Question of Palestine home
15 November 1967
MEETING: 15 NOVEMBER 1967
Provisional agenda (S/Agenda/1377) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
Adoption of the agenda . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
The situation in the Middle East:
Letter dated 7 November 1967 from the Permanent Representative of the
United Arab Republic addressed to the President of the Security Council
(S/8226) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
THIRTEEN HUNDRED AND SEVENTY-SEVENTH MEETING
Held in New York on Wednesday, 15 November 1967, at 10.30 a.m.
Mr. Mamadou Boubacar KANTÉ (Mali).
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/1377)
1. Adoption of the agenda.
2. The situation in the Middle East:
Letter dated 7 November 1967 from the Permanent Representative of the United Arab Republic addressed to the President of the Security Council (S/8226).
Adoption of the agenda
The agenda was adopted
The situation in the Middle East
Letter dated 7
November 1967 from the Permanent Representative of the United Arab Republic addressed to the President of the Security Council (S/8226)
1. The PRESIDENT (
translated from French
): In accordance with the decisions taken at the 1373rd meeting on 9 November and at the 1375th meeting on 13 November, I propose with the consent of the Council to invite the representatives of the United Arab Republic, Israel, Jordan and Syria to take places at the Council table and to participate without vote in the discussion.
At the invitation of the President, Mr. Mahmoud Riad (United Arab Republic), Mr. A. Eban (Israel), Mr. A. M. Rifa'i (Jordan) and Mr. A. Daoudy (Syria) took places at the Council table.
2. The PRESIDENT
(translated from French):
The Council will now resume its consideration of the item before it. The first speaker on my list is the representative of Syria on whom I now call.
3. Mr. DAOUDY (Syria): The Security Council reconvenes today to consider once more the Israel war of aggression of 5 June against the Arab countries and the tragic consequences of that war, which have still not received an adequate United Nations solution despite their grave implications for international
peace and security and their issue in increasing human suffering.
4. While nursing the hope, as a Member State and as one of the victims of that aggression, that the wrong would be redressed, right restored and justice re-established, my country observed regretfully that the Security Council and later the General Assembly at its fifth emergency special session, had not succeeded in devising finally the right course, applying strictly the principles of the Charter--and this in spite of the fact that the overwhelming majority of the Member States had denounced the Israel occupation of Arab territories and endorsed the principle of withdrawal.
5. The Government of the Syrian Arab Republic has instructed my delegation to put on record at this stage of the deliberations of the Council its basic stand vis-à-vis this grave situation, with its far-reaching consequences,
6. The Security Council, in its ardent search for peace, must undoubtedly be guided and inspired by the United Nations Charter. In this connection, three fundamental considerations, on which present and future deliberations should be based and from which action and conclusions must necessarily follow, should be made clear: first, that one of the cornerstones of the Charter is the non-recognition of the fruits of aggression; second, that any solution of the present crisis which does not recognize that principle is a negation of the Charter itself; third, that the new international order envisaged in the Charter and inspired by the tragic experiences of mankind involved the renunciation for ever of the use of force for aggressive purposes, recognition of the illegitimacy of and non-recognition of any right based on conquest.
7. In our view, these essential principles must be ever present in the minds of those who are seeking peace and justice in the Middle East lest, trapped by rhetoric, sophistry and biased mass media, they tend to facilitate the consolidation of the fruits of aggression.
8. It follows that none of the draft resolutions submitted to the Security Council so far is accepted by the Government of the Syrian Arab Republic because they subject withdrawal to conditions. No other draft resolution which subjected withdrawal to any condition whatsoever would be accepted by the Government of the Syrian Arab Republic. We wish to make this unequivocally clear.
9. The Council is faced with one issue only, with one basic issue. It is the issue of a well-planned, well-prepared premeditated war of aggression waged by Israel against the Arab countries. All other elements introduced are artificial, spurious and misleading. It is the view of my Government, of the Arab people, that the Security Council and the United Nations should deal with that war of aggression and its consequences.
10. Day by day it becomes increasingly clear that that aggression was precisely calculated and planned in advance as if by a computer. The numerous statements of high-ranking Israel spokesmen, quoted on many occasions, confirm this, if ever confirmation be needed. But let me quote an illuminating paragraph concerning what transpired with regard to the total mobilization of Israel forces for the definite purpose of aggression. This is taken from a book entitled
Six Days in June
by Robert J. Donovan and the staff of the
Los Angeles Times,
which was written especially to glorify the so-called heroic deeds of Israel:
"Robert C. Toth, Los Angeles Times correspondent in Israel, was able to circumvent military censorship on the scope of the Israel mobilization before hostilities. To keep the extent of the call-up secret, Israel said it had undertaken 'partial mobilization'. Censors would pass no other phrase. Deep in a story on war preparations filed three days before the fighting began, Toth inserted the phrase, 'Israel's partial mobilization was Ivory-pure.' The story cleared. On the foreign desk in Los Angeles, editors quickly realized Toth was referring to the Ivory soap slogan--99 and 44/100ths per cent pure--and rewrote Toth's lead paragraph to say that Israel was 'fully mobilized'."
11. Thus any doubt which may still be entertained by anyone regarding the identity of the real aggressor is removed, even by sources sympathetic to the Israel point of view.
12. Before such irrefutable proof of Israel guilt it is difficult to understand why there should be such a wide gap between what the United Nations ought to do, by virtue of its very Charter, and what it has actually done or been prevented from doing. We may be asked "Why, in the circumstances, are you resorting once again to the United Nations and to its highest organ, the Security Council, to state your position? " We do so because we still believe that the United Nations is the instrument for the achievement and maintenance of international peace. We still believe it is the place to which small nations turn, seeking redress of their grievances. We would like to believe that all the States represented in the Security Council were fully conscious of the responsibilities laid upon them and of the expectations that the community of nations rightly entertains as to the faithful discharge of their duties by those selected representative Members.
13. That is how we look to the Security Council, despite some bitter experiences, but that cannot lead us to say what the representative of Israel said the other day during a recess of a recent meeting, when, according to the
The New York Times
of 10 November, he cynically commented to the press that the Council was a "kangaroo court". Indeed, the Foreign Minister of Israel himself preceded his own representative in showing scorn for and disregard of the United Nations when he stated publicly on 16 June: "if the General Assembly were to vote by 121 to 1 in favor of Israel returning to the armistice lines tomorrow, Israel would refuse to comply with that decision."
14. But if such defiant statements are not enough, Israel's acts give the concrete answer. Has Israel attached any value to the will of the United Nations, so clearly expressed in the resolutions of the Security Council calling on Israel to permit the return of Syrian, Jordanian and Egyptian displaced persons to their lands? Has it collaborated with, or has it obstructed, the efforts of the Secretary-General and the International Red Cross, with a view to facilitating the return of the Syrians and Jordanians? And have more than only a few thousand Jordanians been permitted to go back to the west bank, while a much greater number have been forced out?
15. As for the two resolutions
[2253 (ES-V), 2254 (ES-V)]
adopted almost unanimously by the fifth emergency special session of the General Assembly, calling on Israel to rescind its unlawful measures for the annexation of the Jordanian part of Jerusalem, they were blatantly ignored and the arrogant Israel authorities made no secret of their plan to annex the city, bulldoze its Arab quarters and face the whole international community with a
16. The various statements made by the Israel spokesmen, whether in the United Nations or elsewhere, point to that defiant attitude, and the United Nations has by now in its possession a large number of documents and reports testifying to the contempt with which Israel met the call of the international community on the status of Jerusalem. Not only did Israel refuse to allow the new refugees, victims of the Israel aggression, to go back to their homes: the Israel authorities embarked upon a systematic and well-planned policy of looting of the property of those absentees.
17. The Syrian delegation has on various occasions drawn the attention of the Security Council to what the Israelis were doing in the Syrian occupied territory, and the international press has expressed the shock felt by international Christian public opinion at the fact that the divine treasures of the Holy Places in the occupied areas have also been looted. A very recent example was referred to a few days ago in press reports, showing how the Dead Sea Scrolls which had been in the possession of private Arab citizens on the occupied west bank, had been confiscated, without any compensation by the Israel authorities.
18. To crown all of those acts of lawlessness, Mr. Eshkol only a few days ago unmasked Israel's real intentions. Greater Israel is now his goal. Annexation of occupied territories and their settlement by immigrants from all over the world, to the detriment of the rightful inhabitants--just as Israel did before with the Palestinian people--are now for him, United Nations or no United Nations, matters of course.
