Seventh emergency special session
PROVISIONAL VERBATIM RECORD OF THE SEVENTEENTH MEETING
Held at Headquarters, New York,
on Friday, 23 April 1982, at 3 p.m.
President: Mr. KITTANI (Iraq)
later: Mr. KAM (Panama)
– Question of Palestine  (continued)
The meeting was called to order at 3.30 p.m.
AGENDA ITEM 5 (continued)
QUESTION OF PALESTINE
Mrs. KIRKPATRICK (United States of America): Mr. President, in a letter to you, which has been circulated at my request as a document of the General Assembly, I stated the reservations of my Government with regard to the "resumption" of the seventh emergency special session on the Question of Palestine. I desire to repeat those reservations here.
The seventh emergency special session adjourned "temporarily" on 29 July 1980, having adopted a resolution which authorized "the President of the latest regular session of the General Assembly to resume its meetings upon request from Member States" (resolution ES-7/2). It seems plain that the purpose of this "temporary" adjournment was to allow for a resumption in the same time frame should events warrant. Almost two years have passed. During those intervening 21 months, two regular sessions of the General Assembly, two different emergency sessions, and one special session have been held. Yet now, at the request of a group of Members and notwithstanding the passage of that substantial amount of time, the seventh emergency special session has been reconvened without regard to the views of other Members or the developments that have taken place in the interim. Clearly, this dubious procedure of a "resumption" has the effect of undermining the provisions of the rules of procedure for convening an emergency special session.
This procedural irregularity provides a fitting framework for the work of this session, which is already on its way to creating new, further obstacles to peace between Israel and its Arab neighbors.
Let me be clear. My Government shares the concern of those who are alarmed at the escalation of violence in the Middle East. We are profoundly distressed at the increase of tensions and conflict, the spreading of fear and suspicion, the deepening sense of hopelessness with respect to solving the "Question of Palestine" and achieving peace and stability in that region rent by violence and hate. But who among us sincerely believes that the exercise in which we are now engaged – this "resumed" emergency special session – will take us closer to that goal?
Who among us believes that the cause of peace is served by still another round of bitter denunciations of Israel?
Who among us – I wonder – believes that peace is even the goal of this Assembly?
This Assembly can repeat its familiar and unbalanced charges, it can issue flamboyant ultimatums and adopt ever harsher resolutions, all with the predictable effect. That effect will be to increase – not to reduce – tensions- to inflame – not to calm – passions, to widen – not to narrow – divisions; and to make war more – not less – likely to take place.
The fact that this institution, conceived to resolve conflicts, is thus used to exacerbate and embitter divisions among nations is the cruelest of ironies.
But that is not the end of the irony. It is even worse that the United Nations, by its own actions, is being driven further and further away from the very framework of peace which it established 15 years ago. I refer, of course, to Security Council resolution 242 (1967). That resolution remains the only realistic framework for a just and lasting peace in the Middle East. But it is not reaffirmed, it is not even recalled, in current United Nations resolutions, which, to the contrary, violate the spirit of resolution 242 (1967) and undermine its balanced approach to peace.
Security Council resolution 242 (1967), along with resolution 338 (1973) which was adopted in 1973 and which calls for immediate negotiations to implement resolution 242 (1967), is built around four main principles:
First, it links Israeli withdrawal from territories occupied in 1967 to the establishment of peace with the Arab parties to the conflict.
Secondly, it stipulates that Israel should then withdraw to secure and recognized boundaries established in the agreements of peace.
Thirdly, it affirms that agreements of peace should also provide for security arrangements, including demilitarized zones, and guarantees of maritime rights through all the international waterways of the area.
Fourthly, it affirms that the goal is true peace, as distinct from "declarations of non-belligerency" or their equivalent.
It has been precisely according to that resolution of the United Nations Security Council and the principles set forth therein that peace has been achieved between Israel and Egypt, leading to the return of the entire Sinai to Egyptian sovereignty – a process that is due to be completed this very Sunday. That process, which is based on mutual respect and reasoned agreement, stands in stark contrast to a different approach which insists on Israeli withdrawal in the absence of peace. The second approach cannot possibly achieve its putative goal, which is a negotiated peace: but, by ensuring confrontations, it can produce spurious "evidence" that peaceful settlement of disputes with Israel is impossible.
My Government believes that peace can be achieved only through respect, reason and compromise. we recognize that, while the Camp David Process looks towards a comprehensive peace, it has not yet achieved that goal. It constitutes the greatest concrete step towards peace in the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict. And yet it is but a step. There remains a great distance still to be traveled. But we believe that peace is possible real peace, peace in accordance with Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1978).
We certainly do not underestimate the obstacles to a peace settlement in the West Bank and Gaza. Yet we believe that Camp David offers the only viable basis for a settlement that will determine the final status of these territories. Camp David actually goes beyond resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1978), which call for an agreement among States, by affording the indigenous populations of the West Bank and Gaza the opportunity to participate in the negotiations towards a settlement. Such a settlement can be achieved only through negotiations between the parties concerned – in this instance Egypt and Israel as well as Jordan and representatives of the Palestinian people. These negotiations still await the establishment of a self-governing authority in the West Bank and Gaza and the agreement of Jordan to enter the talks.
This painstaking and protracted process will require hard bargaining, compromise and arrangements that establish trust and new patterns of inter-State and human relationships. But that is the only way a just and lasting peace can be achieved. Only such an approach can hope to satisfy to the greatest degree possible the rights of all the parties concerned. Only such an approach can work.
We are now reaching the point when new efforts will be devoted to the completion of the Camp David process. It will be a great tragedy if this process must go forward in the face of opposition from the United Nations. The peace process might suffer and, more certainly, the United Nations itself would suffer.
There are, as everyone knows, members of this body who desire to deny membership and/or participation to another Member State. There will be, we understand, an effort to adopt, in this special session, a resolution that prepares the way for questioning Israel's credentials and the right to participate in the various bodies of the United Nations. To this end, one draft resolution now circulating in the corridors asserts that Israel is not a peace-loving Member State and has repeatedly violated the provisions of the Charter.
But neither this special session nor the draft resolution now circulating in the corridors is consistent with the purposes of the United Nations Charter. Neither seeks, in accordance with Chapter I "to maintain international peace and security", or "to develop friendly relations among nations", or "to achieve international co-operation in solving international problems" – least of all do they make this institution a center for harmonizing the actions of nations in the attainment of.common ends". This special session is one more event in an ongoing process whose goals are to delegitimize a Member State – Israel – to deny it the right to self-defense, to secure borders, to survival.
This special session and its accompanying draft resolutions are one more clear example of a strategy whose goals and tactics are clear: use a United Nations body to make "official" demands incompatible with Israel's security and survival, so as then to be able to claim that non-compliance with these impossible demands "proves" Israel an international lawbreaker unworthy of membership in the international community of peace-loving States.
If this Organization, established to seek, maintain and strengthen peace, is used to make war by other means; if its avenues, established to provide a rational basis for discussion and settlement of international disputes, are used as battlefields in a holy war; if its procedures, designed to ensure fairness, are twisted to ensure desired political outcomes – then the purposes and structures of this Organization are transformed and the United Nations itself is transformed. It becomes, quite literally, a different Organization, inspired by different purposes, dedicated to different goals and characterized by different modes of behavior, for an institution is, finally, nothing more or less than the regular interactions of its members. When the goals and behavior of the members change, the institution has changed as well.
How much falsification can an institution stand without destroying itself entirely? This world body cannot endure as a moral and political force if its energies are devoted to increasing conflict and conducting vendettas against targeted countries. If the United Nations prefers to make political war rather than peace, it must suffer the consequences in terms of its credibility and reputation. And if, in violation of its own rules, it should decide to exclude the democratic State of Israel from participation, it will inevitably reap the whirlwind.
It is not too late for a majority of Member States to reverse the trend towards irresponsibility and destruction. The time to begin is now, before this trend gathers an irreversible momentum.
The PRESIDENT: In her opening remarks the representative of the United States of America referred to her letter to me dated 19 April 1982, in which she questioned the propriety of convening this emergency special session at this time. She also chose to repeat the reservations of her delegation in this regard.
I do not wish to waste the Assembly's time, and I shall therefore merely state that on the day I received her letter – which was the following day, 20 April – I replied to Ambassador Kirkpatrick. My reply to her can be found in document A/ES-7/17. In it I presented ray views as President of the General Assembly and stated that I considered that this emergency special session, despite her reservations, had been duly convened in accordance with the resolution adopted in 1980.
Mr. KIRISHNAN (India): The resumption of the seventh emergency special session, pursuant to the decision of the Extraordinary meeting of the Co-ordinating Bureau of the Non-Aligned Countries held in Kuwait, is both timely and appropriate. Indeed, the Bureau, meeting in Kuwait, noted the gathering storm on the horizon of West Asia and correctly anticipated an emergency situation that would necessitate concerted action by the international community. The most recent bombings by Israel of southern Lebanon and the consequent renewed threat of a conflagration more than justify the resumption of the emergency special session, which the Bureau scheduled for this week with prophetic precision.
The situation in West Asia since the temporary adjournment of the seventh emergency special session has been sharply deteriorating. The historic resolution adopted at the emergency special session suffered the same fate as the numerous other resolutions adopted by the General Assembly and the Security Council to find a just and lasting solution to the conflict in the region. In its resolution ES-7/2, the General Assembly clearly reaffirmed that a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East cannot be established without the withdrawal of Israel from all the occupied Palestinian and other Arab territories, including Jerusalem, and without the achievement of a just solution to the problem of Palestine on the basis of the attainment of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people in Palestine. It reaffirmed the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, including the right to self-determination without external interference, and the right to establish its own independent, sovereign State. It also called for the implementation of the comprehensive recommendations made by the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People. But none of those decisions have been implemented. On the contrary, 35 years after the United Nations gave them its solemn pledge of a national homeland, the Palestinian people continue to be uprooted and Israel continues to occupy their lands, thwarting the will of the international community. As a result the entire region of West Asia is in the grip of constant tension with a. possibility of its escalation into a wider, all-encompassing conflict.
