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Situation au Moyen-Orient - Débat du Conseil de sécurité, adoption de la résolution 233 - Procès-verbal
6 June 1967
MEETING: 6 JUNE 1967
Provisional agenda (S/Agenda/1348). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
Adoption of the agenda. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
Letter dated 23 May 1967 from the Permanent Representatives of Canada
and Denmark addressed to the President of the Security Council (S/7902). 1
Complaint of the representative of the United Arab Republic in a letter
to the President of the Security Council dated 27 May 1967 entitled:
"Israel aggressive policy, its repeated aggression threatening peace
and security in the Middle East and endangering international peace
and security" (S/7907) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
Letter dated 29 May 1967 from the Permanent Representative of the
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland addressed to the
President of the Security Council (S/7910) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
THIRTEEN HUNDRED AND FORTY-EIGHTH MEETING
Held in New York on Tuesday, 6 June 1967, at 6.30 p.m.
Mr. Hans R. TABOR (Denmark).
The representatives of the following States: Argentina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Denmark, Ethiopia, France, India, Japan, Mali, Nigeria, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and United States of America.
Provisional agenda (S/Agenda/1348)
1. Adoption of the agenda.
2. Letter dated 23 May 1967 from the Permanent Representatives of Canada and Denmark addressed to the President of the Security Council (S/7902).
3. Complaint of the representative of the United Arab Republic in a letter to the President of the Security Council dated 27 May 1967 entitled: "Israel aggressive policy, its repeated aggression threatening peace and security in the Middle East and endangering international peace and security" (S/7907).
4. Letter dated 29 May 1967 from the Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland addressed to the President of the Security Council (S/7910).
Adoption of the agenda
The agenda was adopted.
Letter dated 23 May 1967 from the Permanent Representatives of Canada and Denmark addressed to the President of the Security Council (S/7902)
Complaint of the representative of the United Arab Republic in a letter to the President of the Security Council dated 27 May 1967 entitled: "Israel aggressive policy, its repeated aggression threatening peace and security in the Middle East and endangering international peace and security" (S/7907)
Letter dated 29 May 1967 from the Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland addressed to the President of the Security Council (S/7910)
1. The PRESIDENT: In accordance with the decisions previously taken by the Council, and with the consent of the Council, I now invite the representatives of Israel, the United Arab Republic, Jordan, the Syrian Arab Republic, Lebanon, Iraq, Morocco, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait to take the places reserved for them at the side of the Council Chamber in order to participate without vote in the discussion.
At the invitation of the President, Mr. A. Eban (Israel), Mr. M. A. El Kony (United Arab Republic), Mr. M. H. El-Farra (Jordan), Mr. G. J. Tomeh (Syria), Mr. G. Hakim (Lebanon), Mr. A. Pachachi (Iraq), Mr. A. T. Benhima (Morocco), Mr. G. Al-Rachach (Saudi Arabia) and Mr. G. A. Al-Rashid (Kuwait) took the places reserved for them.
2. The PRESIDENT: Letters have now also been received from the Permanent Representatives of Tunisia
requesting that they be invited to participate without vote in the discussion. If there is no objection, I propose to invite those two representatives also to take the places reserved for them at the side of the Council Chamber in order to participate without vote in the discussion.
At the invitation of the President, Mr. M. Mestiri (Tunisia) and Mr. W. El Bouri, (Libya) took the places reserved for them.
3. The PRESIDENT: The Security Council will now continue its discussion of the three items inscribed on its agenda.
4. Since the Council was convened yesterday morning to consider immediately the serious situation in the Middle East, members have been continuously engaged in urgent consultations as to the course of action to be taken by the Council in this emergency situation. These consultations have now resulted in unanimous agreement on a draft resolution which calls for an immediate cease-fire. In my capacity as President of the Council, I have the honor to present this draft resolution
the text of which reads as follows:
"The Security Council,
the oral report of the Secretary-General in this situation,
the statements made in the Council,
at the outbreak of fighting and with the menacing situation in the Near East,
the Governments concerned to take forthwith as a first step all measures for an immediate cease-fire and for a cessation of all military activities in the area;
the Secretary-General to keep the Council promptly and currently informed on the situation."
5. I would suggest, if members of the Council agree, that we proceed to the vote on this draft resolution without debate.
It was so decided.
A vote was taken by show of hands.
The draft resolution was adopted unanimously.
6. The PRESIDENT: I shall ask the Secretary-General to transmit the resolution to the parties concerned and to report to the Council as soon as possible. I am confident that I express the unanimous wish of the members of the Council when I appeal most urgently to the parties to comply immediately with the provisions of this resolution.
7. There are a number of representatives who wish to explain their vote. The first speaker on my list is the representative of the United States, on whom I now call.
8. Mr. GOLDBERG (United States of America): In the resolution just adopted the Security Council, acting in the exercise of its responsibilities under the Charter, has issued a clear call for an end to the hostilities in the Near East. This resolution is a first step on the road back towards peace. It carries the full authority of the United Nations. It is now the duty of all the parties concerned to comply fully and promptly with the terms of this resolution. It is equally the duty of every Member of the United Nations to support the implementation of the resolution by the full weight of its influence.
9. The resolution itself, as all members of the Council know, is the result of intensive political efforts here at the United Nations during the past thirty-six hours, under the leadership of our President and by various Governments and their representatives here. It reflects a successful harmonizing of our respective points of view towards a single goal: to quench the flames of war in the Near East and to begin to move towards peace in the area.
10. This resolution, with its appeal for a cease-fire, calls for precisely the action which my delegation has been urging since we met yesterday morning
to consider the outbreak of hostilities. Indeed, it is consistent with the spirit in which we have approached every stage of this crisis. We have throughout supported every effort by our distinguished Secretary-General to maintain the peace in the area and sought, to the best of our ability, to exercise a restraining influence on the parties concerned. We have expressed willingness to join in the search for peace here in the United Nations and by our own diplomatic efforts as well. Regrettably, our efforts and those of many others, including the Secretary-General, to prevent a war ended in failure. When that was apparent, my Government considered that the first and foremost urgent step was to put an end to the tragic bloodshed by bringing an immediate halt to the hostilities. For that reason, the United States and other members for the past thirty-six hours have vigorously urged as a first step the adoption of a resolution calling for an immediate cease-fire by all Governments concerned.
11. We deeply regret that so much time has been lost in
the process. However, it is gratifying that other members of the Council have now reached the same conclusion and that we can now issue a unanimous appeal to the parties to lay down their arms. It is our fervent hope that the Council’s appeal will be immediately and fully complied with.
We believe that a cease-fire represents the urgent first step in restoring peace to the Near East. Once this is accomplished, my delegation believes that the Council should then turn its immediate attention to the other steps that will be required to achieve a more lasting peace. In that approach, my country's policy remains as President Johnson stated it on 23 May in these words:
"To the leaders of all nations of the Near East I wish to say what three American Presidents have said before--that the United States is firmly committed to the support of the political independence and territorial integrity of all the nations of the area.
". . .
"The United States has consistently sought to have good relations with all States of the Near East. Regrettably this has not always been possible, but we are convinced that our differences with individual States in the area and their differences with each other must be worked out peacefully and in accordance with accepted international practice."
[See the 1343th meeting, para. 24.]
13. It was our concern about this that brought us to this Council very early and prompted us in a series of efforts here to avert what has occurred. In implementation of this policy directed to all countries in the Near East, when the fires have been dampened and tension reduced we stand ready to join in efforts to bring a lasting peace to the area in which co-operative programs for the economic and social development of all countries of all countries of the region would be an integral part.
14. Before concluding, it is my duty to speak of a specific matter related, to the position I have just reiterated. During the past twenty-four hours fantastic allegations have been made about United States aircraft being involved in the hostilities in the Near East. Those allegations are totally without foundation in fact. They are made up out of whole cloth. I take this opportunity in the Security Council on the complete authority of the United States Government to deny them categorically without any ifs, ands or buts.
Indeed, yesterday morning, 5 June, within hours after first hearing such charges, my Government denied them in a formal statement issued by the Department of Defense as
"There have been reports that United States aircraft from aircraft carriers assigned to the Sixth Fleet have flown to Israel airfields. Other reports have stated that Sixth Fleet aircraft have participated in air activity elsewhere in the area of conflict. All such reports are erroneous. All Sixth Fleet aircraft are and have been several hundred miles from the area of conflict."
15. Charges of this sort at a time like this cannot be treated lightly. They are in the category of a cry of "Fire!" in a crowded theatre. They have been used in the overt
incitement of mob violence against United States diplomatic and other installations in several Arab States. These false reports, on the motives for which I do not wish to speculate, have been propagated in a highly inflammable situation. In these circumstances, my Government considers it necessary to take prompt steps to prevent the further spread of these dangerous falsehoods.
16. With this in mind, I am authorized to announce in this Council and to propose two concrete measures. The United States is prepared, first, to co-operate in an immediate impartial investigation by the United Nations of these charges, and to offer all facilities to the United Nations in that investigation; and second, as a part of or in addition to such an investigation, the United States is prepared to invite United Nations personnel aboard our aircraft carriers in the Mediterranean today, tomorrow, or at the convenience of the United Nations, to serve as impartial observers of the activities of our planes in the area and to verify the past activities of our planes from our official records and from the log that each ship carries. These observers will, in addition, be free to interview air crews on these carriers without inhibition, so as to determine their activities during the days in question. Their presence as observers on these carriers will be welcomed throughout the period of this crisis and so long as these ships are in the eastern waters of the Mediterranean.
17. In the meantime, I ask any Government interested in peace to see to it that these false and inflammatory charges are given no further credence by any source within its control.
18. In conclusion, let me commend to every State the Council's resolution just adopted. Our duty now as Member States bound by the Charter is to place all the influence at the command of our respective Governments behind the fulfillment of the decision unanimously arrived at by the Council. Properly carried out, this resolution will be a major step towards peace and security in the Near East and will provide a point of reference from which to, resolve underlying problems in a spirit of justice and equity.
19. Mr. MAKONNEN (Ethiopia): I thank you, Mr. President, for the opportunity to explain my delegation's understanding of the cease-fire resolution that the Council has just adopted.
20. I should say first of all that my delegation looks on this resolution as the first of many urgent steps, and as one with a limited but vital objective: that of meeting the pressing requirement of a tragic situation of large-scale armed conflict which has come to exist in the area of the Middle East.
21. For two days now the Security Council has been faced with a situation of a highly dangerous military conflict in that area. Our primary and urgent responsibility is to halt the outbreak which we were unable to avert. All signs indicate that we are faced with a ferocious war in this troubled area. Scarcely two days have passed since hostilities broke out, but we see that this war is indeed a total war involving all the Arab States and Israel. We also see that this war has developed into an open and dangerous conflict in the air, involving much danger and suffering for civilian populations. If this war is allowed to continue, it will no doubt bring about untold damage and suffering to all peoples involved and much devastation and damage to the many historic and holy shrines held in such high esteem and reverence by millions in all of the world's continents.
22. In this regard, I wish to associate my delegation with the urgent appeal that has been made by the world's religious leaders and by the Secretary-General, that the Holy City of Jerusalem be declared an open city and thus be spared from involvement in the present conflict.
23. The immediate objective of the Council must be to return the present situation of military conflict to a situation and position from which a fair and just settlement of issues can be obtained. The Council has been wise, when faced with such a situation fraught with dangers not only to the areas concerned but also to the peace of the whole world, to avoid the experience and spectacle of the past weeks of allowing itself to be bogged down in futile debate which can only take it into a vicious circle of ever-continuing discussion.
24. Now that we have agreed on the first step, let us make up for the lost time and opportunity by following up our decision of today with concerted action which can lead to the creation of fair and equitable conditions for a just and lasting settlement.
25. As the representative of a country that is a neighbor of long and good standing of this area of the Middle East, the great cradle of religions and civilizations, I speak today with a heart filled with sorrow. My country and people have been closely associated with all the peoples of this area and have lived with them in friendly coexistence based on mutual respect throughout a long and glorious history stretching from time immemorial to the present day. This is obviously not the time for historical soliloquy, but my mind's eye cannot help looking back on the long history and experience we have shared with all the peoples of this region down through the ages, We had fruitful associations with the peoples of this region when the great pharaohs of Egypt built the wondrous pyramids; when the great kings of Jerusalem built the temples; when the Assyrians and Babylonians were the great powers of their day; when the meaningful message of "Peace on earth, goodwill toward men" went out from the manger of Bethlehem. And again we were there when the great Prophet, the Father of Islam, proclaimed his clarion call for the glory of the Everlasting God.
26. Similarly, today, in this age of freedom and progress, we share with our brethren in the Middle East common aspirations solidified by our African-Asian union of peace, progress and a better life for all of our peoples.
27. The Council can therefore appreciate how painful it is for my country to witness the tragic and bloody developments that have overtaken this area. It was with sentiments of deep and sincere concern for the quick reestablishment of peace in the area that the Ethiopian delegation supported the Council’s first concerted move to avert further disaster before more destruction is wrought and before it is too late.
28. We consider this to be the first vital step that the Council has to take, and we shall of course continue to add our modest but genuine efforts to those of the members of the Council in the urgent steps we must take together in order to bring a jest and lasting peace to this war-tormented region.
29. In conclusion, I should like to present to the delegations of India and Brazil my Government’s sincere condolences at the tragic death of Indian and Brazilian soldiers serving the United Nations cause of peace in the area. May the memory of their sacrifice be a shining example to all servants of peace and to all peoples everywhere dedicated to the preservation of international peace and security now and for all time.
30. Mr. SEYDOUX (France) (
translated from French
): The Council has thus called for a cessation of hostilities. This decision which would have spared us so much death and destruction had it been possible to make it earlier, as we would so dearly have wished, must now be implemented and without any delay. Lives and property must be safeguarded and among that property my country gives a pre-eminent place to the historical and spiritual capital which the Holy Places represent for Christendom.
31. The French delegation, for its part, can scarcely imagine that the appeal which the Council has just unanimously addressed to the parties involved will go unheeded, for the States in question are surely aware that behind this resolution stands the full authority of the United Nations.
32. Once the hostilities had ceased, in accordance with the Council’s will, we shall have along road before us. We shall have to exercise close watch over the implementation of our resolution and over the consequences flowing from implementation. The United Nations will have major problems to solve; and we are confident that it will be able to set purposefully about solving them. It is the stability of the Near East and peace that are at stake.