19. Is that an isolated bit of policy? It is far from being that. According to The New York Times of 4 November, an example of how far-reaching and deeply penetrating are its tentacles is contained in the observation of Dr. Norton Mezvinsky, at the American Council for Judaism on 3 November, that:
"900 Israel teachers in American Jewish schools were 'being directed to infuse the spirit of aliyah (migration to Israel) into the children' . . .
"This can only be done by deprecating American Jewish life and glorifying Israel Jewish life."
20. In addition to that disregard for the international community, Israel now denounces its commitments and decides to ignore the United Nations machinery in the Middle East and unilaterally to put an end to the armistice régime, which was the instrumental framework of the General Armistice Agreements, under which the Arab-Israel Mixed. Armistice Commissions were established to solve the relevant problems.
21. Whereas Mr. Abba Eban is now denouncing the Armistice Agreements and declaring that they are obsolete, it was he who held a contrary position in the past. On 4 August 1949 he told the Security Council: "these Agreements have no time limit, and can be altered only by agreed amendments."
22. The Secretary-General has given a most apt summation of the situation with respect to these agreements, as follows:
". . . there has been no indication either in the General Assembly or in the Security Council that the validity and applicability of the Armistice Agreements have been changed as a result of the recent hostilities or of the war of 1956; each Agreement, in fact, contains a provision that it will remain in force 'until a peaceful settlement between the parties is achieved'. Nor has the Security Council or the General Assembly taken any steps to change the pertinent resolutions of either organ relating to the Armistice Agreements or to the earlier cease-fire demands. The Agreements provide that by mutual consent the signatories can revise or suspend them. There is no provision in them for unilateral termination of their application. This has been the United Nations position all along and will continue to be the position until a competent organ decides otherwise."
23. This is only the recent part of the record of Israel. This is not to mention the dark record of Israel, its numerous, murderous unprovoked attacks and wanton massacres of innocent Arabs, so many times condemned by this Council. These condemnations constitute by themselves the most eloquent answer to Mr. Eban's falsehood. In fact it would take me as long if not longer to answer the Israel representative, but the records of the Security Council speak for themselves.
24. The question now arises how such a group of 2 million people has the audacity to defy the whole community of nations, disregard the United Nations resolutions and violate the most basic principles of international law--and all with impunity.
25. To understand this question it is of particular importance to review only the most recent attitude of the United States Government. Here too there are words and there are actions that cannot pass without mention. When any Arab speaker makes the slightest hint of objection to the support the
United States of America and some of its allies give to Israel, he encounters immediate protests of indignation and innocence. But is it out of context to refer to the great divergence between what the spokesmen of the United States were advocating before the events of 5 June, what its spokesmen advocated during those events, and what they are advocating now? It is a divergence that is well illustrated in the words of an eminent American jurist, who in August 1967 said:
"Indeed, the United States must recognize the utter inconsistency between its policy announced in the United Nations in May, prior to the hostilities, and its policy announced on 19 June by President Johnson after the Israel victory. Prior to the hostilities Ambassador Goldberg stated in the Security Council that 'meaningful peace negotiations' could not take place unless the Gulf of Aqaba were reopened to Israel shipping thereby restoring the
status quo ante.
The Ambassador went on to say that it would not be possible to negotiate and explore the 'underlying causes' of the Arab-Israel dispute in the tense atmosphere created by the closing of the Gulf of Aqaba.
"Following the Israel military victory the United States had adopted an entirely contrary position. The Ambas-sador announced in the United Nations that restoration of the
status quo ante,
i.e., the withdrawal of Israel forces, together with international guarantees of Israel shipping rights and territorial integrity, constitutes a 'prescription for war' and not a 'prelude to peace' as has been suggested prior to the outbreak of war on 5 June. Such inconsistency by the United States, particularly in light of positive commitments regarding territorial integrity 'of all parties', does not enhance prospects for permanent peace."
26. Unfortunately, inconsistency has not been the sole characteristic of the official American policy on this question. President Johnson, in the midst of the Council's consideration of this tragic problem, found it fit to appear before Jewish trade union leaders in New York, and all he had to say about this tragedy was to equate Israel with South Viet-Nam, as though Israel occupation of large portions of Arab territories did not exist.
27. We have been accustomed to unpleasant statements from official United States spokesmen, but feel comforted at the same time by the fact that these statements do not reflect the intentions or the feelings of the American people, with whom we have no feud, and for whom we indeed have the highest admiration. In fact, it is a great honor for the Arabs or any struggling people to be compared to the forces of liberation in Viet-Nam which are waging their heroic fight against foreign domination. However, the conclusion which could be drawn from the comparison is that there seemingly exists an equation for Washington between Israel and Viet-Nam.
28. In this connexion, the visit made by General Dayan to Viet-Nam last year is only a confirmation of the intimate relationship between the three sides. We have been given clearly to know how dear, yet expensive, South Viet-Nam is for the American administration, but this is the first time a very high official statement has come to equate Israel with South Viet-Nam.
29. But here, too, actions are more significant than statements. On the very day of the aggression by Israel against Suez and its installations and the merciless burning of the industrial projects that had been achieved by the effort and sweat and great belt-tightening sacrifices accepted by the Egyptian people who were trying to raise their standard of living-on the day all this was going on, the American Government unfortunately found it appropriate to announce its decision to supply Israel with forty-eight Skyhawk bomber aircraft, the sole use of which cannot but be offensive, hence necessarily aggressive. What guarantee is there that this untimely supply of such offensive weapons within such a grave context cannot be used by Israel for further aggression? Indeed, my delegation has not failed in its duty to draw the attention of the Security Council, as recently as 27 September 1967
to the new Israel plans of further expansion and aggression.
30. Our delegation has made it clear time and again, and wishes to emphasize it once more, that the rights of the Arab people of Palestine are not and can never become the
subject of bargaining. Those Arab rights are inalienable. Any solution that does not take these realities into full consideration, that ignores Arab rights, that does not restore full justice, will amount to nothing more than a time-bomb which may explode unexpectedly. Those who continuously pressure the Arabs to recognize what they call the rights of Israel are in the wrong when they ignore the rights of the Arabs and the obligations of Israel towards those rights.
31. At this juncture, so crucial to the whole future of the United Nations and of international law, I wish to put on record that the only draft resolution which is in harmony with the Charter is the one submitted by the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics to the fifth emergency special session of the General Assembly
which asks for, first, condemnation of Israel aggression; second, withdrawal of Israel troops to the positions occupied by them on 4 June; and third, compensation to the Arabs for damages sustained by them.
32. Finally, my delegation wishes to put on record in the clearest terms the position of the Syrian Arab Republic. While it wishes to reserve its right to speak on all draft resolutions when they are discussed in the Council, it would in the meantime like to state the position of the Syrian Arab Republic as follows: first, it will never submit to aggression or recognize any consequence based on that aggression; second, it does not subscribe to any resolution that fags to be guided by justice and the principles of the Charter but leads to rewarding instead of condemning the Israel aggressor; and third, it insists upon the discharge the United Nations of those responsibilities incumbent upon it by virtue of the provisions of the Charter international law and international morality-and this with a view to the achievement of a just and lasting peace in the area.
33. Lord CARADON (United Kingdom): I wish this morning to speak shortly, on the need for urgent and effective action. We have for long been anxious to see this
Council take action. We have long maintained that the Council should have met much earlier and acted much sooner. There have been dreadful and damaging delays and persistent and frustrating disagreements. But now there is a realization amongst all of us--of this I am sure--that the time to decide has come. This week we must conclude our debate. This week we hope to see the work of finding a way to permanent peace transferred from this Council to the Middle East. This week we hope to see an end of talk here and the beginning of action on the ground.
34. And I would also say, Mr. President, that having listened to the speech of the distinguished representative of Syria just now, I would only say that a just settlement will not be found or facilitated by partisan speeches directed not to finding a basis for peace but to the perpetuation of discord and discontent and deadlock. We in the Council have a very different purpose and a very different obligation and a very different duty. I believe that we members of the Council are all very conscious of the momentous responsibility which lies on us at this time. We believe that within the next few fateful days we can take a new road forward leading to justice and peace. We know that the alternative is to stumble back again hopelessly and miserably along the tragic road which the peoples of the Middle East have traveled for the past two decades--the road of hate and suffering. Before this week is over we shall decide whether to take the road forward or the road back. On that decision the hopes and fate and indeed the lives of countless innocent people will depend.