Developments in West Asia since the adjournment of the seventh emergency special session have been negative. Israel's actions during this period were designed to perpetuate its occupation of the Arab territories, to subjugate, if not to exterminate, the Palestinian people and to intimidate its Arab neighbors by use or threat of use of force. Establishment of Jewish settlements on Arab lands continued unabated, murders of innocent civilians became daily occurrences, lawfully elected mayors and city councils in the occupied territories were treated with contempt, holy places were desecrated, neighboring countries were bombed and the nuclear reactor of Iraq was destroyed. Clearly the Israeli objective has been to consolidate its stranglehold over the occupied Arab territories. The self-conscious perpetuation of the myth of the biblical Judea. and Samaria by the annexation of East Jerusalem in August 1980, followed by the annexation in December last year of the Golan Heights, provided clear evidence of the nefarious plans of Israel. The recent eruption of the tension into violence on the West Bank was the direct consequence of these annexationist measures. The acts of State terrorism perpetrated by Israel against the Palestinians have aroused universal indignation and deserve strong condemnation.
The primary reason for the deterioration of the situation in West Asia and continued denial of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people is, of course, the arrogance and intransigence of Israel, which has deliberately defied the will of the international community. At the same time, the contortions Of international strategic power play and the vestiges of imperialist, colonialist and racist attitudes have prompted certain countries to acquiesce in the Israeli position, if not to abet it. Powerful sections of the international community have strangely, chosen to view the Palestinian question in a strictly compartmentalized manner. While taking up the humanitarian aspects, including that of refugees, the essential political character of the question of Palestine, which is at the core of the conflict in West Asia, has been ignored. This problem could be solved only by an unequivocal recognition of, and by giving effect to, the exercise of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, including their right to establish an independent State of their own. This political aspect, however, has continued to be deliberately sidestepped by Israel's powerful supporters. The recently concluded agreement on "strategic co-operation" has introduced a further so-called ideological dimension into the conflict in West Asia. The stepped-up involvement of external forces in the region can hardly be conducive to a relaxation of tension in the area.
No people can be subdued for long, no nation can be occupied indefinitely by any other nation. The response of the Palestinian people to Israel's practice of settler colonialism and State terrorism has been natural and predictable. Both in strength and determination, the Palestinian resistance movement under the leadership of the Palestine Liberation Organization, the sole and authentic representative of the Palestinian people, has grown with each encounter and every indignity imposed on it. Notwithstanding the tremendous cost of such resistance in terms of sacrifice of human lives and resources, the result of the struggle has been a greater conviction in the inevitability of the victory of the Palestinian cause.
India's sympathy for the people of Palestine in their suffering and our support for the establishment of a Palestinian State are of long standing. In the days of our own freedom struggle, our national leaders saw a close parallel between India's struggle for independence and the struggle of the Palestinians for nationhood. India has consistently advocated that a just and comprehensive solution to the problems of West Asia should consist of the exercise by the Palestinian people of their inalienable national and human rights, including the right to establish an independent State in their homeland; the total and unconditional withdrawal by Israel from all Arab territories occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem; the preservation of the unique character of the Holy City, and the guarantee for all the States in the region, including Palestine, to live within secure and recognized borders. An essential prerequisite for the attainment of a peaceful solution is the full and equal participation of the Palestine Liberation Organization in any discussions relating to their future and the future of the entire region. Partial and superficial solutions, which have been attempted in the past, have shown that unless these cardinal principles are accepted there is very little prospect for genuine and durable peace in the area.
Even while negative developments are taking place in the region, there is reason for optimism since Palestinian nationalism and unanimous Arab support for and non-aligned solidarity with it have remained steadfast. The rights of the Palestinian people and the role of the Palestine Liberation Organization have come to be recognized in other parts of the world, notably Western Europe.
There is growing understanding and appreciation of the distinct character and identity of Palestine as a national entity reflecting the ethos of the Palestinian people. The enhanced support that the cause of the Palestinian people enjoys today is indeed a welcome development.
The communiqué of the Extraordinary Meeting of the Co-ordinating Bureau of the Non-Aligned Countries held in Kuwait contains a program of action to enable the Palestinian people to exercise its rights, to which India, like the other non-aligned countries, stands committed. At this resumed session the General Assembly should endorse the essentials of that program of action. We should call on the Security Council to reconvene urgently in order to take effective action, including the imposition of mandatory sanctions against Israel, to compel that country to comply with the Council's own decisions. At the same time the individual Members of the United Nations should on their part make every effort to isolate Israel in all fields in order to bring it to the path of justice and to extend moral, diplomatic and material support to the Palestine Liberation organization in order to help it pursue and intensify its just and noble struggle.
As the Foreign Minister of India, Mr. Narasimha Rao, said in Kuwait, "We have no doubt that the ultimate victory will belong to the Palestinian people led by the Palestine Liberation Organization. Let this historic occasion inspire us all to rededicate ourselves to the Palestinian cause, which is undoubtedly our own cause."
Mr. NUSEIBEH (Jordan): The Member States of the United Nations have in Article 1 of Chapter I of the Charter, on the purposes and principles of the United Nations' solemnly pledged to maintain international peace and security and to that end to take effective measures for the prevention and removal of threats to the peace and for the suppression of acts of aggression or other breaches of the peace and to bring about by peaceful means, and in conformity with the principles of justice and international law, adjustment or settlement of international disputes or situations which might lead to a breach of the peace.
This is a seemingly redundant repetition of these basic purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter, but it is precisely what the question of Palestine is all about.
An expansionist and blatantly aggressive Israel, whose very existence is owed to a General Assembly resolution, has reduced the most basic tenets of the Charter to a shambles by consistent and relentless violations of that Charter and United Nations resolutions. The United Nations is at present being confronted by a challenge to the very rationale for its existence by allowing a defiant and recalcitrant Member to incarcerate and render the United Nations inoperative end irrelevant. The lines have been very clearly drawn, and the General Assembly is faced with no choice but to safeguard the rule of law and justice or to succumb to an intolerable situation to which an expansionist and defiant Israel is striving to relegate it. The answer, I am sure, is that virtually all of humankind would not wish the world to revert to the savagery of the jungle. I am equally convinced that the collective will of humanity is able and willing to ensure the continuance of an orderly international system and can indeed ill afford to allow a clique of fanatic adventurers to bring about its demise.
The present debate, unlike many which preceded it, should be regarded as a turning-point, a water-shed, a litmus test not only of the imperative, prompt and legitimate redemption of usurped Palestinian rights but also of the ability and determination or otherwise of the General Assembly to shoulder its solemn responsibilities undaunted by transient considerations which threaten to destroy us all.
Up to 29 November 1947 the territory of Mandated Palestine was an overwhelmingly Palestinian Arab territory. The Palestinians, who owned 94 per cent of its total area, had been promised an independence in which all the inhabitants, regardless of race, religion or affiliation, would live side by side in peace and fraternity. It was envisaged that it would become a beacon-light to the whole world, representing, as it does, the Holy Land to a vast segment of humanity.
An obsessed, hate-mongering and power-hungry clique of Zionist activists wished its, fate to be a potentially perennial, eternal nightmare for humanity and not merely, as at present, a torture-chamber for the cannibalized Palestinian people.
Resolution 181 (II), of 29 November 1947, of the General Assembly, representing a third of the present world constituency and a tiny portion of its then colonized peoples, provided for the dismemberment of Palestine and its replacement by a Palestinian Arab State and a Jewish State with a, special status for Jerusalem. Not a single Palestinian was to have been displaced from his home in either the Palestinian State or the Jewish State, whose citizens would have included as many Arabs as Jews. And this was taken as normal and accepted.
The Arab spokesmen expressed dismay at the dismemberment of their country, as any State in the world would. But it was the Israelis who, while paying lip-service to acceptance, torpedoed the implementation of the resolution on the ground by unleashing their vast military machine against the wholly unarmed Palestinian people. The Israelis succeeded in seizing four fifths of Palestine even before the British Mandate had ended, and even before the entry of a single Arab soldier into the land of Mandated Palestine. By massive acts of terrorism and bestiality, they caused the forcible exodus of the majority of the Palestinian people, who are still referred to – after 33 years – as refugees.
This was followed by General Assembly resolution 194 (III) of 11 December 1948, which resolved that all the Palestinian refugees should be permitted to return to their homes. But not one Palestinian has been allowed to exercise that elemental right, and Israel aborted a final settlement of the question of Palestine when it reneged on its signature to the Lausanne Protocol of 1949, based on the General Assembly resolutions. On the contrary, Israel continued its course of premeditated expansion by triggering the 1967 war, seizing the West Bank, including Holy Jerusalem, the Gaza Strip, the Syrian Golan Heights and the Sinai Peninsula. And withdrawal from Sinai was made hostage to and conditional upon giving Israeli aggression a more or less free hand in obliterating the national and even physical existence of the Palestinian people in their ancestral homeland. And today we are witnessing those people being subjected to the most ruthless acts of barbarism, despoliation and strangulation. The situation has indeed reached unspeakable and intolerable proportions and our people are suffering one of the most tyrannical occupations in the history of military occupation.
The General Assembly is, I need hardly state, the ultimate decision maker in international disputes. Such being the case, the only legally binding decisions on the future of Palestine, which have not been and cannot be invalidated by any other decision or agreement inside or outside the United Nations system, except by agreement of the parties directly concerned, are resolutions 181 (II) and 194 (III) on the creation of a Palestinian, Arab State and a Jewish State and the right of return.
When Israel was admitted to membership of the United Nations by resolution 273 (III) of 11 May 1949, its admission was conditional upon its acceptance of the aforementioned resolution.
That resolution states:
How misplaced has been the confidence of the General Assembly, how horrendous has been the magnitude of Israeli defiance, violations and aggression over the past three decades. Can any Member State, in good conscience and in fidelity to the Charter, the Organization's own solemn resolutions and Israel's conditional admission to membership of the United Nations witness Israel's subsequent repudiation of its own unreserved pledge to carry out those solemn obligations and still maintain that Israel can be regarded as a peace-loving State, able and willing to carry out those obligations?
It is indisputable that the policies of Israel, in its acts of blatant annexation, confiscation and total denial of the most elementary human rights, cannot and should not be allowed to continue unchecked and unchallenged.