33. Lord CARADON (United Kingdom): Mr. President, I must first ask your indulgence if I make a short statement on a matter of great importance to my Government and my country. Speaking today in the House of Commons, my Prime Minister referred to false accusations that British aircraft have taken part in the fighting on the side of Israel. These are the words that my Prime Minister used:
"Her Majesty’s Government have already categorically denied this monstrous story, and all our Ambassadors in the Arab countries have been instructed to make clear to the local Governments that this is a malicious and mischievous invention. One story alleges that aircraft from British aircraft carriers have taken part in the fighting. During the past week, the only British aircraft carriers in the area have been
which has been in Malta, and
which has been in Aden, each over a thousand miles away."
34. I have today, Mr. President, addressed to you a letter on this important matter dealing with these lies which have been circulated in various forms here in New York. I shall read out this short letter, if I may, because it is necessary that these matters should be finally disposed of. The letter reads as follows:
"Her Majesty’s Government have been shocked by reports emanating from the Middle East and carried by official news media alleging that British aircraft have taken part in the recent fighting in the Middle East on the said of Israel. These reports are malicious fabrications. There is no grain of truth in them.
"It is the policy of Her Majesty’s Government to avoid taking sides in the conflict in the Middle East and they have done everything they can to bring about a cease-fire as soon as possible. As stated by my Secretary of State in the House of Commons yesterday, all British forces in the area have been under the strictest instructions not to become involved in any way.
"All United Kingdom Ambassadors in the Arab countries have been instructed to make clear to the Governments to which they are accredited that these reports are malicious and mischievous inventions and that no British aircraft, whether carrier-based or land-based, nor any other British forces, have taken any part whatsoever in the recent fighting.
"I should be grateful if you would have this letter circulated immediately as a Security Council document."
I thank you for allowing me to deal with that urgent and important matter first.
35. I would also wish, turning to the resolution which we have just unanimously adopted, to express our gratitude to you, Mr. President, for the patience and the steady determination which you have shown in leading us through difficult and most anxious discussions since you took over the duties of your high office. We express our appreciation also to all who have contributed to the result which we have now recorded.
36. In expressing my Government’s warm welcome for the resolution which we have just adopted, I have no intention of going over now all the ground covered in our debates in recent weeks. It is quite unnecessary to do so, since the position of my Government on all the main issues has been made absolutely plain, both in statements in the Council and in speeches by my Prime Minister and my Foreign Secretary in the House of Commons. Our position on those main issues remains unchanged.
37. I have only one other comment to make now following the decision we have just taken together. Those of us who have supported the United Nations, and those of us who have faith that only in international understanding and international co-operation can the world hope for progress and peace, have realized that in this crisis the of international authority have been in jeopardy. There was a danger that those high hopes would be betrayed and destroyed. One thing, I am sure, is uppermost in all our minds now: an overwhelming sense of the great responsibility--a responsibility from which we around this table cannot escape--the responsibility to go forward, to take the other steps now so urgently required. Neither can we escape the realization that if we fail now, our failure will result in more bloodshed and more suffering. Innocent people will suffer. We need not look farther than the Near East to see evidence that when conflict comes it is always the innocent who suffer most, and suffer worst.
38. I should also like to join with my fellow members of the Council in expressing to the representatives of India and Brazil our sorrow and our concern that their soldiers, who have represented so long the cause of international peace and the cause of the United Nations, have been lost. I wish to express to them the sympathy and respect and gratitude of my Government.
39. Having today taken this first essential step, we realize that only a supreme effort can enable us to rise to our obligation--our obligation to search for and establish a just settlement and to restore the authority of the United Nations. I trust that we shall not fail to make that supreme effort together now.
40. Mr. FEDORENKO (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics
) (translated from Russian):
The Security Council has just adopted a resolution calling for an immediate cease-fire and the cessation of military activities in the Near East. The Council members have thus unanimously come out in favor of putting an immediate and decisive end to Israel's aggression against the Arab countries.
41. The military conflict in that region has certainly not arisen without cause. As is well known, during the past few weeks tension in the Near East increased considerably and from Tel-Aviv there resounded threats against the Arab States and appeals for large-scale punitive operations against them, for a so-called "decisive" blow, and so on and so forth.
42. Even before the Arab countries took legitimate defensive measures, a state of war psychosis had developed in Israel and the Government of Israel, as we all know, received authority from its Parliament on 9 May to carry out military operations against the Arab countries.
43. The Soviet Union here in the Security Council and elsewhere has repeatedly stated its attitude and presented a basic evaluation in respect of the events in the Near East. The statement of the Soviet Government of 23 May 1967 emphasized,
that Israel would have been unable to carry out its policy of aggression and provocation against the Arab countries but for the direct and indirect encouragement of that line by certain imperialist circles which seek to bring back colonial oppression to Arab lands. It is no secret to anyone that in the present circumstances these circles regard Israel as the main force against the Arab States which pursue an independent national policy and resist the pressure of the forces of imperialism.
44. The Soviet Government has warned Tel-Aviv again and again that the responsibility for the consequences of its aggressive policy rests squarely on the shoulders of the ruling circles in Israel. Judging from everything that has happened, however, a reasonable approach has not yet triumphed in Tel-Aviv. The upshot is that Israel has once again proved guilty of a dangerous aggravation of tension in the Near East.
45. For decades, the Soviet Union has provided assistance of all kinds to the peoples of the Arab countries in their just struggle for national liberation, against colonialism and for their peaceful economic development. The Soviet Union is doing and intends to go on doing everything possible to prevent any violation of peace and security in the Near East in order to protect the legitimate rights of nations.
46. We consider it our duty to make a full affirmation once again of the Soviet Union's position of principle.
47. Had the Security Council taken the necessary measures to restrain the fanaticism of extremist circles in Tel-Aviv, the world would not now be witnessing a new aggression by Israel against the United Arab Republic and other Arab countries, an aggression which has taken the form of open military conflict. It is important, in this connection, to note that the extremist circles in Tel-Aviv launched this aggression at the very time when the Council was engaged in considering the question of the Near Eastern situation and hurled a challenge at the Council in so doing.
48. In his statement here in the Council on 5 June 1967
the representative of the United Arab Republic, Mr. El Kony, said that Israel had "committed a cowardly and treacherous aggression against my country", and adduced the relevant facts. The representative of the United Arab Republic informed the Council that Israel armed forces had launched attacks in the Gaza strip, the Sinai peninsula, and the Suez Canal zone, and on the Cairo airport and other airports in the territory of the Republic. An extremely serious situation has thus been created; hostilities have not only not ceased but are spreading, and a military conflict has flared up in the Near East which, the Soviet Government is convinced, is not in the interest of the peoples, to say the least.
49. On 5 June the Soviet Government made the following statement, to which we wish to draw the Security Council's attention:
"On 5 June 1967, Israel commenced hostilities against the United Arab Republic, thereby committing an aggression. The armed forces of the United Arab Republic are engaged in battle against the Israel troops which have invaded the territory of that State. Tank, artillery and air force units of both sides are in action.
"The Syrian Arab Republic has taken the side of the United Arab Republic and is giving it armed assistance in repelling aggression. Jordan has announced that it is in a state of, war with Israel and will give military support to the United Arab Republic. Iraq, Algeria and other Arab States have also declared that they will support the United Arab Republic with their armed forces and resources.
"Thus a military conflict has broken out in the Near East because of the adventurism of the rulers of one country, Israel, encouraged by covert and overt actions of certain imperialist circles. The country has been driven into such dangerous actions by leaders who keep saying that they are waging a struggle for the existence of Israel as a State. But if anything could undermine the foundations of the development as well as the very existence of the State of Israel, it is the policy of reckless adventurism which the ruling circles in Israel have chosen today.
"By launching aggression against neighboring Arab States, the Government of Israel has defied the United Nations Charter and the elementary rules of international law. The Government of Israel cannot say that it was unaware of where its policy was leading, nor can it say that it was unsure what position peace-loving States would take in the event of its unleashing a war of aggression. The Government of Israel knew that war could be avoided. The Soviet Union and other peace-loving States had called upon it to do precisely that. But it chose the path of war. There can be no doubt that the military adventure undertaken by Israel will rebound first of all upon Israel itself.
"The Soviet Union, faithful to its policy of assisting peoples who are victims of aggression, and States which have freed themselves from the colonial yoke, declares its resolute support for the Governments and peoples of the United Arab Republic, Syria, Iraq, Algeria, Jordan and other Arab States and expresses confidence in the success of their just struggle for their independence and sovereign rights.
"In condemning Israel aggression, the Government of the USSR demands that the Government of Israel, as a first urgent step towards ending the military conflict, cease military activities against the United Arab Republic, Syria, Jordan and the other Arab countries immediately and unconditionally and withdraw its troops behind the armistice line.
"The Government of the USSR expresses the hope that the Governments of other States, including those of the great Powers, will for their part take all steps to extinguish the military conflagration in the Near East and restore peace.
"The United Nations should fulfil its direct obligations, namely, condemn Israel's actions and take the necessary steps forthwith to restore peace in the Near East.
"The Soviet Government reserves the right to carry out all the measures which the circumstances require."
50. The resolution unanimously adopted by the Security Council calling for an immediate cease-fire and a cessation of military activities, represents the minimum which the Council should do at the present stage. As stated in the resolution itself, it is only a first step.
51. The Soviet Union delegation's view had been that the Council should also have taken a decision concerning the immediate withdrawal of the aggressor's troops behind the armistice line. Because of opposition by certain Council members, however, it has not been possible to reach agreement on that important issue.
52. The Soviet Union delegation forthrightly condemns Israel's aggression and considers it the duty of the Security Council to adopt a decision calling for the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of the aggressor's troops behind the armistice line.
53. Mr. RUDA (Argentina)
(translated from Spanish):
In our previous intervention during this debate on the grave situation in the Middle East, we stated
that our immediate task was to use every means at our disposal to maintain international peace and security. We felt that the problems of the moment were so great that we should not seek final solutions then and there, but that we should confine our efforts to avoiding an outbreak of fighting. In our favor, to that end, was the fact that the parties had not yet begun hostilities. Unfortunately, although the pause requested by the Secretary-General did last for several days, it was not long enough to calm emotions, and yesterday saw the outbreak of fighting on a larger scale. What we must do now, therefore, is not maintain peace but re-establish it.
54. Confronted by this situation, the Security Council, directly it was notified of the fighting, should with all speed have taken immediate provisional steps to halt the hostilities. This is a situation in which it is imperative for the Security Council to call for an immediate cease-fire. This is our first duty if we are to prevent the conflict from spreading; this is the first essential step before we can undertake once again the long and difficult task of resolving the dispute. The urgency of this first basic step and the evident need makes it unnecessary for us to expatiate further in support of a provisional measure which is obvious in these circumstances.
55. The hopes of the world rested on the work of this Council; we have taken vigorous action and should continue to do so, What is at stake here, perhaps today more than ever before, is the Organization's prestige. Peace and the future depend on our skill and decision. Let us not tomorrow have to rue the fact that we failed to act today.
56. The cease-fire, which is the first step, should be immediately followed by the most intensive efforts to bring about a just and lasting peace in the Middle East. Yesterday my Government defined its position in the light of the events as follows:
"We must calmly and composedly weigh the causes of the conflict and claims of the parties; we must maintain impartial and independent judgement; we must above all weigh the equity of our statements, and we must do so in order the more effectively to serve the higher interests of peace and world order as well as the permanent legitimate interests of the Argentine Republic."
57. It was for these reasons that my delegation voted in of this resolution, which we consider historic because it reaffirms our countrymen's faith that in this time of crisis the United Nations and the Security Council are capable of, and are, fulfilling their primary responsibility to maintain peace.
58. On behalf of my delegation, I should like, Mr. President, to emphasize our appreciation for your patient and fruitful efforts to ensure the unanimous adoption of this resolution. And before concluding, I should like to express my condolences to the delegations of India and Brazil for the losses suffered by their contingents in UNEF on their peace mission in Gaza.
59. Mr. IGNATIEFF (Canada): The calamity which all of us feared and which most of us have tried to prevent is upon us. The Secretary-General has been proved all too fight in his assessment that the situation in the Middle East was more menacing than at any time since the fall of 1956.
60. When I first intervened in this series of meetings on 24 May
I had just joined with you, Mr. President, in requesting the inscription of an item on the agenda of the Council regarding the extremely grave situation menacing peace and security in the Middle East. I proposed at that time that the Council should put its weight collectively behind the efforts of the Secretary-General by asking that no Member of the United Nations take any action which would worsen the situation. Notwithstanding the conscientious efforts made, in particular by you, Mr. President, consultations among the members failed to produce that clear endorsement of the Secretary-General's appeal for a breathing spell which most members of this Council had in one form or another in fact supported and to which my colleague from Argentina has just alluded. I also agree with my friend, the representative of Ethiopia, that much valuable time was lost which today's decision has helped to make up for--due in no small measure, Mr. President, to your patient and effective leadership.
61. But events did overtake us and the Council had to turn its hand, on an urgent and emergency basis, to the question of the cessation of hostilities and steps which could restore calm in the area. In the view of my delegation it will not serve the interests of the Security Council or of peace in the Middle East to fall into the temptation of recriminations at this stage or of attempts to assess the rights and the wrongs. We are on the threshold only of an understanding of the awesome facts. But one thing is clear. There is heavy fighting in the Middle East; both Israel and Arab forces are actively participating in it and there is grave danger of the war spreading. And at this point I wish to associate myself with the remarks made by several of my colleagues and to express the sympathies of the Canadian Government at the tragic casualties sustained by the Indian and Brazilian contingents in the United Nations Emergency Force in the course of duty on behalf of the United Nations.
62. The Canadian delegation believes that the Council has now properly exercised its responsibilities in calling upon all the parties concerned to cease fire immediately. As the Prime Minister of Canada said yesterday: "There is only one certain way to prevent the fighting from spreading and that is to end it." We would expect that the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization would take steps to observe the cease-fire once it came into effect and that all concerned would help it to carry out this task. Further action will, of course, have to be taken by this Council, but the urgent and immediate requirement is that the fighting be stopped.
63. We have therefore welcomed the agreed text and we are glad to have been able to vote for it. We earnestly hope that all parties, all Member States, and especially the permanent members, will now exercise all their influence to bring this fighting to an end. We would now expect that the parties will promptly comply with the call for a cease-fire which the Council has now adopted.
64. We note that the resolution is only a first step. We believe that the Council must take advantage of the opportunity which this unanimously agreed resolution represents, to deal effectively and in an equitable manner with the fundamental problems which underlie the maintenance of peace and security in the area. We cannot and we must not wait for another ten years, for another crisis which will result again in fighting and blood-letting and bring us all once more to the edge of catastrophe.