35. If we were to fail now, the representatives with us from all the countries concerned would go home to a terrible future: a future of renewed belligerence, of mounting hostility and all-pervading fear, and the certainty that death and destruction will before long return. It is within the next few days what we here have it in our power to decide whether the peoples of the Middle East set out next week on a road of hope or on a road of despair.
36. The, extent of the danger is the extent of our opportunity, and I confidently maintain that there is sure, sound, common ground on which we can go forward.
37. The Arab countries insist that we must direct our special attention to the recovery and restoration of their territories. The issue of withdrawal is to them of top priority. The Arabs want not charity but justice. They seek a just settlement to end the long and bitter suffering of the refugees. There is a recognition on all sides that a new, comprehensive, imaginative plan, as we have advocated, to deal with this desperately urgent problem is essential.
38. The Israelis tell us that withdrawal must never be to the old precarious truce. It must be to a permanent peace to secure boundaries, to a new era of freedom from the use or the threat or the fear of hostility and force.
39. Both are right. The aims of the two sides do not conflict. They converge. They supplement and they support each other. To imagine that one can be secured without the other is a delusion. They are of equal validity and equal necessity. The recent consultations which have been going forward so energetically and continuously strongly reinforce my conviction that we in this Council now have a supreme opportunity to serve the interests of all those concerned. Every day it is more clear what should be done. Every day it is more apparent that we are not dealing with conflicting interests but with complementary interests. Justice and peace are not in conflict; they are as inseparable as they are indispensable. One must go hand in hand with the other.
40. Mr. President, since so much is at stake, since agreement between us all is so near, and since the need is so desperately urgent and since we must not fail at this critical time, I wish most earnestly to put it to you, Sir, and to my fellow members of the Council that when we finish our debate this morning we should at once allow a short time to conclude our consultations. I would suggest that we should reassemble tomorrow afternoon or on Friday morning, and that in the meantime we should make a final and supreme and successful effort to set aside all differences, many of which are in wording and not in substance, and concentrate on the common ground of agreed purpose and principle.
41. I trust that before this week is over we shall have taken perhaps the most important decision which the United Nations has ever taken. I trust that by the end of this week we shall have taken the first essential step to bring the blessings of a just and peaceful settlement to peoples who have lived in enmity too long. We must pass a resolution. I hope we can do so unanimously. That will be the best way to discharge our responsibility and to do so in such a way that action is effective in the interests of all the peoples concerned. We are not interested in mere voting victories. We want not a victory in New York but a success in the Middle East. What we must surely strive for is to put the full weight of this Council behind urgent effective action to achieve a just and durable peace.
42. Mr. GOLDBERG (United States of America): Inasmuch as the United States has submitted a draft resolution
in this Council, and since several delegations have commented on it, it is only appropriate that I now reply to those comments.
43. More than six months ago, even before the fighting began last June, some Governments represented in the Council, including my own, sought to avert the war and to begin to seek new ways to open at long last a road towards real, stable and enduring peace in that region which has known no genuine peace for a generation.
44. In this connection there is one point of fact which must be set straight as a result of comments that have been made in our present series of meetings. There have been truly Orwellian efforts by the communist members on this Council to re-write history. And it is exceedingly ironic that those who charge the United States with delay have been from the very beginnings of this conflict the prime instruments of delay in our proceedings and of effective Security Council action. A charge like that was made on 13 November by my friend, the representative of Bulgaria, Ambassador Tarabanov. He said that the responsibility for delay in dealing with the matter before the Council rests on Governments--presumably including my own--because it was they "who refused to act"
[1375th meeting, para. 100]
in the matter.
45. How this can be said by my colleague is beyond me. It was he who, at the height of the crisis, said on 24 May, when we in this Council pleaded the need for urgent action, that this would be indulging in "futile exercises"
[1342nd meeting, para. 90].
And then the representative of Bulgaria went so far as to tell the Council that: "We are not available for consultations on a draft resolution or on any other measure that might be planned"
[ibid., para. 91].
Similar efforts were made by the Soviet representative who, in a phrase well remembered in this Council, said that we were attempting to dramatize the situation.
46. The efforts of the United States throughout this crisis have been to prevent the conflict before it started, and, after the conflict commenced, to bring it to a speedy end and to start the process of making peace in the area. I have only to refer the Security Council to the draft resolution offered by the United States on I June, in which we proposed:
that the Secretary-General has in his report expressed the view that 'a peaceful outcome to the present crisis will depend upon a breathing spell which will allow tension to subside from its present explosive level', and that he therefore urged 'all the parties concerned to exercise special restraint, to forgo belligerence and to avoid all other actions which could increase tension, to allow the Council to deal with the underlying causes of the present crisis and to seek solutions’,
all the parties concerned as a first step to comply with the Secretary-General's appeal;
the immediate pursuit of international diplomacy in the interests of pacifying the situation and seeking reasonable, peaceful and just solutions;
to keep this issue under urgent and continuous review so that the Council may determine what further steps it might take in the exercise of its responsibilities for the maintenance of international peace and security."
47. That draft resolution foundered on the opposition of those who now seek to ascribe responsibility for delay to others. Every member of this Council knows that when the conflict broke out on 5 June it was the United States, along with some other members of the Council, which were the principal proponents, initiators and supporters of action by this Council, calling for an immediate cease-fire. Here, too, it was the opposition of certain members which made it impossible for the Council to act urgently and without debate in the interests of peace and stopping the fighting before it developed, as it subsequently did.
48. There were two opportunities before the Council at that time. One arose from an initiative by the Governments of Canada and Denmark, and that was to send a special representative to the area; and the other arose from the draft resolution that we offered. I ask the members of the Council to think of where we would be today had the Council endorsed the proposals made by Canada and Denmark, supported by the United States, in the interest of accelerating the peace-making process. We could have had a United Nations representative in the area since last June working on the complicated task of restoring peace. Several precious months have been lost and the question recurs: How much more time is to be wasted arguing over rhetoric when what is needed is reconciliation.
49. There have been rumors, spread in the corridors that the United States is now seeking delay. Nothing could be farther from the truth. We have sought immediate action throughout; we seek immediate action today--and I mean action, nor words. These are the facts. What we need is a truce in the Security Council against recrimination. Let us have an end to the ceaselessly repeated use of old and discredited charges to sow new hostility. As far as we are concerned, let there be no more delay. Let there be no more attempts to pervert this Council, this instrument of peace, into a center of defamation and incendiary charges. For such abuse of the United Nations instrumentalities simply compounds the difficulties of the peace-making process which are already formidable enough.
50. In this spirit I do not intend to make any detailed reply, for example, to the statement made by the representative of Syria. I have previously had occasion in this Council to state that the internal affairs of the United States, its leaders and its policies are not the subject of legitimate comment by representatives in this Council. In no statement made by the United States during the many meetings of the past few months have we ever even repeated any utterances made by the leaders of Syria or attempted to characterize those utterances, as has been done by the representative of Syria today with respect to the political leaders of the United States. I do not intend to depart from this practice despite the provocation which has been offered. It is a legitimate matter of discussion in this Council to deal with the substance of the problem before us.
51. A statement has been made by the representative of Syria that the United States has been inconsistent in its position with respect to the Middle East crisis. I have before me a document which I shall make available to you, Mr. President, to the members of the Council and to the representatives of the parties immediately concerned, containing every policy statement made by the United States since this crisis first broke out: before the conflict, during the Security Council considerations and up to the present time. I am content to rest on the record of our statements which demonstrates that they have been consistent throughout. We adhere to the statements that have been made; we do not depart from them.
52. Illustrative of the double standard which the representative of Syria applies in his discussion of the grave issues before us is his reference to the arms situation. It is interesting that in commenting upon a recent decision of our Government to meet prior commitments with respect to military armaments he did not refer to the fact that our decision was designed to meet commitments not only to the State of Israel, but also to several Arab countries. Nor did he talk about the outpouring of military armaments to the countries of the Middle East, including Syria, which has gone on for years and which continues to this day. If the representative of Syria were genuinely interested in seeking limits to be placed on the wasteful and dangerous arms race which has gone on in the Middle East for years, one would have expected him to express support for the idea contained in the draft resolution we have placed before the Council, which calls upon the Council to consider the necessity of limiting "the wasteful and destructive arms race in the area"
No such words of support were forthcoming. We do not need words of the character that have been uttered. The words that are now needed are words that clearly point to practical action for a just and durable peace that shall be fair and equitable to all parties.