They certainly cannot be reconciled with the purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter. Equally ominous is the fact that they pose an ever-heightening, threat to international peace and security. They will inevitably destroy the very existence of the United Nations, and with it the hopes, aspirations and security of every Member State, small and large alike, that are vested in the Organization's scrupulous adherence to its lofty ideals, constraints and injunctions. If our Organization should, at the urging of one super-Power – namely, the United States – be intimidated into accepting a double standard by acquiescing in monumental violations of the Charter and of United Nations resolutions for reasons undisguisedly extraneous to the merits of the case, then a whole Pandora's box of unbridled transgressions of the Charter will have been opened, not only in the Middle Last but throughout the world. If favoritism and illegality are clamped down on within national boundaries, it is far-more urgent and imperative that they should not be tolerated in relations amongst nations. We have a suffering and cannibalized people, and one of their mayors under occupation – in fact, the mayor of Gaza, a very distinguished man – has addressed an urgent appeal to the United Nations, stating inter alia: "For God's sake, do something to deliver us from our ordeal, and do it quickly." lie has appealed to us because his people have been placed under a curfew for almost two weeks, without provisions and without water. Any person who ventures out of his home is immediately liable to be shot at and to be either killed or wounded.
The General Assembly is not and was never meant to be a debating society – a place to let off steam and air issues, as some would like to have it. If in one decision in 1947 the fate of an entire people of, at present, four million, was sealed, surely the same body, with its hard-won universality of representation, can act decisively to undo a colossal wrong.
We are not unmindful of the fact that in the interim profound changes have occurred which must be taken into account. Pal the parties directly involved, including the Palestinian people, whose sole, legitimate representative is the Palestine Liberation Organization, are not oblivious to those changes unjust and unpalatable as they have definitely been. But, as I said, the General Assembly is neither a debating society nor a wailing wall at which an avalanche of endless grievances are recorded.
The present resumed seventh emergency special session is designed to be action-oriented. The Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People has submitted a program of action which was endorsed by the General Assembly at its thirty-first session. Its recommendations have remained dormant and unimplemented. It is high time that its recommendations contained in paragraphs 59 to 72 of document A/31/35 were seriously addressed. If the General Assembly in its wisdom should wish to -devise complementary avenues, mechanisms or procedures, as it did when it established the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine (UNSCOP), which in its majority report recommended the creation of a Palestinian Arab State and a Jewish State in Mandated Palestine; or the Palestine Conciliation Commission, which was entrusted in 1949 with implementation of those General Assembly resolutions and subsequent mediation efforts, then it could and should do so with the utmost dispatch and urgency. For the intolerable existing situation cannot be allowed to continue if we are to avert in years to come a regional and global catastrophe.
The Arab States directly involved – and all of them are – and the Palestine Liberation Organization, which represents the long-suffering Palestinian people, have all their options open, provided any efforts towards peace are made under the United Nations umbrella and are in consonance with the Charter, the imperatives of justice and acceptability. If a viable and just solution can be reached, then and only then can a request be made to the General Assembly to consider whether or not it is consonant with justice and the purposes and principles of the United Nations, with a view to adopting appropriate resolutions – but not before then.
The first and most urgent principle to be observed is the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force – hence Israel must totally withdraw from all the territories it has occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem, in conformity with Security Council resolution 242 (1967), and the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people must be restored, as spelled out in numerous resolutions on the question of Palestine for more than three decades.
If active steps are not launched soonest and if Israel is allowed to persist in its relentless and illegal acts of aggression against the Arab States and its incarceration of the Palestinian people and its national homeland – Israel has already seized 40 per cent of the Palestinian territories occupied in 1967 and more than 90 per cent of the territories occupied in 1948 – then the General Assembly will find itself with no alternative but to declare Israel a non-peace-loving State and to review Israel's status and credentials in the United Nations during the forthcoming thirty-seventh session in the light of its record pertaining to its obligations under the Charter, the pertinent resolutions of the United Nations and other universally accepted norms and conventions.
The General Assembly can rest assured that such a step is prompted first and foremost by our deep commitment to the achievement of a just, comprehensive and lasting peace. It is remedial rather than punitive – even though we have every justification to ask that it be punitive. There are still some months before the thirty-seventh session to proceed towards the achievement of this cherished goal. It is our earnest hope that it will be achieved and thus a confrontation with very grave consequences for international peace and security will be avoided.
Mr. SLIM (Tunisia) (interpretation from French): Once again our Organization is called upon to discuss the tragedy of our time: that of a people robbed of its right and driven from its land; that of a people which through courage and determination has won the entire international community's sympathy and support for its legitimate struggle for national liberation but which, nonetheless, today is still under the yoke of colonialism and occupation.
Echoing the indignation of the international community at the continuation of this tragedy, our Organization has on more than one occasion called for an end to this anachronistic and inadmissible situation, for the restoration of the norms of justice and law, and for respect of the principles and purposes of our Charter, to which all the Members of the United Nations are bound and which they have pledged to apply.
For a State the birth certificate of which was signed by the United Nations and which still considers itself to be a Member of this Organization to show utter disdain for its resolutions and decisions and describe this Assembly as a group of obsessed, hypocritical and unscrupulous countries would be ironic if the situation were not so tragic.
Tunisia has more than once stated, both here and elsewhere, that the escalation of Israeli aggression against the Palestinian people and the Arab countries of the region is the expression of a constant, premeditated policy. The aim of that policy is to keep that sensitive region of the world in a state of permanent tension. It serves Israeli hegemonism which of its own accord would never end.
As Tunisia has often had occasion to state, this tragedy based solely on the laws of force, terror, defiance and fait accompli, might be repeated in the future in a still more arrogant and unprincipled way. Indeed, how many times have we repeated that respect for justice and law carry practically no weight with Israel, for each day it commits further violations of all the norms accepted by the international community? The new escalation of events which we have witnessed recently – indeed in the past few days – at the very time when our Assembly is meeting, does nothing, unfortunately, to disprove that.
On 11 April last, we witnessed an act of desecration: the target was the Al Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock, as well as hundreds of peaceful worshippers there. It was an attack on what is most sacred, bloody killing aimed at subjecting the occupied City of Al Quds and the Palestinian Arab population to Israeli rule.
A few weeks earlier, at the end of March, there was an arbitrary attack on universal suffrage: the removal of democratically elected mayors, as well as the systematic intensification of repression directed against the Palestinian population.
Last December there was the defiance of international law and the violation of one of its universally enshrined principles: the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force. Israel extended its laws, jurisdiction and administration to the Syrian Golan Heights, thus turning the occupation of a territory by force into pure and simple
In June of the same year we witnessed an attack against Arab scientific and technological progress with the bombing and destruction of Iraq's peaceful nuclear installations.
As for martyred Lebanon, I do not know which of the acts of aggression to refer to here: that of July 1981, the many acts of aggression that preceded it, or the one that has, just these past few days, shocked and outraged us. The death and desolation constantly visited upon that country so dear to us cannot but touch everyone.
At the head of this list, which is in no way intended to be exhaustive, must be placed the tragedy of the Palestinian people, which has lasted for more than 30 years now and which remains the core of the Middle East conflict. There we have a people which – under the leadership of its sole, legitimate representative, the Palestine Liberation Organization – has demonstrated its resolve to continue its struggle until attainment of its right to self-determination and to its own State, and which is still demonstrating this today in its demonstrations of resistance to the occupier. The fact that that people has not yet been able to exercise its inalienable rights remains, in our view, both an enigma and an aberration.
Our Organization has discussed each of those brazen acts of aggression and each of those violations of law. Various regular and special sessions of the General Assembly have discharged their task; on each occasion they have taken a clear, firm stand and demanded that Israel comply with the principles of the United Nations Charter. Of course, the Security Council, for its part, has also met on each occasion, but we must note that the obstruction which all too often confronts it has prevented it from discharging its main responsibility, that of maintaining international peace and security. Yet it is the Security Council that, under the terms of our Charter, has the necessary enforcement means to discipline a Member State and oblige it to respect law and justice.
This situation prompts us once again to question the way in which that supreme body, entrusted with the maintenance of international peace and security, can fulfil its responsibilities. The repeated abuse of the right of veto erodes the very authority of the Council and the credibility of the entire Organization.
When will we put an end to the repeated acts of aggression committed by Israel, which thus far has been assured of boundless acquiescence and impunity? When will we go beyond the stage of verbal condemnations which however useful they may be, prove totally ineffective in dealing with Israel?
The time has come for effective enforcement measures capable of putting an end to the behavior of a State which still calls itself a Member of our Organization and for which might still makes right. The time has also come for the Palestinian people to take stock and no doubt to have justified recourse to the strengthening of the struggle by all means possible with no exception.
Mr. SOBHAN (Bangladesh): It is a matter of great regret that the continued Israeli aggression in the occupied Arab and Palestinian territories has again given rise to a crisis threatening international peace and security, compelling us to meet here today at this resumed seventh emergency special session of the General Assembly.
The recent developments in the occupied Arab and Palestinian territories have made it apparent that Israel is bent upon acting in the most immoral and unlawful manner, in complete disregard for all canons of international law and justice and, in particular, disregard for the relevant resolutions of the United Nations. These illegal and arrogant acts of Israel have created a highly explosive situation today, not only in Palestine and in the other occupied territories: but also in the entire Middle East region.
What brings us to this august body is a belief in certain clearly enunciated principles, a belief which is embodied in the Charter of the United Nations. But we have among us a Member State which has clearly and deliberately rejected one United Nations resolution after another, which has openly flouted the voice Of this world body, acted in defiance of world opinion and in total disregard of the basic tenets of justice and fair play, and which has become a veritable law unto itself. It has deprived a people of its birthright dispossessed it of its lands, uprooted it – forcibly, annexed its territory and unleashed a reign of terror.
The tragedy of Palestine and the agony, the suffering and the unending injustice inflicted on the Palestinian people have been a subject of debate in this Assembly for well over 30 years. During this period the membership of the United Nations has increased threefold. The principle of self-determination has been vindicated and upheld over and over again. The process of decolonization is nearly complete, and yet, while so many of us have gained our independence and have been able to take our places here in this Assembly as sovereign independent States, there are in our midst our brothers, the heroic freedom- fighters of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), who have yet to take their rightful. place alongside us in this Assembly, rather than occupying, a position at the side of this hall.
