergence of Israeli Zionism in the Middle East is in itself a result of the imperialist policies of aggression and expansion. Over a long period, rampant Israeli Zionism has been committing all kinds of evils in the Middle East and in carrying out aggression and expansion there, thus evoking strong resistance from the Palestinian and other Arab peoples and unanimous condemnation by the people of the world. But far from showing any restraint, it has become increasingly blatant in its aggressive arrogance. The Israeli Zionists have been emboldened in their persistent attitude of aggression mainly because they have the support and abetment of the" two super-Powers. The two super-Powers have been boosting the morale of the Israeli aggressors from different directions and in different ways. Now, when Israel is still occupying large tracts of Arab land, they are doing their utmost to reimpose the situation of "no war, no peace" on the Arab people in an attempt to perpetuate the Israeli occupation and to leave the Middle East situation in ' perpetual stalemate and turmoil, so as to facilitate their intensified rivalry for spheres of influence in the Middle East.
18. The "step-by-step solution" put forward by one super-Power is in effect a standstill, an indefinite procrastination and a sustained stalemate. The convening of the Geneva Conference for "a comprehensive solution" as advertised by the other super-Power is an even more demagogic step designed to pull the wool over the eyes of the public as a smoke-screen for its own further meddling. Far from seeking a genuine solution of the Middle East and Palestinian question, each of the super-Powers tries to use the stalemate and turbulence to expand its own sphere of influence and overwhelm the other so as to become the sole dominating Power in the Middle East.
19. What merits particular attention is that the super-Power which styles itself the "natural ally" of the Arab people has over the past year brazenly stepped up its infiltration and expansion in the Middle East so as to retrieve its position of decline by taking advantage of the busy involvement of the other super-Power in its internal affairs. On the one hand, it sends a steady flow of manpower to Israel which Israel needs badly for its expansion and aggression, and it has been stepping up its flirtation with Israel, expanding the contacts and "dialogue" between the two parties from non-governmental to official level in a brazen effort to help Israeli Zionism extricate itself from its predicament. On the other hand, it has been desperately sowing discord and creating division among the Arab countries and between Palestine and the Arab countries in an attempt to muddy the waters.
20. At one time it served as a munitions dealer by supplying others with a few weapons in the name of "support"; at another, it used other pretexts to stop the supply of arms and carry out blackmail by taking advantage of others' difficulties. It woos party A against party B one day and woos party B against party A the next day, and even spares no effort to meddle brazenly in the internal affairs of Arab countries, inciting the Arabs to fight against each other so as to exploit the situation for its own purpose of control.
21. Furthermore, it repeatedly plotted open schemes of armed subversion in an attempt to overthrow the lawful Governments of Arab States which adhered to the stand of opposing colonialism, imperialism and hegemonism. This super-Power has made most revealing performances of manoeuvring in a thousand and one ways, and its crimes are too many to be enumerated. The internal disputes and incidents of bloodshed in Arab countries and certain temporary differences and discord among them can all be traced to its sinister meddling. Its behaviour of hegemonism has been exposed even more clearly. As rightly pointed out by the public opinion of an Arab State that has suffered so much from dealings with it over the years, this super-Power "has become a main obstacle to the realization of all our national aspirations".
22. Super-Power aggression, expansion and rivalry in the Middle East have increasingly aroused the Palestinian and other Arab peoples to more vigorous struggles against aggression and hegemonism. Breaking through the control, obstruction and sabotage by the super-Powers, the courageous Palestinian and other Arab peoples won a great victory in the October Middle East war against Israeli aggression.
23. Early this year, driven beyond their forbearance, the Egyptian Government and people determinedly abrogated the so-called Treaty of Friendship and Co-operation they had concluded with a super-Power to defend their national sovereignty and dignity and free themselves from the yoke of this super-Power, thus setting a brilliant example for the people of the third world in their struggle against hegemonism.
24. The above historic events reflected the trend of the Arab world linking up its struggle against Israeli Zionism ever more closely with that against super-Power hegemonism. This is an important hallmark of the steady deepening of the struggle of the Palestinian and other Arab peoples against aggression and hegemonism as well as the daily awakening of the great Arab people.
25. The experience of the struggle of the Palestinian and other Arab peoples shows ever more clearly that the struggle to regain the Palestinian people's national rights and recover the lost Arab territories is closely linked with the struggle against super-Power aggression and intervention, and that without the struggle against super-Power hegemonism it will be difficult to recover the lost territories and regain the national rights, there will be no guarantees for the Arab national liberation, and there can be no settlement of the question of Palestine and the Middle East.
26. Over the years, as a result of manipulation and obstruction by the super-Powers, many resolutions adopted by the United Nations on the question of Palestine and the Middle East, including the well-known Security Council resolution 242 (1967), have described the question of the restoration of the Palestinian people's national rights as a question of refugees. This is most unfair. We have always been opposed to it and will continue to oppose it. Urged by the numerous third-world countries, the United Nations General Assembly finally adopted by an overwhelming majority at its twenty-ninth and thirtieth sessions, resolutions reaffirming the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, national independence and sovereignty without external interference and recognizing their right to regain their national rights by all means. This was the result of the Palestinian and other Arab peoples persevering in protracted valiant struggles in close unity. This shows that the Palestinian national liberation movement is a just cause which enjoys abundant support and that it is winning the sympathy and support of more and more countries. It can be said with certainty that no matter what conspiratorial schemes either of the two super-Powers may employ, they cannot possibly succeed in strangling the revolutionary struggle of the Palestinian people or in disrupting the militant unity between the Palestinian people and the other Arab peoples at the expense of the Palestinian national interests.
27. In the final analysis, the settlement of the question of Palestine and the whole Middle East question cannot rely on a part of a United Nations resolution; it can be realized only by relying on the Palestinian and other Arab peoples firmly removing super-Power meddling and intervention and persevering in unity and unremitting struggles with the support of the people throughout the world. What Israeli Zionism and the super-Powers fear most is the awakening and unity of the people. We are glad,to see the constant rising of the political consciousness of the Arab countries and peoples and the Palestinian people in their struggle against Israeli Zionism and super-Power hegemonism. Taking the over-all interests to heart, they are making all efforts to eliminate gradually the temporary differences among them and further to enhance militant Arab unity. This also represents the general trend and popular feeling of the Arab world.
28. Under the leadership of Chairman Hua Kuo-feng, the Chinese Government and people are carrying out Chairman Mao's behests and are determined to implement unswervingly Chairman Mao's revolutionary line and policy in foreign affairs. We will, as always, firmly support the Palestinian and other Arab peoples in their just struggle against Israeli Zionism and super-Power hegemonism and for the recovery of the lost territories and the restoration of their national rights. We sternly condemn the Israeli Zionist aggression and expansion and resolutely oppose the super-Powers' rivalry for hegemony in the Middle East and all their scheming activities of aggression, control, intervention and subversion. We have always held that Israel must withdraw from all the occupied Arab territories, and that the national rights of the Palestinian people must be regained. Based on the above position, the Chinese delegation voted in favour of General Assembly resolutions 3236 (XXIX) and 3376 (XXX). Accordingly, we are also in favour of the contents of the report of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People [A/31/35] that reaffirm or conform to the above two resolutions. We are firmly convinced that whatever conspiratorial schemes and perverse acts the super-Powers and the Israeli aggressors may resort to, the Palestinian and all other Arab peoples, bearing in mind the lofty goal of opposing Zionism and hegemonism, will heighten their vigilance, strengthen their unity, persevere in their struggle, ceaselessly surmount all the hardships and obstacles on their road of advance and finally accomplish their sacred cause of national liberation.
29. Mr. GALLARDO MORENO (Mexico) (interpretation from Spanish): While Mexico, for geographical reasons, is removed from the Middle East tragedy—and in particular, from the Palestinian problem—we deem it our duty to state our views on this question since it is one that gravely jeopardizes world peace.
30. Mexico is a country that will never compromise its principles because we believe that law is the best shield for weak countries. We say this with complete conviction because on more than one occasion we have subordinated bilateral considerations to the full application of international principles which we considered to be immutable.
31. Accordingly the solution to the problem we are dealing with must have as its aim not only the maintenance of peace in the area but the maintenance of peace with justice, as this concept has been defined in various resolutions on the item which have been adopted both by the Security Council and by the General Assembly.
32. We seek here means to apply the principle of the equality of rights and the self-determination of peoples enshrined in Article 1, paragraph 2, of the Charter and in innumerable United Nations pronouncements. Among those a prominent place is held by resolution 2625 (XXV), entitled "Declaration on Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations and Co-operation among States in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations". That has always been for Mexico the corner-stone of its foreign policy and, in our opinion, it contains the principle of greatest and most direct application for the item under consideration, that is, the question of Palestine. Mr. Chale (United Republic of Tanzania), Vice-President, took the Chair.
33. Nevertheless, just as one cannot argue the obligation to recognize the national identity of the Palestinian people, whose interests are represented by the PLO in accordance with resolution 3210 (XXIX), and just as it is urgent to find means to enable that people to exercise its right to self-determination so as to constitute itself into a sovereign State with its own territory, it is likewise indispensable that that process be carried out with strict respect for the territorial integrity and political independence of the States in the region on the basis of the decisions adopted by this Organization, not forgetting resolution 181 (II) of 29 November 1947, whereby the General Assembly agreed on a plan for the partitioning of Palestine into two independent and sovereign States, one Jewish and the other Arab.
34. The need to find viable solutions became manifest when the representative of Senegal, Mr. Medoune Fall, Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, which was established in accordance with resolution 3376 (XXX) of the General Assembly, indicated in a part of his speech at the beginning of this debate: "The State of Israel is a reality of our time and its existence cannot be denied.