65. Mr. SETTE CAMARA (Brazil): From the time the Council convened to consider the outbreak of fighting in the Middle East, my delegation, as members of the Council are aware, has engaged in a number of talks and consultations with a view to arriving at a text which might prove acceptable to a substantial majority of the Council and thereby enable this body to take effective action to halt the hostilities and to restore peace in the area. The main purpose of our efforts was to call upon all Governments concerned, as a first step, to put into effect an immediate cease-fire, to be followed by other measures conducive to the peaceful settlement of the Arab-Israel situation. In so doing, we were guided by the sole concern to take a stand which would meet the urgent demands the open conflict in the Middle East had placed upon the Security Council. An immediate cease-fire was envisaged by the Brazilian delegation as a first but essential step towards re-establishing peace and checking the threat it presented to world peace and security.
66. For the above reasons, my delegation was able to support the draft resolution that has just been adopted. We are happy to note that the consultations among members of the Council, conducted under your able guidance, Mr. President, although they were strenuous and painstaking, have finally resulted in an agreement on the course of action upon which we should embark at this hour. My delegation gave its full support to the draft resolution introduced by our President, and we hope that it will bring about an end to the hostilities in the Middle East and be an effective and constructive stop towards restoring peace to all nations involved in the fighting, nations to which Brazil is tied by traditional links of esteem and friendship.
67. It was with deep grief that my delegation received this very morning confirmation from our Government that a soldier of the Brazilian contingent in the United Nations Emergency Force had been killed after, the outbreak of fighting between Egyptian and Israel forces in the area. Since the establishment of UNEF, the soldiers of the Brazilian contingent have served with dedication the cause of peace in the Middle East under the flag of the United Nations. Our deep respect and fraternal feelings go to these compatriots.
68. May I take this opportunity to extend our heartfelt sympathy to the Indian delegation for the casualties suffered by the Indian contingent in UNEF, and to thank my colleagues from Ethiopia, the United Kingdom, Argentina and Canada for their expressions of sympathy to my delegation.
69. Mr. MATSUI (Japan): On two separate occasions within the past two weeks, I have expressed the very grave concern of my Government regarding the situation in the Near East, and urged the Governments concerned to exercise maximum restraint, scrupulously avoiding any action of any kind which might lead to a further deterioration of the then already very grave situation. It was most unfortunate that, despite our clearly expressed grave anxiety, the situation prevailing in the area during recent weeks has resulted in very serious and widespread armed conflict.
70. There can be no doubt whatsoever that immediate cease-fire orders should be issued by the Governments concerned to all their military forces and that the Governments concerned, with the help of the Security Council, should promptly and fully explore all possible ways and means of resolving the questions at issue between them, strictly by peaceful means only. My delegation, therefore, was gratified that the draft resolution
which appealed for measures to be taken by the Governments concerned, as a first step, for an immediate cease-fire and for the cessation of all military activities in the area, was adopted unanimously.
71. May I join the other members of the Council in conveying, through their respective representatives, my delegation's profound condolences to the Governments and people of India and Brazil and to the families of those who have given their lives in the service of UNEF and who have, by their sacrifice, demonstrated their devotion to the cause of peace and security to which our Organization is dedicated.
72. Mr. TARABANOV (Bulgaria)
(translated from French):
The delegation of the People's Republic of Bulgaria voted in favor of the draft resolution calling for an immediate cease-fire. The very terms of the draft text indicate that it is only a first step towards halting the brutal aggression launched by extremist circles in Israel against the United Arab Republic, the Syrian Arab Republic and Jordan.
73. In adopting this draft resolution the Security Council cannot fail to recognize that further aggression was perpetrated by Israel extremists against the United Arab Republic and the other Arab States. By this aggression, plotted at the instigation of certain Western imperialistic circles--which some have preferred not to mention--they sought to create a new situation characterized by a
serve the interests of those who have always been opposed to national liberation struggles, to the struggle of all peoples to defeat colonialism and achieve national independence.
74. The Bulgarian Government made the following statement on 5 June:
"The Bulgarian people and their Government follow with anxiety the development of events in the Near East. They condemn Israel aggression against the United Arab Republic and all other Arab countries and voice their full solidarity with the Arab peoples who are struggling to beat off aggression and for the defense of their freedom and independence against the actions of imperialism and neo-colonialism. The Government of the People's Republic of Bulgaria and the Bulgarian people join in the appeal, of peace-loving nations for an immediate end to Israel aggression and for a withdrawal of Israel troops behind the armistice line. The Bulgarian Government believes that the Security Council should take immediate steps to condemn and stop Israel's aggressive action and to restore peace in the Near East."
The aggression launched by Israel against the United Arab Republic and the other Arab countries is merely the culmination of the policy which extremist circles in Israel have been following for a very long time.
75. This policy was reflected in the fact that despite urgent appeals addressed to it, the Government of Israel did not see fit to give an assurance to the Secretary-General, or
the Security Council or world public opinion, that it would not initiate an armed offensive against any Arab country. The fact that the attack on the United Arab Republic was launched at a time when it had been announced that the Government of that country had accepted President Johnson's invitation and was sending one of its Vice-Presidents to discuss the situation shows that the Israel Government was not interested in a political solution but was seeking to impose a new
, as it had done in the past. Israel's open and premeditated aggression against the United Arab Republic, Syria and Jordan is one of the most brutal episodes resulting from imperialistic policy in the Middle East. The Secretary-General's reports an subsequent course of events have confirmed that it was carried out against the Arab countries along broad lines.
76. Viewing this resolution as a first step, the delegation of the People's Republic of Bulgaria will make it its duty to insist, as far as lies within its power, that the Security Council take all necessary steps to condemn Israel’s aggression against the Arab countries and to effect prompt withdrawal of the aggressor behind the armistice demarcation line, as specified in the Bulgarian Government’s statement.
77. The Bulgarian delegation maintains that the Security Council should continue to deal with his question with a view to taking the necessary steps to make further aggression impossible on the part of imperialist circles and their agents in the Middle East. This is an urgent duty which the Council should carry out forthwith.
78. On behalf of the delegation of the People's Republic of Bulgaria, I should like to convey to the Indian and Brazilian delegations and to the Secretary-General our most heartfelt condolences on the loss of life sustained by the United Nations Emergency Force in performing its task in Middle East.
79. Mr. KEITA (Mali)
(translated from French):
My delegation would like, at the outset, to pay its tribute of mourning for the victims of the surprise attack recently directed against the United Arab Republic. It also mourns the death of Indian and Brazilian citizens who laid down their lives in the service of the United Nations. We wish to convey to the people and to the Governments of India and Brazil, through the intermediary of the distinguished representatives of those countries here present, our heartfelt condolences and those of our Government on the loss they have suffered through the death of their countrymen who have fallen in the service of the United Nations and the cause of peace.
80. My delegation has already had repeated occasion not only to express its devotion to peace, but also to prove it. And in this Council, which we continue to regard as the supreme peace-keeping body, it would be unthinkable for any Member to refuse to support an appeal for peace. My delegation accordingly voted, Mr. President, in favor of your appeal. We nevertheless wish to state, first, that we condemn Israel's aggression of Monday, 5 June 1967, and secondly, that our Government fully supports the United Arab Republic and the other Arab peoples in their just and high-principled struggle for their sovereignty and their legitimate rights.
81. We therefore trust that the Security Council will not consider its task completed with this appeal, which is no more than the unanimous but simple expression of the Council members' desire and will for peace. We trust that this step will be followed by a searching study of the whole problem which has so long featured in our agenda; for unless further action is taken, we shall merely have added a few more lines on another sheet of paper under the illusion of having solved a problem that will soon be confronting us again at the next crossroads.
82. Mr. LIU (China); My delegation heartily welcomes the resolution. It is our sincere conviction that in a conflict Such as the one going on in the Middle East, there can be no victors. In the present circumstances, the first order of business for the Security Council is obviously to arrange for a cease-fire. There are, of course, deep-rooted and complex problems still awaiting solution. I hope that with the cease-fire those problems, difficult as they are, will eventually be resolved,
83. I further hope that the Council will be able to follow up this initial step by other effective means to seek the just and peaceful solution of the conditions that underlie the present conflict. For the situation we are now confronted with is not a crisis for the Middle East alone, but a supreme test for the United Nations: whether this Organization is capable of discharging the responsibilities and fulfilling the purposes for which it was created.
84. The fact that the Council, in spite of a timely warning by the Secretary-General, had to wait for the actual outbreak of hostilities before coming to grips with the situation, and even then allowed so much time to elapse before making a simple appeal in the name of peace, is something for all of us to ponder and reflect upon. None the less, to arrive at a unanimous appeal for the cessation of hostilities, even at this late hour, is no mean achievement.
85. May I join with all previous speakers in appealing to the parties concerned to comply with the terms of the resolution, which has behind it the support of all members of the Council and, I believe, of all peace-loving peoples throughout the world.
86. Mr. PARTHASARATHI (India): I should like to make a very brief explanation of my delegation's vote.
87. Speaking in Parliament in New Delhi earlier today, my Prime Minister said:
"The world today faces a disastrous war in West Asia. The armed forces of Israel and those of the United Arab Republic and other Arab countries are locked in combat and the situation becomes graver by the hour. If not stopped, this war is likely to expand into a much wider one, drawing into its vortex other countries and developing, perhaps, into a world war.
"World peace is in grave peril. It is our solemn duty to help in the restoration of peace in the present perilous situation. It is the bounden duty of all countries, large and small, to work towards this end."
88. It is in the spirit of what my Prime Minister said, which is in accord with our consistent policy of peace, that we welcome the unanimous decision just taken by this Council ordering an immediate cease-fire in the Middle East. We note that the resolution states clearly and unambiguously that the cease-fire is only a first step, although a most important first step. It is well known that my delegation, among others, would have preferred a resolution which called upon the Governments concerned for a withdrawal of armed forces to positions held by them prior to the outbreak of hostilities, that is as on 4 June 1967, along with the cease-fire. Such a linking of the cease-fire with a withdrawal would be in accordance with the practice which this Council has evolved in the past. This practice is obviously based upon the sound principle that the aggressor should not be permitted by the international community to enjoy the fruits of aggression, This is also a most important tenet of international law and practice indeed, and is the only basis on which lasting peace can be built in the troubled area of the Middle East.
89. My delegation is of the opinion that, the Council should take up on an urgent basis the question of withdrawal.
90. May I take this opportunity, Mr. President, to express our appreciation of the admirable manner in which you conducted the consultations with all delegations, and of your untiring efforts to bring about a unanimous decision by the Council.
91. I should like now to refer to another tragic aspect of the conflict in the Middle East. Yesterday we were shocked to learn from the Secretary-General that three Indian soldiers had been killed and nine wounded in an attack by Israel aircraft on an Indian convoy of the United Nations Emergency Force. Subsequent to what the Secretary-General stated in the Council yesterday
I have learned that two more Indian soldiers were killed and one injured in shelling by Israel artillery yesterday. This morning I was informed that three more Indian soldiers have been killed and three injured in further shelling by Israel artillery. We reiterate our strong protests against these treacherous and dastardly attacks on withdrawing Indian forces.
92. We must ask for an unqualified guarantee for the safety and security of those portions and elements of the Emergency Force which continue to be in the area where for ten long years they labored so hard and so selflessly as keepers of the peace. In this context, we have noted with appreciation, from the Secretary-General's report of 5 June, that he has already addressed a formal note of protest to the Government of Israel regarding what he himself has characterized as the "tragic and unnecessary loss of life among Force personnel"
[S/7930, para. 11].
We note also that the Secretary-General has asked the Israel authorities "to take urgent measures to ensure that there is no recurrence of such incidents"
93. The Secretary-General's report makes it clear-clearer than ever-that the loss of life wantonly caused by the Israel armed forces was unnecessary, cruel and tragic.
94. May I be permitted to quote from the statement made earlier this morning by my Prime Minister in our Parliament in New Delhi:
"Honorable Members have no doubt learned with deep resentment of the wanton Israel attack and subsequent strafing by Israel aircraft, resulting in the death and injury of a number of personnel of the Indian UNEF contingent in Gaza. These attacks appeared deliberate and without provocation, in spite of clear and unmistakable United Nations markings and identification of our contingent. I have addressed a message to the Secretary-General of the United Nations on this subject expressing our grief and indignation at these incidents and I have asked for effective steps to be taken to ensure their safety and early evacuation from the area of hostilities.
"There can be no justification for Israel armed forces to have attacked our contingent, whose whereabouts, identification, markings and intention to withdraw were clearly known to the Israel authorities. I am sure the House will unreservedly condemn this cowardly attack on our men who have been sentinels of peace in West Asia."
95. I must thank the Secretary-General for the expression of his deep regret at the heavy casualties which the Indian contingent has suffered. As he rightly points out, they had no means of defending themselves. I shall, of course, transmit to the Government of India and to the families concerned his deep condolences and sympathies.
96. May I also express my appreciation for the efforts he is making to arrive at an arrangement for the earliest possible repatriation of the Indian contingent.
97. I would also like to thank the representatives
of United Arab Republic, Ethiopia, the United Kingdom, Argentina, Canada, Brazil, Japan, Bulgaria and Mali for their moving expressions of sympathy, which I deeply appreciate. May I, in my turn, convey to the delegation of Brazil my deepest sympathy for the loss they have sustained in the death of a member of their contingent.
98. The PRESIDENT: There are no more representatives who wish to explain their votes, and I should like now, in the name of DENMARK, to say a few words. Since this is meant to be an explanation of vote, I can indeed be brief. In Denmark we believe in the peaceful settlement of disputes. As a member of the Security Council, we feel it our obligation to contribute to the realization of the Council's primary purpose: the maintenance of international peace and security.
99. We are these days witnessing a tragedy. A war has broken out, with death and cruel consequences for numerous people and families. As early as yesterday morning, I advocated a call for a cease-fire, to Concentrate on first things first.
100. The Danish Government is happy that it has now proved possible as a first step to adopt unanimously a resolution calling for a cease-fire.
101. I do not find it necessary to give any further explanation of my vote for this call, for which I imagine the whole world has been waiting.
102. Speaking now as PRESIDENT, I should like to say that a number of representatives have indicated that they, wish to make statements at this stage. The first speaker on my list is the Foreign Minister of Iraq, whom I invite to take a seat at the Council table and to make a statement.