53. It is for such a peace that my delegation, despite all difficulties, continues to strive. To this end last month, while the non-permanent members of the Council were actively seeking an acceptable formula for action by the Council, my delegation, at the specific request of some of the parties concerned, deferred to their efforts. When their efforts did not succeed you, Mr. President, quite appropriately in your capacity as President of the Security Council, and with the agreement of the non-permanent members, turned to the permanent members of the Council to ask that they join fully and actively in the search. My delegation responded promptly to your call and as soon as possible formulated its concept of appropriate and attainable Council action. And we so reported to you, Mr. President.
54. On an urgent basis we likewise proceeded to discuss our concept with other members, permanent and non-permanent, and with the parties on both sides. We were guided throughout by certain axioms of negotiation, axioms which stemmed in part from the unanimous view that the Council should act under Chapter VI of the Charter.
55. First, only the parties themselves, through mutual accommodation, compromise and peaceful means of their own choice, can make peace and impose peace. Peace, whether imposed by one side on the other or on both sides by any outside authority, including this Council, cannot endure.
56. Second, members of this Council, both individually and collectively, by virtue of their very great influence, individual or combined, and by virtue of the Council's responsibility under the Charter, can and must assist the process of accommodation between the parties.
57. Third, to serve this purpose the Council must find a formula which will not prejudice the known positions of the parties on either side and which will not preclude the acceptance by either side of the assistance, encouragement, help and guidance the United Nations can properly offer.
58. Fourth, to arrive at such a formulation, it is essential that consultations be held with the parties on both sides as well as with the members of the Council.
The process of consultations we had initiated had not run its course when the request for the convening of the Council made it necessary to circulate the product of our efforts on 1 November. While we would have preferred to hold back our draft resolution until the final results of our consultations were in, I have no hesitation in saying that our draft resolution, in our view, is the only resolution now before the Council which conforms to the axioms set forth both in content and in the procedures used in drawing it up. Moreover, even since its circulation we have remained intensively engaged in the search for the right formula for Council action--right in terms of the balance it strikes between conflicting views and emotions and in terms of the co-operation it will elicit from all involved in the peace-making process it would put in train.
59. Ever since the Council was convened we have con-tinued our efforts. And let me make it explicitly clear that our interest is not in having an American label on the successful formula. If it would in any way facilitate the search we are all engaged in, that label can be rapidly dispensed with. Pride of authorship has no place in the serious business at hand.
60. In my statement on 9 November
I pointed out that we of the United States had sought to stay within those requirements by basing the substance of our draft resolution on a set of principles, namely the five principles enunciated by President Johnson in his address on 19 June. We did so, as I pointed out, not merely because our President had set them forth, but because both parties had in various statements indicated that those principles were an acceptable basis for Security Council action. And I have not heard a repudiation on the part of those who have spoken to the effect that those principles do not still constitute an acceptable basis for progress in the interests of peace in the area.
61. I shall briefly recall those principles: (1) the recognition of national life, (2) justice for the refugees, (3) innocent maritime passage, (4) limits on the arms race, and (5) political independence and territorial integrity for all. We have sought to embody those five principles in our draft resolution in a way which would be fairly and prudently balanced and which would, as I have said, not prejudice the vital interests or the stated positions of either side. We have taken into account the known differences between the parties in regard both to the goals sought and to the means towards those goals. We have sought to develop and express as well as we knew how the maximum of common ground as a starting point for the peace-making process that should have commenced with the blessing of this Council months ago.
62. In my statement to the Council on 9 November I outlined the general considerations underlying our draft resolution. Let me now add certain specific comments on particular provisions in the hope of clarifying their meaning and intent in the light of the comments made with respect to those clauses in the course of our debate.
63. In operative paragraph 1, among the elements enclosed in the concept of a state of just and lasting peace is the withdrawal of armed forces from occupied territories. I should like to be quite clear about the meaning that we attach to that language. In the first place it obviously refers, and was always intended to refer, to the armed forces of Israel. Let me also state and make clear that this is completely on a par with the other essentials listed in the same paragraph, such as "termination of claims or states of belligerence"--which, of course, refers primarily to the Arab States. Let me add that it also embraces a necessary ingredient for peace in the area: mutual termination by Israel and the Arab States of the state of war, which unhappily still persists in the area, and "mutual recognition and respect for the right of every State in the area to sovereign existence, territorial integrity, political independence, secure and recognized boundaries, and freedom from the threat or use of force"
We had thought that that concept was very clear in our draft resolution. However, since doubts had been expressed on that point, we have considered it necessary to make it explicitly clear in our statement today.
64. We believe that the language of operative paragraph 1 as stated in the draft resolution and as amplified by me here today is both intrinsically sound and carefully balanced in what it requires of the respective parties. I should like to repeat them for emphasis. Israel must withdraw; the Arab States must renounce the state of belligerence and claim of belligerence, which they have maintained for many years; and the States on both sides must terminate the present state of war and must mutually recognize each other's
rights which are set forth explicitly in Article 2 of the Charter. Lest there be any ambiguity, let me also make it clear that, despite the references that have been made to
that phrase, by the word "recognition" we do not mean diplomatic recognition, although at the same time we do not mean to exclude it. That is a matter for the parties concerned to settle among themselves. We mean recognition of what the Charter provides, recognition of the sovereign existence of all nations, to which all States in the area are committed by the Charter. We mean respect for territorial integrity, political independence and freedom from the threat or use of force, and we mean that the parties should determine that in order to be free from the threat or use of force, secure and recognized boundaries should be fixed.
65. Now I cannot emphasize too strongly that those principles are interdependent. There is nothing artificial about this interdependence. We did not manufacture it. It is in the nature of the situation and of the history of this conflict. To seek withdrawal without secure and recognized boundaries, for example, would be just as fruitless as to seek secure and recognized boundaries without withdrawal. Historically there have never been secure or recognized boundaries in the area. Neither the armistice lines of 1949 nor the cease-fire lines of 1967 have answered that description, although the General Armistice Agreements explicitly recognize the necessity to proceed to permanent peace, which necessarily entails the recognition of boundaries between the parties. Now such boundaries have yet to be agreed upon. An agreement on that point is an absolute essential to a just and lasting peace just as withdrawal is. Secure boundaries cannot be determined by force; they cannot be determined by the unilateral action of any of the States; and they cannot be imposed from the outside. For history shows that imposed boundaries are not secure and that secure boundaries must be mutually worked out and recognized by, the parties themselves as part of the peace-making process.
66. I would add one further observation with respect to timing. Clearly the timing of steps to be taken by the parties in fulfillment of the objectives set forth in our draft resolution would need to be worked out carefully with the assistance of the special representative. It is not our conception that any one step or provision should be relegated to the end of the process. In short, our draft resolution reflects the conviction that progress towards peace can be made only if there is a careful and just balance of obligations among the parties. Such a balance must take account of the just aspirations of all, without harming the vital interests of any. It must recognize and seek to relieve the legitimate grievances of all, without creating new grievances for any. It must be a balance which all will have a strong interest in maintaining. Only thus can it provide the foundation for a durable peace.
67. Let me turn briefly to operative paragraph 2 of the draft resolution, since I have been speaking about operative paragraph 1. In our view, the provisions of operative paragraph 2 are no less vital to a durable solution than are those of operative paragraph 1. The provisions relating to guaranteeing freedom of navigation for all nations through international waterways in the area and to the refugee problem deal with grievances of the first order of importance, which clearly could not be left out of a peace settlement. The other two provisions of the paragraph are designed chiefly to ensure that the peace settlement shall be, as it clearly must be, insulated from violence and from excessive competition in the means of violence.
68. As to freedom of navigation in international waterways for all nations, it is a matter of historical record that the principal factor which precipitated the conflict in early June was the decision by the United Arab Republic not to permit ships of all States to pass through the Strait of Tiran with equal freedom. It has been a plain fact of life that a return to peace will require guarantees concerning freedom of navigation in the Strait, as well as in the Suez Canal, for their closure has been inconsistent with a state of peace, as has been recognized by past decisions of this Council.
69. I should like also to comment on the refugee problem, for it is far more than merely a political grievance: it is a profoundly humanitarian problem, and it must at long last be solved. Those who are homeless or displaced because of both the recent and the previous conflict have a desperate need for help and for justice. The nations of the area, with the help of the world community, must act with new determination and new energy to meet that end. And in the solution of the problem my Government is prepared to do its share--and to do more than its share--just as throughout the years it has been doing in relieving the distress of the refugees in the area.