"We know well that on both sides it is widely held that coexistence between Jews and Arabs is impossible. Those who support such a contention implicitly argue that the problem of the Middle East can be resolved only by totally and definitively eliminating one or other of the two parties to the dispute." [66th meeting, paras. 36 and 37]
35. Mexico considers, furthermore, that, within the context of the problem of Palestine, the principle that armed conquest does not confer rights and cannot give title for the annexation of territories is applicable. Therefore, in the same line of thinking, Mexico has supported General Assembly resolutions such as resolution 3376 (XXX) and Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973).
36. We should like to take this opportunity to place on record our views on the report of the Committee on the' Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian people since we consider that this is an effort worthy of being analysed in detail. Mexico has serious reservations in regard to some of the measures recommended in that document although, with some limitations, we support the recommendations contained in part two, section III, paragraphs 71 and 72, regarding the right to self-determination, national independence and sovereignty, particularly as we recognize what is stated in that document, namely that: "The question of Palestine is at the heart of the Middle East problem, and, consequently, the Committee stresses its belief that no solution in the Middle East can be envisaged which does not fully take into account the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people." [A/31/35, para. 59]
37. Another situation which aggravates and complicates the problem is the violation of human rights in the territories occupied in the 1967 war. Therefore we consider it to be not only important but timely to mention expressly the relevance of the consensus statement of 11 November last, read out by the President of the Security Council regarding the item "The situation in the occupied Arab territories" which is reproduced on pages 26 and 27 of the record issued provisionally under the symbol S/PV.1969 1/
38. To summarize the foregoing: on 1 March 1976, the Secretary for External Relations of Mexico Mr. Alfonso Garcia Robles, on the occasion of the visit of the Foreign Minister of Israel to our country said:
"... we believe that the principle of self-determination is also applicable to the Palestinian people, which, as did the Jewish people in the past, aspires to establish a national home by constituting itself as a State; but in the same way we believe that a stable peace in the Middle East requires that the right of each of the States of the region, including of course Israel, to live in peace and security be ensured. Guaranteeing this right in turn requires that each State recognize the right of the others to their independent, peaceful and secure existence".
39. The delegation of Mexico will consider any draft resolution which includes the principles and guidelines that we have referred to and that will govern the attitude Mexico will take in due course in regard to such drafts.
40. Mr. EL HASSEN (Mauritania) (interpretation from French): I should like to begin this brief statement by paying my delegation's tribute to the Committee established last year, the goal of which was to ensure the exercise of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people. Our appreciation and gratitude go in particular to Mr. Medoune Fall of Senegal, the Chairman of that Committee, who discharged his responsibilities with his usual commitment and the high moral attitude that is characteristic of him.
41. The debate which the General Assembly has decided this year also to devote to the question of Palestine does not have as its sole objective-as some have tried to make out-containing passions and arousing hopes in a region in which international peace and security rest on a constantly threatened basis. It is designed, above all, to draw the attention of the international community to the serious situation that still prevails in the Middle East and that is itself the result of the policy of intimidation and aggression of the Zionist authorities in Tel Aviv.
42. The Palestinian problem, although as old as our Organization, has in recent years seen profound changes which already indicate the role which the United Nations intends to play in the future in settling this tragedy that has been a source of such concern to the international community.
43. The General Assembly, in adopting its resolution 3375 (XXX) of 10 November 1975, which invites the PLO "to participate in all efforts, deliberations and conferences on the Middle East which are held under the auspices of the United Nations", was not only recognizing the representative character of the PLO in this decision but also intended, by that act of faith, to restore their lawful rights to the Palestinian people. The objective that the General Assembly assigned itself in this way was to lead it to adopt at the same session resolution 3376 (XXX), establishing the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People.
44. We know that the mandate entrusted to that Committee under the relevant provisions of resolution 3376 (XXX) was to study the aspects of the question of Palestine and to report to the General Assembly at its thirty-first session for a decision.
45. The debate which our Assembly is devoting this year to the question of Palestine, has, therefore, in all respects a special importance and significance. This debate is important and significant because this is one of the few times since 1947, when the Middle East crisis began, that our Organization has studied the crisis in a detailed and comprehensive manner and has tried to determine ways and means leading to a resolution.
46. It is not that during this period that the United Nations has not been considering the question; nor is it that our Organization has failed to give to this question its due importance. But during the 30-year period of the Middle East crisis, despite many attempts at mediation, the United Nations has not been able to reach a solution, mainly because the fundamental element which underlies this crisis has not been taken into consideration. It is also because the United Nations bodies responsible for ensuring international peace and security often preferred to neglect the essential in favour of the trivial. Finally, it is because in the wild Zionist propaganda the nature and true dimensions of the problem have been presented in such a way as to benefit only the invader and to deceive international public opinion.
47. For 30 years the people of Palestine, driven from their homeland and forced to accept international charity, have confronted with unshakable courage and determination the terrible machine of repression established by the Zionists to stifle any resistance. Four times wars have engulfed the Middle East, every time with the risk of dragging mankind into a generalized conflict with fatal consequences for the human race.
48. Throughout those 30 years some people subject to colonial domination have recovered their independence and their positive and determined contribution has helped to re-establish truth and justice in our Organization. Nations once deceived by Zionist propaganda have been able throughout this period to develop an objective realization of the true dimensions of the tragedy of the Palestinian people. It is the coming together of all those old and new forces in our Organization that has caused the profound and positive changes I have just referred to and, consequently, the establishment of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People.
49. While the United Nations has restored some of the rights of the Palestinian people to it by enabling its representatives to participate in the debates in our Assembly, like all other representatives, the fundamental objective that we have set ourselves is still far from being attained. That objective was defined by the General Assembly in its resolution 3236 (XXIX) as follows:
"1. Reaffirms the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people ... including:
(a) the right to self-determination without external interference;
(b) the right to national independence and sovereignty;
"2. Reaffirms also the inalienable right of the Palestinians to return to their homes arid property from which they have been displaced and uprooted ...".
50. Representatives will agree that several resolutions have already been adopted on the subject of the Middle East, some almost identical with resolution 3236 (XXIX). The report of the Committee notes 188 resolutions and decisions adopted, all of which deal directly or indirectly with various aspects of the question before us. The position of the General Assembly, which is the most representative body of the United Nations, is today too clear to permit of any doubt. There is no resolution of this Assembly that has not appealed to good sense and reason.
51. But the Zionists have always preferred-to adopt an attitude of scorn, treating the United Nations as a biased body. In reply to all its resolutions, the Zionists have continued to establish new settlements in the occupied Arab territories, in violation of the provisions of article 49 of the fourth Geneva Convention of 12 August 1949 2/ and contrary to the resolution adopted by many United Nations bodies.
52. By defiance after defiance, Israel has continued to consolidate its position in Palestine and in the occupied Arab territories, and has transformed Jerusalem into the political and administrative capital of Zionism.
53. It is necessary to know today whether the United Nations is going to continue to accept this fait accompli and whether, after having recognized the most inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, it is going to allow that people to continue to be deprived of its homeland and to continue to live in the most complete destitution.
54. The General Assembly has before it the report of the Committee which was established to recommend the most appropriate solutions for the settlement of the Palestinian problem, which has caused so much suffering, mourning and misfortune.
55. In the absence of a decision by the Security Council to preserve peace and security in the Middle East, the General Assembly has the right, I would even say the obligation, to ensure that the decisions of the United Nations are implemented in accordance with the provisions of the Charter.
56. Unless such a decision is taken by our Organization, it is not only the prestige of the United Nations that will be affected, but also international peace and security, which might be compromised once and for all.
57. Mr. PETRIC (Yugoslavia): The crisis in the Middle East has been burdening international relations for a number of years and constitutes a threat to peace and security not only in the region but also in the world at large. The core of the problem, on which a just solution of the crisis depends to a great extent, is the question of Palestine. The vast majority of the States Members of the United Nations have supported the Palestinian people in its demand to realize its' legitimate rights. These States recognized a long time ago that the Palestinian people should exercise the same rights as they themselves enjoy, proceeding, in this regard, from a realization of the need to respect the principles on which our Organization is based.
58. At its thirtieth session, the General Assembly established the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People. The members of the Committee, consisting of representatives of countries situated in various parts of the world, adhering to different ideologies and having different political orientations, invited all other countries to participate in the Committee's work. Some countries that were not members of the Committee did also participate in its work.
59. It is significant that the PLO also participated in the work of the Committee in the capacity of an active observer. By its constructive proposals and realistic approach to the solution of the question of Palestine, the PLO again asserted itself as an organization imbued with a high degree of statesmanlike responsibility.
60. Israel, as we all know, again boycotted the work of a United Nations body founded for the purpose of helping to find a solution to the Middle East crisis. Israel's attitude is a logical expression of its policy of continued illegal occupation of Arab territories and denial of the right of the Palestinian people. It is unacceptable that Israel should build the right of its own people to existence on the denial of the right of others to existence. It should be finally realized that peace in the Middle East and, consequently the security of all States in the region depend to the' greatest extent on the recognition and realization of the rights of the Palestinian people.
61. As the question of Palestine had not been considered in its entirety, the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People assumed the complex and responsible task of examining all its aspects, to define and elaborate the legitimate and inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, and to submit proposals likely to contribute to their realization. The work and report of the Committee are based on the Charter of the United Nations, on numerous General Assembly and Security Council resolutions, on the provisions of international law and on the current state of relations in the Middle East. The report, with its recommendations, is a product of the broadest consensus achieved in the Committee. By defining all the elements of the question of Palestine and assigning to that question its place in a lasting and just solution of the Middle East crisis, the report, among other things, may make a significant contribution to future efforts towards establishing peace in the Middle East.