103. Mr. PACHACHI (Iraq): I wish to make a brief statement following the Council's adoption of its resolution on this question.
104. Mr. President, you will recall that less than a week ago, when I had the privilege of addressing the Security Council, I stated
that while the Arab-States had indicated to the Secretary-General, and had, reaffirmed here, that they would not initiate any offensive action against Israel, no such assurance had been given by the Israel Government. I also pointed out that it was the duty of the Security Council to determine from where the threat to peace came and to take necessary action to prevent the one party which declared its intention to go to war from carrying out its threat. Efforts were exerted by all members of the Council and by many other Member States of the United Nations, including Iraq, to find a basis for the breathing spell which the Secretary- General proposed so that the Council would be in a position to undertake a discussion of the problem with a view to finding solutions that would prevent the outbreak of hostilities. While those efforts were going on, Israel initiated offensive action against the United Arab Republic and other Arab States.
105. I do not need to prove who initiated the offensive action in this war. The Secretary-General's report of 26 May fulfilled its duty. It has dashed the hopes which the peoples of the world had placed in it.
106. What makes this particularly serious is that his war was initiated while the Council was seized of the problem and while talks and negotiations and efforts were being undertaking by all the members of the Council to find a peaceful solution.
107. It would have been natural, indeed necessary, for the Council, before ordering or recommending a cease-fire to determine the responsibility for the breach of peach and the act of aggression which had been committed. That is what this Council is for. When a clear breach of the peach and a clear premeditated act of aggression in committed, is it right for the Council merely to satisfy itself with a cease-fire resolution, without making even an effort to determine the responsibility for the outbreak of hostilities?
108. I have had the privilege of working with many of the representatives around this table as the representative of my country at the United Nations. I am honored by the fact that I consider many of you as my friends. Therefore, you must excuse me if I state my views honestly and clearly. I owe it to myself as a man and as an Arab to state my views clearly. If I did not do that, I would be violating my conscience as a human being and my national duty as an Arab.
109. The cease-fire resolution which the Council adopted today is a complete surrender to Israel. I do not care what anybody says. That is a fact and it is very well known. For two days there have been negotiations to see whether a cease-fire resolution would be adopted that would be accompanied by a call for the withdrawal of forces back to the point from which hostilities started. That was not done because of the fact that certain States, and I mention the United States of America in particular, refused to go along with it. It refused to go along with it for the very simple reason that Israel refused to go along with it. And why did Israel refuse? Was it not in order to be able to keep control of territories which it had been able to occupy through its treacherous and surprise attack on the Arab countries while the Council was discussing this problem?
110. It pains me to say that I personally went so far as to have talks with the President of the United States and with the Secretary of State of the United States about the problem and about what should be done in order that the Council might adopt a resolution that would make it possible to have the breathing spell which the Secretary-General proposed. Little did I know--I repeat, little did I know--that while these talks were going on, massive assistance was being given to Israel, so that it was able to launch its treacherous attack against our people.
111. It is quite obvious that Israel would not have dared to defy world public opinion and the Council had it no been encouraged by its friends. It is for this reason that my country, along with others, decided to break off diplomatic relations with the United States of America.
112. This is a most painful hour, in fact, the most painful that I personally have witnessed in my long and, I hope, fruitful association with the United Nations. But here we find the Council, instead of pointing its finger at the obvious aggressor, adopting a resolution that in fact allows the aggressor to retain the fruits of its aggression. By doing that, the Council has not fulfilled its duty. It has dashed the hopes which the peoples of the world had placed in it.
113. Many countries of the world have come to the support of the Arab nations. In this Council several members have indeed stated their support for us. But I must say that I am a little puzzled. While they concede that an act of aggression was committed against Arab countries, they would still go along with a resolution that does not in any way ask that this responsibility be pinned down, or at least that those who committed the act of aggression be asked to give up the fruit of their aggression.
114. Mr. President, I would be dishonest with you if I did not say that the meaning of this will not be lost upon the Arab people, In this grave and solemn hour, you may be sure that our people, who have been led into this war against their will in order to defend their homeland against Israel aggression, will definitely reconsider their position. It is not up to us--Governments come and go--but you may be sure that the people will never tolerate this abject surrender to Israel.
115. The PRESIDENT: I now give the floor to the representative of the United States in exercise of his right of reply.
116. Mr. GOLDBERG (United States of America): I am impelled to exercise this right of reply to the statement just made by the Foreign Minister of Iraq, who is a man well known to all of us and who deservedly enjoys a very great and eminent reputation here at the United Nations. Nevertheless, I must reject as completely unfounded what he has just said. And I should like to do that by reference to the record, which is well known to every member of this Council.
117. The United States took the lead in supporting the proposal of other countries on this Council to bring this matter before the Council, so that in the exercise of its responsibilities the Council could take the action necessary to prevent any--and I emphasize any"--warlike action in the Middle East. Our record in this respect is a clear and plain record. We did what we did, I should like to recall, despite the fact that when we joined in this effort, there were members of the Council who took the position that we were attempting to dramatize the situation, that everything was all right, that it was not necessary for the Council to take any action, that things were tranquil, that all we had to do was sit by and let events happen.
118. We had a great Governor of this State of New York, Governor Al Smith, and his very favorite expression was: "Let us look at the record". Now I shall recall the record, since our attitude is brought into question.
119. Incidents broke out in the Middle East on 5 May and 8 May. These incidents were reported to the Security Council
by our distinguished Secretary-General in the most objective terms, which is characteristic of him, and also in statements on 11 May and 13 May. What was the response of my Government? I should like to read the following Press statement issued on 15 May:
"The United States strongly supports the efforts of the Secretary-General on behalf of the United Nations to maintain peace in the Middle East. We share his concern about the situation as expressed in his recent statements of 11 May and 13 May, and are distressed over reports of increased tension and military preparation.
"Diplomatic efforts on the part of my Government in support of the Secretary- General's appeals are now under way and we hope the response to his efforts will be positive."
May I interject at this point that in our diplomatic efforts we went to all important capitals, including those of all the countries concerned, with a fervent plea for restraint in the situation, a plea to avoid all threats and acts of force.
120. On 18 May--and we were fairly lonely at that time; there were only a few others with us--I made a statement on behalf of my Government after visiting the Secretary-General and hearing at first hand a report from him on his concerns, which he had elaborated in his reports of 11 May and 13 May. I should like to read to the Council what I said publicly on that occasion:
"The Secretary-General and I reviewed the present situation in the Middle East. I expressed the deep concern of the United States over reports of increased tension and military movements in the area."
121. On the same day I met with the Press here at the United Nations, after meeting with the Secretary-General, and this is what I said:
"We are concerned over reports of increased tension and military movements in the area and we would hope very much that the situation would be stabilized. I know of no other subject at the moment that is of greater concern."
122. On 19 May I again made a statement of a public nature, and I now repeat that statement:
"The United States fully shares the serious misgivings expressed by the Secretary-General in his report of 18 May
about the effect of the withdrawal of the United Nations Emergency Force in the present tense situation in the Middle East and his expression of belief that UNEF has been an important factor in maintaining relative quiet in the area. We deeply regret the developments that are taking place.
"In the light of today's developments we are giving urgent consideration in consultation with others to the further steps that might be required in support of peace and the role of the United Nations in preserving it in the Middle East."
123. On 20 May, when the Secretary-General announced his welcome decision to proceed on an arduous mission to Cairo in the interests of peace in the area, I issued a formal statement on behalf of my Government as follows:
"In the light of the extreme gravity of the current situation in the Middle East and the state of tension prevailing there, the United States greatly welcomes the decision of the Secretary-General to travel to that area in an effort to assure peace.
"We note with great concern the Secretary-General's report today to the Security Council
warning that the situation is becoming more menacing than at any time since the fall of 1956. We share that concern."
124. On 23 May I made the following statement here in New York:
"We have been consulting intensively with other members over the last several days, since the crisis first arose, to determine in what way the Security Council could best contribute to the cause of peace in the area, We entirely agree that the time has now come, in the light of the gravity of the circumstances, for the Security Council to discharge its primary responsibility under the Charter for the maintenance of international peace and security."
125. Then we had a meeting of the Security Council. Some members here resisted a meeting because they said that the Secretary-General was on his mission. We had said that we did not want to do anything in any way to prejudice the result of the Secretary-General's mission; nevertheless, in the light of the increased tension in the area, we supported the effort made by Canada and Denmark to call a meeting to support the efforts of the Secretary-General, and at that meeting I said the following on behalf of my Government:
"It has been said, for example, that one of the possibly adverse effects of a discussion at this time would be to dramatize a situation better left quiet. But this Council would be burying its head in the sand if it refused to recognize the threat to peace implicit in the developments which have occurred since the Secretary-General left New York two days ago.
"It is precisely because of these developments, not known to him or to any member of the Council, that we have been called here today urgently to consider what the Council ought to do in the discharge of its responsibility to further his efforts--and not to impede them.
"This Council meeting cannot dramatize a situation which at this moment is at the center of the stage of world concern. It can, however, play a role, as we hope, in drawing the curtain on a tragedy which potentially threatens the peace and well-being of all the people in the area and, indeed, of all mankind."
meeting, paras. 49-51.]
126. On 24 May in the Security Council I said:
"The United States strongly supported the request made by Canada and Denmark last evening for an immediate meeting of the Security Council. We did so out of our grave concern over the sharp increase of tension between Israel and its Arab neighbors since the Secretary-General's departure, and out of our belief that the Secretary-General should be accorded all possible support the difficult peace mission on which he is now emarked."
[1342nd meeting, para. 3.]
"...since the Secretary-General made his report--indeed, in the two days since he departed for Cairo--conditions in the area have taken a still more menacing turn ... This has led us to the belief that the Council, in the exercise of its responsibilities, should meet without delay and take steps to relieve tension in the area.
"Great Powers have both interests and responsibilities in this matter--and the greater the Power the greater the responsibility."
[Ibid., paras. 5 and 13.]
127. On 29 May I said this in the Council:
"This grave appeal from the Secretary-General has lost none of its relevance "--this was after the return of the Secretary-General--"since his report was issued. ... Incidents have occurred ... Thus, the dangers in these three areas, which the Secretary-General has rightly identified as the most sensitive of all, remain at their height. Passions, regrettably, are still high and the need for utmost restraint on all sides has in no way abated."
[1343rd meeting, para. 18.]
128. On 30 May in this Council I said that the situation "is by common recognition very tense, very grave, very serious and menacing to the cause of world peace and security"
[1344th meeting, para. 108].
129. On 31 May--and all the events to which I am referring transpired before the outbreak of hostilities--I said: "The events since then have certainly underscored the urgency which the Secretary-General expressed to us last Friday in his report."
[1345th meeting, para. 34.]
130. Then on 3 June I said this: "The Secretary-General, in this grave situation, has made an appeal for restraint to all concerned. The United States is supporting this appeal."
[1346th meeting, para. 229.]
131. I am sorry to burden the Council with this recital of the position of our Government, but I want to make one thing crystal clear. Our position is not compatible with the statement that has been made that the United States in any way contributed to the cause of tension in the area. On the contrary, the United States, conscious of what the Secretary- General called to our attention, has devoted every means at the disposal of the Government, public and private, in the interest of restraint in the area. We have gone diplomatically to Israel and the Arab States and have urged since 15 May--when we had the Secretary- General's reports before us--restraint and pacific settlement. We, along with
others, made every effort to get the Security Council to exercise its own responsibilities in the area. We are one of the members of the Security Council, only one; we cannot
order its deliberations.
132. The picture of a country egging someone on is scarcely compatible with our record of urging the Council to take action which we at all times supported and have supported today; that is to urge all parties--I emphasize "all parties"--to refrain from force and to follow the Charter prescription to settle disputes by peaceful means. More than that, any allegation that the United States has given in these circumstances "massive assistance to Israel"--and I quote the Foreign Minister of Iraq--is completely and entirely without foundation. What we have done is to urge restraint. Every communication, public and private, has been directed to that end.
133. I regret very much that the Council did not heed our advice. Under the Charter we did not have to wait, as we pointed out in our presentation to the Council, until a breach of the peace had occurred. The Charter uses the words "threats to the peace". It was our considered judgement, based on events which were reported by the Secretary-General, that the Council should exercise its collective judgement, collective responsibility, collective power, in the interest of restraining all of the parties and bringing about a peaceful composition of the situation and averting the tragedy of war.
134. That is the record of the attitude of my country in this matter. It is a record not of partisanship, but of sober responsibility. It is a record of attempting to work through the United Nations, the organ that we created for this purpose. It is a record also of exerting all diplomatic means at the disposal of my country to avert what has occurred in the last few days.
135. Therefore, I cannot accept the concept that the United States, which took the lead even to the extent of presenting a draft resolution to the Council for a breathing spell, is in any way to be charged with having fomented and encouraged anything that occurred, It is just inconsistent with the facts, which are a matter of public record, as well as a matter of private record, known to all the Arab States involved in this conflict, as well as to Israel. For those were widespread communications designed to do by diplomatic means everything that we could do to bring restraint into what the Secretary-General had correctly pointed out was the most grave and menacing situation in the Middle East that we had faced since the Suez crisis.
136. I only regret--and I say this without recrimination--that our appeals, diplomatically and to this Council, were not heeded. I only regret that there were members of this Council who took the position that we wore artificially dramatizing a situation which already at that time was the most dramatic on the world scene and which today has resulted in the catastrophe of which we warned. In all friendship I say this to those who have spoken in that way: It is not good to take a stand which attributes to country a position which our country does not have, a stand which the facts belie and which cannot be supported.
137. But something more is involved. It has been a basic concept of the United States, as a principal supporter of the United Nations and as one of its founders, that this Organization had a responsibility to avert the catastrophe. And it was our effort to get this Council to discharge that responsibility which brought us here at the time of the meeting to which I have referred. In the negotiations which took place we made every attempt, we did everything we could, to urge restraint. And we shall continue to do so in light of the Council's resolution which was adopted today.
136. I would not like by any omission to indicate that we do not share, with the greatest regret and sorrow, the views of my colleagues about the deaths of members of the Indian and Brazilian contingents of the United Nations Emergency Force in the service of the United Nations. We believe in peace-keeping. We think those brave soldiers paid the supreme sacrifice for their dedication to the United Nations. We express this regret now, and my Government at the highest levels is expressing its regrets to the Heads of State. We think that this is a regrettable and sorrowful chapter in the history of the United Nations. We have no hesitancy in condemning those responsible. We think that the lives of those soldiers are the first priority for all men who believe in the great peace-keeping effort of the United Nations.
