Agenda item 27:
Question of Palestine: report of the Secretary-General..
AGENDA ITEM 27 Question of Palestine: report of the Secretary-General
1. The PRESIDENT (interpretation from French):
This morning we shall begin our consideration of agenda item 27, entitled "Question of Palestine". I should like to propose that the list of speakers for the debate should be closed tomorrow, Tuesday, 4 November, at 5 p.m. If there are no objections, may I take it that the Assembly agrees to that proposal?
It was so decided.
2. The PRESIDENT (interpretation from French):
I now call on the representative of the Palestine Liberation Organization [PLO].
3. Mr. KADDOUMI (Palestine Liberation Organization) (interpretation from Arabic): This time last year, there was a historic day for this Assembly, a day when it chose to stand by a just and worthy cause and, thus extended an invitation to the PLO to participate in the deliberations of the twenty-ninth session of the General Assembly on the question of Palestine.
4. That was your first opportunity to listen to the voice of the victim. For years this platform had been commanded by an aggressor who resorted to all means at his disposal, including lies, forgery and deceit, in order to submerge the Palestinian issue and prevent the United Nations from assuming its natural role.
5. This time last year, the Chairman of the Executive Committee of the PLO, our brother Yasser Arafat, stood before you to review and put frankly before you the Palestine question.1 Accurately and courageously Yasser Arafat exposed to you the dimensions of the problem and revealed the risks of bypassing this question, which constitutes the very core of the Middle East crisis. He shared with you our people's clear and far-sighted vision of a lasting solution to the Palestine question. His plea to you was not to let the green olive branch fall from his hand. He asked you to demonstrate to mankind at large that it is possible for oppressed peoples to attain their goals of liberation, justice and peace, assisted by the positive contributions of this international body.
6. Today, after one of the longest years in the history of our struggle, we return here to review with you the year's achievements and to assess where we were then and where we are now, what we have gained and what we have failed to accomplish, what juncture we have reached on the road to justice and peace. Are we any closer now to our goals or have we been forced to digress? And finally—to pose the decisive question: What efforts has this international Organization, embodying the international community, made in order to fulfil its commitments to the peoples of the world and its duty in the eyes of history?
7. I should like to begin by congratulating you, Mr. President, on your election to the presidency of this session of the General Assembly. We are certain that your distinguished achievements have merited the confidence that this Assembly has vested in you. Your attributes will undoubtedly guide you in successfully conducting this session. In congratulating you, the new President, we should like to take the opportunity to express our admiration for your predecessor, Mr. Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who, with the zeal of a revolutionary, discharged his duties both ably and objectively. We feel sure that you will prove the best successor to an excellent predecessor.
8. I should also like to greet Mr. Kurt Waldheim, Secretary-General of the United Nations, and to express our confidence in him and our appreciation of his increasing and continuing efforts on behalf of this Organization as conflicts and crises around the world intensify.
9. On behalf of the Palestinian people, I should like to extend our sincere congratulations to the Indo-Chinese peoples of Viet Nam, Cambodia and Laos and to the African peoples of Mozambique, the Cape Verde Islands and Sao Tome and Principe. In the course of the year they have achieved decisive victories over the forces of oppression, imperialism and slavery and assumed their rightful place as independent, sovereign nations, free from monopoly and exploitation, contributing to the establishment of world peace and progress together with all other peoples for the good of mankind and its prosperity and happiness.
10. We congratulate the representatives of those victorious peoples which have attained membership in the United Nations. Meanwhile, to the heroic people of Viet Nam, both in the North and in the South, which United States imperialism has barred from joining the United Nations, we say: the United States veto does not seal your fate in this body. The time will soon come when you, the Vietnamese people, will occupy your legitimate place in this Assembly.
11. Finally, I wish to express our deep gratitude to and our esteem for all the nations that have supported and still support our just cause and have abided by their own principles and human values despite the pressures the imperialists have brought to bear upon them.
legitimate national aspirations of the Palestinian people to establish their independent national authority and to solve the problems resulting from their dispersion and exile. We should like to make particular mention of France's leading role in this sphere. France has truly set an example for other European States to follow in its pursuit of a more objective and just policy.
26. With optimism and hope we returned to our struggling people—struggling and standing firm-bearing for the first time an international resolution embodying the principles of a solution that guarantees peace and justice simultaneously. After a long political struggle, we have not yet been able to combine these two elements, peace and justice; yet one cannot exist without the other.
27. Unfortunately, the joint forces of repression, imperialism and zionism and those who have collaborated with those forces, using all the means of manipulation and terrorism, have collaborated to shake this international solidarity. Jointly they have challenged the international will and waged their ruthless campaigns, planning and scheming in the hope of restoring the initiative to their own camp and to their own hands. In order to regain their power to dictate a solution, they have defied all principles and ignored all facts and resolutions, in the hope of obstructing the unrelenting struggle of our people. All this they have done at a time when the majority of the Member States in this Assembly and all the peoples of the world have expressed support for our struggle and recognized the legitimacy of our rights.
28. It is indeed tragic when a super-Power like the United States, possessing enormous resources of information and intelligence-gathering, continues to insist on ignoring the essence of the crisis in the Middle East. Moreover, the United States is unreservedly committed to pursuing the policy drawn up by the Zionist enemy to fragment the issue and score false victories through deceit and dissension. The United States has continued to seek distorted solutions, deluging Israel with more arms and drowning the region in further problems and complications.