62. Certain principles for the just solution of the question of Palestine have been reaffirmed by almost the whole international community on many occasions. One of the fundamental principles—which found its confirmation, above all, in the Charter of the United Nations-is that of the obligation to refrain from the occupation of the territories of other peoples. There can be no good or democratic occupation, nor can occupation be justified by any reasons. Freedom and independence cannot be replaced by anything, and the best way of protecting one's own freedom is to respect the freedom of other peoples. Yugoslavia firmly supports the demand of the vast majority of Members of our Organization that Israel should withdraw from all the Arab territories occupied since 5 June 1967.
63. The right of Palestinians to return to their homeland has been recognized in many resolutions adopted by the Security Council and the General Assembly. At its 1969th meeting, held on 11 November, the Security Council unanimously confirmed this right in the statement read out by the President of the Council, by reaffirming:
"... its call upon the Government of Israel to ensure the safety, welfare and security of the inhabitants of the territories and to facilitate the return of those inhabitants who have fled the areas since the outbreak of hostilities".
64. In this connexion we emphasize the necessity of consistently implementing Security Council resolution 237 (1967), calling for the return of displaced persons to the territories occupied in June 1967. Those persons should be enabled to return as soon as possible and their return should not be subjected to any other conditions. We also deem it indispensable that, in co-operation with the United Nations, the States directly involved and the PLO should start preparations for the creation of appropriate conditions and should find adequate solutions regarding the return of the remaining refugees.
65. The Palestinian people itself should equally be enabled to determine its own fate without any outside interference. Self-determination cannot be achieved in conditions of occupation or in the territories of other States. The self-determination of the Palestinian people will become possible as soon as Israel withdraws from the occupied territories and when it becomes possible to implement the provisions of Security Council resolution 237 (1967).
66. Military occupation resulting from armed aggression does not confer any right of sovereignty over the occupied territory, nor does it give the occupier the right to dispose of that territory on his own or anyone else's behalf. Israel must put a stop immediately to the unlawful practice of establishing new settlements in the occupied territories; it should remove the settlements already founded and should cease displacing the Palestinian population and oppressing it. The planned establishment of 29 new settlements in 1977 is indicative of Israel's annexationist intentions, and this is certainly not conducive to peace, but makes peace seem even further removed and unreal. Paragraph 3 of the aforementioned statement read by the President of the Security Council on 11 November 1976 amounts to a unanimous condemnation of such behaviour.
67. As all the conditions necessary for establishing a just and lasting peace in the Middle East would not be fulfilled even if the above recommendations were implemented, my delegation supports the position contained in para graph 72 (g) of the Committee's recommendations [see A/31135] to the effect that all the countries directly concerned, including an independent Palestinian State, should take joint action—on an equal footing and on the basis of the provisions of the Charter of the United Nations—for the solution of all outstanding problems. We believe that only within that framework can the sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence of all the countries in the region be guaranteed on a lasting and stable basis and that only in this way can the borders of the States of the region be secure.
68. My delegation regrets that the Security Council missed the opportunity to endorse the Committee's report during its meeting in June. There is no doubt that postponement of the achievement of the inalienable national rights of the Palestinian people cannot contribute to the cause of peace in the Middle East. The Security Council should not fail to take firm action to safeguard peace and security, this being its basic function and duty.
69. The just struggle of the Palestinian people for the realization of its inalienable legitimate national rights, including the right to establish its own independent Palestinian State, met with the broadest support at the Fifth Conference of Heads of State or Government of Non-Aligned Countries, held in Colombo in August. By its position the Fifth Conference confirmed the view prevailing in the United Nations and more widely also that, without a just solution of the question of Palestine, there can be no solution of the crisis in the Middle East, nor a lasting and stable peace, nor security for all the countries in the region and beyond. My delegation is convinced that an optimum platform for a just solution of the question of Palestine and the Middle East crisis as a whole was laid down in the well-known draft resolution 3/ which was vetoed in the Security Council in January last and which contained the basic principles for the just and durable solution both of the Palestinian problem and the Middle East crisis as a whole. The most recent developments in the Middle East have again drawn attention to.the difficult situation in which the Palestinian people finds itself and to the dangers inherent in a constant postponement of the solution of this problem. At the same time, by its behaviour in the recent crisis as well as at the Arab summit meetings in Riyadh on 17 and 18 October 1976 and Cairo on 25 and 26 October the PLO has again asserted itself as the only legitimate political representative of the Palestinian people, without whose active and constant involvement there can be no just or lasting solution of this crisis.
70. My delegation believes that the General Assembly should endorse the report of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, including the recommendations, and call for their implementation in the most appropriate way. Mr. Turkmen (Turkey), Vice-President, took the Chair.
71. Mr. ZAITON (Malaysia): The Palestinian problem represents a serious challenge to the United Nations. Never before has it been so imperative for this august body to show that it has the capability and political maturity to resolve a problem that has grown more complex over the years.
72. We have known of tragedies in various parts of the world that are the direct consequences of the unfortunate partition of States, but, surely, the Palestinian problem must be one of the most serious tragedies of our times. For almost 30 years that problem has eluded any solution and has, instead, brought in its wake four disastrous wars in the Middle East. It has inflicted sufferings on the Palestinian people, which have been uprooted from their homes and deprived of their inalienable rights and properties. It is time that they be allowed to return home and lead a normal life once again.
73. In the past, humanitarian considerations have indeed dictated our deliberations on the Palestinian question. This question has to a large extent evoked in us feelings of helplessness, since we know full well that humanitarian assistance given through United Nations agencies could only give temporary relief to the many destitute and displaced persons from Palestine. But the imperative of finding an early solution to the problem must surely convince us that we must now give concrete expression to our moral and humanitarian concern by moving on to take up the urgent task of helping the Palestinians to obtain their inalienable rights to return to their homes and properties and to achieve self-determination, national independence and sovereignty. Humanitarian assistance should not be a substitute for a viable and just solution based on the recognition of their inalienable rights.
74. In this context, my delegation derives great satisfaction from the knowledge that the Palestinian problem has recently been elevated to a new level of urgency which it rightly deserves. Resolution 3236 (XXIX) defined the rights of the Palestinian people in very precise terms. Resolution 3376 (XXX) established the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, which has been given the mandate of considering and recommending to the General Assembly a programme of implementation designed to enable the Palestinian people to exercise these inalienable rights. Malaysia is happy and privileged to participate in that Committee as a member.
75. The establishment of that Committee could be viewed as the culmination of efforts in the past to remedy a situation that has inflicted considerable injustice on the Palestinian people. But more importantly, its establishment is, in the view of my delegation, a step in the right direction, for it helps to focus public attention on the fact that of central importance to the solution of the Middle East problem is the restoration and exercise of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people. We are of the opinion that the restoration of these rights to self-determination could be facilitated once Israel evacuated all occupied Arab territories and allowed the refugees and the displaced Palestinian people to return to their homes and their property.
76. The pursuit of an obstructionist policy on the part of Israel can only exacerbate tension in the area. We would be less than frank if we did not point out that, unless there is a solution that is just to the Palestinian people, the eruption of a fifth war in the Middle East, which will certainly bring in its wake more tragic consequences, cannot be ruled out. The cause of the Palestinian people cannot at this late stage be undermined by further procrastination and obstructionist tactics. As the representative of the PLO said in his statement on 15 November (66th meeting], the Palestinians will not accept an alternative homeland outside of Palestine and will continue their struggle to attain true peace and justice in the area.
77. My delegation in all sincerity would urge Israel to face the realities of the present situation by responding magnanimously to the call for a lasting solution to the Palestinian problem, which lies at the core of the Middle East issue. We strongly urge Israel to demonstrate goodwill and to offer concessions to the Palestinians by withdrawing from all Arab territories and by allowing the displaced Palestinian people to return to their homes and exercise their inalienable rights to self-determination, independence and sovereignty.
78. The report of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People contains fair and equitable recommendations which are worthy of support. My delegation draws particular satisfaction from the recommendation that the United Nations and its organs should play a more influential role in promoting a just solution to the question of Palestine and in the implementation of such a solution. The Committee urges the Security Council to take appropriate action to facilitate the exercise by the Palestinians of their right to return to their homes and property, and in paragraph 45 of the report goes further and proposes that the Security Council should provide international guarantees for the peace and security of all States and people in the Middle East. The role of the PLO is a significant factor in the over-all solution of the Middle East question. The decision of the General Assembly at its thirtieth session to invite the PLO to participate in all conferences on the Middle East held under the auspices of the United Nations certainly underlines the fact that no solution of the Middle East problem can be possible without taking into account the participation of the PLO. That decision also represents a concrete measure to pave the way for the restoration to the Palestinians of their inalienable rights.
79. Let me conclude by saying that the Government of Malaysia has remained steadfast in its support for the legitimate and inalienable rights of the Palestinian people to return to their homes and property and to achieve self-determination, national independence and sovereignty. We have always believed that no people in any part of the world should be deprived of its inalienable right to self-determination. We reiterate our support for the Palestinian people in their struggle to achieve a just and equitable solution of their problem. Furthermore, it is our view that a solution to the Middle East problem will be meaningful and effective only if it is arrived at with the full participation of the PLO on an equal footing with all other parties.
80. Mr. HOLLAI (Hungary): My Government continues to believe that the explosive situation in the Middle East and the present state of affairs concerning the Palestinian question constitute a growing threat to international peace and security. The conflict in the Middle East is one of the most complex disputes on the international scene, and at the heart of this crisis is the question of Palestine. It is a widely held view and a generally accepted fact that, unless a solution to the question of Palestine is found, the situation in the Middle East will remain a source of permanent danger to world peace. Hungary associates itself with that understanding of the situation.
81. However, a solution to the Palestinian problem has already been found—at least here, in the highest forums of the community of nations. The political and human rights aspects of the Palestinian issue have been before the United Nations since 1947, and up till now nearly 200 resolutions, each dealing directly or indirectly with various aspects of this question, have been adopted by the General Assembly and the Security Council.