70. But it is not mere continuance of temporary relief to which we have largely contributed that is needed: more than ever before, this problem cries out for a permanent and a humane solution. Such a solution must be a part of the framework of the peace settlement. The needs of the refugee and the needs of peace in the Middle East are not in conflict; they are inseparable from each other; they must be attended to together. The needs of the international community and of all nations to free access to international waterways, and the needs of peace in the Middle East, are not in conflict: they are inseparable from each other; they must be attended to together.
71. Such are my main comments concerning the provisions of the United States draft resolution. Before concluding, let me only add three general observations which, I hope, may prove constructive.
72. First, an observation about the special representative and his role. I have no hesitation in saying that the key provision in the entire draft resolution is the appointment of the special representative. The principles in operative paragraph 1 will be useful only to the extent that they may help him in working out with the parties solutions that will lead to a just and lasting peace in the area. I have already mentioned that a draft resolution was introduced in the Council by Canada and Denmark on 24 May 1967
asking the Secretary-General to seek solutions to the dangerous tension then prevailing. It was a good draft resolution; it was criticized at the time because it contained no detailed principles to guide the Secretary-General.
73. Now, let us look back upon the history in this particular area. We may well recall the resolutions of the Security Council, under which the General Armistice Agreements of 1949 were negotiated by Mr. Ralph Bunche--Agreements which, despite the later tragic course of events, helped at that time to stop war. But those resolutions likewise contained no detailed principles to guide the negotiations.
74. Our draft resolution goes far beyond the resolutions of the Security Council under which Mr. Bunche so successfully operated. Our draft proposes a far more specific mandate. But it seems to my delegation and to the United States Government that what is far more important than a list of written principles is the existence on both sides of a sufficient practical will to make peace. The peace-making process is not quick or easy, not is it a kind of magic which enables each side to realize its maximum demands. The only magic in peace-making is the awareness of each side that the benefits of peace and tranquillity are valuable enough to justify very great efforts in the search for it, as well as the acceptance of compromise and accommodation by both sides on the actual terms. And the terms cannot be spelled out in advance; they must be spelled out on the ground.
75. The crucial role which the special representative can play is to foster on both sides the frame of mind essential to peace-making--the pragmatic will to peace--which can face and overcome the undeniable difficulties in defining mutually acceptable terms.
76. Greater and more complicated conflicts even than this grave and complicated conflict have been resolved at the peace table. Peace is indeed difficult, but it is not impossible where a genuine will exists on both
sides, and where the necessary support and encouragement is afforded by third parties, including this great Organization.
77. This leads me to my second observation. In our consultation on possible action by the Security Council, the question we encountered most frequently from the parties concerned on both sides was not about any particular provision of a draft resolution, but, rather, about what the United States would be prepared to do in the interests of bringing about peace in the area. Would the United States--it has been put to me very explicitly--place its influence and political support behind a just and durable peace in the area and the steps necessary to achieve such a peace? Let me give here, in public, in this Council, the same answer we have given in private to that question are committed to the achievement of a just and lasting peace in the area. From this commitment there flows a willingness to do our full share towards achieving that goal. As President Johnson said on 19 June, "I offer assurance to all that this Government of ours, the Government of the United States, will do its part for peace in every forum, at every level, at every hour."
78. On behalf of my Government, I now renew the pledge I made to the Council and to the parties themselves when I introduced the United States draft resolution on 9 November. Under the terms of that draft resolution--and this includes every portion of the text
--the United States could, and will, exert its full diplomatic and political influence in support of the efforts of the United Nations representatives to achieve a fair and equitable settlement.
79. Finally, I would stress once again the spirit in which the United States still approaches the question of peace in the Middle East. As the President of the United States emphasized at the very outset of the crisis last May: "The United States has consistently sought to have good relations with all the States of the Middle East". And he added: "This has not always been possible"--and indeed it has not proved to be possible even to this day. But today, six months later, our resolve to seek such good relations remains undimmed, despite the tragic events of June and all that has taken place in the aftermath.
80. Now, we are well aware that neither side in the dispute-judging by their expressions in and out of this Council--is likely to be well pleased with all aspects of our position. But that is inevitable, considering that they are the parties involved. And for us it is a small price to pay if we can thereby contribute to the progress towards peace which the peoples of the Middle East, and, indeed, of all the world, so sadly need.
81. Mr. IGNATIEFF (Canada): My delegation has listened with the greatest care and attention to the statements mad e at our meetings on 9 and 13 November
[1373rd and 1375th meetings],
as well as to the statements made today. I have also, been, as I am sure all of us around this table have been, reflecting on the situation facing the Council, and this leads me to offer a few additional comments at this time on the best way that I see we might proceed if we are to avoid an impasse.
82. Despite the firm and to some extent contradictory positions adopted by the parties involved in the dispute, and notwithstanding the conflicting interpretations we have heard of motives, intention and, indeed, of events, it seems to me that certain things are becoming clear.
83. First of all, I do believe that there is a strong momentum in this Council in favor of making a further effort to reach agreement. Many of my colleagues have openly supported this approach; none has rejected it. It is also significant that the representatives of the States directly concerned in the area, whatever their views on the draft resolutions before us, have not rejected efforts to find a formula designed to enable a special representative to go out to the area, provided that this mission does not prejudice their respective basic positions.
84. Secondly, there seems to be a more general acceptance than ever before that Council action at this time has to be within the framework of Chapter VI of the Charter, a framework which enables us to seek agreement on a diplomatic initiative designed to open the way to a peaceful settlement.
85. In this connexion, I welcome the constructive contribution of the representative of India, as set forth at our meeting on 13 November, when he recalled the terms of Article 33 which enjoins the parties to any dispute, the continuance of which is likely to endanger international peace and security, to seek a solution by any of the methods of peaceful settlement open to them under the Charter. Now, I may not have been able to agree so far with my Indian and some other colleagues on the exact terms of a resolution by which the responsibilities of the Council might be fulfilled, but I do not differ with them on this
86. This approach is that the mandate of the special representative should be clearly within Chapter VI, that the principles and guidelines should be balanced and non- prejudicial to both sides and that the objective is to initiate the process of peaceful settlement of the crisis without delay.
87. The third area of common ground relates to the dispatch of a special representative within the kind of framework we have been discussing. I take it there is basic agreement that we in the Council are not, as several members have pointed out, trying to impose a settlement or the terms of a settlement. I believe that what we are trying to do is to follow up the cease-fire by facilitating the settlement of the issues in dispute with the help of a special representative of the Secretary-General. Clearly the mission of this intermediary must be without prejudice to the rights, claims or positions of the States concerned with regard to those issues. Furthermore, it must be acceptable to the Council and be acquiesced in by both sides if it is to get under way as soon as possible and to have any hope of success.
88. I would therefore urge, in conclusion, that we now make that additional and determined effort in further private consultations, as was proposed by the United Kingdom representative earlier today, to see if the differences among us that remain can be reconciled.
89. The PRESIDENT (translated from French): I now call upon the representative of Israel, who has requested to speak in exercise of the right of reply.
90. Mr. EBAN (Israel): It is very difficult for me to reply to the address of the Syrian representative without taking the level of this debate below the level that it has reached. I am a much less assiduous reader than he is of the
Los Angeles Times,
and I know very little about the qualities of Ivory soap. Nor do I feel that I have to analyse again the address of mine to which he took exception. I said what I said on Monday
and I have noted the reports of what I have said throughout the world, and I am content that Israel's meaning is clear.
91. The Syrian representative began with a long and rather sinister description of the fact that Israel armed forces were mobilized in the first days of June. Of course the Cabinet of which I am a member ordered mobilization in the early days of June. Ninety thousand Egyptian troops in the Sinai; 45,000 poised on the Syrian heights; the entire Jordan army in order of battle; all surrounding airfields with operation orders about targets for attack; a complete naval blockade of our southern frontiers: if, in these conditions, Israel mobilized its forces for defense, this simply proves that the Israel Government was possessed of a normal sanity.
92. I do not want to enter into the other charges the Syrian representative made. He digressed into the problem of the Dead Sea Scrolls. We believe that the treasures of humanity should not be looted and allowed to perish, but should become the public and the universal domain. Let me, then, not linger on these matters, which have some degree of levity; let me address myself to the central issue.