29. We declare once more to this Assembly that there can be no peace in the region without justice and no justice without the full recognition and ultimate attainment of the national rights of our people. We declare also that no international conference has the right to discuss the Palestine problem in isolation from the PLO or in its absence; for the PLO is the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people. Similarly, we declare that we reject any resolution which ignores the national rights of our people. We declare that we refuse to participate in any conference whose frame of reference is based upon such an unacceptable resolution. We welcome, at the same time, any international effort which takes General Assembly resolution 3236 (XXIX) as its basis.
30. We reject all attempts that seek partial solutions to our problem. Whether they emanate from this Assembly or from outside it, we repudiate these fragmentary approaches to what has come to be wrongly called the Middle East crisis and what we rightly call the Palestine question. We wish to emphasize our denunciation of all measures that ignore the totality and indivisibility of the Palestine question —such as a disengagement of forces here, a partial solution there, a step-by-step settlement on this front or that, the discussion of the problem of Jerusalem, the review of the fate of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East [UNRWA], the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. To treat these as separate items, as subjects unrelated to one another, will only lead to further complications, inevitably precipitating tensions and causing war in the area, as the experience from 1948 to this very day has shown.
31. Had the United States attitude to the Palestine cause and the Middle East crisis been expressed in a more political effort or based on a point of view emanating from a special concept of policy-makers in the United States, the crisis, although very great, would have been contained within the framework of right and wrong and would have been in line with the reputation of American political efforts. But the danger is that the United States Government is trying with all the capacity of a super-Power to impose its views by force, mobilizing for their implementation all its political, economic and military influence and adding to this the other efforts carried out by behind-the-scenes forces such as manoeuvres, plots, tensions and disturbances.
32. The recent tension in the Arab region and the resulting bloodshed in Lebanon are tragic examples of the consequences of United States policy in the Middle East. While it pretends to advocate peace in the area, the United States actually serves the Zionist policy of aggression by sustaining the Israeli entity through the infusion of billions of dollars and sophisticated military equipment; these gifts given free to Israel enable Israel to escalate and impose its racist and fascist policy on the whole area.
33. However, all this does not mean that the United States policy in the area, founded on the use of force, is the policy that will achieve success or that is fated to survive. Our Palestinian people who successfully overcame the manoeuvres of the past will, by their heroic struggle and with international solidarity and support, meet the challenges of the present stage.
34. The events taking place in Lebanon test the credibility of our strategic slogan and vision, our vision for the establishment of a democratic non-sectarian State with a unified society. The enemies of our revolution, both inside and outside our area, are under the illusion that they can undermine our Palestinian presence in Lebanon—a presence caused by Israeli usurpation of our homeland and imposed upon us by the conditions of exile. Our enemies tried to destroy us by drawing us into a fight that would preclude our combating the step-by-step policy. However, this painful experience has strengthened the bonds uniting our people with the Lebanese people. Today in Lebanon secularism is overcoming confessionalism. This is most cogently evidenced by the statement of the confessional leaders, who exposed and rejected the schemes to divide Lebanon and declared their unwavering adherence to the principle of democratic coexistence within the framework of equality, fraternity, love and national unity.
35. The step-by-step policy is bound to backfire, just as the Zionist imperialist plots in Lebanon have backfired. The proposals of the United States cannot but end in failure, for they are designed not to promote.
36. We should like to pay a tribute to the non-aligned nations of the third world, the African and Muslim countries, as well as to the socialist States, in particular the Soviet Union and China, and all other friendly nations for their efforts to promote the cause of world peace and progress.
37. The major characteristic of contemporary human history is a persistent striving and continuing struggle for progress and for a better and brighter future. This year, as in previous years, some painful struggles have been recorded as a result of which peoples have achieved victories and continue to advance towards the realization of their aspirations.
38. The valiant peoples of Africa continue to wage fierce battles for their full freedom, for their national independence and their liberation from racism and its crimes. Before the end of this year, the struggling people of Angola will attain their independence—the fruit of long and painful sacrifice. We call upon all honest forces in Africa and the whole world to work for the protection of Angola's independence and freedom, in accordance with the resolutions of the latest African summit meeting calling for the suspension of internal strife and for national reconciliation.
39. We also categorically condemn apartheid in Southern Rhodesia and South Africa, and we fully support the peoples of Zimbabwe, Namibia and South Africa in their struggle against white minority rule. Our solidarity with these oppressed peoples is deeply rooted in our common struggle against racial oppression and in our people's shared suffering from the evils of racism.
40. We truly believe that Arab-African solidarity serves the cause of world peace and promotes the interests of our peoples, as well as their social and economic development. With this in mind, we appeal to our brothers, especially those in the oil-producing Arab States, to assume their full responsibilities by aiding economic development in Africa, Asia and Latin America. This, we believe, will further world peace and help to alleviate social injustice.
41. Convinced that the peaceful island of Cyprus and its people are being subjected to a vicious United States scheme, we support all constructive efforts to protect the independence, sovereignty, neutrality and territorial unity of Cyprus. The peace and security of the neighbouring regions require the liquidation of all foreign bases on the island, followed by the reinforcement of the democratic foundations of the political system of Cyprus.
42. The Korean people have struggled for years against United States military occupation and rule. We believe that the time has come to achieve Korean unification by peaceful means, once all foreign bases have been removed and occupation forces withdrawn from South Korea.
43. Historically, the Arab and European peoples have had close cultural relations, and it is imperative that new ties, based on mutual understanding and cooperation, be established between us and the Europeans for the good of our peoples. Accordingly, the PLO fully supports the Arab-European dialogue, which is intended to attain mutual co-operation at all levels and to encourage the positive attitude of some Western European States towards the just Palestinian cause.