82. Those resolutions lay down the basic principles concerning the Palestinian people in Palestine-namely, the right to self-determination without outside interference, the right to national independence and sovereignty and the inalienable right of the Palestinians to return to their homes and properties from which they have been displaced and uprooted. For the most part, the provisions of the resolutions, like the ones I have just referred to, are clear, and they invite all Member States in unequivocal terms to work for the implementation thereof. We deplore the fact that implementation of those resolutions has been prevented by certain States which until now have been reluctant to support, or have supported in a half-hearted way or not at all, efforts at a Middle East settlement and, within that framework, the cause of the Palestinian people.
83. The item before us today is the report of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian people. The mandate of the Committee was to consider and recommend to the General Assembly a programme of implementation designed to enable the Palestinian people to exercise the rights already defined and endorsed by the General Assembly and also to maintain international concern for progress towards a just solution of the question of Palestine, thereby promoting a lasting peace in the Middle East. The report contains detailed proposals concerning steps to ensure the implementation of that programme.
84. Hungary is a member of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, and in that capacity it participated in the consensus reached on the report of the Committee. Its considerations and recommendations, based on former United Nations resolutions, are positive contributions to the efforts to achieve a peaceful settlement of the problem in the Middle East. We support and fully endorse those recommendations.
85. Everyone may be assured that the work of the Committee was not and is not directed against any country. In its deliberations the Committee proceeded from the basic conviction that the question of Palestine—the implementation of the legitimate and inalienable right of the Palestinian people to sovereign national existence, to a homeland and to return thereto-is the corner-stone of any possible just and lasting settlement of the conflict in the Middle East, and to solve it must therefore be the common goal of the peace-loving countries. All Member States have been invited to express their views on the possible ways and means of achieving a solution. During the discussion in the Committee we were always aware of the high level of integrity, morality and responsibility of the participants. The report of the Committee is a reflection of that constructive spirit.
86. In our opinion the report is an extremely important, well-balanced and realistic document. We wish to express our sincere hope that the General Assembly will endorse the recommendations in the report. That would serve the interests of the Palestinian people and those of the whole region of the Middle East as well as of peace and security in general.
87. Hungary has always supported the just struggle of the Palestinian people and its genuine liberation movement. We are with the Palestinian people in its fight for an independent State of its own. We feel that the participation of the PLO on an equal footing with other parties is really indispensable in any efforts, deliberations or conferences with regard to the Middle East.
88. In conclusion I should like to express our satisfaction that the Palestinian question is finally beginning to occupy its proper place in the forums of the United Nations concerned with finding a political settlement for the conflict in the Middle East, which obviously reflects the fact that there is no alternative to this.
89. While recognizing the central role of the rights of the Palestinian people in the search for an over-all settlement of the Middle East situation, my Government wishes to reiterate its position that a just and lasting peace in that region can be achieved only by a comprehensive political settlement. Such a solution, initiated and advocated by the Soviet Union and other socialist countries, should include the withdrawal of Israeli troops from all the Arab territories occupied as a consequence of Israel's aggression in 1967, should meet the legitimate national demands of the Palestinian people, including its demand to exercise its inalienable right to create its own State, and should provide international guarantees of the security and inviolability of the frontiers of all States in the Middle East.
90. Mr. YANKOV (Bulgaria): The United Nations has been involved in the problem of Palestine almost since the first days of its existence. Over the years, however, the efforts to find a viable solution have run into stiff opposition from well-known circles and forces.
91. The stagnation of this problem does not make it any less urgent. This acute political issue touches upon the core of one of the fundamental principles of the United Nations—that of the inalienable right of peoples to self-determination and independence. At the same time it is directly related to the main function of the United Nations as an instrument for the maintenance and strengthening of international peace and security.
92. When the question of Palestine is viewed through the prism of those two aspects its essence becomes crystal-clear, and it warrants an early solution.
93. What is at stake in this case is the exercise of the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people, who are entitled, like all other peoples of the world, to live in freedom, independence and peace. Israel, bent on its policies of aggression and expansion at the expense of the neighbouring Arab countries, trampled upon these rights of the Palestinian people and to this very day adamantly refuses to recognize that the Palestinians are entitled to a homeland of their own, to set up their own State and to live as an independent nation in the Middle East.
94. Needless to say, the United Nations itself has matured with the consideration of all aspects of this question. While earlier the prevailing view was that the question of Palestine was primarily one of a humanitarian character about the situation of the refugees—and this view was advanced by those who wished to distort and exaggerate the real nature of the problem-in the more recent past the overwhelming majority of Member States have succeeded in considering the whole issue in a comprehensive manner and in putting it into its proper political perspective. As a matter of fact, the Palestinian problem has never ceased to be a political problem created by the aggressive and expansionist policies of Israel's ruling circles with the active support and assistance of certain Western Powers.
95. This was eloquently manifested by the debate on Palestine at the twenty-ninth and thirtieth sessions of the General Assembly, when the question was first discussed comprehensively and with the active participation of the PLO.
96. The historic resolutions adopted at those sessions namely, 3236 (XXIX) and 3237 (XXIX), reaffirmed a year later by 3376 (XXX) and 3375 (XXX)-provided the framework for the orientation of practical actions on the question of Palestine. Those resolutions explicitly reaffirmed:
"... the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people in Palestine, including:
(a) The right to self-determination without external interference;
(b) The right to national independence and sovereignty" .[Resolution 3236(XXIX),para. 1.]
They also recognized the right of the PLO to participate in the sessions and the work of the General Assembly in the capacity of observer.
97. This year alone the Security Council has twice discussed the question of Palestine—last January, within the context of a comprehensive analysis of all aspects of the Middle East crisis, and last June, when the Council discussed the report of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People. Unlike the General Assembly, the Council failed to take a decision because of the United States veto.
98. During the current year we have had detailed consideration of the problem in the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, which held a number of meetings in the first half of the year and reported to the Security Council. The Committee, never in doubt as to the rights of the Palestinians, put forward a number of specific proposals with the aim of helping the Palestinians to exercise their rights. The overwhelming majority of Member States approved the report of the Committee, for it constitutes a further step in the efforts to restore the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people.
99. These deliberations and the relevant decisions confirmed two obvious facts. First, the United Nations, with the conspicuous exception of Israel and its protectors only, has pronounced itself overwhelmingly in favour of restoring the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people. The United Nations has, in fact, told Israel and its protectors that those rights are not negotiable. Secondly, the recognition of the political nature of the question of Palestine and the recognition of the growing international prestige of the PLO have focused attention on the decisive role which the Palestinians are destined to play in the settlement of the Middle East crisis.
100. World public opinion has long acknowledged the fact that the Palestine question underlies the whole Middle East crisis. The exercise by the Arab people of Palestine of their inalienable rights and the settlement of the Palestine question are key elements in the Middle East conflict. If those two elements are not resolved the conflict will remain, and so will the explosive source of tension in that area, which poses a serious threat to international peace and security.
101. The General Assembly has recognized this situation. In its resolution 3236 (XXIX) it stipulated that the Palestinian people was a principal party in the establishment of a just and lasting peace in the Middle East.
102. The report of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People also sounds a warning in stating that:
"... no solution in the Middle East can be envisaged which does not fully take into account the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people." [A/31135' para. 59.]
103. The Fifth Conference of Heads of State or Government of Non-Aligned Countries also acknowledged the that, because the Palestinian question remains unsolved, the Middle East situation continues to pose a grave threat to international peace and security.
104. The general debate during the current session and ,this particular debate on the question of Palestine have stressed the gravity of the situation in that area resulting from the lack of any progress towards a comprehensive solution of the problem. The reasons for the continuing deadlock, however, are quite obvious.
105. Israel is still refusing stubbornly to recognize the rights of the Palestinian people and its sole legitimate representative, the Palestine Liberation Organization. Israel, with the active support, protection and encouragement of its allies, continues to sabotage the decisions of the Security Council and the General Assembly on the Middle East, What is more, Israel continues its policies of aggression and expansion. By arbitrary legislative and administrative acts it, is trying to annex permanently large portions of the Arab. territories it seized by force in 1967. It is no accident that this year alone the Security Council has discussed on three different occasions the situation in the Israeli-occupied Arab territories. The latest discussion was only this month, when there was a resounding condemnation of Israel in the authorized statement made by the President at the Council's 1969th meeting. In that statement a unanimous;
"... its grave anxiety and concern over the present serious situation in the occupied Arab territories as a result of the continued Israeli occupation".
106. As a result of this Israeli-created situation, the Arab people of Palestine have gone through untold suffering and deprivation. Rampant Israeli actions, arbitrariness, brutal measures, the sheer force of military aggression and occupation have been deployed against the Palestinians on a growing scale and with increasing intensity. One and a half million Palestinians have been driven from their lands by the Israeli war machine. Hundreds of thousands of people have been reduced to total destitution, stripped of their rights and compelled to wander about as exiles in various countries while their homeland and its natural resources have been plundered and systematically depleted by Israel. The once-flourishing towns and villages of the Palestinians have been turned into rubble. The Israeli occupiers, who do not shy from using the inhuman and universally denounced methods of the Nazis, are pursuing a policy of State-run terrorism against the Palestinians. Israel is waging a massive war of annihilation against the people of Palestine because they dared to raise their voice and demand their inalienable and legitimate rights to self-determination arid independence. This seems to be the ultimate crime in the eyes of the Israeli ruling circles and the Israeli military, who refuse to recognize that the Palestinians are entitled, in conformity with the Charter of the United Nations and international law, to the same right to self-determination and national existence as are the people of Israel. It is almost impossible for any unbiased person to disregard what so strikingly emerges from the policies of the Israeli ruling circles, that is, the discriminatory nature of their philosophical and political concepts.