During these past three decades we have seen some noteworthy changes in the positions of Member States on the Palestinian problem. There was a time when quite a few amongst us looked upon Israel as little David confronted by not one but many Goliath's. It would appear that little David has indeed come of age. It is little David that bombs civilian populations at will. It is little David that, in response to the killing of an Israeli diplomat in Paris, can launch a two-hour bombardment of civilian targets, using some 60 aircraft in the exercise. We hate to think what the state of this world would be if every time a diplomat was killed one among us responded with a torrent of lethal bombs launched from several thousand feet above, blissfully ignorant of the number of innocent women and children that would inevitably perish in the process. We would then perhaps not have to spend our time in such debates as these, since none of us would be around for very long.
A parenthetical note: we are told that such a riposte to the death of a diplomat is no more than a very gentle warning. Are we to understand by this that the explosion of a land-mine or the sound of a gunshot in the distance is all that is required to bring out the tanks and the troops to launch a full-scale invasion of southern Lebanon? Little David has indeed grown up: he has grown up into a bully who has taken the law into his own hands with an insatiable appetite for war and for committing acts of aggression.
There was a time when attempts were made to portray the PLO as a terrorist organization, but perhaps now that hundreds of innocent Palestinian lives have been lost, thousands of Palestinians driven from their homes, Palestinian lands snatched away, Palestinian homes destroyed, Palestinian youth indiscriminately thrown into gaol and bludgeoned to death, and more and more women and children slaughtered from the skies above- perhaps now we have a better understanding of whether it is the PLO that is practicing terrorism or whether it is Israel.*
(*Mr. Kara (Panama), Vice-President, took the Chair.)
For years we have been asked to believe that Israel wanted peace, that it was Israel that practiced all that was virtuous on earth, that Israel could do no wrong, that if Israel said there should be no Palestinian State and that the Palestinians have no rights other than the right to live as chattels and as targets of brutality and oppression, then that must indeed be right because Israel said so. If Israel built new settlements in the occupied territories, this was considered only natural and logical. Well, some of us see things differently today, including, fortunately, some distinguished people in Israel itself. David Shipler, writing in The New York Times, states that
So much for the benevolence of the occupying authorities.
But let us take a closer look at what Israel means by peace. There was a time – and no doubt many of us here today will recall it – when we were told that all Israel wanted was no more than an adjustment of the 1967 frontiers. "Secure frontiers": those were the magic words. There was no talk then of Judea and Samaria, and settlements in the occupied territories. We have been reading about the anguish and the sufferings of the Israeli settlers who have been asked to vacate the Sinai. Perhaps that anguish and suffering could have been avoided had the occupying authorities prevented the building of settlements which were clearly and recognizably illegal under various international conventions. We wonder how much greater will be the agony and the suffering when the illegal settlements in the West Bank are dismantled. Could this not have been avoided? Whom should we hold responsible for these illegal settlements and for the acts of terrorism that have now become endemic, perpetrated by the settlers against the local population? Today, as the number of settlements in the West Bank continues to proliferate, and as the rights of the local Arab population are further emasculated how many of us could recognize this as a giant step forward taken by Israel in the direction of peace?
We have heard some very interesting arguments from Israel about why an independent Palestinian State which has been endorsed by the United Nations is unacceptable to it. One such argument is that an independent Palestinian State would pose a threat to the security of Israel. But we have been given to understand that Israel considers most of its neighbors as threats to its security. On the basis of that curious logic, would Israel deny independence to Jordan and to Iraq, or perhaps to the entire world? Would Israel have all of us be colonized once again to safeguard its security?
For a country which feels vulnerable, exposed and threatened, Israel has indeed given us a novel approach in its quest for safeguarding its security – it has given itself the right to destroy installations more than a thousand miles from its territory, repeatedly to bomb civilian targets in Lebanon, to foster a terrorist enclave in southern Lebanon, to annex the Golan Heights and the Holy City of Jerusalem, to build settlements, to dismiss mayors – and all that is being, done in the name of peace and security. What is in fact Israel's response to some of the constructive proposals that have been made? What was Israel's response to the eight-point plan of Crown Prince Fahd of Saudi Arabia? The response was more annexation, more terrorism, more bombardments, more killing of innocent women and children, more desecration of religious shrines and holy places- So much for peace. The prevailing situation was neatly summed up by Joseph Eger, in an article in The New York Times last week. He wrote:
Bangladesh's stand on the Palestine and the Middle East question is unequivocal and consistent. It is not based on political expediency. Our consistent position stems from our firm belief in the principles and purposes of the Charter of the United Nations. It is founded on our enduring commitment to the cause of oppressed peoples all over the world struggling to free themselves from the bondage of colonialism, aggression and exploitation – peoples engaged to establish their inalienable right to self-determination, national freedom and political independence. It is rooted in the ideals of tolerance and the conviction that men and women of all religions and all races can live together in an environment of peace, justice and equality. It is geared to upholding the right of every people freely to determine and build up its own social, economic and political. system by ways and means of its own free choice.
To that end, Bangladesh views the essentials of any meaningful peace plan as a composite whole, as a comprehensive settlement – every part thereof being integrally related to the other. We firmly believe that no solution in the Middle East can be envisaged which does not fully take into account the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people and any examination of the question of Palestine must be based on the following five fundamental principle:
First, the question of Palestine is at the core of the problem of the Middle East and consequently it is not possible to envisage a solution to the problem of the Middle East unless one takes into account the rights of the Palestinian people.
Secondly, the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people to return to their homes and to achieve self-determination, independence and national sovereignty must be implemented.
Thirdly, the participation of the PLO, the sole and legitimate representative of the Palestinian people, on an equal footing with all the other parties on the basis of relevant General Assembly resolutions is indispensable.
Fourthly, the acquisition of territories by force is inadmissible and Israel must totally withdraw from all occupied Arab and Palestinian territories.
Fifthly, there must be a greater understanding of the just cause of the Palestinian people
No discussion on Palestine would be complete without a consideration of the Palestinian refugee problem. We must emphasize that the refugee problem is totally political in origin. No humanitarian measure however effective would be adequate to eliminate the refugee problem unless a just and lasting solution was found to the entire question of Palestine. That population must be settled in their own homeland from where they were uprooted. Meanwhile the United Nations and its socialized agencies should provide the economic and technical assistance necessary for the consolidation of the Palestinian entity.
The United Nations, through the Security Council and the General Assembly has repeatedly tried to bring justice to the suffering Palestinian people. The Government of Israel, unfortunately, on each occasion has taken measures, in violation of the General Assembly and Security Council resolutions to frustrate all efforts of the international community to resolve this explosive issue. The General Assembly in its resolution 3236 (XXIX) of 1974 dealt with the question of Palestine in its totality encompassing all its aspects. It unambiguously spelt out the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, including their right to self-determination, national independence and sovereignty and their right to return to their homes and property. The resolution also endorsed the right of the Palestinian people to present their own case and participate in any peace negotiations through their own legitimate representative – the Palestine Liberation Organization. In subsequent years, through its resolutions adopted at both regular and emergency special sessions the General Assembly has reaffirmed its verdict and extended its mandate to promote implementation of those recommendations, including the right of the Palestinians to establish their own sovereign independent State. Israel not only has ignored those recommendations but has taken every conceivable measure deliberately to violate those resolutions.
The Security Council has adopted a number of resolutions over the years to censure Israeli acts aimed at altering the character and status of the Holy City of Jerusalem. Israel, the occupying Power, not only has refused to comply with those Security Council resolutions, but in flagrant defiance of them made the illegal and condemnable move permanently to annex Jerusalem by declaring the Holy City its "capital". The Security Council through its resolution 478 (1980), determined that all legislative and administrative measures taken by Israel which had altered or purported to alter the status and character of the Holy City of Jerusalem were without any legal validity and that those measures must be rescinded forthwith. Again, the Security Council adopted a unanimous decision to condemn the Israeli action to annex the Golan Heights and called on Israel to rescind the measures taken by it. Israel, on the contrary, has confronted us with stubborn non-compliance, words of belligerence and an attitude of arrogance. The Israeli moves are in flagrant contravention of the Charter of the United Nations and Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973), which clearly underline the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by the use of force.
Our involvement in the freedom struggle of the Palestinian people is total. Bangladesh has always condemned, in no uncertain terms, the Israeli acts of aggression and will continue to do so till the wrongs are righted. In his message on the Day of Solidarity with the Palestinians, the Head of Government of Bangladesh, General Ershad, reaffirmed our firm commitment to the just and legitimate cause of the Palestinian people. He stated, inter alia:
The sinister designs of Israel and its intransigence must be stopped and it must be compelled by this world body to obey its mandate not only in the interest of peace and justice in the region but also in the wider interest of international peace and security and the welfare of mankind as a whole.
Mr. RACZ (Hungary): Almost two years have passed since the seventh emergency special session of the General Assembly, devoted to the question of Palestine, was convened in July 1980. The resolution adopted then by the General Assembly underlined once again that
By reaffirming the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people and the right of its sole legitimate representative, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), to participate on an equal footing in all efforts aimed at solving the problem, the resolution reiterated once again the preconditions and principles for a comprehensive, just and lasting settlement of the Middle East crisis and the question of Palestine, which is its core.
But the fate of resolution ES-7/2 has been the same as that of hundreds of other resolutions of various organs of the United Nations on this issue: it has remained unimplemented.
This two-year period has not given us anything encouraging with regard to a solution of the crisis. On the contrary, the situation has further deteriorated and reached the explosion point once again.
In view of these unfavorable developments, the Hungarian delegation welcomed the initiative taken by the Kuwait meeting of the Co-ordinating Bureau of the Non-Aligned Countries to reconvene the seventh emergency special session of the General Assembly, on the question of Palestine.
The events we have experienced during this period of time that has elapsed since July 1980 have confirmed our position that the root-cause of the entire Middle East crisis is the aggressive, expansionist policy of Tel Aviv. Challenging the authority of the United Nations, defying the principles of its Charter, neglecting and deliberately violating the relevant resolutions adopted by the General Assembly and the Security Council, trampling underfoot the fundamental norms of international law, the Israeli Government stubbornly pursues its policy which not only endangers the peace and security of the neighboring States and the stability of the whole region but also threatens international peace and security.