20. Last year we returned to our people in exile and in occupied Palestine with a sense of optimism. We were encouraged by a perceptible change in the position of the United Nations regarding the Palestine question. The Assembly's warm and friendly reception of our delegation, led by the Chairman, Yasser Arafat, the great interest expressed by the majority of the delegations in the course of the debate on the Palestine question, and the earnest desire of Member States to reach a just solution guaranteeing the national rights of our people and establishing an enduring peace in the region—all these factors heartened us and enhanced our hopes for a brighter and a better future.
21. General Assembly resolution 3236 (XXIX) of 22 November 1974 reaffirmed the inalienable national rights of our people in Palestine, including the right to return to their homes and property, their right to self-determination without external interference and their right to national independence and sovereignty. That was followed by resolution 3237 (XXIX), according us full observer status at the United Nations. Both resolutions recognized the PLO as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people. Moreover, they recognized that the Palestinian people is a party that cannot be ignored in finding a just and lasting peace in the Middle East. They recognized the right of our people to restore their rights by all means in accordance with the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations. These two resolutions demonstrated that the United Nations had understanding for the Palestinian cause, and they embodied a firm stand that avoided any misinterpretation of the root causes of the conflict and war in the Middle East. They were an answer to all the imperialist and Zionist attempts to thwart recognition of" our people and their rights and to the desperate attempts to ignore the root of the Middle East crisis—that is, the Palestinian question.
22. With optimism and hope we returned, supported by the great majority of the Member States of the United Nations—friendly States which strove with us to widen the substance of the two resolutions. They have opened before us new horizons, which have allowed for the consolidation of our international status, the broadening of the international recognition accorded to us and the expansion of the support for our cause.
23. Every international conference that has been convened since last year's General Assembly session has reaffirmed its support for our people and their national struggle, while at the same time denouncing the position of our Zionist enemy and its imperialist ally, the United States.
24. For its part, the PLO has actively participated in all the work of the United Nations and its specialized agencies, contributing positively to the activities of these conferences and specialized agencies, in accordance with its belief in co-operation between men and in the spirit of the Charter of the United Nations and in application of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
25. In that connexion, we should like to make special reference to some changes that have started to take place, albeit slowly, in European policies vis-a-vis the Palestine question. Slowly but surely some European countries have begun to take into account the world peace and enhance global security, but rather to mask the intensification of the conflict and create an illusion that will disguise the tensions and create conditions for the outbreak of war in the area.
36. We seize this opportunity to emphasize, in the name of our people and in the name of the PLO, our deep and complete concern for the independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and unity of brotherly Lebanon. We wish to reiterate with absolute clarity that our struggle, the struggle of the Palestinian people, is for the liberation of Palestine and the establishment of a democratic State in our sacred territory —our national territory. We will never accept a homeland other than Palestine.
37. It is significant to note the anxieties of the people of the United States themselves—the American people—with regard to Mr. Kissinger's policy in the Middle East. More than one responsible politician and commentator in the United States has reasonably questioned whether what Kissinger calls a "step-by-step policy" can actually lead towards peace.
38. They have been joined by other voices heard throughout the world asking this question: If Mr. Kissinger needed the October War, followed by two years of negotiations supplemented by billions of dollars and then enormous quantities of sophisticated weaponry—if Mr. Kissinger needed all this time and all, this money—merely to achieve a partial withdrawal encompassing no more than 13 per cent of the Sinai Peninsula, then how much more will he require in the way of time, money, weapons and wars to accomplish the total withdrawal from all the occupied Arab territories? We need not ask what his policy would require to deal with the essence, the very core, of the question, namely, the national inalienable rights of the people of Palestine.
39. The least that can be said of Kissinger's policy is that it lacks credibility. Beyond this, the falsehood of its stated aims was clearly revealed in the publication of some of the secret undertakings attached to the Sinai Agreement, some of which have been revealed while others are still secret. Those commitments made by the United States vis-a-vis Israel are a definite affront to the resolutions of the United Nations, which uphold the rights of the Palestinian people, its right to self-determination and independence and which recognize the PLO as the sole and legitimate representative of the Palestinian people.
40. If anyone can find another explanation of the organic and total link between Washington's policy and that of Tel Aviv, we should like to hear it. The United States commitment to Israel not to recognize the PLO is unassailable evidence that, despite all the wars in the Arab region and despite the danger of renewal and escalation of war, the United States and Israel persevere in their policy of oppression, aggression and usurpation, denying the Palestinian people their basic national and human rights.
41. The United States and its forward base in our area, Israel, are determined to let the green olive branch that we held in our hands last year when we came here to the General Assembly fall. As their collusion continues we can only state, proudly and confidently, that our revolt against that collusion will continue. We hold our freedom-fighter's gun and will carry on our struggle until justice and victory are won. Only then will peace prevail.
42. Our people's history is crowded with bitter memories. Every day, every week, every month, every year, we commemorate a conspiracy or a crime against our patient and struggling people. Invariably we have been the victim and Zionism the victimizer. Whatever zionism failed to accomplish alone, it achieved in collaboration with colonialism.
43. The second of November 1917 is chronicled as one of our saddest days, for on that day, the historic unholy alliance, the suspect alliance, between zionism and imperialism was forged. On that day, Balfour Day, a promise was given by those who did not own the land to those who had no right to it.