93. It is the very nature of the Middle Eastern problem that was vividly illustrated by the address I made this morning on behalf of the Government of Syria. The essence of the problem is that Syria and other Arab States have refused and still refuse to recognize and respect Israel's rights to sovereignty, peace, security, economic development, maritime freedom--indeed, to national existence and survival. And in the spirit of that policy we heard from the Syrian representative a hymn of hate with no proposal whatsoever for bringing about peace between Syria and Israel. Syria does not come here as the victim of aggression. Syria played a special part in the explosion which convulsed the peace of the Middle East in the summer months.
94. Surely every member of the Security Council recalls that at the beginning of this year there still seemed to be some prospect of stability for the Middle East. The arrangements concerted in 1957 were in force. There were long periods of tranquillity on the Lebanese, Egyptian and Jordanian demarcation lines. Hostility was still the policy of the neighboring Arab States, but it was not always effectively and practically applied day by day. Into this situation of relative, fragile, precarious stability came Syria with its revolutionary doctrine of constant and perpetual war.
95. The Syrian doctrine was that the war not only had to be proclaimed, it had to be practised; it was not enough to practise it sometimes, it had to be practised every day. If it could not be practised with regular forces, then it must be practised through the agency of organized terrorist incursions. At this very table, Syrian representatives announced their right to show indulgence and to give shelter and
support to those incursions. Certainly any historian would have to record that the Syrian doctrine of constant, implacable daily war was the first link in the chain of conflict.
96. During that period we heard from the Syrian Government violent abuse not only of Israel but of any Arab leader or any Arab Government which gave any sign of realism or moderation, however provisional and however relative. There was abuse of the Jordanian Government on those too few occasions on which it acted for the suppression of terrorist raids. There was constant abuse of the United Arab Republic for not inviting war by the imposition of a full belligerent blockade.
97. This, then, is Syria's record--a constant, militant refusal to give Israel or the Middle East a single day of peace. It was Syrian policy that influenced the United Arab Republic to seek a confrontation in the early summer. It was Syria and the United Arab Republic together which involved Jordan in that tragic conflict. It was Syria, the United Arab Republic and Jordan together which invited contingents from Algeria, Kuwait, Morocco, Tunisia, Libya and other States--some of which, incidentally, have still not accepted the cease-fire agreement. That is what I mean by saying that Syria does not come here as the victim of aggression but as its first and primary architect. Never has self-criticism been less practised; never has it been more justified.
98. Indeed in October 1966 the majority of the Security Council membership, composed of representatives of the five continents of the world, addressed to Syria a mild but clear request to change its policy on this question of terrorist infiltration and incursions. That very mild proposal was subjected, of course, to the usual veto, but it expressed world opinion in attaching great importance to the explosive results, to the chain reaction that might develop if the policy of terrorist infiltration, incursion and violence were allowed to continue.
99. At our last meeting, the representative of Jordan had a lot to say about current events in the Middle East, I will say only one thing about his references to the ancient part of Jerusalem. It is much better to build houses and synagogues than it is to destroy them. We were shocked by the desecration and the sacrilege we found, by the fact that not
a single synagogue had been left standing and that not for a single day had there been freedom of access to the oldest of mankind's holiest places. Certainly the satisfaction of
universal religious interests must be, as it is, a primary objective of my Government, both in the present and in the future.
100. Of much more general significance is the question of what Jordan's policy is. On 22 October that policy was given the kind of expression that explains my Government's apprehension. Amman Radio described the policy of the Jordanian Government in this way: "The Arabs' foremost desire is Israel's withdrawal to the pre-5th June borders without the need for direct negotiation, reconciliation or recognition." There it is, bluntly expressed restoration of the situation which led to the war, without negotiation, without reconciliation and without recognition. That is the precise doctrine that has been described so often in the General Assembly and the Security Council as a prescription for a renewal of the war. If you bring together and unite all the conditions which led to the explosion, you are inviting a renewal of that explosion. It is to that policy that backward-looking policy of reconstructing the explosion, that Israel is implacable oppose.
101. To the representative of India I would say that my remarks were not addressed to the specific conflict in the Indian sub-continent, about which, as a member, I should be glad to learn more. I was quoting statements by his Government on the general principle of pacific settlement, and that general principle, which spokesmen of his Government have so often stated, boils down to this--that when the Security Council operates under Chapter VI of the Charter, and especially if it wishes to send a representative to engage in a diplomatic effort, then the prior assent of the parties most directly concerned should be secured and the Security Council should not itself predetermine the question at issue. That is the doctrine that was expressed in many quotations which I gave and in many others which I could give. In other words, if you wish the parties to co-operate in your efforts-so said the Indian delegation on many occasions--then do not adopt resolutions which prejudice the positions or the policies or the negotiating positions of the parties in advance.
102. It is not only the non-permanent members of the Security Council which have so often expressed that doctrine; it has been expressed by the permanent members, which have primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security. For example, on 29 March 1954
a debate took place in the Security Council on a draft resolution to which the Government of Egypt was opposed. That draft would simply have called upon Egypt to respect a previous judgement of the Security Council in favor of canceling the state of belligerency, acts of belligerency and acts of blockade. If Egypt had not defied that resolution for sixteen years the Council would probably not be sitting on this problem today.
103. In March 1954 also there was an effort to restate that policy. On that occasion, the representative of the Soviet Union enunciated a general doctrine of peaceful settlement in these words:
the impossibility of settling international problems by the method which it seems to me is...being fostered here and is being unnecessarily given a serious significance--the method of imposing upon one of the parties a decision which...has been stated by that party to be absolutely unacceptable from the outset.
"Such methods are no admitted in international law; and indeed there is no authority in international law suggesting that international problems can really be settled by any method other than that of agreement between the interested parties.
"...among the methods recommended in Chapter IV there is no such method as that of imposing on one party a decision which is contrary to and completely disregards the will, wishes and interests of the other party."
[644th meeting, paras. 46-48]
104. That is a lucid and eloquent statement of the philosophy underlying Chapter VI of the Charter. Either these things are true for Israel as for any State. International relationships can only flourish on the basis of reciprocity. If Egypt has the right for sixteen years not to accept international recommendations, then Israel has an equal right. On the more affirmative side, if it was necessary to secure Arab consent to a resolution in 1954, is surely no less important and vital and indispensable to secure Israel’s consent in 1967. Indeed, the general feeling for a consensual result seems to me so far to be the most salient conclusion to emerge from this discussion.
105. Israel’s policy need not be restated in full. We shall maintain and respect the cease-fire situation until it is replaced by peace treaties ending the state of war, determining the agreed and secure national frontiers of States and ensuring a stable and mutually guaranteed security. We cannot return to the shattered armistice regime. We should not seek to return to any system of relations other than a permanent, contractually binding peace; and we agree with those who have said, in the General Assembly and elsewhere, that fragile armistices and armistice lines must be superseded by agreed and secure national boundaries.
106. After the cease-fire, therefore, our destination must be nothing less than peace--a permanent and mutually contracted peace with a recognized territorial boundary and the definition by the States concerned of all the conditions for their coexistence.
107. In conclusion, it seems to me that the Security Council is in a position to define what its priorities are. Does it want an effective diplomatic action or does it insist on a specific and controversial statement, which might prejudice and prevent the launching of that diplomatic action? That, I think, is the dilemma. That is the choice.
108. It seems to me that the most salutary thing to do would be to utilize the fact that both parties, all parties, are willing to co-operate with the proposed diplomatic action, provided that their essential positions are not prejudiced in advance. In that spirit we have been offering, and shall offer, constructive comment to various proposals and drafts that have been presented, but our central theme is unvarying: only an integral, specific and contractual peace settlement can settle the grave issues which have cast a shadow over the Middle East for so many years. If we proceed to such an integral and specific and contractual peace settlement, defining the boundaries of States, maritime freedom, security for all, then the Middle East may have seen the last of its wars and the first glow of its peace.
109. Mr. KUZNETSOV (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics)
(translated from Russian):
The Soviet delegation intended to comment briefly on the subject of the statements made this morning, We had hoped that the speakers would throw light on many questions which they have not made clear so far, and which they have not answered, though it is most important that they should do so if we really wish to make a constructive contribution, here in the Security Council, to solving the Middle East problem.
110. To be perfectly frank, I must say that the statements of some speakers, and in particular that of the representative of the United States, show that certain countries continue to maintain positions which can be summed up by saying that their efforts are not directed towards enabling the Security Council to adopt, as soon as possible, an appropriate decision and thus take a step forward towards solving this urgent international problem.