After having annexed the eastern part of Jerusalem and declared that city to be its capital and after having annexed the Syrian Golan Heights, Israel has further intensified the annexation process in the West Bank and in the Gaza Strip, while systematically escalating its pursuits against the Palestinian Arabs.
The establishment of new Israeli settlements in these occupied Arab territories end the strengthening of existing ones, the repressive policy of terror aimed at intimidating and displacing the Arab population, the forcible dismissal of legitimately elected mayors, the brutality used against the uprising of the genuine Arab population of the affected towns, the barbaric attack against the Al Aqsa Mosque, the repeated incursions against towns and villages in Lebanon, together with the recent bombardment of Lebanese territories – all these are obvious manifestations of this political course.
The Policy of the Israeli Government and its practices vis-a-vis the occupied Arab territories flagrantly violate a wide range of provisions of a great number of United Nations resolutions and international agreements, in particular, the Fourth Geneva Convention. They violate the fundamental human rights of the indigenous population of those lands, claiming that these rights should be subordinated to the so-called Israeli security considerations.
Israel's complete disregard of the principles of the United Nations Charter, the norms of international law and the provisions of the relevant United Nations resolutions has from the very beginning been encouraged by its principal ally, the United States of America. The enormous political, economic and military support and assistance Washington has been rendering to the Tel Aviv Government and the protection the United States delegation has been giving Israel against any punitive measures and sanctions in the Security Council are the major sources of the Israeli policy of aggression and expansion.
The major victim of Israeli policy and its brutal implementation is the Arab people of Palestine. The Palestinians have already paid a high toll in human suffering. The solution to their problem is the key to a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East. There can be no peace in the region unless the question of Palestine is solved. But the Palestinian issue can finally be resolved only in the framework of a comprehensive settlement of the Middle East crisis.
It is our firm conviction that a comprehensive, just and lasting settlement should be based on the following: the complete and unconditional withdrawal of Israel from all Palestinian and other Arab territories occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem; the recognition and the exercise of the inalienable right of the Palestinian people: their right to self-determination without external interference and to national independence and sovereignty, including their right to establish their own independent sovereign State; and the guaranteeing of the right of all States in the region to live in peace and security within internationally guaranteed borders.
The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people, should participate on an equal footing in all efforts, deliberations and conferences aimed at implementing these principles and solving, these questions.
Such a settlement can best be achieved through an international conference specially convened for the purpose, with the participation of all the parties concerned, as suggested by the Soviet Union.
The United Nations should, we think, play an active part in these endeavors because we are convinced that its participation in the collective search for peace in the Middle East is the best way of restoring and further strengthening the world Organization's authority and prestige – which some of its Member States are trying to undermine.
Finally, I should like to avail myself of this opportunity to affirm here once again that, while we resolutely condemn the aggressive and expansionist policy of Israel and urge the United Nations to take the necessary measures to halt the continuation of that political course, we fully support the just struggle of the Palestinian and other Arab peoples for their independence sovereignty peace and security.
Mr. RAJAIE-KHORASSANI (Iran): I shall begin my statement with a quotation from the Holy Koran Sura 20 verses 29 to 28:
In regard to the veto exercised by the Great Satan in the Security Council, my delegation would like to congratulate the representatives of the oppressed nations of the world, including all the Moslems and particularly the Palestinians, who are the most tragic victims of imperialist aggression. That veto is worthy of congratulations because it clearly shows the real feature of the principal enemy, without whose support the usurping regime would definitely not be capable of perpetrating its evil, destructive and murderous plans in the Middle East. That exercise of the veto will, it is hoped, strengthen the unity of the oppressed nations against their common enemy.
That veto and other vetoes to come are fortunately promoting the political awareness of the oppressed masses and reinforcing their movement, without which our efforts here would remain futile. Thus my delegation's congratulations to all of you who desire Justice, freedom and happiness for the oppressed.
As we all knew beforehand, the Satanic nature of imperialism would not tolerate anything against its mercenary, the Zionist régime. Had the veto not been exercised, then we would have been surprised – but of course it was exercised. Nevertheless it is regrettable that the efforts of all the speakers who participated in the debates of the Security Council and the just and honorable stance that the overwhelming majority of the members of the Council so sincerely adopted were mocked by one single member. My delegation's thanks and gratitude are due to those conscientious members who stood so firmly for the cause of the oppressed. Although their decision was immorally vetoed the esoteric and intrinsic ethnical significance of their honorable position remains the same. On the stage of the United Nations, they chose the role of beauty and virtue, whereas others assumed that of vice and darkness. All of us cannot play the same role as we represent different systems.
The mockeries of the Great Satan are possible because the United Nations is not essentially so designed as to be able to solve serious international problems. It is intended to be a place for negotiations and deliberations, for speaking out and cooling down. Had this not been the case, the Palestinian problem would not have lasted for 35 years. No doubt, from the viewpoint of the usurping régime, with its well-planned immigration and settlement programs, and from the viewpoint of the United States, whose oil companies are cheerfully busy with the oil wells of the Middle East,, our discussions should go on for at least 35 more years, until those oil wells are completely dry – and then there would be no more problem and the debates would be over.
Strangely enough, the United Nations under the prevailing Charter is the only organization we know of in the history of mankind in which the defendant and the arbiter can be one and the same. How awkward it was when my delegation had to address a Council that was presided over by the representative of the United States, who as the opponent of the representative of Nicaragua was the defendant and as a member of the Council assumed the position of arbiter. When five members of the Council can maintain the same strange, dual and contradictory positions, in addition to having the right of veto, in the face of controversial and serious international issues the Council can be nothing other than impotent.
In the Declaration of Human Rights too I have detected several very dangerous contradictions, which I brought up in the Third Committee last fall. I am sure one can find many more contradictions if one searches all through the United Nations rules and regulations. Surely all of us could have been proud of our assignment to the United Nations if the governing rules and regulations of this international body had been consistent and coherent.
Regardless of our particular inclinations and the political system and Government each of us is supposed to represent, but with some degree of the self-respect all of us entertain, let us all, including the Secretary-General, think of the elimination of these antimonies, which have turned the bible of the United Nations into a load of rubbish.
To revert to the tragedy of Palestine, the occupied homeland of millions of homeless persons, which was occupied under the auspices of the United Nations, all the representatives may remember the phraseology of resolution 181 (II), which is the identity card of the Zionist régime and in fact its provisional license for usurpation and aggression.
That resolution includes the term "mandatory Power" – with a capital P, of course – a polite expression meaning British colonial power, concerning which officials of Great Britain express resentment and apology of course without hypocrisy. The resolution also contains the word "Palestine", which seems to have been mysteriously eroded during the past 35 years and ultimately eliminated.
More ironically, the resolution appeals to a strange pretext expressed in the idiotic phrase "in order to maintain international peace and security". The past 35 years of the history of the Middle East factually proves that the phrase should have been "in order to destroy Palestine and maintain war and insecurity against the rest of the Moslem world for the sake of imperialist interests in the area".
History happens once. Thus we cannot change resolution 181 (II), which was adopted and made effective many years ago. What remains valid for all of us is that the maintenance of peace and security in the Middle East has been highly regarded by our predecessors, as it is by all of us – so highly, in fact, that it was the rationale behind that resolution.
Should there be any room for honesty in the United Nations, all of us must alter the actual political scene in the Middle East to accord with that rationale most satisfactorily, no matter whose national interest may be imperiled. Those who installed that colonial base, which was then taken over by American imperialism, were quite familiar with the Zionist dreams well expressed in the famous Balfour Declaration. That so-called resolution, I am afraid, had no validity from the very beginning, and its reference to the maintenance of peace was just a deception to influence and manipulate the then United Nations, in which many of the representatives of the oppressed nations were not present, either truly or at all.
It was a gross mistake, an occurrence which only you representatives can rectify. Palestinians were betrayed at that time because you were not present, and justice must be implemented now because you are present. That so-called resolution was merely a conspiracy. Those who conspired on it immediately established diplomatic relations with it and made a full-fledged political entity out of it. Then the United States of America, with its imperialist intentions and expansionist disposition, under the influence of the capitalist elements of Zionism which always play a decisive role in its administration, found it inevitable and in fact appropriate to support the usurping régime.
Abundant financial and military support from the United States has always been flowing to the occupying régime under the same silly pretext of maintaining peace and security that was used in resolution 181 (II). And the whole world has apathetically been observing the consequences of that bloody pretext, as a result of which millions of Palestinians have remained homeless and the occupation has been extending in every direction.
The bombings of southern Lebanon, the air raids just two days ago in the once beautiful Beirut, and the shameless atrocities and homicides in Al Aqsa Mosque are all results of those "peace-seeking efforts" of the allegedly peace-loving Zionists, who have always taken advantage of the Nazi cruelties inflicted upon the innocent Jews and have brought infamy to the faith of Moses – may peace be upon him.
Being very patient indeed, history offered a chance to the Zionists, in the incident of Palestinian misfortune, to materialize their worldly aspirations and to become a lesson for the future generation so that it might avoid mundane materialism.
As the expansionist regime has been extending its usurped territories and occupying the land of its neighbors, its great, devastating danger for the Moslems of the Middle East and their magnificent religious and cultural heritage has become evident. It is therefore incumbent upon the United Nations to fulfil its responsibilities, just as it is the duty of all Moslems to undertake theirs.
The recent incidents in Al Aqsa Mosque should not be considered isolated events. They are typical manifestations of destructive expansionist qualities inherent in Zionist ideology, essentially characteristic of the Zionist non-entity. Of course, the atrocities of some Zionist military personnel in the second most holy sanctuary of Islam are criminal, sacrilegious acts and cannot be tolerated.
The Holy Koran says in Sura 2, verse 114:
Our Koranic principles are not to be mistaken for United Nations decisions, which can be violated by anyone. And the Moslem and revolutionary people of Iran, hand in hand with all other committed and conscientious Moslems, shall soon, by the grace of God, give a lesson to the Zionist usurpers which will assure that other aggressors in the rest of the world conduct themselves properly.