44. All here are familiar with that doomed promise, that permanent shameful blot on the history of mankind; therefore we shall not dwell on its origins or details. We wish only to refer to the fact that this bleak date has been struck from our Palestinian calendar and replaced by the day on which 70 friendly States, States which respect the United Nations and its principles, stood boldly to condemn zionism as an oppressive, racist, inequitable, backward and dangerous ideology. Fifty-eight years had to elapse before it could be proved that justice prevails. This condemnation confirmed that the democratic State in Palestine is the only true vision.
45. The bold and glorious stand you have taken condemning the ideal of conquest and racial discrimination cannot be considered a victory for the people of Palestine alone but rather as a victory for all the democratic and peace-loving forces in the world. We have always been aware of the dimensions of the Zionist ideology. We feel that in the course of our struggle for our liberation we have contributed positively and effectively to the liberation of all peoples enduring Zionist domination and subject to the pressures and manipulation of its instruments and agencies. This has been one of our motive forces. Thus we advance the liberation of the Jewish individual whose suffering zionism has continuously exploited to justify its more aggressive, dangerous and racist plans, which menace security and delay the freedom of all peoples.
46. It is no wonder that the former Chief of Israeli Intelligence and the present representative of the Zionist entity to the United Nations stood before you resorting to threats and deceit in a hopeless attempt to respond to the draft resolution condemning zionism. He accused the draft resolution of being anti-Semitic and threatened its supporters by saying that Israel would never forget that those who voted in favour were voting against the Jewish faith.
47. The Zionists should be the last to raise the subject of anti-Semitism and anti-Semites, for in essence Zionism is only another face of anti-Semitism. Zionism, like anti-Semitism, alleges that no Jew, irrespective of his country, belongs to the nation in which he lives.
It calls on each Jew to leave his country and society in order to settle in the country of another people and to replace it by the use of force and terror. In this perspective, zionism and anti-Semitism coincide, consolidating a common racist ideology and position, and paving the way for their perpetuation and the propagation of their racist message.
48. Anti-Semitism and Zionism are two bodies with a single spirit, the same evil spirit. It is a spirit of division and discrimination; it contradicts and contravenes all spiritual and materialist ideologies which call for brotherly human coexistence based on equality and tolerance in a society in which the only distinction among citizens is based on a citizen's contribution to his society and to his fellows.
49. The deliberate attempts by the Zionists to confuse Judaism as a religious faith with Zionism as a backward, racist ideology is clear evidence of the Zionists' blackmail of the Jewish faith, which, in our view, is greatly to be respected and honoured.
50. The leaders of Israel have not only abused the Jewish faith; they have extended their mandate to the adherents of that faith, arrogating to themselves the role of official spokesmen for all Jews in both religious and secular matters.
51. The condemnation of Zionism is an additional manifestation of the progress the United Nations has made in its awareness of the ideas and ideologies threatening contemporary mankind. It is at the same time a courageous stand, which has exposed the historical allies of this ideology, namely, imperialism and colonialism.
52. It is no wonder, then, that the representative of the United States, Mr. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, whose views and diagnosis of the problems confronting black Americans, especially his advocacy of "benign neglect", have been characterized as racist, should rally to the support of his Zionist ally and vehemently attack the draft resolution that condemns Zionism, by: threatening the United Nations and warning it of the consequences of its adopting such resolutions. It would have been better for him to conform to the traditions of the people of the United States and to appeal to others to act in obedience to the basic principles of liberty, secularism and democracy on which American society has been built.
53. The world has finally recognized the nature of Israel as revealed in its criminal and aggressive policies against our Palestinian people and the Arab countries and in its persistent violation of the principles of the Charter of the United Nations and its threat to world peace and security. All these have been fully exposed. During the twenty-ninth session of the General Assembly, the world was able to combat Israel's aggressive usurpation with resolutions which, for the first time in 25 years, penetrated to the very core of the problem. The world is no longer at a loss in its search for an escape from the maze of repercussions of the Middle East problem; the world need no longer be sidetracked by secondary problems.
54. Faced with a draft resolution adopted by the Third Committee condemning its racist ideology [see A/10320, para. 27, draft resolution III], Israel today, as in the past, flouts international will and belittles United Nations resolutions. Furthermore, in the official and unofficial declarations of its spokesmen, Israel accuses the General Assembly of decadence and degeneracy.
55. This long series of Israeli violations of United Nations resolutions; this chain of Israeli challenges to all United Nations principles, to its Charter and to all the values of justice, goodness and peace that constitute our human heritage; Israel's confirmation, through its daily practices, of its disrespect for all resolutions condemning its policy and ideology, irrespective of their source—all require that the General Assembly of this international Organization take effective and operational measures to deter Israel, to contain the Zionist danger and to put an end to it. Only such measures will spare humanity from the evils which may befall it as a result of this arrogance, this intransigence, this indifference, and will allow the United Nations to continue to operate in full consciousness of its responsibilities concerning international peace and security.
56. Our Palestinian people, which is struggling on all fronts for the attainment of its national aspirations and which adheres to the principles of the Charter of the United Nations and all its human and just values; the Palestinian people, which rejects anything that may deprive a people or an individual of its national and personal rights, and which joins its voice with those of all peoples that believe injustice, liberty and peace our people looks to this thirtieth session with great hope that the General Assembly will adopt a deterrent resolution that will impose sanctions on Israel and will also reconsider Israel's membership in the United Nations and the setting-up of a special committee to combat Zionism, to follow its activities and to put an end to its crimes, just as fascism and nazism were fought and continue to be fought together with all other beliefs which contravene human rights.