107. The world is also a witness to the nefarious schemes that Israel and its imperialist supporters have concocted with respect to the situation in Lebanon which they attempted to manipulate in such a way as to sow discord among the Arabs in order to deflate the pressure on Israel to agree to a just political solution on the Middle East problem as a whole.
108. Actually, it becomes increasingly evident that a piecemeal and step-by-step approach will only lead to a solution that will be entirely in the interest of Israel's expansionist policies. Egypt, Syria and Jordan will not get back all their territories; Lebanon will be kept in a constant state of turmoil; and the people of Palestine will not enjoy genuine self-determination, nor will their legitimate rights be satisfied.
109. It is now only too clear that the complex problem of the Middle East cannot be resolved unless all of its aspects are resolved. Can there really be a just and lasting solution if the question of the Arab territories occupied by Israel in 1967 alone is discussed or made the subject of partial agreements that produce half-measures and ignore the core of the problem?
110. Yet there is a solution, the merits of which are universally recognized, even by Israel and its allies, though they merely pay lip service to it.
111. A settlement in the Middle East should be considered in a comprehensive manner through meaningful negotiations, which could take place at the Geneva Peace Conference, as provided in the proposal made by the USSR [A/31/257]. This proposal in fact contemplates the resumption of the Geneva Conference with a specific agenda containing four items: withdrawal of Israeli troops from all the Arab territories occupied in 1967; realization of the inalienable rights of the Arab people of Palestine, including their right to self-determination and the establishment of their own State; preservation of the right to an independent existence and to security of all the States directly participating in the conflict-the Arab States bordering on Israel, on the one hand, and the State of Israel, on the other-and the granting to them of appropriate international guarantees; and, finally, cessation of the state of war between the Arab States concerned and Israel.
112. The PLO should participate in the work of the Conference from the very beginning and with an equal status, since it represents a principal party to the conflict.
113. This is the only way to a just and lasting solution of the Middle East crisis, including the question of Palestine.
The Geneva Conference is, therefore, the most appropriate forum for a consideration of this item.
114. The struggle of the people of Palestine, under the leadership of the PLO, will continue, we are confident, until final victory is reached. We would not have been able to assess the problem in all its facets without the active participation of the delegation of the PLO headed by the distinguished and renowned representative of that organization, Mr. Farouk Kaddoumi. The Bulgarian delegation avails itself of this opportunity to express its profound satisfaction with the important contribution that the PLO has made to the work of this Organization, yet another sign of the growing international prestige and authority of the vanguard of the Palestinian people.
115. The Government and people of the People's Republic of Bulgaria, maintaining close ties of friendship and cooperation with the Arab peoples, and particularly with the Arab people of Palestine and their sole authentic and legitimate representative, the PLO, will continue to support and actively assist in the United Nations and elsewhere the just and legitimate Palestinian struggle against Israeli aggression, for the creation of conditions that will enable the Palestinians to exercise their right to self-determination and to create their own State. We shall take our share in the common efforts to reach a just and lasting solution of the conflict in that part of the world in the interests of all peoples in the area and in the interests of international peace and security.
116. Mr. RAZA (Pakistan): On Thursday, 11 November, at its 1969th meeting, the Security Council unanimously adopted a consensus statement read by its President on the situation in the occupied Arab territories. The statement expressed grave anxiety and concern over the present serious situation in the occupied Arab territories as a result of continued Israeli occupation and reaffirmed its call to the Government of Israel to ensure the safety, welfare and security of the inhabitants of those territories and to facilitate the return of those inhabitants who have had to leave their homes and hearths since the outbreak of hostilities.
117. My delegation welcomed, along with other delegations, the part played by all members of the Security Council in adopting the unanimous consensus statement on the situation in the occupied Arab territories. Such actions help to restore the confidence of people in the working of the United Nations. The suffering and plight of the Palestinian refugees should torment the conscience of all fair-minded people.
118. The Security Council statement referred to the territories which Israel has occupied since the 1967 war. The Special Political Committee, which met on the following morning—12 November—witnessed a film on Quneitra which was appropriately subtitled "The Death of a City", The film showed how houses, shops and schools were destroyed, how neither hospitals nor mosques were spared by the occupation forces. The representative of Israel in the Special Political Committee rejected the report of the three-member special committee of inquiry which visited Quneitra in September 1974 "categorically and totally ... as well as its findings, conclusions, proposals and recommendations."4/ This indeed is a negative attitude which prolongs the sufferings of the Palestinians and renders a peaceful and just settlement of the Middle East dispute extremely hard to achieve.
119. It is a paradox of history that some people who suffered and had to leave their homes within Europe have settled by force in another people's land and have made its inhabitants homeless refugees. It was Mr. Balfour, Foreign Secretary of the United Kingdom, at one time Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, who in 1917 declared that a home for the Jewish people would be established in Palestine. We share the commonly held view that Balfour had no legal or moral right to select a part of the Arabian peninsula and declare that the Jewish people living and flourishing at that time in different parts of the world would be settled in that already populated area. However, it redounds to the credit of the only Jewish member of the British Cabinet in 1917, Mr. Edwin Montagu, that he opposed Mr. Balfour's proposal for a Jewish home in Palestine and had to relinquish his Cabinet post soon afterwards. The Security Council was entirely justified in declaring that:
"... arty act of profanation of the Holy Places, religious buildings and sites or any encouragement of, or connivance at, any such act may seriously endanger international peace and security."5/
120. Since its very inception Pakistan has consistently upheld the rights of the Palestinian people and has opposed Israel's aggression against them. At the Islamic Summit at Lahore in February 1974, Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, in his capacity as Chairman of the second Islamic summit,6/ wrote letters to the Heads of the member States of the Islamic Conference calling for their support in including a separate item on Palestine in the agenda of the twenty-ninth session of the United Nations General Assembly, held from September to December 1974. For the first time in the history of the United Nations the question of Palestine was included as a separate item in the agenda of the United Nations at the twenty-ninth session of the General Assembly in 1974. The General Assembly invited the PLO, as the sole representative of the Palestinian people, to participate in the deliberations on the question of Palestine in the plenary meetings of the General Assembly, expressed deep concern that no just solution to the problem of Palestine had yet been achieved and reaffirmed the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people in Palestine, including the right to self-determination without external interference and the right to national independence and sovereignty.
121. Events in the Middle East have proved beyond the shadow of a doubt that the Palestinian people are the principal party in the establishment of a just and durable peace in the Middle East. At the thirtieth session of the General Assembly Pakistan was a sponsor of all the draft resolutions regarding the Middle East. Pakistan also served as a member of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People established accordance with resolution 3376 (XXX).
122. On 15 November we heard the statement of representative of the PLO, Mr. Kaddoumi. My delegation was impressed by the sincerity of his exposition and the moderation of his language. He spoke without rancour. Who can question his lament that for 28 years the Palestinian people have been the victims of injustice? Who can disagree with his appeal that it is high time they received the justice that has been too long denied to them. My delegation strongly supports his appeal. His assurance that "... the PLO stands firmly by all sincere political and diplomatic efforts to realize a just settlement of the Palestinian problem ..." [66th meeting, para. 83] deserves to be reciprocated by all States that are endeavouring to bring peace in the Middle East.
123. My delegation commends the work of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People and fully supports the recommendations contained in its report.
124. In accordance with the relevant resolutions of the Security Council, Israel must be made to withdraw from all the Arab territories it has occupied since 1967. Israel is under a binding obligation to permit the return of all the Palestinian refugees displaced as a result of the Arab-Israeli hostilities. The inalienable right of the Palestinians has been affirmed by the General Assembly in its resolution 3236 (XXIX). In the meantime Israel should desist from the establishment of new settlements in the occupied territories.
125. The Security Council should be requested to reconsider its decision on the recommendations of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People and to prepare a time-table for the complete withdrawal of Israeli occupation forces from the areas occupied since 1967, in consultation with the PLO.
126. So long as the Palestinians remain a stateless people there can be no peace in the Middle East. The establishment of an independent Palestinian State is the ultimate solution of the impasse in that war-torn area.
127. Mr. KAUFMANN (Netherlands) (interpretation from French): On behalf of the nine member countries of the European Communities, I should like to state our viewpoint on the very important item before the Assembly.
128. The nine Governments have repeatedly said what importance they attach to the question of Palestine. This problem is one of the central questions in the Middle East conflict. No peace settlement will be achieved unless a solution is found to that problem.
129. In this context I should like to recall that the Foreign Minister of the Netherlands, Mr. van der Stoel, stressed in the statement he made during the general debate that the countries of the Communities attached particular importance to the application of the following principles:
"... first, the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force; secondly, the need for Israel to end the
territorial occupation which it has maintained since the conflict of 1967; thirdly, respect for the sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence of every State in the area and its right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries; and fourthly, recognition that in the establishment of a just and lasting peace account must be taken of the legitimate rights of the Palestinians." [7th meeting, para. 49.]
130. Those four principles are designed to cover all the aspects of a settlement of the Middle East crisis, including those resulting from the 1967 conflict and the new awareness of the aspirations of the Palestinian people.
131. It is with regret that our nine countries note that no progress has been made in the past year in the search for peace in the Middle East. We are of the opinion that the situation in the Middle East requires the early resumption of negotiations with a view to finding an over-all settlement to the Middle East conflict, a conflict which continues to represent a serious danger to international peace and security. Those negotiations must be based on the elements contained in Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973) and on the principles which I have just outlined.