But the issue to be responsibly considered in this Assembly is not simply the matter of what Zionist elements did in Palestine: it is the unlawful imposition of the racist usurping regime, primarily upon the people of Palestine and, in the long run, upon all the Moslem nations of the area. The consequential contingencies, though, serious as they are, constitute only the fruit of that original mistake, which was unfortunately perpetrated in the name of the United Nations. Since the Zionist regime is basically a usurping power, all its interventions, changes, alterations and constructions, as well as destruction's, are nothing but usurpation and trespass, and as such they remain illicit and invalid, as wrong as the acts of homicide in the Holy Mosque. And so long as the original mistake is not rectified, any attempt at reformation or the prevention of other crimes and aggressions remains useless – and irrelevant, of course.
My delegation therefore reiterates that all the occupied Islamic and Arab territories must be liberated and that the sovereignty of the Palestinian State must be restored. My delegation requests that those Member States which adhere to human respect and justice withdraw their recognition from the usurping regime as a decisive step towards the restoration of justice to the Palestinian people. Reimbursement for all the losses inflicted upon the Palestinians, Lebanese and others must inevitably and necessarily be paid. But my delegation also requests that this international body withdraw its recognition from the usurping régime by expelling it from the United Nations, simply because it has violated the Charter Of the United Nations repeatedly. This will without doubt promote the status of the United Nations to a highly desirable level.
The oppressed nations of the world, which appreciate what imperialism is – and, of course, all those nations that adhere to peace and justice – are requested to remove the greatest base of imperialism from the Middle East. Oppression and imperialism are the enemies of mankind and their bases must be destroyed wherever and in whatever form they are. It is to this effect that Imam Khomeni says: "Israel must not be." His statement is the prescriptive expression of all the descriptive facts and analyses which demonstrate the evil nature of oppression and arrogance; it is a view that is held not only by the revolutionary people and. Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran but by millions of other open-minded Moslems and million of peace-loving, justice-seeking followers of other faiths as well.
Palestine must therefore be cleansed of its sinister racist elements, and the Palestinians' rule and sovereignty over their homeland must be restored so that the mercenaries of imperialism can no longer perpetrate acts of expansionist aggression against neighboring countries and holy places under the excuse of lunacy. Only then can peace and security in the area be maintained; only then can the internal clashes and tense situations in the Middle East, which are always instigated by the Great Satan, be eliminated; and only then can so many billions of dollars which have been and are being spent unnecessarily for bloody military purposes be spent on the health, education and happiness of the deprived people in the area and elsewhere. As for the foreign subjects who under the sham allegation of dual nationality have slipped into Palestine to commit acts of crime and profanity, as was mentioned in ray statements before the Security Council, they must go back to their countries of origin, where street murder does not yield public protest and demonstration. Compensation for their losses will be made with pleasure. According to my little knowledge of Islam, if some of them wish to stay they may be allowed to, provided that they pledge to respect the public law, conduct themselves properly and refrain from violating principles of decency. The local Jews and those who may stay in Palestine would be completely free to administer their sanctuaries and to practice and preach their faith, just like Christians and the followers of other divine faiths.
The Koranic principle, as we have said before, is:
As a matter of fact, the Prophet Muhammad – may peace be upon him – according to tradition, referred to Moses and Jesus – may peace be upon them -as his brothers. This, as we have said before, indicates that Moslems, Jews and Christians have enough ideological grounds to live together in peace and fraternity in the State of Palestine. They should have the freedom to participate in the welfare of the society, in the administration of their sanctuaries and in the administrative functions of the State accordingly, without discrimination.
As for the duty of Moslem nations towards the Palestinian crisis, the Holy Koran and prophetic tradition are quite clear on that. All that we have to do is become good, conscientious, practicing Moslems – which we have to become anyway. As a matter of fact, our deviation from the right path is the main cause of all our calamities. Therefore, if we remain negligent of our duties to Allah, consider ourselves unaccountable for our actions and decisions, fearing everything but Allah, thinking of everything except the hereafter, what then would be our inner motive for making sacrifices for the liberation of Moslem lands? Moral destruction and lack of faith are what the enemy desires most for us.
Those conscientious brothers who believe in the angelic nature of man, as defined in the Holy Koran, and who wish to emancipate their fellow men from the lowland of material, mundane life, and therefore deem it necessary to fight against imperialism and imperialist aggression, may remember the following admonition:
They need also to remember:
Moslem brothers, mobilize all your potential and means of power against the enemies of mankind and in support of the Mustadafin, the oppressed; all your potential, your rich financial resources in the imperialist and Zionist banks, your powerful oil weapon on your markets, and the endless power of your people. Let them pour out into the streets and raise the cries of Allaho Akbar and shake the pillars of all imperialism.
My delegation assures you that if the Islamic countries stand as one Islamic Ummah they can save all the oppressed and underdeveloped nations of the world from the tyrannies, injustices, deprivations and hegemonies. Only a united Islamic front can exterminate apartheid from the oppressed people of South Africa; only a united Islamic front can guarantee determined support for the oppressed peoples of Asia, Africa and Latin America; and only your united front can bridle the over-ambitious, devastating, mundane, materialistic infidels who have taken money for their god. It is your unity that is needed; it is your wealth that is the backbone of their multinational companies and their arsenals. Take your riches and wealth from the imperialist and Zionist banks and challenge the power of imperialism; then you will see how its base can be easily removed from your land.
The enemy is trying to frighten you away from Islam, which is the grace of God upon you and which is already with you. It is the enemy that must be and is frightened by the unifying, mobilizing, liberating force of Islam, but not the Moslems. Please read The New York Times of 14 April 1982 and see how the imperialist press, which is under the control of Zionism, wants you to be frightened of Islam.
Remember the Koranic verse – Sura III, verse 103:
Islamic unity is the enemy's greatest harassment and your greatest source of confidence, and the only source of hope for the oppressed.
I wish the victory of the oppressed over the oppressors.
Mr. SHELDOV (Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic) (interpretation from Russian): Once again the United Nations General Assembly is considering the question of Palestine in the light of Israel's failure to fulfil resolution ES-7/2, adopted on 29 July 1980 at the seventh emergency special session, as well as other relevant resolutions of the General Assembly. It should be stressed that Israel not only has failed to fulfil General Assembly and Security Council resolutions aimed at settling the Middle East crisis, the core of which is the problem of Palestine, but continues to embark on the course of direct annexation of the Arab and Palestinian territories occupied by it, perpetrating and proliferating systematic acts of armed aggression against the Arab States.
In the ensuing period alone since the General Assembly suspended its seventh emergency special session, which was devoted to the question of Palestine – that is, in the span of less than two years – Israel, in the teeth of decisions of the United Nations, proclaimed Jerusalem as its "eternal, united and indivisible capital" it perpetrated a piratical raid on the peaceful nuclear center in Iraq; it annexed the Syrian Golan Heights; it expanded and stepped up its acts of armed aggression in southern Lebanon; it accelerated the process of its so-called assimilation of occupied Arab territories by expelling the Arabs from their lands and creating paramilitary Israeli settlements on them.
A few days ago, literally, the Israeli military carried out another criminal act by brutally bombing Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon. The list of crimes of the Israeli aggressors against the Arabs – and particularly against the Arab people of Palestine is virtually endless.
All these peace-threatening actions on the part of Israel have been justly and firmly condemned by the United Nations and by the overwhelming majority of the international community. However, Tel Aviv continues to turn a deaf ear to the just demands of the world community and cynically and insolently disregards the resolutions of the Security Council and the General Assembly.
At the ninth emergency special session of the General Assembly, held in February of this year and devoted to the situation in the occupied Arab territories, many delegations, including that of the Byelorussian SSR, correctly pointed out that extending Israeli legislation to the Syrian Golan Heights was a further – but by no means the last act of annexation by Israel of the occupied Arab territories. As they say, we did not have to wait long for confirmation of this. Now Tel Aviv obviously has determined to expedite the implementation of the next phase of the Zionist plans for the creation of a so-called Greater Israel, from the Nile to the Euphrates: to impose on the Palestinians by force a plan for "Palestinian autonomy" on the West Bank of the Jordan and in Gaza – a Camp David-style autonomy, the genuine purpose of which is simply to deprive the Palestinian people of its inalienable right to self-determination and the creation of its own national State – to swallow up those territories.
Such actions on the part of Israel are a direct outcome of the anti-Arab Camp David collusion and the policies of separate deals, as well as a concrete manifestation of American-Israeli "strategic co-operation".
Israel, with the connivance and support of its overseas ally, is hastening to consolidate and further extend its expansionist onslaught on the occupied Arab territories. The tool it uses to pursue these ends is Camp David and the strategic alliance between Israel and the United States the means for pursuing a "policy of strength". All the talk about "autonomy", which is intended to lull world public opinion, simply conceals creeping annexation. According to the report of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Population of the Occupied Territories (A/36/579), Tel Aviv plans to set up approximately 70 new settlements from 1980 through 1985. But this is not only being planned: it is in fact being carried out – and in all haste. Many thousands of acres of Palestinian land have been confiscated, and hundreds of Palestinian houses have been razed to the ground. In 1981 alone, approximately 40 paramilitary settlements either were created or were under construction.
Recent events have demonstrated quite clearly Israel's genuine purposes on the Arab lands it has seized. As recently as March of this year, the Israeli authorities removed three Palestinian West Bank mayors and heaped mass repression on the Arab population. The so-called civil governor of the occupied West Bank of the Jordan and Gaza, Milson, recently stated:
This so-called civil governor, operating in the occupied Arab territories under direct orders from the Israeli Minister of Defense, Sharon, has cynically stated that the elimination of the PLO from the West Bank of the Jordan is essential. Actually, there is nothing new in the utterances of that representative of the unruly ruling Zionist clique in Israel as to how it envisages the future of the occupied Arab and Palestinian territories.
We are familiar with the statement made by the Israeli Prime Minister, Mr. Begin, that:
According to a report in Time magazine of 12 April of this year, one of his aides, obviously developing the thinking of his boss, stated that:
That was stated, as one can gather, with an equal degree of cynicism and candor.