57. Throughout the year that has elapsed since our meeting at the twenty-ninth session, we would have wanted matters in our Arab area to continue along the path that the Assembly traced out and decided upon here to secure peace and justice. One look at the real state of affairs in the Arab area will prove to anyone who really wants to see and hear the truth that we are closer to war than to peace.
58. All the solutions offered by the United States and all its efforts have only increased the danger of the situation and complicated questions that are still pending. And what the Zionist enemy is doing in our occupied territories—what it calls new truths or facts: its Judaization of our villages and towns and the building of settlements on the West Bank, in Gaza, Golan and Sinai; all the changes of our national heritage; its usurpation of the Al-Ibrahimi mosque and our sacred places in Jerusalem and Hebron; its confiscation of property; its actions against the Palestinian refugees—all must increase the Assembly's awareness of its responsibilities and of the consequences of this continued conspiracy against us, the least dangerous of which would be a regional war. Now more than at any other time, the United Nations is called upon to justify its existence and to assume its responsibility in order to forestall the increased escalation of tension in the area, for this is a dangerous region in which wars and conflicts can break out.
59. The Palestinian people, still with great determination struggling and fighting on all fronts to achieve its national aims and aspirations, now announces that the United States is beginning to introduce nuclear armaments to the area through its ally Israel and is concluding arms deals involving sophisticated weaponry, which is being sent to the Zionist entity in the name of the Kissinger peace agreement. Billions of dollars taken from the toiling United States taxpayers, dollars that would have been better spent to raise their own standard of living and to alleviate their domestic problems, have, instead, been diverted to the financing of Israel's wars.
60. All of this, we say, does not terrorize us, not does it intimidate our valiant Arab nation. On the contrary, it sharpens our determination to continue our just struggle along the path blazed by those who have already won victory over the enemies of the peoples of the world.
61. We are not alone in our militant struggle against Zionism and imperialism. Our friend the Soviet Union, for instance, maintains a responsible and constructivist and in opposition to Israeli aggression; the Soviet Union has consistently endorsed the national rights of our Palestinian people and the struggle of our Arab nation for freedom and progress. Moreover, peace-loving and honest peoples throughout the world have expressed their solidarity with us and their deep conviction of the inevitability of our victory and the ultimate defeat of Zionism and imperialism.
62. We declare clearly and explicitly before you our unfaltering adherence to the goal of establishing a national independent authority in order to found a secular democratic State in all of Palestine, where all of us—Muslims, Christians and Jews—can dwell together in brotherhood, equality and openness to the world, and live free from any fear or anxiety, in fulfilment of our lofty and progressive aspirations for the future.
63. We reaffirm our rejection of all the deceitful alternative solutions now proposed. The Palestinians' only homeland is Palestine. Their sole aim is to liberate this homeland and to live in it in peace.
64. It is imperative to reiterate here that, other than the PLO, the official voice and legitimate representative of the Palestinian people, there exists no party which can speak for our Palestinian people.
65. Our Palestinian people must be provided with the objective conditions for the exercise of its legitimate right to self-determination and its right to establish an independent State on its national soil.
66. Last year, this Assembly welcomed the Chairman, Mr. Arafat, whose message contained a plea not to let the green olive branch fall from his hand. His concluding sentence may have escaped the notice of some of you. He said: "War flares up in Palestine, and yet it is in Palestine that peace will be born."2
67. Mr. HERZOG (Israel): Nothing could illustrate better than the current debate the depths to which this Organization has been dragged. Nothing is better calculated to demonstrate the unbelievably cynical nature of these deliberations. Nothing is more likely to reveal to the world the futility of this discussion than the fact of holding this debate at this time.
68. I know that this debate will go on. I know only too well that we shall be subjected to a flood of meaningless vituperation and hate. I know that this debate will be followed by the continued consideration of a draft resolution in which the first major international anti-Semitic attack on Jewry since the days of Hitler is to be proposed. I know that after that Arab delegates are pressurizing for yet another debate on the Middle East. I know all this and much more. I know that the bulk of the time in this Assembly during the whole month of November, and indeed during the whole of the session, will be devoted to castigating Israel.
69. Is this the purpose for which we have all come here? Is this the purpose of the enormous expenditure that this Organization incurs? Is this the purpose of the world body?
70. In going through all the discussions in the various Committees, in analysing the speeches which have been made, in calculating the time allotted to debate on the various subjects regarding Israel in the General Assembly, in evaluating the anti-Israel speeches during a discussion of subjects which bear no relevance whatsoever to Israel—such as apartheid; yes, even such as Korea—I find that something approaching possibly 30 per cent of all the time spent in this General Assembly is devoted to our small Jewish State, with a population of 3 million. A major portion of our time is devoted to a recurrent and incessant outpouring of hate and vilification, of vituperation and slander, which already dulls the wits, impresses nobody and has no effect on anyone. Is this the purpose for which the world body was established? Have all the problems which face each and every one of you been solved? Are the hundreds of millions of hungry, ill-fed masses of the world being cared for? Have the freedoms which have been trampled upon been restored and the wrongs which have been inflicted upon countless millions daily in this world been righted, that you can devote so much time and such a proportion of your budget to listening to this incredible barrage of rancour and malice during the whole of the coming month?
71. At least let us be honest with ourselves. Let us call this Organization what it is. I declare now that if I can find a seconder I shall formally propose that the name of this Organization be changed to reflect its true nature, that it be officially changed to "The United Nations Organization for the Castigation and Vilification of Israel".