132. We wish to reaffirm that the nine Governments of the European Communities remain ready to make an active contribution to all the efforts to find a solution of the Middle East problem. In this respect, they have repeatedly stressed that they are ready to consider participating in a system of international guarantees. 133. In repeating that the Palestinian problem has a decisive weight in the search for peace in the Middle East, our countries wish to make it clear that the exercise of the right of the Palestinian people to the effective expression of its national identity might include a territorial base within the framework of a negotiated settlement. The exercise of that right must be compatible with the right of all the States in the region, including Israel, to live in peace within secure and recognized frontiers.
134. Turning now to the report of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, I should like first of all to recall that the nine countries of the European Communities expressed reservations with regard to the constitution of that Committee. Those reservations concerned mainly the basis of the Committee's terms of reference. We were of the opinion, as Mr. Vinci of Italy stated on behalf of our countries at the thirtieth session of the General Assembly,7/ that the texts on which the Committee's mandate was based, namely, resolutions 3376 (XXX) and 3236 (XXIX), singled out one of the aspects of the Middle East settlement and thus prejudiced the framework fixed in Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973).
135. Despite those reservations our nine Governments have considered with interest the report of the Committee, since we believe that it represents an effort to give concrete expression to the rights of the Palestinian people, the implementation of which must constitute one of the fundamental elements of a settlement in the Middle East.
136. Our nine Governments are convinced that a balanced and realistic approach to the problem of the Middle East must take into account simultaneously all the aspects of the question, because all the component parts of a peace settlement are inseparable. As I have just pointed out, the mandate which was given to the Committee does not reflect this indivisibility. For we note that in summarizing the debate in the Committee the report mentions, in paragraph 52 (c), the principle of secure and recognized boundaries for all States of the region. In contrast, the recommendations of the report, which are the agreed result of the work of the Committee, take into account only two of the elements of a peace settlement, namely, the Israeli withdrawal and the Palestinians' rights. We regret that the third element does not appear among those recommendations, which therefore suffer from a fundamental imbalance, and that is why we cannot endorse them.
137. The nine Governments of the European Communities believe that the implementation of the rights of the Palestinian people cannot be achieved except within the framework of an over-all settlement, which is the only formula capable of reconciling the legitimate rights and concerns of all the parties, because it does not separate the various elements of the problem.
138. Mr. RABETAFIKA (Madagascar) (interpretation from French): According to the terms of resolution 3376 (XXX), the report and recommendations of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People should have been submitted to the General Assembly with an account of the measures taken in respect to them by the Security Council. Since the Council was prevented from taking any measure following its consideration of the report, the Committee had no choice but to reaffirm its recommendations and submit them on their merits for consideration by all Member States.
139. My delegation, which is a member of the Committee, wholly subscribes to its recommendations which, in our opinion, constitute a coherent programme of implementation designed to enable the Palestinian people to exercise the rights recognized in paragraphs 1 and 2 of resolution 3236 (XXIX). May I point out in passing that the Committee's mandate was confined to the formulation of that programme.
140. My delegation had no difficulty in accepting the latter, because as a sponsor of that resolution we recognized the legitimate and inalienable rights of the Palestinian people to self-determination, national sovereignty and independence, as well as their right to return to their homes and properties from which they had been displaced and uprooted. For the same reason we were able to support the idea that the participation of the PLO, the representative of the Palestinian people, is indispensable in all efforts, deliberations and conferences on the Middle East and Palestine held under the auspices of the United Nations. Furthermore, since we have always supported the principle of the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force in violation of the Charter and the relevant resolutions of the United Nations, we consider the evacuation of the occupied territories as a fundamental element of the proposed programme. That is all the more so since the exercise of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people cannot be full and complete except within the framework of a liberated and independent Palestine. I say all this to indicate that our proposals are based on principles which only those of bad faith could question.
141. The programme itself seems to have other merits, among which, in particular, is the fact that it offers an integrated approach to a situation in which there is a question of the exercise of individual rights, the exercise of national rights, the protection of civilian populations in time of war, the evacuation of occupied territories, peace-keeping operations, an interim administration by the United Nations, the establishment of communications, economic and technical assistance by the United Nations and the restoration of peace. In brief, it is a very delicate and complicated situation. The search for a solution to all these problems would have been most difficult, if not impossible, if our Committee had not had the following guidelines.
142. First, an unassailable legal basis should be established for its recommendations. Whether it was a question of the return of the Palestinians, the right to self-determination and independence, the protection of civilians, the prohibition on the establishment of new settlements, or the removal of those already established, our basic texts were the relevant United Nations resolutions and the Geneva Convention of 1949.
143. Secondly, the role of the United Nations in the settlement process should be strengthened, taking into account, as resolution 3376 (XXX) provides, all the powers conferred by the Charter on the principal organs of the United Nations, without overlooking the fact that, when the time comes, the parties to the conflict will have their role to play and must enter the scene. We find here recommendations on temporary peace-keeping operations, the provisional administration by the United Nations of the liberated territories, its economic, technical and communications assistance and its participation in the settlement of the substantive problems.
144. Thirdly, an appeal should be made to the International Committee of the Red Cross and to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, institutions which are known and which have had experience in Palestine, to help in the solution of logistical problems.
145. Fourthly, in a practical spirit, the solution of the problems should be divided into several elements or chronological phases with appropriate recommendations for each.
Mr. Lang (Nicaragua), Vice-President, took the Chair.
146. It was in that spirit that we formulated the recommendations. My delegation does not wish to dwell on those recommendations after the clear and complete statements made in this Assembly on this subject by the Chairman and the Rapporteur of our Committee [66th meeting]. I myself would have gone no further, because my delegation had no further observations to make, but I must comment on what was said about the report by Israel [70th meeting] and by the delegations which abstained in the vote or which voted against the draft resolution in document S/12119, which was submitted to the Security Council on 29 June 1976.8/
147. It is fitting to speak of this, because the rejection of that draft might either create doubts as to the legal and political grounds for our recommendations or at least lead certain delegations to wonder whether we should pursue the matter, since the Security Council itself has refused to take the measures necessary for the implementation of the proposed programme.
148. The delegations to which I have referred seem to be unanimous in their comments on one point, namely, the priority to be given to negotiation, as the only means likely to ensure an over-all and simultaneous solution to all the problems. And yet the delegations concerned criticized the proposed programme for not having the virtues of that over-all solution.
149. As the Chairman of the Committee indicated in his letter of transmittal, these are "considerations beyond the scope of the Committee's mandate" [A/31/35, p. v]. If the Committee had been asked for its opinion, it would never have rejected the idea of "negotiation", but, on the other hand, it would have rejected the implication that the existence of negotiations meant that the United Nations would no longer be seized of the question, that it would no longer have an active role in the settlement of the problems of Palestine or that it would have been relegated to the rank of a recording room.
150. It was the United Nations that established Israel, and thus consecrated "a people's transition from political anonymity to clear identity".9/ It is the United Nations which has the responsibility for preventing its own creation from revoking the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people. It is the United Nations which has the duty to see to it that by a gratuitous selectivity Israel does not take it upon itself permanently to dispossess, deprive and disadvantage those who merely claim the rights which we, the Member States, retain and jealously guard for ourselves. In our opinion, any search for a solution that aims at eluding the authority of the United Nations and disregarding its numerous resolutions would result in a loss of credibility and the seal of universal consensus.
151. The Geneva Conference did not appear ex nihilo. It was the United Nations which decided to convene it, and we have no doubt that it retains the power to amend and supplement the basic principles which serve as a framework for the negotiations. It is on this point that the delegations that I mentioned before have adopted divergent positions and this is also the subject of my second remark.
152. The problem which arose and which always arises before the Security Council is that of determining whether or not it is necessary to supplement the framework laid down by resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973); whether or not it is necessary to correct the omission committed when those resolutions were adopted; and whether or not the Security Council should recognize and affirm the national and inalienable rights of the Palestinian people. Joining the majority, the four Western countries-France, the United Kingdom, Italy and Sweden-which had abstained in the vote, gave an affirmative reply to these questions when explaining their votes in the Security Council on draft resolution S/12119. They thus emphasized the isolation of the United States delegation, which remains fixed in its belief that the Palestinian people may have interests but not rights. What must be remembered is that even in the Security Council the recognition of the national rights of the Palestinian people represents progress and that the majority maintains that it is necessary to give the United Nations the upper hand in the process of settling the crisis of the Middle East and Palestine.
153. Hence, what are we to say of Israel's request that the Assembly flatly reject the report and recommendations of the Committee which, according to that delegation, would sabotage any move towards a negotiated settlement? Before Israel uses such language, it should tell us whether the consecration of its existence, "the consummation of a people's transition from political anonymity to clear identity",10/ resulted from negotiations with the Palestinians or a declaration adopted by the General Assembly. Israel should tell us why the United Nations was able to make such a declaration in respect to it and not in respect of the rights of the Palestinian people.
154. Israel tells us that the report of the Committee is "nothing less than a prescription for the dismemberment" of the State of Israel. To want to have all the occupied territories evacuated and to refuse to accept the acquisition of territories by force in violation of the principles of the Charter and the relevant United Nations resolutions; to request Israel to desist from its policy of establishing settlements and to withdraw Israeli citizens from the settlements established in occupied territories since 1967; if that is considered dismemberment by Israel, then we say "yes" to such dismemberment. All the rest is paranoia.
155. Israel tells us further that the PLO envisages occupying the territory of Israel, the West Bank of the Jordan, the Gaza Strip and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. Thus, before returning its territory to the Palestinians, Israel is already speaking of the Palestinian people as expansionist. That people today only asks for the liberation of its territory so as to be able to exercise its national right to self-determination, independence and sovereignty. All else can only be speculation and a trial of motives all the more unacceptable since they come from a country which declares itself to be in favour of negotiation.