Israel's annexation of the Syrian Golan Heights, its attempts to implement the Camp David agreements with regard to "Palestinian autonomy", and its preparations for a large, scale armed invasion and seizure of territory in the southern part of Lebanon, as well as numerous other aggressive acts previously perpetrated by Tel Aviv, would have been impossible without the comprehensive assistance and support of the United States. It is no secret, I think, that the expansionist ambitions of Israel have become identified with the imperialist interests of the United States in that part of the world. Israel long ago became a virtual ally and partner of the United States in its pursuit of its imperialist policies in the Middle East, and it plays a part in Washington's global strategy aimed at heightening international tension and the arms race and attempting to achieve military superiority and the imposition of its will on other peoples. The American-Israeli anti-Arab alliance is taking on ever more sinister lineaments, and has been further developed in the form of the strategic alliance between the United States and Israel. The comprehensive links between imperialist circles in the United States and Zionism in Israel are solid and. are constantly strengthened. Overseas military and economic assistance to Israel flows as from a horn of plenty, and amounts to billions of dollars a year. Washington has provided the Zionist aggressors and expansionists with the most sophisticated types of weapons.
And here in the United Nations, the United States thwarts the adoption of any effective measures against Israel. This week, for example, the United States once again cast a veto in the Security Council, voting against, and thus blocking the adoption of, a draft resolution which would have condemned the blatant acts of vandalism recently perpetrated in Jerusalem.
The actions of Israel and its overseas protector are preventing the achievement of any peaceful settlement in the Middle East and the implementation of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people. They make more remote any solution to the problem of Palestine and represent a genuine threat to the peoples of that region and to international peace and security. They make a matter of urgency of the need to bring the aggressor to book and to compel it to respect and implement the decisions of the United Nations and the demands of the international community. The Security Council should once again be called upon to adopt immediately comprehensive mandatory sanctions against Israel, in accordance with Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter.
With respect to a comprehensive settlement of the Middle East problem, the General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and President of the Presidium of the USSR, Comrade L.I. Brezhnev, has said that
In conclusion, the Byelorussian SSR once again states its outright condemnation of Israel's encroachment on Arab lands and reaffirms its solidarity with the Arab peoples, including the people of Palestine and their sole legitimate representative, the Palestine Liberation Organization. The Byelorussian SSR will continue to lend its support to their just cause and to the search for a comprehensive settlement and a just peace in the Middle East.
Mr. SHAKAR (Bahrain) (interpretation from Arabic): The General Assembly has resumed its seventh emergency special session to consider recent developments in the situation in Palestine and terrorist actions perpetrated by Israel against Arab citizens under the yoke of occupation.
It is abundantly clear that the Israeli authorities are increasing their tyranny every day, with ever greater determination. They violate the sanctity of Islamic Holy Places in occupied Jerusalem, dismiss elected mayors at will and murder those who resist occupation in an attempt to preserve their dignity and their abrogated human rights and those who defy the occupation authorities who confiscate the lands on which they grew up and which they inherited from their fathers and forefathers over long centuries.
The international community is no longer in any doubt that all the arbitrary actions of the Israeli authorities are part of a Zionist scheme to sow horror and panic in the minds of the Arab citizens of the occupied Arab and Palestinian territories and to create an atrocious psychological atmosphere in which it will be difficult to survive. All this is aimed at forcing the population of the occupied territories to abandon their land and homes, so that the Israelis can implement the Zionist policy of establishing settlements for Jewish immigrants from all over the world in the occupied Arab territories, paving the way for their ultimate annexation.
Nor is the international community in any doubt that in the past two years Israel has seized approximately 40 per cent of the occupied Arab territories and that it is undoubtedly planning to seize a total of more than 70 per cent over the next five years. Israel has not heeded the resolutions adopted by the Security Council and the General Assembly on this subject. It persists to this day in its expropriation of lands.
The Permanent Representative of Jordan to the United Nations, in a letter dated 14 April 1982 addressed to the Secretary-General, sets forth the acts of appropriation and confiscation undertaken by Israel against Palestinian territories in the occupied West Bank and in Jerusalem during February of this year. That letter states that:
The attack carried out by an armed Israeli soldier against the worshippers in the Al Aqsa Mosque is a very serious event with clear implications concerning the Zionist schemes which Israel maliciously and cunningly intends to implement in stages. It is no secret to those who have studied the actions of Israel since 1967 that the Israeli politicians have adopted a deliberate program with the ultimate aim of removing all the Islamic Holy Places from Jerusalem. They intend to do that not only for the political judaization of Jerusalem but also for the religious judaization of the Holy City by making it the capital of Judaism and by eliminating anything that bears any relation to any other divine revelation. That policy of Israel is extremely dangerous. It gives rise to concern among all Moslems. Therefore, the international community has been called upon to intervene in this matter to deter Israel from violating the sanctity of the Islamic and historic Holy Places in Jerusalem. On the other hand, the excavation activity undertaken by the Israeli authorities at Al Haram Al Sharif, the Holy Sanctuary, also falls within the aforementioned Israeli scheme. Israel is strenuously striving to obtain any relies which have any relation, whether falsely or genuinely, with Jewish history in order to use them as a historic pretext further to damage and despoil Islamic Holy Places. Therefore, they use history as an ideological weapon to justify their occupation, as though history had become a reason to justify occupation, to legitimize an illegal action and to distort historical facts to suit the whim of the occupier, Israel.
It is well known that all those actions undertaken by the Israeli occupation authorities are categorically in contravention of the Fourth Geneva Convention, of 1949, and resolutions of the Security Council and the General Assembly. It is worth noting in this regard that Israel ratified the Fourth Geneva Convention in 1952.
The annals of the United Nations are filled with illegal acts and measures which have been perpetrated by Israel since its establishment in 1948. Israel violated the Armistice Agreements scores of times and occupied large areas of Arab territory after signing those Agreements, including demilitarized zones. It also launched wars and invasions against the Arab States, such as the wars of 1956 and 1967, the occupation of southern Lebanon in 1978 and the attack on the Iraqi nuclear reactor last year. Israel is continuing its attacks and invasions in contempt of resolutions of the United Nations and international opinion. Its most recent act of aggression was carried out by Israeli war planes last Monday in the bombing of civilian sites in Lebanon, which caused the death of scores of persons and the wounding of many innocent civilians.
There is no need to furnish additional proof that Israel is an international outlaw. The events and examples are abundantly clear. They prove that Israel must be condemned for its non-compliance with international conventions, the Charter of the United Nations and resolutions of the Organization. But what is strange in this regard is that that aggressive State has not even complied with General Assembly resolution 273 (III) of 11 May 1949, the resolution on the admission of Israel to the United Nations. That resolution states very clearly in operative paragraph 1 that:
Thus, the contradiction is very clear between the decision to admit Israel to this Organization and Israel's acts of aggression, which are incompatible with the United Nations Charter and all international norms.
We believe that the United Nations today, more than 35 years since its establishment, is facing a very critical situation which requires deep reflection. The phenomenon that requires deep reflection is that a Member State which was established by a resolution of this Organization is today the worst violator of the Organization's Charter and the most defiant of its resolutions, while this Organization which legitimized that State, stands paralyzed in the face of that State's acts of aggression, since it cannot invoke the provisions of the Charter to deter the aggressor, an aggressor which has eroded its stability before the peoples of the world.
That phenomenon might seem surprising at first glance, but our surprise disappears once we know that that international outlaw is the embodiment of the ideology of the organization of world Zionism, whose tentacles, like those of an octopus, are extended into many States, especially the United States of America, which provides Israel with all kinds of assistance without any real reservations concerning its policy of aggression against the Palestinian people and the neighboring Arab States. The organization of world Zionism, as is well known, uses every means of pressure and influence at its disposal, including intimidation, especially in the United States, to serve the interests of the racist State, a State which is based on racial and religious discrimination. Therefore, it is naive to believe that the alliance between the United States and Israel, in that anomalous way in relations among nations, is a moral position or commitment, as has been alleged by American officials since the establishment of the Zionist State in the land of Palestine. Thus, the United States of America assumes primary responsibility for Israel's acts of aggression against the Arab States.
There is no doubt that the Zionist organization and the embodiment of its racial ideology, Israel, are sparing no effort to destroy the credibility and effectiveness of this Organization, since the Zionist State has become completely isolated because of its acts of aggression.
The Zionists' defiance of our Organization is extremely dangerous. Hence it is imperative for the United Nations to prove that it is truly universal and represents the dreams and aspirations of peoples that love peace and stability.
Mr. DASHTSEREN (Mongolia) (interpretation from Russian): During the 20 months that have passed since the suspension of the seventh emergency special session not only has Israel failed to implement that session's decision, but its troops have continued escalating their aggressive actions against neighboring Arab countries and their atrocities in the occupied territories. As a result, the already explosive situation in the Middle East has deteriorated seriously and the real danger of another war has arisen. Hence our delegation considers the resumption of this emergency special session fully warranted, and indeed timely.
Speaking on 12 January in the Security Council, my delegation noted that Israel's illegal occupation of Arab territories was proceeding to its next stage: annexation.
The annexation is being carried out in stages: first, the occupying authorities proceed to repopulate the territories-on a broad scale, and this is accompanied by flagrant and crude violations of the basic rights and freedoms of the indigenous population and by harsh repression of the slightest opposition from them; after that, legalization follows. That is what happened with regard to East Jerusalem and the Syrian Golan Heights. Now we can say with assurance that the West Bank and the Gaza Strip are next.
Along with these ongoing activities to annex the occupied territories, Israeli troops from time to time indulge in armed provocations against sovereign States of the region and carry out bandit-like raids. Last year, in July alone, as a result of Israel's barbaric attacks on Lebanese towns and Palestinian refugee camps, over 500 persons were killed and over 2,000 wounded. In the year 1981 as a whole, 2,379 died and 6,500 civilians were wounded at the hands of Zionist gangs.
As is known, two days ago – on 21 April – Israeli troops carried out a piratical raid against seven villages within a 10-to-15-mile radius of Beirut, as a result of which dozens of innocent persons were killed and wounded. This criminal action by the Israeli vultures has elicited fully justified outrage on the part of the world community and deserves the strongest condemnation.
The Israeli authorities dubbed this completely unprovoked barbaric sortie a "warning operation" and they graciously promised to abide by the cease-fire provided the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) did not take any retaliatory steps.