72. Yes, to these depths has this Organization been dragged by a handful of extremists who have imposed their will on this Assembly, whose diatribes you hear, day in, day out, whose half-baked pseudo- historical discourses you have to listen to for hours on end. To this level have we been dragged, and our intelligence has been insulted, because this Assembly has not had the courage to stand up and say "Enough" and to demand that this Organization begin to conduct itself in a manner befitting its purposes and the dignity of its Members and in a manner befitting the international problems which face the world today. These extremists will continue, day in, day out, throughout this month, to direct their attacks at a nation which has for centuries borne the brunt of persecution and discrimination; a small Jewish State which is being attacked in such a concentrated manner, I suspect, for no other reason than that it is small and that it is Jewish. We have lived through this before. We are too experienced in history to harbour any illusions.
73. This Assembly may well live in infamy because, while a nation in the Middle East is bleeding to death, while a Member country of this Organization is being strangled by internecine warfare, this Assembly lends itself once again to becoming an instrument of political warfare against Israel. An entire Christian community of one million people in Lebanon is in danger. A terrifying human tragedy is unravelling itself before !our eyes. Yet it will be recorded in history that, while this was occurring, this world Assembly had no time for this tragedy, had no time to discuss this subject, because it was too busy castigating and vilifying a free and socially advanced country in the Middle East. What greater illustration could there be of the cynical 'wickedness of international life as reflected in this General Assembly than to see this spectacle of a nation bleeding, while the world body turns its face and acts as if nothing is happening. History will remember this. History will recall too that an entire Christian community faced mortal peril while the world looked on in silence and the only voice raised in this hall was the voice of Israel. History will recall that this General Assembly admitted as an observer last year the organization which tried, in the so-called Black September of 1970, to destroy the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and listened today to the representative of that organization while it is actively involved, in pursuance of its' policy of international terrorism, in the disruption and dismemberment of the Lebanese Republic. It will recall that now we debate a possible resolution which would prescribe for Israel the same bloody and sombre fate which the PLO endeavoured to bring about in Jordan, and which it is actively engaged in implementing in Lebanon.
74. The draft resolution which this Assembly will, we are told, be called upon to adopt is but a continuation of the declared PLO policy embraced by the Arab States to employ all means for the purpose of destroying Israel. It will speak for itself. It will attempt to achieve by the back door what they failed to achieve by the front door over the past year when they advocated the expulsion or suspension of Israel from the United Nations.
75. It will endeavour to bring all those who last year did not vote in favour of the draft resolution to do so this year. It will endeavour to create a situation whereby what was turned down at the Kampala and Lima Conferences this year will be accepted by this Assembly. It will endeavour to create a situation whereby every extreme move that has ever been proposed against Israel will in one way or another be included in this resolution. The countries—which incidentally comprise the majority of this Assembly—which have at one time or another in Kampala, Lima and elsewhere refused to go along with various extreme resolutions, which were in effect directed towards the extinction of Israel and its expulsion from this body, will, as planned by the sponsors, be inveigled into supporting this pernicious draft resolution.
76. The Assembly is aware of the fact that the process of negotiation in the Middle East designed to bring about a peaceful solution is well under way. In fact the various elements of the Sinai Agreement between Egypt and Israel3 are being implemented by both sides this very day.
77. The majority of the nations represented in this Assembly during the general debate applauded this Agreement in one way or another and expressed the hope, as is indeed envisaged in the Agreement self, that it would be the forerunner of an ongoing process towards peace in the Middle East.
78. Let me recapitulate a few excerpts from the Agreement:
"The Government of the Arab Republic of Egypt and the Government of Israel have agreed that:
"The conflict between them and in the Middle East shall not be resolved by military force but by peaceful means."
"The parties hereby undertake not to resort to the threat or use of force or military blockade against each other."
Another excerpt reads:
"This Agreement is regarded by the parties as a significant step toward a just and lasting peace. It is not a final peace agreement."
And finally it states:
"The parties shall continue their efforts to negotiate a final peace agreement within the framework of the Geneva Peace Conference in accordance with Security Council resolution 338 (1973)."
79. These excerpts reflect the framework envisaged by the Agreement which has been reached in the Middle East. Indeed they reflect the only approach which gives any hope for an advance towards peace. They reflect the only basis in principle on which an independent sovereign State can be expected to negotiate.
80. Against this we have the policy of the PLO as set out this morning, and as set out unequivocally in an address by their leader, Yasser Arafat, when recently addressing a conference in Baghdad: "We shall not allow any Palestinian or Arab side … to recognize Israel or conciliate with it . . ."
81. The issue facing this Assembly today is one on which you cannot evade your responsibility. You can either accept the basis of Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973) and the machinery set up thereby in the Geneva Conference under the joint chairmanship of the United States and the Soviet Union as a framework within which we have to conduct peaceful negotiations and move along the road to ultimate peace in the area—and in this context let me state that it must be obvious that peace will be achieved only by the direct negotiation envisaged in Security Council resolution 338 (1973) in which obviously the spirit of conciliation and compromise must prevail or, alternatively, you can support the PLO philosophy as enunciated by the gentleman who addressed you this morning in Falastin al-Thawra only a few months ago as follows:
"The principles of Palestinian diplomacy are non-recognition, no peace . . . no right of passage through the Suez Canal … a political settlement is doomed to failure …"
82. There you have the policy that you will be asked to vote for by them. I pay them the compliment that at least they are unequivocal in their hatred and that they make no attempt to conceal their purpose, namely, the destruction of the State of Israel.