156. The national sovereignty of States which the representatives of Israel attempted to minimize on the occasion of the aggression at Entebbe -perhaps because it was the sovereignty of an African State-is invoked by the same representatives to deny the Palestinians the right to return to their homes. They say: "This right which the Palestinian Arabs have arrogated to themselves is in conflict with international law, which is based on the principle of the sovereignty of States. It follows that it cannot be based on United Nations resolutions."
157. Even if we accept that Israel could thus release itself from the obligations imposed on it by resolution 194 (III), how can we not compare the position of Israel with that adopted by the International Conference on Human Rights on 7 May 1968. Resolution I entitled "Respect for and implementation of human rights in occupied territories" states:
"The International Conference on Human Rights
"... Affirms the inalienable rights of all inhabitants who have left their homes as a result of the outbreak of hostilities in the Middle East to return, resume normal life, recover their property and homes, and rejoin their families according to the provision of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights".11/
In our view, the Declaration is binding on Israel as on everybody else.
158. Finally, Israel tries to adduce an argument from the composition of the Committee to suggest that the recommendations submitted to the Council and now to the General Assembly show partiality. In particular, the Israeli representative says that among the members of the Committee only four countries maintain diplomatic relations with his country. This argument can be turned the other way, because how does it happen that the recommendations of the Committee were adopted unanimously by its members, whether or not they maintain diplomatic relations with Israel? This proves that the Committee carried out an objective review and analysis of the situation, and it is rather for Israel to find among the countries which maintain diplomatic relations with it a single country which would oppose the right of return of the Palestinians or which would be against the principle of evacuation of Arab and Palestinian territories occupied illegally and by force. This argument, which was based on the partiality of the Committee, must therefore be rejected, the more so since the countries parties to the conflict and all the Members of the United Nations were invited to participate in our work or to make their views known. Israel for its part did not even deign to reply to that invitation.
159. To reassure Israel, we can also say that we are in favour of the resumption of the Geneva negotiations. But we do not believe those negotiations are any use unless all the parties concerned are previously placed on a footing of equality, if one must still speak of "rights" for some and "interests" for others. That is why we insist-and it is also the objective of the Committee—that the national rights of the Palestinian people be safeguarded within the framework of those negotiations, the success or failure of which will depend on the recognition or non-recognition of the national rights of the Palestinian people, which are, after all, at the core of the problem of the Middle East.
160. Because of the position taken by Israel and by the United States the Security Council was hamstrung on this point; the Geneva Conference will do no better, despite the fact that all recognize the need for an urgent solution. There is here a definite obstacle which it is for the General Assembly to overcome by reaffirming its authority and giving its unreserved support to the report and recommendations of the Committee.
161. Mr. BAROODY (Saudi Arabia): In view of what Mr. Herzog said at the previous meeting, I feel constrained to call the attention of the Assembly to the genesis of the Palestine question, as I have done time and again. As the hour is late, I shall be as brief as possible, but I hope that I shall be able to give the Assembly sufficient historical facts to allow representatives to judge for themselves whether Mr. Balfour, and later Mr. Truman, had the right to create the State of Israel.
162. At the end of the First World War, the Jews, including a handful of Zionists, constituted less than 8 per cent of the population of Palestine. The Zionists were feeding propaganda to the ignorant European populace not to the leaders-to the effect that Palestine was a land without a people and that the Zionists were a people without a land.
163. The populace in Europe and in America were concerned about their own well-being after the First World War. They were not politically minded. They should have been reminded about the principle of self-determination elucidated by President Wilson of the United States. The First World War was allegedly fought to free Europe and the rest of the world from what was called German militarism.
164. Mr. Wilson, when he elucidated the principle of self-determination at the League of Nations, stated as a corollary the principle that sovereignty lies in the people.
165. Now, we know very well that Palestine was a separate entity. We know the terms of the Sykes-Picot-Sazonov agreement, which was secretly signed by three allies in the First World War-the United Kingdom, France and Tsarist Russia. The name "Sazonov" was dropped from the agreement in 1917, when Russia overthrew the old regime and, by means of the revolution, established communism in Russia.
166. The Sykes-Picot agreement stipulated that the countries of the Fertile Crescent should be divided into four mandates: Lebanon, under a French Mandate; Syria, under a French Mandate; Iraq, under a British Mandate; and Palestine, under a British Mandate. Syria and Lebanon were not placed together under one French Mandate; there were two separate Mandates. And Iraq and Palestine were each placed under a separate British Mandate.
167. In 1917 the United Kingdom was losing the war against the Germans of Wilhelm II. The Zionists were active in England, as they were in the United States. The only salvation for the United Kingdom and its ally, France, was to bring the United States into the First World War. It was because of Zionist activity, inter alia, that the United State was railroaded into the First World War.
168. Those are the facts, and I challenge Mr. Herzog or any other Zionist to refute them. They are part of history; they are the genesis.
169. So the principles for which the Allies had fought were cast by the wayside: freedom of peoples, self-determination.
170. I remember my first trip to Palestine, in 1925—51 years ago. Already there was trouble, because the Balfour Declaration was being interpreted by the Jewish Agency at that time as meaning that Palestine should be the home of the Jews all over the world. It was to that end that the Zionist movement was labouring: the ingathering of all the Jews of the world in Palestine.
171. But there was no Jewish people; there was a Jewish religion. There was no Jewish nationality; there were nationals of many countries. Jews were proud to be nationals of certain countries. The French Jews were proud to be French. The British Jews were proud to be British.
172. To whom did Arthur Balfour address his Declaration? To an Englishman who happened to be Jewish: Mr. Rothschild. Rothschild was the head of the Jewish community—an honourary head. Distinctions usually go with wealth. Rothschild was a wealthy man.
173. When Mr. Balfour was writing that Declaration, on 2 November 1917, Mr. Rothschild, among others, agreed to the expression of the hope-I am paraphrasing now-that Palestine would become a national home for the Jews. They had thought of using the word "State", but Rothschild was afraid to use the word "State"-! heard about this from his cousins in France during the 1930s-lest there should be an anti-Jewish resurgence in Europe, as had happened in the days of the Dreyfus affair. It was feared that in that case not only the Rothschilds but any Jew who happened to be prosperous would be told: "Go home; you have a State of your own". That is why they used the words "national home" instead of the word "State".
174. I am giving the genesis of the situation. I am not using platitudes. I am not casting aspersions or using invective. I am giving the facts.
175. The Balfour Declaration stated that His Majesty's Government-that is, the Government of the United Kingdom—would endeavour to ensure the establishment of a national home in Palestine-not a "State"-provided this did not conflict with the civil, religious and political rights of the indigenous population; that is, the people of Palestine. Let us forget that they were Arabs: they were Palestinians.! They had a separate entity; otherwise they would not have been living separately, under a British Mandate. Even during the Ottoman Empire, the Lebanese had a separate entity; the Syrians had a separate entity; and they were autonomous. So were the Palestinians. So were the Iraqis.
176. How, then, could it have been said that Palestine was a land without a people? That was just a slogan that the Zionists used to propagandize for the establishment of an alien Zionist entity in the midst of the Arab world.
177. Then Mr. Herzog spoke of our Jews. Our Jews were not political Zionists; they were spiritual Zionists. They looked to the high mountain called Zion in the Bible: "I raised my head in prayers to God". But it was those European Khazars who happened to have a Semitic religion, their ancestors having been converted to Judaism in the eighth century AD., who claimed that God had given them Palestine-as if God looked with contempt on the indigenous people already there who also believed in Him. In this country, this region, is the fountainhead of the three monotheistic religions. The Zionists used Judaism-which, I repeat again and again, is a noble religion-for political ends. They were Europeans and they needed motivation, and they played on the sentiments of Jews in Europe and later on the sentiments of our Jews, saying the Jews were the chosen people of God. Time and again I have observed that if they are the chosen people of God then God is a discriminator, and here we fight discrimination all the time.
178. The Sykes-Picot agreement, to which I have referred, was signed between France and Britain in 1917 or at the end of 1916—1 forget now—but the British through High Commissioner McMahon, the High Commissioner in Egypt, had promised Sherif Hessein of Mecca, that the Arabs would be independent. That is why they kept this secret. When the Tsarist Russian troops were beaten by Hindenburg, they surrendered a copy of the Sykes-Picot-Sazonov Agreement to the Germans, and the Germans, who were allied to the Turks, sent a copy to Sherif Hussein in Djedda, through Jamal Pasha, who was Commander of the Fourth Army. I remember that as a child I saw this Jamal Pasha, when he visited Beirut. And poor High Commissioner McMahon sent the complaint of Sherif Hussein to whom? To the Foreign Office. And the Foreign Office sent Professor Hogarth, who was an orientalist, to tell them it was all fiction.
179. Of course, in war everything is fair. When the war was over, the Arabs found it was no fiction. And when Sherif Hussein complained, what did they do, the British of those days? They banished him to Cyprus, where he died in 1924, and many of us-I was 19 years old then demonstrated against the perfidy of the British Government of that time.
180. A land without a people, and a people without a land? What a fiction! Ninety-three per cent of the people are indigenous Palestinians, and the architects of Zionism were Khazars converted to Judaism in the eighth century. These are the facts. They speak for themselves. This is the history of the area.
181. The Arab Jews-I call them "Arab Jews"-of Baghdad were highly respected throughout the centuries because they were Arabs who also happened to be Jews. The Arabs in Spain who happened to be Jews contributed, as Mr. Herzog has mentioned, to the Arab culture because they were Arab. They believed in the same God. And then people began to indoctrinate them.
182. There was no Jewish problem in the Arab lands. Those who created the Jewish problem were the Khazars, whose ancestors had been converted to Judaism in the eighth century A.D. They had a Semitic religion. The French had a Semitic religion too, but they are not Semites. The British had a Semitic religion; they are Christians, but they are not Semites. And the Nigerian Moslems have a Semitic religion, Islam, but they are not Semites.