139. My country desires, as I have said, good relations with all. We try to have good relations with all. Good relations are not going to be the product of statements which are not founded upon fact. Indeed, I, in this Council, conscious of some documents that had been circulated, categorically stated on the highest authority of my Government that if there was any doubt about the position of the United States with respect to any régime, whatever its ideology, in the Middle East, I wanted to lay that doubt to rest. The passage I read today--and have read three times--that we respect the territorial integrity and political independence of every State in the Middle East, stands. It has been our consistent policy. We believe in it. We believe in it in a spirit of friendship for all of the countries concerned. That is our position. That remains our position. It has not been changed by anything that has been said, because it represents the fundamental policy of my country.
140. Finally, when the historical record of this period is written, the United States will yield to no one in what it has done through private channels to urge that everyone concerned should exercise restraint in this situation, We have worked day and night in the Council and outside the Council. We have accepted every suggestion made by members of the Council to try to compose this situation. I repeat the offer I made earlier--and I know of no similar offer that has been made in the history of the United Nations--to admit on naval vessels of the United States, in conditions of intimacy and confidence, representatives of the United Nations and to give them complete access to everything needed to verify the peaceful activities of the United States in this situation.
141. The PRESIDENT: I now invite the Foreign Minister of Israel to take a place at the Council table and to make a statement.
142. Mr. EBAN (Israel): I thank you, Mr. President giving me this opportunity to address the Council. I just come from Jerusalem to tell the Security Council Israel, by its independent effort and sacrifice, has passed from serious danger to successful resistance.
143. Two days ago Israel's condition caused much concern across the humane and friendly world. Israel had reached a sombre hour. Let me try to evoke the point at which our fortunes stood.
144. An army, greater than any force ever assembled it, history in Sinai, had massed against Israel's southern frontier. Egypt had dismissed the United Nations forces which symbolized the international interest in the maintenance of peace in our region. Nasser had provocatively brought five infantry divisions and two armored divisions up to our very gates; 80,000 men and 900 tanks were poised to move.
145. A special striking force, comprising an armored division with at least 200 tanks, was concentrated against Eflat at the Negev's southern tip. Here was a clear design to cut the southern Negev off from the main body of our State. For Egypt had openly proclaimed that Eflat did not form part of Israel and had predicted that Israel itself would soon expire. The proclamation was empty; the prediction now lies in ruin. While the main brunt of the hostile threat was focussed on the southern front, an alarming plan of encirclement was under way. With Egypt's initiative and guidance, Israel was already being strangled in its maritime approaches to the whole eastern half of the world. For sixteen years, Israel had been illicitly denied passage in the Suez Canal, despite the Security Council's decision of 1 September 1951
And now the creative enterprise of ten patient years which had opened an international route across the Strait of Tiran and the Gulf of Aqaba had been suddenly and arbitrarily choked. Israel was and is breathing with only a single lung.
146. Jordan had been intimidated, against its better interest, into joining a defense pact. It is not a defense pact at all: it is an aggressive pact, of which I saw the consequences with my own eyes yesterday in the shells falling upon institutions of health and culture in the City of Jerusalem. Every house and street in Jerusalem now came into the range of fire as a result of Jordan's adherence to this pact; so also did the crowded and pathetically narrow coastal strip in which so much of Israel's life and population is concentrated.
147. Iraqi troops reinforced Jordanian units in area immediately facing vital and vulnerable Israel communication centers. Expeditionary forces from Algeria and Kuwait had reached Egyptian territory. Nearly all the Egyptian forces which had been attempting the conquest of the Yemen had been transferred to the coming assault upon Israel. Syrian units, including artillery, overlooked the Israel villages in the Jordan Valley. Terrorist troops came regularly into our territory to kill, plunder and set off explosions; the most recent occasion was five days ago.
148. In short, there was peril for Israel wherever it looked. Its manpower had been hastily mobilized. Its economy and commerce were beating with feeble pulses. Its streets were dark and empty. There was an apocalyptic air of approach-ing peril. And Israel faced this danger alone.
149. We were buoyed up by an unforgettable surge of public sympathy across the world. The friendly Governments expressed the rather ominous hope that Israel would manage to live, but the dominant theme of our condition was danger and solitude.
150. Now there could be no doubt about what was intended for us. With my very ears I heard President Nasser's speech on 26 May. He said:
"We intend to open a general assault against Israel. This will be total war. Our basic aim will be to destroy Israel."
151. On 2 June, the Egyptian Commander in Sinai, General Mortagi, published his order of the day, calling on his troops to wage a war of destruction against Israel. Here, then, was a systematic, overt, proclaimed design at politicide, the murder of a State.
152. The policy, the arms, the men had all been brought together, and the State thus threatened with collective assault was itself the last sanctuary of people which had seen six million of its sons exterminated by a more powerful dictator two decades before.
153. The question then widely asked in Israel and across the world was whether we had not already gone beyond the utmost point of danger. Was there any precedent in world history, for example, for a nation passively to suffer the blockade of its only southern port, involving nearly all its vital fuel, when such acts of war, legally and internationally, have always invited resistance? This was a most unusual patience. It existed because we had acceded to the suggestion of some of the maritime States that we give them scope to concert their efforts in order to find an international solution which would ensure the maintenance of free passage in the Gulf of Aqaba for ships of all nations and of all flags.
154. As we pursued this avenue of international solution, we wished the world to have no doubt about our readiness to exhaust every prospect, however fragile, of a diplomatic solution-and some of the prospects that were suggested were very fragile indeed.
155. But as time went on, there was no doubt that our margin of general security was becoming smaller and smaller. Thus, on the morning of 5 June, when Egyptian forces engaged us by air and land, bombarding the villages of Kissufim, Nahal-Oz and Ein Hashelosha we knew that our limit of safety had been reached, and perhaps passed. In accordance with its inherent right of self-defense as formulated in Article 51 of the United Nations Charter,
Israel responded defensively in full strength. Never in the history of nations has armed force been used in a more righteous or compelling cause.
156. Even when engaged with Egyptian forces, we still hoped to contain the conflict. Egypt was overtly bent on our destruction, but we still hoped that others would not join the aggression. Prime Minister Eshkol, who for weeks had carried the heavy burden of calculation and decision, published and conveyed a message to other neighboring States proclaiming:
"We shall not attack any country unless it opens war on us. Even now, when the mortars speak, we have not given up our quest for peace. We strive to repel all menace of terrorism and any danger of aggression to ensure our security and our legitimate rights."
157. In accordance with this same policy of attempting to contain the conflict, yesterday I invited General Bull, the Chief of Staff of the Truce Supervision Organization, to inform the heads of the Jordanian State that Israel had no desire to expand the conflict beyond the unfortunate dimensions that it had already assumed and that if Israel were not attacked on the Jordan side, it would not attack and would act only in self-defense. It reached my ears that this message had been duly and faithfully conveyed and received. Nevertheless, Jordan decided to join the Egyptian posture against Israel and opened artillery attacks across the whole long frontier, including Jerusalem. Those attacks are still in progress.
158. To the appeal of Prime Minister Eshkol to avoid any further extension of the conflict, Syria answered at 12.25 yesterday morning by bombing Megiddo from the air and bombing Deganya at 12.40 with artillery fire and kibbutz Ein Hammifrats and Koordani with long-range guns. But Jordan embarked on a much more total assault by artillery and aircraft along the entire front, with special emphasis on Jerusalem, to whose dangerous and noble ordeal yesterday I come to bear personal witness.
159. There has been bombing of houses; there has been a hit on the great new National Museum of Art; there has been a hit on the University and on Shaare Tsedek, the first hospital ever to have been established outside the ancient walls. Is this not an act of vandalism that deserves the condemnation of all mankind? And in the Knesset Building, whose construction had been movingly celebrated by the entire democratic world ten months ago, the Israel Cabinet and Parliament met under heavy gunfire, whose echoes mingled at the end of our meeting with Hatikvah, the anthem of hope.
160. Thus throughout the day and night of 5 June, the Jordan which we had expressly invited to abstain from needless slaughter became, to our surprise, and still remains, the most intense of all the belligerents; and death and injury, as so often in history, stalk Jerusalem's streets.
161. When the approaching Egyptian aircraft appeared on our radar screens, soon to be followed by artillery attacks on our villages near the Gaza Strip, I instructed Mr. Rafael to inform the Security Council, in accordance with the provisions of Article 51 of the Charter. I know that that involved arousing you, Mr. President, at a most uncongenial hour of the night, but we felt that the Security Council should be most urgently seized.
162. I should, however, be less than frank if I were to conceal the fact that the Government and people of Israel have been disconcerted by some aspects of the United Nations role in this conflict. The sudden withdrawal of the United Nations Emergency Force was not accompanied, as it should have been, by due international consultations on the consequences of that withdrawal. Moreover, Israel interests were affected; they were not adequately explored. No attempt was made, little time given, to help Israel surmount grave prejudice to its vital interests consequent on that withdrawal. After all, a new confrontation of forces suddenly arose. It suddenly had to be met and at Sharm el Sheikh at the entrance to the Gulf of Aqaba, the Strait of Tiran, legality walked out and blockade walked in. The peace of the world trembled. And thus the United Nations had somehow been put into a position of leaving Sinai safe for belligerency.
163. It is not, I think, a question of sovereignty that is here involved. The United Nations has a right to ask that when it assumes a function, the termination of that function shall not take place in conditions that would lead to anti-Charter situations. I do not raise this point in order to linger upon that which is past, but because of Israel's general attitude to the peace-keeping functions of this Organization. And I confess that my own attitude and those of my colleagues and of my fellow citizens to the peace-keeping functions of the United Nations have been traumatically affected by this experience.
164. The United Nations Emergency Force rendered distinguished service. Nothing became it less than the manner of its departure. AD gratitude and appreciation is owed to the individuals who sustained its action. And if in the course of the recent combats United Nations personnel have fallen dead or wounded--as they have--then I join my voice in an expression of the most sincere regret.
165. The problem of the future role of a United Nations presence in conflicts such as these is being much debated. But we must ask ourselves a question that has arisen as a
result of this experience. People in our country and in many countries ask: what is the use of a United Nations presence if it is in effect an umbrella which is taken away as soon as it begins to rain? Surely, then, future arrangements for peace-keeping must depend more on the agreement and the implementation of the parties themselves than on machinery which is totally at the mercy of the host country, so totally at its mercy as to be the instrument of its policies, whatever those policies may be.
166. We have lived through three dramatic weeks. Those weeks, I think, have brought into clear view the main elements of tension and also the chief promise of relaxed tension in the future. The first link in the cabin was the series of sabotage acts emanating from Syria. In October of 1966, the Security Council was already seized of this problem, and a majority of its member States found it possible and necessary to draw attention to the Syrian Government's responsibility for altering that situation. Scarcely a day passed without a mine, a bomb, a hand-grenade or a mortar exploding on Israel's soil, sometimes with lethal or crippling effects, always with an unsettling psychological, influence. In general, fourteen or fifteen such incidents would accumulate before a response was considered necessary, and this ceaseless accumulation of terrorist sabotage incidents in the name of what was called "popular war", together with responses which in the long run sometimes became inevitable, were for a long period the main focus of tension in the Middle East.
167. But then there came a graver source of tension in mid-May, when abnormal troop concentrations were observed in the Sinai Peninsula. For the ten years of relative stability beginning with March 1957 and ending with May 1967, the Sinai Desert had been free of Egyptian troops. In other words, a natural geographic barrier, a largely uninhabited space, separated the main forces of the two sides. It is true that in terms of sovereignty and law, any State has a right to put its armies in any part of its territory that it chooses. This, however, is not a legal question: it is a political and a security question.
168. Experience in many parts of the world, not least in our own, demonstrates that massive armies in close proximity to each other, against a background of a doctrine of belligerency and accompanying threats by one army to annihilate the other, constitute an inflammatory situation.
169. We were puzzled in Israel by the relative lack of preoccupation on the part of friendly Governments and international agencies with this intense concentration which found its reflection in precautionary concentrations on our side. My Government proposed, I think at least two weeks ago, the concept of a parallel and reciprocal reduction of forces on both sides of the frontier. We elicited no response, and certainly no action.
170. To these grave sources of tension--the sabotage and terrorist movement, emanating mostly from Syria, and the heavy troop concentrations accompanied by dire, apocalyptic threats in Sinai--there was added in the third week of May the most electric shock of all, namely the closure of the international waterway consisting of the Strait of Tiran and the Gulf of Aqaba. It is not difficult, I think, to understand why this incident had a more drastic impact than any other. In 1957 the maritime nations, within the framework of the United Nations General Assembly, correctly enunciated the doctrine of free and innocent passage through the Strait.
171. Now, when that doctrine was proclaimed--and incidentally, not challenged by the Egyptian representative at that time--it was little more than an abstract principle for the maritime world. For Israel it was a great but still unfulfilled prospect; it was not yet a reality. But during the ten years in which we and the other States of the maritime community have relied upon that doctrine and upon established usage, the principle has become a reality consecrated by hundreds of sailings under dozens of flags and the establishment of a whole complex of commerce and industry and communication. A new dimension has been added to the map of the world's communications, and on that dimension we have constructed Israel's bridge towards the friendly States of Asia and Africa, a network of relationships which is the chief pride of Israel in the second decade of its independence.
172. All this, then, had grown up as an effective usage under the United Nations flag. Does Mr. Nasser really think that he can come upon die scene in ten minutes and cancel the established legal usage and interests of ten years?
173. There was in this wanton act a quality of malice. For surely the closing of the Strait of Tiran gave no benefit whatever to Egypt except the perverse joy of inflicting injury on others. It was an anarchic act, because it showed a total disregard for the law of nations, the application of which in this specific case had not been challenged for ten years. And it was, in the literal sense, an act of arrogance, because there are other nations in Asia and East Africa that trade with the Port of Eflat, as they have every right to do, through the Strait of Tiran and across the Gulf of Aqaba. Other sovereign States from Japan to Ethiopia, from Thailand to Uganda, from Cambodia to Madagascar, have a sovereign right to decide for themselves whether they wish or do not wish to trade with Israel. These countries are not colonies of Cairo. They can trade with Israel or not trade with Israel as they wish, and President Nasser is not the policeman of other African and Asian States.
174. Here then was a wanton intervention in the sovereign rights of other States in the eastern half of the world to decide for themselves whether or not they wish to establish trade relations with either or both of the two ports at the head of the Gulf of Aqaba.