83. Their proposed resolution places the issue fairly and squarely before you. You cannot and dare not
82. evade it. You have a national as well as an international duty to be clear and unequivocal as to how you propose that this sore problem of the Middle East be resolved. You are faced with a choice of two alternatives. One is the framework which has been created by the Security Council and which envisages secure and recognized borders for Israel and the process of direct and civilized negotiations between the parties, with a view to peace. The other is the PLO approach as explained this year by Yasser Arafat to the Lebanese newspaper Al Balagh: "This resolution"—he was referring to General Assembly resolution 3236 (XXIX) of 22 November 1974, which was referred to by my predecessor at this rostrum and which you are called upon to endorse—"comprises the liquidation of Zionist existence, since the Palestinian homeland is Palestine, and Palestine at present is Israel".
84. There you have it in a nutshell. You can take your place in history either as having voted for a negotiating process leading towards peace or as having voted for the PLO policy calling for the destruction of Israel and rejecting out of hand any process of negotiation or compromise.
85. The proposed resolution in its various elements calls in effect for the destruction of Israel, adding for good measure the expulsion of Israel from the United Nations, the imposition of sanctions and in fact every device calculated to destroy a Member nation. It would set up a committee which, in the time-honoured tradition of this august body in our experience, would be biased and prejudiced against Israel, composed, as it would be, of Members which have no diplomatic relations with and are openly hostile towards Israel. By so doing it would create a mechanism the main purpose of which would be to neutralize and block the existing machinery which is in operation and which is designed to move our war-torn area towards peace.
86. In other words, to put it quite bluntly, every single word in the proposed resolution is designed for one purpose and one purpose only, namely to block and obstruct any move which would be founded on a recognition of Israel's right to exist and which would envisage an over-all solution of the problem in the Middle East based on compromise and mutual recognition.
87. I emphasize again that, by setting up that mechanism and by accepting that pernicious draft resolution, this Assembly will have taken an active part in obstructing the movement of the Middle East towards peace. That is exactly what the sponsors of the draft resolution avowedly seek.
88. Let me again quote Yasser Arafat—after all he is the initiator of this resolution:
"Resolution 3236 (XXIX) comprises the liquidation of Zionist existence, since the Palestinian homeland is Palestine, and Palestine at present is Israel."
89. The manner in which the General Assembly is dealing with the Middle East problem is a tragedy of major international proportions. Its implications are terrifying and sinister. The conduct of the participants in this forum should be that of those whose purpose is to encourage negotiations and to strive for consensus and compromise—that is the only manner in which the problem of the Middle East will be solved.
Instead, this body, by allowing itself to be dominated by a group of intransigent extremists, whose declared purpose is to fight against any move towards peace, is encouraging dissent instead of accord, intransigence instead of compromise, fanaticism instead of accommodation and conflict instead of peace.
90. When a subject which can be solved only by compromise is taken and given the type of discussion which we are obliged to listen to in this Assembly, the United Nations is being manoeuvred into the forefront of those elements that would sabotage every effort in the Middle East for peace. The issue before the Assembly is peace or destruction. By allowing the current process in the Middle East to develop we may achieve peace. By allowing small groups of irresponsible extremists to dictate to this Assembly, the United Nations will perpetuate misery, hatred and destruction.
91. In opposing any draft resolution which might be put forward by the PLO, I am by no means implying that we do not recognize the existence of a Palestine-Arab problem; the contrary is true. Let me make it quite clear from the outset. The PLO is an uneasy coalition of a varying number of feuding terrorist organizations torn amongst themselves and unable to achieve any consensus on any problem, apart from a vicious and nightmarish fate for every man, woman and child in Israel.
92. Take just as an example the PLO broadcast on Damascus Radio on 7 July of this year. "Not a single house must remain standing in Safed. This city must be burned down, and not a Jew remain to live there …" That about a city rich in history which has always been inhabited by Jews since its foundation.
93. I will not burden this body with other gory details in which their spokesmen have described Israel's fate should they have their way. It is too horrifying for civilized people to contemplate. Yet we, the Jewish people, are all too aware of the fact that such horrors are not beyond modern man in our present-day civilization.
94. They propose he so-called democratic secular State in which Muslims, Christians and Jews would, as it were, live in amity and equality. If they believe so much in democracy and secularism, why has no democratic secular State risen so far in the Arab world? For 19 years the Jordanians controlled the West Bank and the Egyptians controlled the Gaza Strip. Why was no secular democratic State created there at the time? For 19 years they had it in their power to do everything that they want Israel to do today. Why did they not do it? Were there no Palestinian Arabs between 1948 and 1967 on the West Bank or in Gaza?
95. I ask you, the representatives of countries who talk about a Palestine homeland and independence:
when, for 19 years, two Arab States members of this Assembly had it in their power to do exactly that, why did they not do it? Why in the course of 19 years was not even a local central administration set up on the West Bank by the Jordanians? Or in Gaza by the Egyptians? Why in the 19 years before 1967 did the Palestinian Arabs in the territories administered by Israel today not achieve what they have achieved under Israel as far as the control of their domestic affairs is concerned?
90. 95 Why is it that the two major pitched battles fought by the PLO have been waged against Arab Governments and Arab authority—in 1970 in the so-called Black September against the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and this year as a major element in the destruction of the Lebanese State?
97. They talk in terms of a democratic and secular State. This facile slogan, this transparent propaganda gimmick has somehow found support among some naive and well-meaning people. But for what it means let us turn again to a statement by Yasser Arafat in The Economist this year:
"We have in the Lebanese experience a significant (example that is close to the multireligious State we are trying to achieve."