111. In this connexion I should like to say that many delegations to the United Nations and many members of the Security Council are showing great concern at the situation which has arisen in the Middle East, and are striving to do everything possible within the framework of the United Nations Charter and to give the Organization an active role in the solution of this most urgent and important problem. I would remind you that three non-permanent members of the Security Council showed definite initiative and made an important contribution by submitting a draft resolution specifically designed to make that useful step towards solving the problem.
112. Today, however, we are witnessing, as I have already mentioned, a tendency on the part of the representatives of the Western Powers to block the adoption of such a decision, to divert the Security Council and world public opinion from the problem, and to revert to the discussion of general principles and of questions which we have in fact been discussing for the past five months, both openly in the meetings and at closed informal consultations.
113. As an example of the attitude to which I am referring, I should like to mention one problem. The proposals set forth in the three-Power resolution of 7 November
contain provisions which plainly and clearly state the necessity for the withdrawal of Israel forces from all Arab territories occupied during the recent conflict. The draft also contains provisions designed to safeguard peace in the region and to ensure that all the peoples of the area should adopt and carry out measures, based on the United Nations Charter, which would lead to the consolidation of peace on a firm foundation.
114. Nevertheless, as many members of the Security Council have said at previous meetings, and as was stated at the fifth emergency special session and also during the present twenty-second session of the Assembly, if we are seriously considering the effective strengthening of peace in the Middle East, then the resolution must obviously contain a clear statement on the withdrawal of Israel troops from the occupied territories. However, if we look at the proposals for solving this problem in the draft resolution submitted by the United States
we see that the whole question is concealed and completely lost in the midst of other questions.
115. You will recall that at the 1373rd meeting of the Security Council the Soviet delegation drew attention to this very important part of the United States draft resolution and asked the United States delegation what its attitude was to the question of the withdrawal of troops. Today, though we tried hard to find a clear answer to that question somewhere in the very long statement Of the United States representative, our efforts were unsuccessful. I should therefore like to return to that part of the Soviet statement which referred to this matter and draw the attention of the Council to it. We said at the time:
"The absence from the United States text of any substantial clarification of what is meant by the withdrawal of troops `from all' territories, and the exclusion of any reference to the fact that the subject under discussion is the recent conflict, must be considered in conjunction with the appearance in the United States draft of phrases such as 'secure and recognized boundaries'. What boundaries does this refer to? What is behind the idea of 'secure and recognized boundaries'? Who is to decide how secure these boundaries are and who has to recognize them? To all these questions the United States draft provides no answer but leaves the field wide open for different interpretations and constructions, including interpretations which still make it possible for Israel itself arbitrarily to establish new boundaries and to withdraw its forces only to those lines it considers appropriate. And the interpretations by Israel, which asserts that the General Armistice Agreements of 1949 approved by the Security Council are not binding on it, go very far."
[1373rd meeting, para. 152.]
116. We know from the statements of Israel statesmen, and in particular from that made yesterday by the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Israel and just published in
The New York Times,
that Israel makes a definite claim to keep some of the territories seized from the Arab States.
117. Consequently, the United States draft leaves open the possibility that Israel's forces may not be withdrawn from all the Arab territories they have seized and that part of these territories may be kept by Israel. If this is not so, we hope that the United States representative will give us a clear and unambiguous explanation to the effect that the United States supports the withdrawal of Israel's forces from all the occupied territories to the positions occupied prior to 5 June 1967. It is obvious that the provision for the withdrawal of troops must be so clearly formulated as to leave no loopholes whereby anyone can interpret it in his own way. This is of course our basic position, and we require a clear answer with respect to it.
118. I should like to say a few words concerning the consultations which are continuing. Speakers here have dwelt at length on the need for continuing consultations, for giving time and so on and so forth. I must say in this connection that the Soviet delegation and the Soviet Union are not opposed to consultation; we have not refused and we do not refuse to exchange views and to maintain contacts. However, we categorically oppose a situation in which, on the pretext of consultation, attempts would be made to delay a solution to the problem, so as generally to divert attention from a solution and gradually withdraw the problem from discussion. We can certainly not be a party to this kind of "consultation". We want these consultations to be held and to yield positive results, but we do not wish to see them prolonged, because the problem is urgent and must be settled.
119. The PRESIDENT
(translated from French):
I call on the representative of the Syrian Arab Republic to exercise the right
120. Mr. DAOUDY (Syria):
I have just outlined the position of my Government regarding the draft resolution submitted to the Security Council. I have also stated what, in our view, is the way to settlement of the grave problems the Middle East, namely, the withdrawal of Israel forces from the occupied Arab territories. I should like to say a few words in reply to statements made by the representatives of the United Kingdom, the United States of America, and Israel.
121. The representative of the United Kingdom called my statement partisan. Is it being partisan when you call for the liberation of your country and the withdrawal of occupying forces from your soil? If that is so, I am proud to be partisan and I will continue to be so. Here I should like to ask the representative of the United Kingdom whether he would apply the same definition to the struggle of the British people during the Second World War and to the statement made by the then leaders of Great Britain calling for the liberation of Europe and the defeat of Nazi Germany.
122. Now I come to the statement made by the represen-tative of the United States of America. In his statement, he said that I was meddling in the internal affairs of the United States of America. Naturally nobody has the right to question the rights and privileges of the United States authorities, nor to meddle in their internal affairs. But when the chief executive of the United States of America went out of his way to tell his audience that in his view Israel and South Viet-Nam were facing the same kind of danger, the matter is no longer one of internal affairs. How can anyone say that these statements are part and parcel of the internal affairs of the United States? If this criterion is to be applied to every similar issue, then the whole world would become an internal affair of the United States of America.
123. Allow me, Sir, to refer to what The New York Times, in its issue of 12 November, said about that statement, delivered by the President of the United States:
"Last week, addressing a predominantly Jewish audience in New York, President Johnson broadened the target by declaring that 'the same kind of issues' are at stake in Vietnam as in the Middle East-thus apparently equating the South Vietnamese and the Israelis as victims of aggression and vastly complicating Ambassador Goldberg's peace-making role at the United Nations."
Apparently the Ambassador does not share the conclusions reached by
The New York Times
on this matter.
124. In another point raised by the representative of the United States he referred to the supply of arms to certain Arab countries, as well as those to Israel. But what he forgot or omitted to say was that none of the Arab countries he referred to was involved in the recent conflict in the Middle East, that all of them are far from the field of operations. Is Jordan, the United Arab Republic or Syria among those Arab countries that are going to receive arms from the United States? He also referred to the supply of arms to Syria and the United Arab Republic. Does it surprise him that we are trying to obtain arms with which to defend ourselves and to replace those we lost during the Israel aggression against our countries? Or does he expect us to wait like sitting ducks for further Israel aggression to take place?
125. Now I wish to say a few words regarding the statement made by the Israel representative. Apparently my reference to Robert J. Donovan's book called
Six Days in June,
which I have here in my hand, was not to the liking of the Foreign Minister of Israel. But that book was not written by an Arab, nor is it considered to be pro-Arab. That book, which is being sold in New York by the thousands, was written precisely to propagate the Israel point of view and is definitely a pro-Israel book. Naturally, the Israel authorities do not like the fact that the
Los Angeles Times
correspondent was able to convey to his paper, despite the Israel censorship, the fact that Israel had totally mobilized its troops while the Israel authorities were deceiving the world in stating that there was no mobilization whatsoever. Whether Mr. Eban reads the
Los Angeles Times
or not is beside the point. I can assure him that I have no special knowledge of Ivory soap or the slogans put out by the Ivory soap company. My stay in this country has been very short, and he should know better about these things in view of the fact that his stay has been much longer and he has very intimate and very valuable connections in this country.
126. Now we come to the matter of the starting of the war. The Israel Foreign Minister sought to convey the impression that Israel started its preparation around the end of May in order to face the massing of Arab troops. This is not a true picture. As a matter of fact, the whole trouble started during the middle of April, when the Israelis massed their troops on the Syrian border and Syria drew the attention of the whole world to the imminent danger and denounced the troops that were being massed on its border. But the Israelis denied the fact that they were massing their troops, and the reason for the anger of Mr. Eban at this book is, apparently, that it has confirmed the veracity of the Syrian charges that were made during the middle of April.
127. As for the Palestinian patriots who have been fighting, are still fighting and will continue to fight in their own territory, Syria cannot be held responsible for their acts and for their struggle, which is only natural and human.
128. The Israel Minister comes here and tells us about the peaceful intentions of his Government. I wish only to refer him to the statement made by his own Prime Minister regarding what he called "Greater Israel". This sinister proclamation is reminiscent of another similar proclamation which the world heard during the Second World War. But all of us know what happened to those calling for a "Greater Reich", and we all know about their fate.