175. When we examine, then, the implications of this act, we have no cause to wonder that the international shock was great. There was another reason too for that shock. Blockades have traditionally been regarded, in the pre-Charter parlance, as acts of war. To blockade, after all, is to attempt strangulation; and sovereign States are entitled not to have their trade strangled. To understand how the State of Israel felt, one has merely to look around this table and imagine, for example, a foreign Power forcibly closing New York or Montreal, Boston or Marseille, Toulon or Copenhagen, Rio or Tokyo or Bombay harbor. How would your Governments react? What would you do? How long would you wait?
176. But Israel waited because of its confidence that the other maritime Powers and countries interested in this new trading pattern would concert their influence in order to re-establish a legal situation and to liquidate this blockade. We concerted action with them not because Israel's national interest was here abdicated, There will not be, there cannot be, an Israel without Eflat. We cannot be expected to return to a dwarfed stature, with our face to the Mediterranean alone. In law and in history, peace and blockades have never coexisted. How could it be expected that the blockade of Eflat and a relaxation of tension in the Middle East could ever be brought into harmony?
177. These then were the three main elements in the tension: the sabotage movement; the blockade of the port; and, perhaps more imminent than anything else, this vast and purposeful encirclement movement, against the background of an authorized presidential statement announcing that the objective of the encirclement was to bring about the destruction and the annihilation of a sovereign State.
178. These acts taken together--the blockade, the dismissal of the United Nations Emergency Force, and the heavy concentration in Sinai--effectively disrupted the
which had ensured a relative stability on the Egyptian-Israel frontier for ten years. I do not use the words "relative stability" lightly, for in fact while those elements in the Egyptian-Israel relationship existed there was not one single incident of violence between Egypt and Israel for ten years. But suddenly this
this pattern of mutually accepted stability, was smashed to smithereens. It is now the task of the Governments concerned to elaborate the new conditions of their co-existence. I think that much of this work should be done directly by these Governments themselves. Surely, after what has happened we must have better assurance than before, for Israel and for the Middle East, of peaceful coexistence. The question is whether there is any reason to believe that such a new era may yet come to pass. If I am a little sanguine on this point, it is because of a conviction that men and nations do behave wisely once they have exhausted all other alternatives. Surely the other alternatives of war and belligerency have now been exhausted. And what has anybody gained from that? But in order that the new system of interstate relationships may flourish in the Middle East, it is important that certain principles be applied above and beyond the cease-fire to which the Security Council has given its unanimous support.
179. Let me then say here that Israel welcomes the appeal for the cease-fire as formulated in this resolution. But I must point out that the implementation depends on the absolute and sincere acceptance and co-operation of the other parties, which, in our view, are responsible for the present situation. And in conveying this resolution to my colleagues, I must at this moment point out that these other Governments have not used the opportunity yet to clarify their intentions.
180. I have said that the situation to be constructed after the cease-fire must depend on certain principles. The first of these principles surely must be the acceptance of Israel's statehood and the total elimination of the fiction of its non-existence. It would seem to me that after 3,000 years the time has arrived to accept Israel's nationhood as a fact, for here is the only State in the international community which has the same territory, speaks the same language and upholds the same faith as it did 3,000 years ago.
181. And if, as everybody knows to be the fact, the universal conscience was in the last week or two most violently shaken at the prospect of danger to Israel, it was not only because there seemed to be a danger to a State, but also, I think, because the State was Israel, with all that this ancient name evokes, teaches, symbolizes and inspires. How grotesque would be an international community which found room for 122 sovereign units and which did not acknowledge the sovereignty of that people which had given nationhood its deepest significance and its most enduring grace.
182. No wonder, then, that when danger threatened we could hear a roar of indignation sweep across the world, that men in progressive movements and members of the scientific and humanistic cultures joined together in sounding an alarm bell about an issue that vitally affected the human conscience. And no wonder, correspondingly, that a deep and universal sense of satisfaction and relief has accompanied the news of Israel's gallant and successful resistance.
183. But the central point remains the need to secure an authentic intellectual recognition by our neighbors of Israel's deep roots in the Middle Eastern reality. There is an intellectual tragedy in the failure of Arab leaders to come to grips, however reluctantly, with the depth and authenticity of Israel's roots in the life, the history, the spiritual experience and the culture of the Middle East.
184. This, then, is the first axiom. A much more conscious and uninhibited acceptance of Israel's Statehood is an axiom requiring no demonstration, for there will never be a Middle East without an independent and sovereign State of Israel in its midst.
185. The second principle must be that of the peaceful settlement of disputes. The resolution thus adopted falls within the concept of the peaceful settlement of disputes. I have already said that much could be done if the Governments of the area would embark much more on direct contacts. They must find their way to each other. After all, when there is conflict between them they come together face to face. Why should they not come together face to face to solve the conflict. And perhaps on some occasions it would not be a bad idea to have the solution before, and therefore instead of, the conflict.
186. When the Council discusses what is to happen after the cease-fire, we hear many formulas: back to 1956, back to 1948--I understand our neighbors would wish to turn the clock back to 1947. The fact is, however, that most clocks move forward and not backward, and this, I think, should be the case with the clock of Middle Eastern peace--not backward to belligerency, but forward to peace.
187. The point was well made this evening by the representative of Argentina, who said: the cease-fire should be followed immediately by the most intensive efforts to bring about a just and lasting peace in the Middle East. In a similar sense, the representative of Canada warned us against merely reproducing the old positions of conflict, without attempting to settle the underlying issues of Arab-Israel coexistence. After all, many things in recent days have been mixed up with each other. Few things are what they were. And in order to create harmonious combinations of relationships, it is inevitable that the States should come together in negotiation.
188. Another factor in the harmony that we would like to see in the Middle East relates to external Powers. From these, and especially from the greatest amongst them, the small States of the Middle East--and most of them are small-ask for a rigorous support, not for individual States, but for specific principles; not to be for one State against other States, but to be for peace against war, for free commerce against belligerency, for the pacific settlement of disputes against violent irredentist threats; in other words, to exercise an even-handed support for the integrity and independence of States and for the rights of States under the Charter of the United Nations and other sources of international law.
189. There are no two categories of States. The United Arab Republic, Iraq, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon--not one of these has a single ounce or milligram of Statehood which does not adhere in equal measures to Israel itself.
190. It is important that States outside our region apply a balanced attitude, that they do not exploit temporary tensions and divergencies in the issues of global conflict, that they do not seek to win gains by inflaming fleeting passions, and that they strive to make a balanced distribution of their friendship amongst the States of the Middle East.
191. Now whether all the speeches of all the great Powers this evening meet this criterion, everybody, of course, can judge for himself. I do not propose to answer in detail all the observations of the representative of the Soviet Union. I had the advantage of hearing the same things in identical language a few days ago from his colleague, the Soviet Ambassador in Israel. I must confess that I was no more convinced this evening than I was the day before yesterday about the validity of this most vehement and one-sided denunciation. But surely world opinion, before whose tribunal this debate unrolls, can solve this question by posing certain problems to itself. Who was it that attempted to destroy a neighboring State in 1948, Israel or its neighbors? Who now closes an international waterway to the port of a neighboring State, Israel or the United Arab Republic? Does Israel refuse to negotiate a peace settle-ment with the Arab States, or do they refuse to do so with it? Who disrupted the 1957 pattern of stability, Israel or Egypt? Did troops of Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Iraq, Lebanon, Kuwait and Algeria surround Israel in this menacing confrontation, or has any distinguished representative seen some vast Israel colossus surrounding the area between Morocco and Kuwait?
192. I raise these points of elementary logic. Of course, a great Power can take refuge in its power from the exigencies of logic. All of us in our youth presumably recounted La Fontaine's fable, "
La raison du plus fort est toujours la meilleure.
" But here, after all, there is nobody who is more or less strong than others; we sit here around the table on the concept of sovereign equality. But I think we have an equal duty to bring substantive proof for any denunciation that we make, each of the other.
193. I would say in conclusion that these are, of course, still grave times. And yet they may perhaps have fortunate issue. This could be the case if those who for some reason decided so violently, three weeks ago, to disrupt the
would ask themselves what the results and benefits have been. As he looks around him at the arena of battle, at the wreckage of planes and tanks, at the collapse of intoxicated hopes, might not an Egyptian ruler ponder whether anything was achieved by that disruption? What has it brought but strife, conflict with other powerful interests, and the stern criticism of progressive men throughout the world?
194. I think that Israel has in recent days proved its steadfastness and vigour. It is now willing to demonstrate its instinct for peace. Let us build a new system of relationships from the wreckage of the old. Let us discern across the darkness the vision of a better and a brighter dawn.
195. The PRESIDENT: The next speaker on my list is the representative of the Syrian Arab Republic. I now invite him to take a place at the Council table and to make a statement.
196. Mr. TOMEH (Syria): Mr. President, when you first summed the Presidency of this important body of the United Nations, you started your, so to speak, maiden speech by quoting a poet from your own country. In doing so, you indeed placed politics against its human background. For unless and until politics is so understood, we will always go on dealing with shadow concepts. It is only against a background of culture, against a background of thought and of human history and suffering, that politics can be understood. As I say this, something comes to my mind, the
of Plato, one of the last dialogues which he wrote about the human soul. In that dialogue, Socrates, prior to drinking from the chalice that contained the poison, said this to his students who were trying to convince him not to drink from the chalice and die: "Life is a lesson in death and dying".
197. Indeed, this is a great truth, that whatever we go through in human life, from the greatest actions of nations to the simplest act of the individual, we are undergoing a lesson in death and dying. But Socrates had something else in mind: that when he drank the chalice of poison and when he said what he said, he actually was teaching generations to come that he was a victim of sophistry.
198. The whole Socratic doctrine is a refutation of sophistry--sophistry being, in his time, the art of picturing evil as good and good as evil. Socrates was later accused of having poisoned the mind of the Greek generation. He was condemned to die, and he died. But it is the death of Socrates that now condemns those who condemned him to die.
199. In this tiny land of Palestine, the history of mankind, in its deepest aspects, has seen a procession of false prophets, prophets who have claimed to be real prophets, but who were not real prophets. They were sophists, the kind of sophists that Socrates fought. Indeed, one regrets, one wonders at the fact, that with the art of sophistry so much evil can sometimes be put at the service of a bad and false cause.
200. I must confess that with that introduction I did not have in mind at all answering in any way the statement made by Mr. Abba Eban. However, there were allegations, many false presentations, in his statement that make it absolutely necessary for me to point out at least some of the basic sophistries contained in that long statement. One of them is this: His whole edifice, his whole statement, his whole presentation of the case, is based on a fallacy. And the fallacy is this: it is for us here to point out, to designate, who is the real aggressor, who is the victim of aggression, who started the aggression.
201. I think it should be crystal clear to everyone here in the Council, having listened to the oral statement made by the distinguished Secretary-General to the Council, and knowing of the death of the Indians who were members of UNEF, and of the Brazilian, also a member of UNEF--and we express our deepest sympathy, for all of them died as victims of the wanton Israel aggression--that the Israelis were the ones who started the aggression against the United Arab Republic.
202. In the chain and sequence of events that followed afterwards, everything was the result of that first act of aggression; namely, that Israel attacked the United Arab Republic with premeditation and after a well-prepared campaign. This was made amply clear by the letter
presented to the Security Council by the Permanent Representative of the United Arab Republic on the morning of 5 June. The letter stated the following:
"This morning the Israelis launched attacks against the Gaza Strip, Sinai, airports in Cairo, in the Suez Canal area and several other airports within the United Arab Republic. Preliminary reports indicate that twenty-three Israel aeroplanes have been shot down and that several Israel pilots have been captured."
203. It will take time to go back again to the chain of events, but members of the Security Council will remember that, according to our presentation of the case, the whole chain of tragic events began with the Israel attack on Syria on 7 April. The Israel side, in three consecutive letters, has given its version of that attack. We also gave ours, but when I addressed this body
I brought with me the report of the Israel-Syrian Mixed Armistice Commission from which I quoted unchallenged evidence that the Israel Air Force on that day attacked Syrian villages and killed Syrian civilians and destroyed civilian properties. I also respectfully requested the Secretary-General to submit a factual report about that attack of 7 April, but then events followed in such quick succession that it was not possible to press for this report. But that attack of 7 April against Syrian villages, civilians and properties should leave no doubt as to the identity of the real aggressor in this whole Middle East crisis that we are discussing now.
204. Mr. Abba Eban has again chosen to raise the issue which was the subject of a complaint submitted to the Security Council on 14 October 1966, which the Council kept under consideration until 12 November of the same year.
205. Mr. Eban dwelt at great length on sabotage and terroristic acts. I should like to remind the Council of my reply to Mr. Rafael when he raised the same issue in the Council. At that time I alluded to the terrorist and sabotage roots on which Israel as a State was founded. I also quoted from the Security Council resolution condemning Israel for the assassination of Count Folke Bernadotte. But I shall not go into all that again. However, I must say this: that it is indeed ironical for Mr. Eban to speak about saboteurs, about respect for law, when he owes his own position to the lawlessness perpetrated by the Zionists against the Arab people of Palestine in what the Israelis have referred to with pride as a war of liberation.
206. What was the war of liberation in Palestine? It was a war to oust the Arabs from Palestine and to bring in an alien minority from all over the world. This they did, arid these Arabs are still living in tents surrounding Israel.
207. It is astonishing to me, to say the least, to find representatives of Israel speaking about legality and respect for the law, for indeed I can refer this whole audience to no
other book than one called
written by one of the founders of Haganah, Mr. Munya M. Mardor, published, significantly, in England under the title
The book is written about what the Haganah did between 1936 and the outbreak of hostilities resulting in the war of liberation and the ousting of the Arabs from Palestine; how they smuggled arms, how they attacked Arabs, and did all these other illegal things. But without going into all the details, I would be 3 satisfied to quote the following by the author of
showing their concept of law:
"There we were, buying arms in strange countries, packing them in fantastic receptacles, and loading them onto foreign ships in foreign ports. With it all was the compelling necessity for secrecy. We were conspirators, outside the law, and yet obeying what to us was a higher law."
That was the concept of law on which the State of Israel was built.
208. Since we are dealing with the outer manifestations and the inner and deeper roots of the Arab-Israel conflict, allow me in this part of my address to make one final point. In all that Mr. Eban said he avoided one basic issue, and that was not incidental; nor was it because of a poor memory--I am sure that Mr. Eban distinguished scholar that he is, must have a very good memory. The basic issue to which I refer is the Arab people of Palestine. Until and unless the Arab people of Palestine are recognized by Israel and by the Israel people themselves as being the first party to the dispute, we shall only be dealing, as I have said many times, with palliatives rather than with solutions of the problem.