It is not without interest that we note the advice given by the Americans to the PLO, which they stubbornly refuse to recognize as the true representative of the Palestinian people. They are advising the Palestinians to refrain from retaliatory measures, so as not to give Israel any excuse for carrying out any broader or more massive operations since the present raid could have been aimed only at precisely that provocative objective. The United States Administration's full knowledge of the plans and actions of the Israeli troops is widely known.
The countries and peoples of the world that hold peace dear – and they constitute the absolute majority of the world community have not been passive bystanders at Israel's crimes all these years.
The overwhelming majority of States have constantly condemned these actions of atrocity and terrorism on the part of the Zionists and made considerable efforts both within and outside the United Nations designed to halt Israel's criminal activities against the indigenous population of the occupied territories and sovereign States in the Middle East region. However, these efforts and the many decisions of the United Nations have not led to any substantial results. The reason for this impotence is known to all: it is to be found in the all-round continuing assistance and support provided by the United States to its strategic ally – Israel.
The United States Administration has officially declared that it will ensure constant military superiority for Israel in the region. It also guarantees that, by its use of the veto in the Security Council, the Zionists will go scot-free. After the United States vetoes of draft resolutions of the Security Council on 20 January, 2 April and 20 April this year – three times in a brief two months – I think that nobody has any doubts any longer about the United States position. So, against this background, the vociferous talk on the part of some highly placed officials in the United States Administration to the effect that Menachem Begin has become "unmanageable" is simply a barefaced lie.
Responsibility for the hideous crimes committed by the Zionist régime of Israel and for the consequences thereof must to an equal extent be borne by its protectors, primarily the United States.
Recent developments in the Middle East and the extremely serious situation that has arisen because of them require the adoption of the most effective measures against Israel, including sanctions, as envisaged under Chapter VII of the United Rations Charter.
The Mongolian delegation continues to believe, as it has in the past, that any partial measures and separate deals, like the Camp David agreements, cannot lead to a firm peace or stability in the region.
We advocate a comprehensive and just settlement in the Middle East. The necessary conditions for such a settlement would be the withdrawal of the Israeli troops from all the Arab territories that have been occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem; the granting to the Arab people of Palestine the opportunity to implement and enjoy their rights, in particular the right to establish their own sovereign State; and the ensuring of the security and sovereignty of all States in that region. The constructiveness of such an approach to the Middle East problem is amply borne out by developments in the region. In this connection, our delegation would once again like to note that the convening of an international conference on the Middle East with the participation of all interested parties, including the Palestine Liberation Organization on an equal footing since the question of Palestine is indeed the crux of the Middle East problem would be of great importance in the search for paths to a comprehensive settlement in the region.
In conclusion, our delegation would express the solidarity of the Mongolian people with the just struggle of the Arab people of Palestine and other peoples in the occupied territories and countries that are subjected to the barbaric aggression of Israel.
Mr. WYZNER (Poland): It is not quite two years since the seventh emergency special session of the General Assembly was convened and a resolution reaffirming once again the position of the international community on the question of Palestine was adopted.
During this period the plight of the Palestinian people and its struggle for the attainment of its inalienable rights has become so visible against the sharply contrasting background of Israel's notorious policies that it has reached the minds and consciences of the international community as a whole and has caused a growing awareness that the question of Palestine is the crux of and the key to the problem of the Middle East.
Two years may often be a very decisive period in world politics. The international climate can change sharply over such a period of time. The changed conditions in the international arena may either facilitate or hinder solutions. They may either speed up or slow down the working out of a settlement.
The debate in the seventh emergency special session in 1980 was held in an already difficult climate, when the first clouds of the anti-détente policies of the military-industrial complexes were beginning to cast a long, ominous shadow over international relations. Increased tensions in the Middle East and the stepped-up new aggressive actions of the Israeli authorities have constituted a clear-cut reflection of the dangerous pattern of the development of the situation in the region following the conclusion of the separatist agreements.
Today, when the General Assembly is meeting in reconvened session, the situation has further deteriorated and the world is faced with serious threats. There has taken place the greatest strain on East-West relations since the last world war. We are witnessing today the development of cold-war policies of confrontation sponsored by imperialistic and militant circles openly striving to change the balance of power. One of the characteristics of the present period is the rampant and heightened arms race, increasing the danger of a nuclear conflict. The possibility of nuclear weapons being used on a limited scale and of a restricted nuclear war being conducted is openly voiced.
In view of the deteriorated conditions of international security and of the present elements of confrontation, the situation in the Middle East constitutes one of the most explosive hotbeds of tension, which threatens a conflagration at any moment.
During the period that has elapsed, we have witnessed Israel's continued aggression in the region, the practices of the Israeli authorities in the occupied Arab territories, the measures taken by them in pursuing their policy of creeping annexation of those territories, the expanded construction of new Israeli settlements thereon and the deliberate policy of flagrant violation of the rights of the Palestinian Arab people.
These numerous instances of Israel's non-compliance with the United Nations resolutions have been accompanied by acts of aggression and use of force. The world has seen an unprecedented act of international terrorism, namely, the bombing of the Iraqi nuclear center. That attack by the Israeli air force constituted yet another link in the well-known chain of acts of aggression characterizing the Israeli policy of fait accompli.
The dust and smoke after Israel's attack on the Iraqi nuclear installations had not yet settled when a new hostile act against Israel's neighbors was committed. It was with a. sense of profound shock and indignation that the world learnt of Israel's decision to impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration in the occupied Syrian Golan Heights, a step intended to change the status of the territory from that of an occupied territory to that of an annexed one.
The international community condemned that action of Israel as an act of overt violation of international law committed in defiance of world public opinion.
Yet forceful expressions of condemnation and protest not-withstanding and in spite of demands addressed to Israel that it forthwith rescind its decision – which was declared to be null and void – the Israeli authorities, choosing to ignore – those strong requests of the Security Council and General Assembly, persistently continue to pursue their policy of aggression and annexation. The ink on those resolutions had not yet dried when, in violation of the principle of the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force, Israel again took steps making clear the ultimate intention to annex the occupied territories of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip – an intention already proven by the previous cases of Arab Jerusalem and the Golan Heights.
The Israeli decision to disband the freely-elected El Bireh Municipal Council and to replace it by direct Israeli rule, as well as the decision to remove by force the mayors of Nablus and Ramallah, gave yet another illustration and further evidence of Israel's expansionist ambitions. As part of the Tel Aviv strategy to tighten its hold on the West Bank and Gaza Strip and eventually to annex those lands, the Israeli decision could not but further aggravate tensions in the Middle East, one of the most sensitive areas in the world.
Recently, each day has brought new evidence of the terrorist methods and iron-fisted policy of the Israeli authorities. The number of victims has grown day by day as the program of step-by-step destruction of the Arab character of the territories occupied by Israel since 1967 has been implemented by its authorities. Only recently, new names were added to the long list of those who have fallen in the West Bank and in the Gaza Strip under the fire of Israeli troops. The armed attack of the Israeli soldier in the Al Aqsa Mosque and in the Dome of the Rock, for which the occupying Power has to bear responsibility, brought new bloodshed, loss of lives and human suffering.
The policies of the Israeli authorities have led again to dangerous tension in the Middle East, threatening both peace in the region and international security.
The recent bombings of Beirut and other places in Lebanon by the Israeli air force clearly points to Israel's willingness to proceed to further acts of aggression on a much broader scale.
It is obvious that freedom of movement for the aggressor would not be so unrestricted – if indeed possible at all – if it had to act without the support of its strategic ally, the United States, which provides it with the sword of modern weapons.
A comprehensive, just and lasting peace cannot be established without the withdrawal of Israel from all the Arab territories, including Arab Jerusalem. Without the achievement of a just solution to the problem of Palestine based on recognition of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, peace can hardly endure in that region. Ignoring the question of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people can only lead to a further impasse, increasing tensions even further and making the prospects of peace more distant.
The attainment of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian Arab people, including the right to self-determination and to establish its own independent State, is a prerequisite for a settlement of the crisis in the Middle East, one of the most dangerous hotbeds of tension in the world, a crisis which constantly poses a serious threat to international peace and security. Without it there can be no real safeguarding of the sovereignty and security of all the States of the region.
Poland has always unfailingly supported the just aspirations of the Arab people of Palestine to attain their inalienable rights. We have always considered that full implementation of those rights leading towards the establishment of a sovereign Palestinian State on the territories liberated from the occupying forces and the guaranteeing of the existence and security of all the States and peoples of the region is an objective necessity also because of the interests of international security and world peace in general. This position of ours has been reflected in many statements and documents and in the records of the United Nations.
In those statements we have emphasized that we permanently and invariably reiterate our profound solidarity with the striving and aspirations of the Palestinian people, who wish to live on the liberated soil of their forefathers and to be a rightful member of the great family of free nations.
At the same time, we have expressed our support for the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people and for the participation of the PLO on a par with the other parties concerned in efforts aimed at a comprehensive political solution of the Middle East conflict.
Only recently Poland's consistent position on the Middle East problem was once again unequivocally presented by Mr. Jozef Czyrek, Minister for Foreign Affairs, who met with the Arab Ambassadors accredited in Warsaw. At that meeting the Ambassadors outlined the position of the Arab States concerning the present situation in the Middle East. Minister Czyrek assured them that Poland would continue to render support to the struggle of the Arab peoples for a just peace in the Middle East and that it would oppose the policy of aggression and terror as well as interference by imperialistic forces in the affairs of the Arab nations.
Also, in his reply to the message of Mr. Chedli Klibi, Secretary-General of the Arab League, Minister Czyrek stated, inter alia:
The grave developments in the Middle East, reflected as they are in the present debate, forcefully show that without embarking upon the course of recognition and implementation of the inalienable rights of the Arab people of Palestine, and without taking fully into account the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinians, a comprehensive solution of the Middle East problem cannot be attained. The decision that the General Assembly is to take should be a mirror-like reflection of the awareness of this fact of the deep concern of the international community over the serious situation in the region and a willingness to live up to its responsibility.
The meeting rose at 7.05 p.m.
Document Type: Meeting record
Document Sources: General Assembly, General Assembly 7th Emergency Special Session
Subject: Agenda Item, Golan Heights, Human rights and international humanitarian law, Jerusalem, Middle East situation, Palestine question
Publication Date: 23/04/1982