129. Finally, let me say a few words about an article which appeared in a French newspaper called
. I would recommend that every member of the Security Council read this fantastic account depicting the onslaught of the Israel forces against everything that existed in Jerusalem, whether it was a Holy Place, a human being or a piece of Arab property. This account appeared in
on 27 July 1967. I hope that the Israel representative will not come here and say that it is Arab propaganda or that the account was written by an Arab or by a pro-Arab nun who was living in Jerusalem.
130. Mr. PARTHASARATHI (India): I have listened with great care to the suggestion made by the representative of the United Kingdom earlier in this meeting. I take great pleasure in confirming, if that were necessary, that Lord Caradon has been good enough to be in touch with me, amongst others, and has exchanged with me certain ideas which he considers might provide a way out of the apparent deadlock we have reached in the Council. In line with the statement I made in the Council on the night of 9 November
I have naturally encouraged him to persevere in his efforts and wished him godspeed. It will be realized that the Council has already delayed considerably effective action in regard to the grave situation in West Asia. We hope therefore that the delay now asked for will be the last. We would earnestly urge that the Council reach a definitive conclusion when it reconvenes on Thursday afternoon.
131. Mr. TARABANOV (Bulgaria)
(translated from French):
At the beginning of his statement today the representative of the United States, Mr. Goldberg, tried to exonerate the United States of America from its responsibility, which the whole world recognizes, in respect of the dangerous situation created in the Middle East by Israel's aggression of 5 June. He alleged that the representatives of the socialist countries, including the representative of the People's Republic of Bulgaria, had accused the United States of delaying tactics. We did not imply that the United States had dragged its feet before hostilities broke out. What we said, and I emphasize this, was that the United States had been anxious at that time to represent the future victims as potential aggressors. That is what it was trying to do. Its efforts to hold up our work came after the aggression, when Israel's aggression had already been perpetrated. We may return later to the over-all scope of Ambassador Goldberg's arguments after we have read the record and have not only listened to his statement of today but have re-read certain others along the same lines.
132. At the time of which Mr. Goldberg speaks, when we are said to have accused the United States of delaying tactics it will be recalled that we heard statements by Arab statesmen. We also read in the report of the Secretary-General that he had been given an assurance by those same statesmen and Governments that they had no intention of committing acts of aggression or embarking on large-scale military aggression against Israel. This is corroborated by the Secretary-General's report which I have before me; it says:
"He had received assurances from both President Nasser and Mr. Mahmoud Riad, the Foreign Minister"--who is sitting at this table with us--"that the United Arab Republic would not initiate offensive action Israel."
133. As we pointed out the other day, the Arab countries kept their word. They did not commit aggressive acts did not embark on aggression against Israel. Meanwhile, Israel troops undertook more than one aggressive operation, in a manner of which the whole world is now aware. They embarked on all-out aggression against the Arab countries, accompanied by massive destruction as described by, the Syrian representative just now. We have said, and we repeat it once again, that we were unaware that Israel troops were preparing to strike on 5 June. We therefore regarded as a pointless exercise the attempt--which we now realize was being made at the time--to condemn in advance the future victims. That is what the representative of the United States and other representatives were trying to do at the time. It would simply have given the aggressor a chance to find another pretext and another opening for aggression.
134. But if we had been informed that Israel troops were even at that time preparing to strike on 5 June or at any other date, we should certainly have joined with the United States and the other countries which wanted to raise the question, though we would not have accused the Arab States, which made no move to start anything. We could have joined with the United States to prevent the aggression if it had informed us that aggression by Israel was being prepared.
135. It is regrettable, however, because we definitely felt at the time that what they were trying to do was to bring to book not the future aggressor--of whose intentions they were aware--but the potential victims of the aggression. Thus if the United States had been anxious to prevent the aggression about which it had information and which it knew was going to happen, it should have made itself clear at the decisive moment instead of trying to portray the potential victims of the aggression as the aggressors.
136. The PRESIDENT
(translated from French):
I call on the representative of Israel in exercise of the right of reply.
137. Mr. RAFAEL (Israel): I shall be very brief. The representative of Syria has established a reputation of being an avid reader of newspapers and reciter of quotations. I wish to enrich his collection from his own sources and those of his allies, sources which clearly indicate what are the true motives of Syrian policies--not only preceding the hostilities but at this particular stage when we are here in the Security Council involved in a debate to find a way out through a peaceful solution.
138. Radio Damascus of 23 October enlightened its listeners in the following way:
"The only way is that of total struggle and a definite elimination of the focuses of the forces that threaten the Arab homeland. The duty of the revolutionary forces at this decisive stage is to translate the will of the masses into practical deeds which may ensure an available situation for the Arab nation to stand against forces, push them, and initiate an assault against them, instead of waiting in defensive positions. The United Arab Republic forces demonstrated a magnificent example in sinking the Israel destroyer and encouraged the resistance of our masses to continue the struggles on all fronts. The terror that befell Israel after the sinking of the destroyer, and the jubilation that enveloped Arab countries stresses the efficiency of this system and its effectiveness."
139. The representative of Syria finds a particular enjoy-ment in presenting to the Council his comparisons with Nazism. I wish to enlighten him in that regard, too. I have before me two quotations, which are not from Israel sources but which refer to his country; one quotation is from the Egyptian paper
of 2 June 1963, referring to the party which is in power now in Syria, That in
says: "We know now that the Baath party wants a Nazi-Fascist régime which will freely enable its members to impose their will on the public." And if that is not enough, in the other, a Cairo Radio commentator on 21 August 1963 had the following to say: "The Baath party will not succeed in masking its face as the Nazi party was unable to do it." I repeat both these quotations are from Egyptian sources.
140. Another favorite pastime of the Syrian representa-tive is to dish up again and again the utterly false allegation of Israel concentration of forces in April, or at any other time, on the Syrian border. Again and again we have drawn the attention of the Security Council to the independent statement and finding contained in the report of the Secretary-General to the Security Council dated 19 May 1967
in which he says that his investigation and the investigation of his observers have clearly established that there were no such troop concentrations on the Syrian border or anywhere else at the time.
141. These things are on record and it will not change anything if the Syrian representative believes that by the alchemy of a process of constant repetition he can transmute the big lie into a golden truth.
142. The PRESIDENT
(translated from French):
I call on the representative of Syria in exercise of the right of reply.
143. Mr. JOUÉJATI (Syria): I shall be very brief and shall not repeat the kind of insults and words which are not usually used in the Council by any respectable representative--such as lies. I shall confine myself to a brief reply.
144. The Israel representative finds it strange that Radio Damascus calls for the mobilization of the national forces to fight the forces which in his words, "threaten the Arab homeland". Yet the Foreign Minister of Israel presented a thesis a few minutes ago and also yesterday, and the whole thesis in his long speeches was that Israel is justified in its war because it is defending itself. So defense for Israel is permissible. When we call for defense the Israel representative finds it very strange. One wonders which of the views of the two Israel spokesmen we should believe.
145. The Israel representative said his country was not like the Nazis. He did not prove that. As proof he quoted a paper saying that Syria is like the Nazis. I submit that we should not believe in one paper or two papers; we should believe acts because acts speak louder than words. We have an Arab proverb which says: "When the hunter cries you should not see what he has in his eyes as tears and sorrow, but you should see the blood on his hands". Israel is very similar to the Nazis because it has blood on its hands and it cannot escape its guilt.
146. The PRESIDENT
(translated from French):
The list of speakers is exhausted. As a result of informal consultations, it would appear that the members of the council are agreed that our next meeting on the situation in the Middle East should be set for tomorrow, Thursday, at 4 p.m. If there is no objection, I shall consider that this proposal is adopted.
The meeting rose at 1.35 p.m.
Six Days in June: Israel's Fight for Survival
(New York, New American Library, 1967).
Official Records of the Security Council, Fourth Year, No. 36,
433rd meeting, p. 13.
Official Records of the General Assembly, Twenty-second Session, Supplement No. 1A,
/ James F. Sames, "United States Policy and Middle East Crisis".
The AMARA Newsletter, vol. I, No. I
(Boston, American Arab Relations Association, January, 1968), pp. 8-9.
Official Records of the General Assembly, Fifth Emergency Special Session, Annexes
, agenda item 5, document A/L.519.
Ibid., Twenty-second Session, Supplement No. 1
, p. 3.