209. At this juncture in the Middle East crisis, the delegation of the Syrian Arab Republic wishes to place on record that the Governments of the United States and Great Britain, by their actions in collusion with the Israel aggressors, have proved beyond any doubt to be the bitter enemies of the Arab nation. Today we have decisive, irrefutable proof at our disposal that the air forces of Great Britain and the United States have actively participated with Israel in its aggression. The United States and the United Kingdom air forces have been participating in two ways: first, by joining the Israel air force in its attacks against the Arab cities and civilians and, second, by providing air cover for the Israel armed forces. This they have done from the first moment of the Israel attack on Cairo, Damascus and Amman. The number of aircraft alone which simultaneously attacked these three cities at one time in one day prove beyond any shadow of doubt that it was not the Israel air force alone which carried out the attacks in these huge numbers.
210. Twice in our interventions--on Saturday last, 3 June, when Mr. Daoudy of the Syrian delegation spoke in the Council
and on Tuesday, 30 May, in my own statement
-we emphasized the fact that Israel would not dare to attack if it were not assured of the support and active assistance of its creators and benefactors: that is to say, the United States and the United Kingdom. The events of every day are presenting ample proof of what I have stated time and again, especially when we quoted the Vice-President of the United States, who said: "Israel does not need a written alliance with the United States; that alliance is there in spirit."
211. However, before proceeding to more details, let me in all fairness, perhaps to myself and to those who have to judge the issue, point to a very great anomaly of the situation in which we find ourselves now, and that is this. The accused in this case are the United Kingdom and the United States. But their representatives sit here in the Council as judges. Thus, we have the unique situation that I, as a plaintiff, must accept the answer of the accused who sets himself up as a judge. I am sure that the representative of the United States, with his vast and great legal knowledge, knows that such a situation disqualifies the judge.
212. It certainly is no mere coincidence that today the countries of Algeria, the United Arab Republic, Iraq and my own country, Syria, have severed relations with the United States. No matter how the justification for the support of the United States Government to Israel is state the conviction remains with us that United States policy is geared and has been geared for the last quarter of a century to say the least, to the fulfillment of the aims of Zionism. Indeed, we quoted
the Prime Minister of Israel, Mr. Levi Eshkol, as having stated that, when addressing himself to the American Government, more specifically, to the Secretary of Defense, in asking for arms, he was told--and this appeared in the 17 April issue of
U.S. News and World Report:
"Don't spend your money. We are here. The Sixth Fleet is here." What greater proof do you want? The Sixth Fleet is now near our shores and everyone of us has read day after day that they have been patrolling the Mediterranean which they consider to be a lake for their tutelage.
213. Indeed, American and British intervention is becoming clearer and clearer every day to all of us. American and British planes are carrying American and British volunteers to join the Israelis to fight an aggressive war against the Arabs. Millions of dollars and pounds sterling are being poured into Israel. Not to mention the $8 billion that have been poured into Israel since its establishment--this in spite of the fact that the Israelis have occupied by force and expropriated the Arab property of Palestine which, up to 1948, amounted to 94 per cent of the total area of Palestine. Arms shipments, especially from the United States, never stop.
214. The representative of the United States wanted to remind us of the attacks to which some of the American missions in some of the Arab countries have been subjected. But on this occasion I would not have said this, believe me in all sincerity and honesty, had it not been for the fact that since we have spoken here we have been receiving one threat after another, forewarning us against assassinations and killing. In fact, we have been accompanied all the time by detectives who even take us from our bedroom to our mission to the Security Council chamber in order to make sure that we are not killed or assassinated. For this, I wish to express the thanks of my delegation. But, needless to say, we are being threatened day and night; more than once the warning came to us "Get out, your mission is going to bombed." Need I remind the members of the Council of the paramilitary occupation of our mission, which is quite fresh in the memory of the members of this Council.
215. I come now to the representative of the United Kingdom. Without referring by name to me, he characterized the item of news which was circulated to the Press prior to our coming here as being a lie. When that item speaks about collusion and the help given by the British Air Force to the Israel aggressor, he described that allegation as a lie. I would have expected another word from the very learned representative of the United Kingdom.
216. But let me refresh the memory of the representative of the United Kingdom. In 1956, during the attack on Egypt, they also described the accusations of collusion as being a lie. The same word was used then. But, none other than the Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Nutting, wrote a book,
parts of which were recently published in
of London. He made it quite clear that there was a definite collusion between England and Israel. At the same time, the very same word "lie" was used.
217. Unfortunately, however, when we are challenged to that extent, we have to go back to history. I assure the Council with all the faithfulness of which a human being, is capable that no tragedy exists in the Arab world today, and that no tragedy would have existed had it not been for the series of lies that have characterized a British colonial imperialist policy in the Arab world. Suffice it to mention that the very deep causes of the tragedy with which we are dealing now, namely, the Palestine problem, had its roots in the Balfour Declaration, and that none other than Lord Balfour himself wrote:
"In short, so far as Palestine is concerned, the Powers have made no statement of fact which is not admittedly wrong, and no declaration of policy which, at least in the letter, they have not always intended to violate."
I think this statement by Lord Balfour is the best description of a political lie that could exist.
218. I spoke of evidence at our disposal--and we have this evidence. As a matter of fact, an Israel pilot, by the name of Abraham Velan, with the rank of First Lieutenant, whose plane was downed over Damascus, has affirmed that British military aircraft of the Vulcan type have been stationed for the last ten days at Israel Ekron Airport. They participated, he declared, in the assault on the United Arab Republic, Jordan and Syria. He went on to affirm that other British aircraft took off from Cyprus in order to take part in the aggression against Syria and the United Arab Republic, and then returned to their base. The record of this statement by the Israel pilot is on its way to the Security Council as a document giving further evidence of Britain's participation in the aggression.
219. The idea has been artificially propagated, in the United States especially, that Israel is a small and tiny peace-loving State looking for nothing else but peace, surrounded by ugly, aggressive Arabs bent on destroying it. Israel's spokesmen and Zionist propagandists have been playing on mass emotions in order to draw sympathy to their side. I will not go into detail to refute for instance the call for peace which was given by Mr. Eban, but only remind him of the plight of the Arab refugees and the confiscation of Arab property and what they did to the Holy City of Jerusalem, which is a very Holy City to us also. I shall simply repeat here what was said over Radio Israel yesterday as part of the psychological warfare conducted by the Israelis against the Arab peoples in all their countries. Addressing the Arabs, it stated:
"Very soon your countries will be under Israel rule. The Israel Army will safeguard the population. Each one of you must do the following in order to ensure your safety: (1), stay inside your homes; (2), close the doors and windows; (3), display a white flag as a proof that you have understood our instructions."
This is a sample of an official broadcast of Israel, whose spokesmen come here to declare in the Security Council that they have no aggressive designs whatsoever against the Arabs and that they do not covet any Arab land.
220. The United Kingdom, whose colonial army has been killing and persecuting the Arabs in Aden, whose ugly shadow has withdrawn from all its huge colonial empire--except some parts of the Arab land, because of very well-known oil interests--purports to perpetrate its colonial presence through its creation, Israel.
221. On the other hand, the United States Government, whose huge and powerful armies are killing the people of Viet-Nam day and night, has started a battle against our own people, the Arab people. But here and there, neither the Viet-Namese nor the Arabs have committed any aggression against the Americans. The United States Government, not the people, which is fighting a war of annihilation against the courageous Viet-Namese people, through the Saigon generals, is now waging the same war of annihilation against the Arab people through the Tel-Aviv generals: Moshe Dayan and Menachem Begin, whose nomination to the Cabinet passed unnoticed and who is the leader of the Herut Party and the famous hero of the massacre of the Deir Yassin. I must say that it was with great astonishment that I read an article in the very respected
of London, which I regularly read every week, a description of Mr. Menachern Begin who, having quitted the leadership of his Party at one time, was described as a gentleman.
222. The same United States Government that defeated the nazi war criminals in Germany gives these generals help, money and arms to commit genocide against the Arabs. But let me tell you, in all honesty, that the people of Viet-Nam will not die, in spite of the thousands of innocent victims, of the American immoral warfare and in spite of the destruction of their cities, towns and villages. Force can never win over right.
223. Similarly, the Arab people will not be extinguished in spite of the British Royal Air Force and the Sixth Fleet at the disposal of Mr. Levi Eshkol, by his own recognition. Our lands, the Arab lands, have been saturated with the blood of martyrs for freedom, for independence and for the dignity of man. Our generation, which grew up between two world wars, has witnessed the struggle against imperialism for the honor and for the dignity of our homeland. We and our children will continue the struggle, knowing that fife is nothing else but a lesson in death and dying. Let the Zionists not deceive themselves; they started this war and they will bear the consequences.
224. The news is coming now that my own country, Syria, the United Arab Republic and Iraq and Algeria have all severed their relations with the United States Government, because of the facts which we have tried in a most sincere manner to put forth to the Council and because of the inherent enmity of United States policy towards us. The conclusion we have reached regrettably is unavoidable. Nevertheless, I wish in my closing remarks to express our regret that we have reached this impasse.
225. We have no quarrel with this great nation, with its highest responsible, intellectual and spiritual centers, with its colleges, universities and schools, with its great humanitarian institutions and traditions, but surely our quarrel is with the few politicians, with the Zionists who have misled and deceived this great people and country against the Arabs, with Zionist international intrigue that have chained the United States to their selfish interests. Is it not strange that some of the same people who have been objecting to and opposing the war in Viet-Nam are themselves more strongly calling now for United States intervention in the Middle East to support Israel. Is this not a clear case of schizophrenia, a double loyalty whose only victims will be the United States people sacrificed on the altar of morbid Zionist action and neurotic ideology.
226. With all these, we certainly quarrel, but deep in our hearts we are confident that the truth which is so clear to us now, which is so clear by itself and which is certainly equally clear to quite a few here, will become clear to all. Then the truth of what we have been saying for the last twenty years will dawn upon all.
227. With regard to the resolution adopted this evening by the Council, the position of my Government is clear. We strongly oppose any gains made by Israel stemming from a
228. We consider it the utmost duty of the Council to take immediate measures to condemn the aggressor, namely, Israel, and to apply the sanctions provided for by the Charter. It is needless to say that we have repeatedly warned the Security Council in the last two months about the impending aggression by Israel in collusion with the imperialist Powers.
229. The PRESIDENT: I call on the representative of the United States in exercise of his right of reply.
230. Mr. GOLDBERG (United States of America): I cannot allow to stand unchallenged a few of the statements made to this Council by the representative of Syria, Mr. Tomeh.
231. First of all, he purported to give me legal advice about my competence to sit on this Council. In this he joins the company of others who have attempted to give me legal advice during the course of these debates. I have heard the legal advice, and it sounds as if it comes from someone not admitted to the practice of law. I have before me the agenda which has been adopted unanimously. I do not find any complaints against the United States on that agenda. Mr. Tomeh is always welcome to submit an agenda item, which can be discussed at the appropriate time.
232. I can only conclude that Mr. Tomeh's speech was written before I made my categorical denial of United States participation, military or otherwise, in this regrettable conflict which is now going on. I shall say again for his information, for the information of the Council and for the information of his countrymen that there are no United States aircraft carriers, no military aircraft, no military forces carrying volunteers, or anything else, involved in this conflict. There is an old American slang expression that when you are involved in a situation in which your veracity is challenged, "You put up or shut up". I do not apply that to Mr. Tomeh.
233. We have put up before the Council a very simple method to test the accuracy of statements which are taken out of whole cloth--that is through the instrumentality of this Organization. We have issued an invitation to this Organization to provide observers in order to verify the accuracy of those unfounded statements. They will receive the greatest welcome from my country. I think that that is the best proof that I could possibly offer concerning these extremely inflammatory and totally unfounded statements about the United States.
234. There is a statement which I must reject with great emphasis because it relates to the essential fabric of our society, and that is the statement charging that any citizen of the United States has double loyalty to his country because he has attachments to his ancestral home. That was the implication, I take it, of Mr. Tomeh's remark. Our country is a pluralistic society. We draw our citizenry from virtually every country on the face of the globe. That is the source of our strength as a nation from which we derive the virility of American life in our culture, in our institutions, in our traditions and in all that we do. We do not accept the concept that because our citizens, whatever their faith or religion or ancestral origin may be, have an interest in their ancestral homes, this is a sign of double loyalty or lack of attachment to our American institutions. I served in President Kennedy's administration. One of the finest features of that administration in terms of world interest was the visit he paid to his ancestral home, and that was applauded by all Americans, regardless of their faith, their religion, their traditions or their background.
235. I regret that Mr. Tomeh does not understand our country although he has lived here for a long time. Our citizen are loyal to our country. His references to the attitudes of our citizens is, as I said the other day, completely out of order. I would have challenged his statement and asked for a ruling that it was out of order, but I thought we ought to hear him out because I believe profoundly in free speech for every Member of the United Nations.
236. But I do wish to state that it is untenable for Members of the United Nations to intervene in our domestic affairs. We would not presume to do that with respect to any country in the world. We would not presume to do it with respect to Mr. Tomeh's country, which is composed of several elements of religion and tradition. We simply cannot accept it as the appropriate thing to say about our country, and we do not accept it.
237. As I said the other day, our policies can be approved or disapproved, praised or criticized in this Council, as it is a world body; we are not immune to that. But what we are immune to is consideration by this Council of the attitude of our own citizens, of the points of view, any points of view, that they may have in terms of the exercise of their democratic rights as citizens and of their constitutional rights.
238. Finally I would like to say this-and perhaps here we can go back to the origins of this difficulty. The canard--and it was a canard--was circulated that the United States had something to do with alleged plots against Syria. I appeared before the Council, and I told it on the highest authority that there was nothing to that allegation. Repeating allegations without evidence and just making accusations is not proof; it does not sustain the charge; it just spreads defamation. I must reject completely a statement like that, which is defamatory and completely unfounded.
239. The PRESIDENT: The representative of the United Kingdom has asked to exercise his right of reply, and I now call on him.
240. Lord CARADON (United Kingdom): I shall not keep the Council long in dealing with the accusations that were made by the representative of Syria just now. But when a specific allegation is made, it is necessary to make a specific reply.
241. Three allegations have been made. One came from Damascus Radio, and what the representative of Syria tells us this evening is therefore not new. It is already known to my Government and has already been denied. There was also an accusation made by Cairo Radio, and a third accusation to which I shall refer in a moment.