183. It bears repetition. These Khazars were strangers to the land, and they are still strangers to the land, unfortunately. Why? Because they wanted to carve out of the Middle East a State for the ingathering of all the Jews of the world. There are 16 million Jews in the world. And this explains those settlements they have there. They are stepping-stones for expansion.
184. Mr. Herzog said that the Palestinians were dispersed in 1948 because the Arab leaders told them to leave, but that is not wholly true. Many left Palestine out of fright after Deir Yasin. The Zionists wiped out a whole small town. They cut down the trees; they machine-gunned even the animals. And the people were frightened. Those of the Arabs who had not learned of Deir Yasin did not leave. But sortie people were frightened and became refugees.
185. Mr. Herzog speaks about Lebanon. I have taken some time and done some research. Why did the Allies connive with one of the Lebanese presidents or premiers to disperse the Palestinians in 16 camps? They thought they would sooner or later be assimilated by Lebanon. Lebanon, being a liberal country, did not mind, But who caused them to flee to Lebanon? Who caused them to flee to Jordan? What caused them to be dispersed in all the Arab lands? The terrorism of the Zionists. The Palestinians did not know anything about terrorism. If somebody committed murder, which was something that took place every year or two, the people were shocked. They had respect for life.
186. But now, by what right had the Government of the United Kingdom of those days to make a promise about a land that was not even a colony? The Mandate meant that they would prepare the indigenous people for self-rule. Did they? No. They allowed a stream of immigrants to go there. Finally, when they thought they had made a mistake, the British began to send commissions to the Holy Land.
187. And then do you know what the Zionists did? They began to hang the British soldiers from the branches of olive trees. When Count Bernadotte tried to do something they killed him. Lord Moyne was killed. The King David Hotel in Jerusalem was blown up. By whom, by the Arabs? No, by the Jews. So many Palestinians thought, if the Zionists—not our Jews but those Europeans who used Zionism as the motivation for a political end—if they use these methods, maybe if we use terrorism we, too, will succeed.
188. And, as I used to tell them, 25 or 30 years ago, it was the United States and Britain and the Western world that were backing the Zionists, also for ulterior motives. This is why they finally succeeded in carving out a State. And I remember how they brought pressure at Lake Success. I do not want to mention who it was lest I touch the susceptibility of people, but they sent a prelate to Latin America to gather votes for them. And they have said from this rostrum time and again, although not today, that it was a land without a people—meaning it was an empty land-and the poor Khazar Jews were a people without a land. That is true, but why should they be foisted on the indigenous people of Palestine?
183. 189. Religion does not constitute a nationality. As I have mentioned again and again, nationals of many countries are proud, not because they are Jews but because they are French, English, American or what have you. How can the Arab world feel comfortable when the ultimate goal of the Zionists is to keep indoctrinating those Jews in every corner of the world so as to ingather them in Palestine?
190. Mr. Herzog mentioned that there are 4,000 years of history behind the Jews in Palestine. From my humble research into the history of the region, neither Judea nor Israel lasted more than three or four centuries, and both peoples were Jews and they were fighting each other. But we had others also in the area who fought each other. We were all Semites then. When I speak of Judea and Israel, mean that their people were Semites, and they fought each other, as we Arabs fight one another. It is wrong, but there is nothing strange in that.
191. There is no such thing as Jewish blood; there is no such thing as Arab blood; there is no such thing as American blood. This is a ploy on the part of the Zionists to play on the sentiments of everyone who is a Jew and who is not political, but whom they want to make a Jewish political person.
192. And by whom is all this done? By the Khazars, whose ancestors never saw Palestine. They happen to have embraced Judaism, as I mentioned, eight centuries after Christ.
193. Paving the way for the creation of Israel can be attributed to Balfour. And then Mr. Truman, at a distance of 6,000 miles, thought he should create Israel by partitioning Palestine. If you go to his memoirs you will find that the Zionists would not leave him alone, and finally, when the State Department experts on the Middle East appealed to him, saying, "It is not in our interests to antagonize the Arabs", he said: "How many Americans of Arab origin do I have in my constituency? "
194. Is this based on justice? Anything that is not based on justice is bound, sooner or later, to totter and fall.
195. As I have said again and again—I mentioned it just the other day in the Security Council—Jerusalem is holy to the three religions. Why should the Jews have a monopoly? Why should it be the capital of one monotheistic religion why? There are 16 million Jews. If you go by the demographic yardstick, there are 1 billion Christians and 600 or 700 million Moslems. Why? Just because God spoke to them? I can claim that God is speaking to me now. Everybody can claim that. These were parables of ancient scriptures that became intelligible to the people of a tribal form of rule.
196. The Zionists cannot live except on tension. By the same token, the Palestinian refugees, till doomsday-and I say that because this world may come to an end-will never forget their homeland. Why are they tenacious? After all, it is their homeland. Do you want them to be submissive like the Red Indians? They do not happen to be Red Indians. Why do not you Americans give back Manhattan to the Red Indians? Twenty-four dollars is nothing. I do not know how, but they sold it for $24, and you gave them some beads and put them in reservations.
197. We do not interfere in your affairs, why do you want to interfere in ours? Of course, Palestine is at the cross-roads of three continents. In the north there is Russia—it does not matter whether it is Tsarist or Communist—Russia has its eyes on the Middle East. It is question of the balance of power with the Russians. "The" Zionists will be good clients of ours; we can make an excuse for interfering there."
198. Is that what the United Nations is predicated on—balance of power and power politics? Are we a chess-board for the major Powers, whether Russia or America, to play their chess game on? They are not playing with wooden pieces; they are playing with the destinies of peoples and nations. The Palestinians have tormented the entire Moslem world, indeed all the world, rightly or wrongly—and I say rightly, because after all it is their home.
199. And why do the big Powers-especially the United States—support the Zionists? We saw the auction for votes, and that showed what influence the Zionists have. Are we to base this Organization on what we can get by votes, or on justice? I feel sorry for the Zionists. They are human beings like you and me. I am not against them as human beings, but they are misguided. They have no place there; sooner or later they will disappear, not necessarily by war, but by attrition. We shall assimilate them, as we assimilated other people who came to that area. But in the meantime Jews and Gentiles will suffer, and the American taxpayer will pour in money earned by the sweat of his brow to bolster the Zionists unnecessarily. Why should we be against the United States? We have been opening our doors and our gates to it for 50 or 60 years. The oil interests are what? Russian interests? No, they are mostly American-American and British. In spite of that, the Americans still side with Israel instead of, not bringing pressure on it, but rather persuading the Zionists that they cannot exist unless they seek acceptance, adjust and adapt to the Arab world.
200. Rightly or wrongly, the Arab world considered that artificial State as an abscess in the body politic and body social of the Middle East, and the Middle East will always be in ferment until the pus of that abscess is drawn out. How? If not by war, which is a surgical operation, then by absorption. One does not always need to lance an abscess. But in the process many will suffer, Jews and Gentiles.
201. I feel sorry for the Zionists. They are human beings but they have repeated things to themselves so often that they have ended by believing their own indoctrination. If they want to live among the Palestinians, in spite of the fact that they have a State called Israel, then they, themselves, should stretch out their hands to the Palestinian refugees and say to them, "Come"; not the other way round. They do not want to recognize them. They recognize Jordan and all the other Arab States, but they do not recognize the Palestinians, who lived under a Mandate. Whom do they think they are fooling?
202. They talk about atrocities by the Arabs. If any Arab committed an atrocity it was because he was frustrated and, as I said, because the Zionists taught him about atrocities in the Holy Land when they themselves were the perpetrators. We have a famous saying in Arabic: "He who instigates evil is the one who is most responsible".
203. This is the situation. The hour is late, but I will have many occasions to come back to this question. You great nations, you who exercise world power, beware. You are no greater than was the Roman Empire. You are no greater than Alexander the Great was. Just because we live in a technological age and you sent men to the moon, so what? If you, as human beings, do not base your policies on justice, we are not afraid of your power, unless you want to create what the Israelis call a Masada; then let us all get blown up. See where the right lies, and serve it if the right is against the Palestinians, declare why it is against them.
204. Mr. Balfour had no business interfering in the ethos of the Palestinians as a people and nation. And you, our American friends-and, for that matter, you Russians also, if you see the Americans making friends with the Arabs-may sometimes be tempted similarly, though, since politics is a dirty business, you may turn a blind eye and do something else. So I warn you, whoever you may be: this is not a voice that is crying in the wilderness; it is a voice that is appealing to the conscience of the world, of 145 Member States, including Israel. If they have a conscience, they will see the truth and abide by it. Otherwise, all of you will fall, and your fall will be great. We will fall with you—so what? But I hope that, finally, you will see the light, and that justice will prevail.
1/ See Official Records of the Security Council, Thirty-first Year, Supplement for October, November and December 1976, document S/12233.
2/ Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949.
3/ See Official Records of the Security Council, Thirty-first Year, Supplement for January, February and March 1976, document S/1940.
4/ See Official Record of the General Assembly, Thirty-first Session, Special Political Committee, 19th meeting, para. 44.
5/ See Official Records of the Security Council, Thirty-first Year, Supplement for October, November and December 1976, document S/12233.
6/ Second Islamic Conference of Kings and Heads of State and Government, held at Lahore from 22 to 24 February 1974.
7/ See Official Records of the General Assembly, Thirtieth Session, Plenary Meetings, 2399th meeting.
8/ See Official Records of the Security council, Thirty-first year, Supplement for April, May and June 1976.
9/ See Official Records of the General Assembly, Third Session, Part II, Plenary Meetings (207th meeting), p.332.
11/ See Final Act of the International Conference on Human Rights, Teheran, 22 April to 13 May 1968 (United Nations publication, Sales No. E.68.XIV.2), chap. III.