242. The statement made by my Ministry of Defense in regard to the first two allegations I shall read:
"The allegation on Damascus Radio that, according to a captured Israel pilot, seventeen Vulcan aircraft arrived in Israel ten days ago, is a complete lie which has no--repeat, no--foundation whatsoever.
"The broadcast by Cairo Radio that British Canberra bombers have taken part in bombing Egyptian positions in Sinai is also a complete lie, without foundation."
I would suggest to the representative of Syria that he does not help his cause by coming here with repeated allegations that have already been denied; and I would go further and say to him that if accusations are to be made, it would be well to be careful that they cannot be immediately and completely disproved.
243. The third allegation was that British aircraft from British aircraft carriers had taken part in recent attacks. But the fact of the matter is that there were only two British aircraft carriers in the area at all--if they can be said to have been in the area, because they were both a thousand miles away--and at the time they were both stationary in harbor. And though the representative of Syria may not know it, it is a fact that the aircraft from an aircraft carrier cannot take off when the carrier itself is stationary and in harbor. I would therefore ask the representative of Syria to pay heed to the denials that have been made and to realize that his cause is not advanced by his coming here to make accusations which can be so completely destroyed.
244. Finally, as to the question of policy in this matter, I would like to repeat what was said by my Foreign Secretary in the House of Commons at the beginning of these events. This is what he said, and this is the policy to which my Government adheres--it is plain. It is publicly announced and it is widely accepted by all parties in my country:
"The Government's attitude--and the House will, I know, support me in saying this--is that the British concern is not to take sides but to ensure a peaceful solution to the problems of that area, and that in this situation we have the same interest as that of others in the area as well as the rest of the world. The House will wish to know that instructions are being given to all our forces in the area to avoid any involvement in the conflict."
245. That is the policy laid down by my Government, publicly laid down and scrupulously followed.
246. The PRESIDENT: The last speaker on my list is the representative of Morocco. I now invite him to take a place at the Council table and to make his statement.
247. Mr. BENHIMA (Morocco)
(translated from French):
Thank you, Mr. President, for allowing me to speak. I must first say how apologetic I feel about taking the floor at this late hour, after the permanent members of the Security Council have assured the President that their interventions would be brief. But just as I must beg the Council's indulgence for the reason just mentioned, so I must crave indulgence for this intervention, which I hope to keep as brief as possible, even if it exceeds the time the Council was good enough to allot me. The Council members' consciousness of having done their duty tonight surely gives them the right to retire as soon as possible.
248. However, as a representative of an Arab State, I find it difficult, after the decision that has just been taken, to consider that the day's work now completed gives me the right to well-earned rest.
249. It is presumptuous, admittedly, to take the floor straightaway, while still laboring under the shock of that decision, and at the same time retain the moral strength not to make certain frank comments and the physical strength not to show the Council how disturbed I am.
250. It is true that the Security Council primary duty is to ensure peace. I associate myself with all the tributes paid to the Council members for their efforts during the last two weeks of the crisis, here or in their capitals, to try to bring it to an end and find a solution that would guarantee, if not immediately, then at least on a long- or short-term basis, the permanent conditions for a return to a just peace on a sound and stable basis.
251. But during the past two days, that is, since Israel's aggression against the Arab States, we have seen these efforts grow in intensity and concentration. As always in history, it is perhaps too early to discern all their motivations, to ask the walls to speak out and reveal what went on at the private meetings between various delegations and prompted the last-minute accommodations. We shall have time later on to read about what happened. We shall find writers from certain countries which today deny responsibility in connection with this decision admitting with a great display of intellectual honesty the roles their countries played in the present crisis. That was the case with the Suez affair, on the occasion of which the Members of the General Assembly and the Security Council heard denials expressed in tones conveying the ring of sincerity and moral authority; today, books all over the world often bearing sensational titles, reveal the true secrets of the Suez affair. The Members of the Organization will one day be able to read the true secrets of this new crisis and its developments.
252. Having said this, I feel called upon to interpret the statement by my colleague the representative of Syria--and I am sure he will see eye to eye with me on my interpretation--for the statement is one which has prompted various remarks and comments by the United States representative. When the Syrian representative referred to the behavior of a segment of the public in, I shall not say this country, but this city, this was a legitimate observation on the part of the representative of a delegation which perhaps has been threatened with death, which has seen demonstrators parading with impunity in front of the United Nations building during Security Council meetings, which has heard the Secretary-General booed and delegations insulted, which has seen people approach cars in order to find out the country of ownership so as to have an opportunity of leaning through the window and shouting insults which I shall not repeat here for fear of shocking the modesty of my audience.
253. We are not challenging the social structures of a great country, let alone its democratic institutions. But we can challenge--and I should like to be understood in an objective spirit--the pressures under which we and the Security Council have been living. I have heard distinguished representatives of the United Nations mention the effect which the psychological campaign waged by the Press and television has had on everyone during the past two days. And despite the hospitality which I should like to acknowledge publicly here, despite the care taken by the United States Mission and the local authorities to ensure the most hospitable climate for our stay here, the idea has occurred to some people that the Council should consider, when problems like this are debated, whether it might not be wise to remove the debates from parts of the world where the psychological impact of freedom of expression may be detrimental to their undisturbed progress.
254. I am sure that Ambassador Goldberg will appreciate the feelings that have prompted me to round off the Syrian representative's statement and express the desire to see that the debates in this Council and the actions of the delegations are protected from certain influences and pressures.
255. To return to the nub of the question, the Council has just adopted a resolution unanimously. While we reserve our right to speak on the substantive issue, the Moroccan delegation would be the last to challenge the Council's right to take a decision, particularly when it is unanimous. But the Council is not only a forum where witnesses are heard; it is also a courthouse where political and moral judgements have to be handed down, and the Council's first duty on 5 June, when the representative of the United Arab Republic lodged a complaint against Israel's aggression should, I believe, have been to start by determining the perpetrator of the aggression. Among all the statements made, even in the Press comments, we have not found a single sentence indicating that the Arabs had initiated the fighting or disputing the fact that Israel had made the first move. If any doubt should remain, the fact that Mr. Eban, an expert on the procedures of this Organization and a truly powerful rhetorician, thought it necessary to come here to face questions on this problem, questions which unfortunately were not put, is significant. We consider it impermissible that when hostilities break out--and I am speaking as a Member of the United Nations and not as the representative of an Arab country--the side-issues should overshadow the basic issue or a solution should be sought in Security Council debates without delving into the underlying reasons which have prompted these debates and presented the world, for the past twenty-four hours, with the spectacle of a war whose beginnings we well understood but whose end it was impossible to predict.
256. The country which took that responsibility upon itself has not heard in this Council Chamber a single expression of regret, let alone condemnation, for the initiative it took. In Cairo the Secretary-General was given an assurance by the Arabs that they would not start a war; and the Arab representatives repeated that assurance here. The behavior of the Arab delegations here and of the Arab countries themselves prove--and we, too, can send fact-finding commissions to verify this--that no steps were taken which, from a military standpoint, indicated that preparations for attack were under way. We will be told, of course that where military measures are concerned it is no use trying to distinguish between defensive and aggressive actions. I am not prepared to allow Mr. Eban to slip that insinuation into his speech unchallenged. We are ready to check the truth of the matter. He has only to consult any strategist or refer to any treatise on strategy to know that the operations Israel undertook were aggressive and not defensive.
257. An even more serious aspect of the present decision--and I say this without any trace of bitterness but with profound esteem for the Council members with whom I am privileged to collaborate and who are fully alive to their high responsibility--is that the Council has not delivered a judgement in this matter, a fact fraught with the gravest of consequences. The Council may have been seeking an end to its debates, but it was certainly not seeking a solution to the crisis. The Council may have taken an immediate step, but, to paraphrase certain historians who say that a current decision often affects the future, that it has set a precedent. Tomorrow, any country which feels itself strong, either because of its own strength or because it has backing, or has received promises of solid backing, will be able to launch aggression in the certainty that the Council will spend forty-eight hours in debate, and then, in order to safeguard peace, will finally decide to call for a cease- fire. Leaving undetermined the responsibility of the iniator of the aggression. As a former member of the Council, I fell bound to make this assertion with the same conviction as that of the present members of the Council, who have today tackled the problem and are convinced that hey have discharged their duty.
258. I should also like to mention here and now--and I do so with all diffidence, having neither the accumulated political experience to allow me to make such a statement nor the presumption, even less, to pass judgement on the members of the Council--that in this debate we have witnessed a new phenomenon, some aspects of which are perhaps gratifying, but which has other very serious aspects that need to be pointed out. We have seen the four great Powers join together without difficulty in sponsoring a resolution which is silent as regards determining responsibility of the aggressor. This is something new. We are the first to approve of complete understanding between the great Powers in the interests of world peace. However, if it is a decision of this nature which has led to the collective silence as regards determining the aggressor or defining the actions which provokes this crisis, we can foresee the dangers inherent in that attitude in the years ahead. No dialectic, however, powerful, and whatever the ideology or culture from which it stems will succeed in dispelling the obscurity that surrounds that point for the moment.
259. We have witnessed the first meeting and the first decision of a “club of great Powers” whose members we sincerely trust will see eye to eye, on behalf, we hope, of international justice, equity and peace in which regional considerations, with the strategic positions and interplay of world forces which underlie them, will not suddenly give rise to unexpected attitudes.
260. No country attaches more importance than does mine to the authority of the United Nations. By a happy chance, we were admitted to the United Nations in 1956 when the Suez crisis was under discussion. As we came in contact with the work of the Organization and all its Members, we were most impressed to see how two great Powers, despite alliances and many firm ties, very couragerously--and this courage has not been forgotten, no matter what is said today--took decisions to tell their allies, their friends: your responsibility is clear. We were astonished today not to hear the four big Powers, in a different international context, say to a self-styled small country which has always followed a policy of aggression what two great Powers found it perfectly possible to say at that time.
261. Perhaps those two observations may be felt to be beside the point, but I was most impressed as a student, by a book on the Battle of Verdun in which the author wrote that on one occasion when reports were being made to Foch and Pétain, the report was cut short with the comment, "Don't tell me about the events, just tell me what they mean." It is the meaning of this event that I wanted to bring more fully to the Council's notice.
262. However, I do not wish to impose upon your indulgence or continue to give free rein to this exposition of justifiable considerations which, I must point out, I have voiced not only as the representative of an Arab country but also as the representative of a United Nations Member State, a State which, I can say without fear of contradiction, has in every serious crisis given the Organization an manner of support commensurate with its possibilities and sometimes even taxing its financial and political possibilities.
263. Our policy is based on one of the few dogmas which the Second World War and the freedom proclaimed for the entire world have validated, a dogma which has been an article of faith for a generation, namely, that of the moral authority of the United Nations and the certainty that it stands as a bulwark against aggression and injustice. It is as champions of this principle that we have spoken today with such justifiable emotion.
264. I also have something to say in connection with certain observations by the Israel representative who, with admittedly skillful rhetoric, passed over in silence all the underlying causes and stages of this crisis and dwelt at length on the right of a nation to exist and to have its place in the world.
265. On more than one occasion, here or elsewhere, my country has expounded what I might call our philosophy regarding that principle. We do not dispute the right of any ethnic group in the world, of any racial group of no matter what faith, to gather in any corner of the world in order to create a home and a nation. But what we do object to is the fact that while many countries are still calling for immigrants in order to fill their empty spaces, the choice fell on the most fragile political entity of the times--fragile because it was not yet soundly on its feet and had only just won its freedom, thus opening the way to the amputation of the Arab territory in order to put people there who are free to go wherever they wish but who have evicted others who had lived there much longer than the oft- mentioned two thousand years. This mistake, accepted in 1948, has led to a series of tragic events whose end is not yet in sight.
266. For twenty years the Arabs have been accused of preparing for war. A short time ago someone made the point that withdrawal of the United Nations Emergency Force had been requested although the Force was an expression of the world's concern for peace in that region. But who refused to allow implementation of the General Assembly resolution
calling for United Nations troops to be sent to the territories concerned at that time? The arrogance with which that resolution was rejected entitles me today to describe Mr. Abba Eban's explanation as mete sophistry, if not hypocrisy, for there are witnesses here who can still recall the words of the Israel Minister for Foreign Affairs at that time, or Mr. Eban's own comments, when he was Permanent Representative, on the value of that resolution. Who has successively ignored the Assembly resolutions, the Armistice Agreements and the Security Council's condemnations? It was the Arabs who always agreed to be the losers, and I use the word with great sorrow, who agreed to be the losers in order to safeguard the principle of trust in the United Nations and recognition of its authority in the hope that the triumph and endurance of that principle would bring them justice.
267. Tonight they have suffered another disappointment. I have no intention of defending a cause which other speakers before me have so eloquently defended, but I assure you that those who wish to base their country's policy on a foundation of international trust have tonight received a shock that has made them hesitate and which, if repeated, or rather, if not redressed as it should be, would largely undermine their belief, if not destroy their entire faith, in the Organization.
268. Mr. FEDORENKO (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics)
(translated from Russian)
: A decision has been adopted by the Security Council calling upon the Governments concerned to take forthwith as a first step al measures for an immediate cease-fire and for a cessation all military activities in the area.
269. We assume that this decision, which was unanimously adopted by the Council, will be carried out today, without any delay, and that the President of the Council will take the necessary measures concerning it.
270. The PRESIDENT: I said in my initial statement that I was confident that I expressed the unanimous wish of the members of the Council in most urgently appealing to the parties to comply immediately with the provisions of this resolution. I can give the representative of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics the assurance that I will take the necessary measures and steps in order to see that, on our side, everything is done in order that the parties will comply with this decision.
271. I can further inform the Council that cables have already been sent by the Secretariat to the capitals concerned.
272. I have no more speakers on my list. I shall consult with the members of the Council concerning the date of our next meeting. We shall adjourn now on the understanding that members will hold themselves in readiness should the circumstances or the developments necessitate the convening of a meeting at short notice.
The meeting rose at 11.20 p.m.
/ See resolution 233 (1967).
/ Same text as A/6730; see
Official Records of the General Assembly, Fifth Emergency Special Session, Annexes,
agenda item 5.
/ New York, The New American Library, Inc., 1964.
/ Anthony Nutting,
No End of a Lesson; The Story of Suez
(London, Constable, 1967).
/ United Kingdom,
Documents on British Foreign Policy, 1919-1939
, 1st Series, Vol. IV (London, Her Majesty's Stationery Office, 1952), p. 345.