Book at Lebanon today, look at the more than 800,000 Jews that have left or have been driven out of the Arab countries of the Middle East and North Africa since 1948. Look at the tortured existence of the 4,000-odd hostages left in Syria today, if you want to know what the fate of the Jews of Israel would be if the PLO nightmare were realized. The PLO knows what it means when it talks about a democratic and secular State of Palestine; so do we.
98. Let me again quote Yasser Arafat opening a symposium on Palestine in Tripoli, Libya, in May of this year:
"The revolution is struggling to establish a democratic State in which we all will live in peace. . .there would be no presence in the region except for the Arab presence since this is the historic truth which no one no matter how powerful can change."
99. The interesting fact is that the influence of the PLO in the Middle East is declining in inverse ratio to the noise that it is creating abroad, a noise which influences gullible and perhaps less gullible Governments. Since this time last year when resolution 3236 (XX[X) was adopted, numerous acts of terrorism have been carried out by that body. They have openly declared time and again that resolution 3236 (XXIX), adopted in this hall, legitimized their terrorist activities. I will not dwell on their acts of heroism in attacking women and children in Kiryat Shmona, in holding hostage and killing over 20 children and wounding some 60 children in Ma'alot. Their activities have not only been directed against us. Seventeen PLO terrorists were arrested in Rabat and Spain last year when they planned to assassinate the heads of Arab States attending the Arab summit in Rabat. We saw only recently what they did to the Egyptian Embassy in Madrid. We saw what they did to the British Airways plane hijacked from Dubai during which they shot a German passenger in cold blood. But why go on with the list? They are today synonymous with the scourge of international terror which this Assembly does not have the courage to condemn.
100. Their activities have been curtailed in Egypt and we all here recently viewed the mass demonstrations in Egypt denouncing them. They are not allowed to enter Jordan or to conduct any activity there. They are tightly controlled by the Syrian Government. The only place in which they are free to be active is Lebanon, with the catastrophic and tragic results which are evident for us all to see today.
101. We are only too aware of the Palestine Arab problem. In this respect let me reiterate the policy of the Government of Israel in the words addressed to this Assembly by Israel's Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Yigal Allon:
"… it is self-evident that genuine peace in the Middle East must include a just and constructive solution for the Palestine Arab problem. Israel is fully alive to this problem, probably more so than the majority of those who pronounce freely upon it, and we do not require persuasion of the need to solve it peacefully and honourably. Indeed we insist that this be done. For far too long now the Palestinian Arabs have been used as a pawn on the chessboard of inter-Arab politics; throughout the years they have been the victims of Arab extremism. The solution to their problem therefore demands a change of attitude in the Arab world. The Palestine Arab problem should and can be solved in the context of a peace agreement between Israel and Jordan, which constitutes the major part of the area of historic Palestine on both sides of the river as well as being the homeland of the great majority of the Palestine Arabs.
"Thus if the matter at issue is a fair and constructive solution for the problem of Palestine Arab identity, Israel's response is emphatically positive. But it is categorically negative about the absurd pretensions of the so-called Palestine Liberation Organization to speak in the name of the Palestine Arabs. . . ." [2368th meeting, paras. 53-54.]
102. The President of Egypt announced in this hall last week that he had instructed his representative to submit a draft resolution to this Assembly calling for the inclusion of the PLO in the Geneva Peace Conference. The framework of the Conference was created by Security Council resolution 338 (1973), which in turn bases itself on Security Council resolution 242 (1967). This resolution is unreservedly rejected by the PLO. Indeed, not even the Government of Syria has accepted Security Council resolution 242 (1967). A specious argument put forward to the effect that the presence of the PLO at the Geneva Peace Conference would in itself imply acceptance of resolution 242 (1967) and recognition of the State of Israel is completely invalid when seen against the realities of the situation.
103. In the 10-point programme adopted by the Palestine National Council on 8 June 1974, the first point specifically declares that dealing with this resolution [242 (1967)] is rejected at any level of Arab and international dealings, including the Geneva Conference. The third point adopted by that Council specifies that the PLO will struggle against any proposal to set up a Palestinian entity at the price of recognition [of Israel], peace [with Israel] and secure boundaries.
104. They have made their position quite clear. Is that the basis on which they expect us, or indeed anybody else in his or her right mind, to approach the Geneva Conference? The PLO is governed by the Palestine National Covenant, which calls in effect for the destruction of the State of Israel and which in article 20 makes the preposterous assertion that "the claim of a historical or spiritual tie between Jews and Palestine does not tally with historical realities. . . ."
105. In other words, they reject 4,000 years of one of the most ancient histories in the world. They reject any link between Judaism and the Holy Land. The Bible is as if it never were, and implicitly too Christianity was born in a never-never land to a people that did not exist, nurtured on a religion which existed only in mythology. What arrant nonsense this is. Every first-grade child will instinctively associate the Jewish people with Jerusalem, the Holy Land and Zion. And yet there are countries here that would expect us to agree to sit down with an organization whose basic creed and main tenet of faith is the destruction of our State and people, and which declares emphatically in article 21 of the self-same Covenant that it "rejects all plans that aim at the settlement of the Palestine issue". Is there any country represented in this hall that would agree to treat with a body whose sole declared purpose was to destroy it and whose aim was to draw concessions so that its destruction would be so much easier? Would you do it? Do you for a moment think we will do it? Can you envisage for a moment any Israeli talking to a group which subscribes to such a covenant?
106. Therefore, a draft resolution as elaborated by the Egyptian President and to be put forward on his instructions, for whatever reasons motivated him in this respect, is unacceptable as far as we are concerned. It should not be forgotten that the question of participation at the Geneva Conference is dependent upon the agreement of all the States that are parties to the Conference. I say this while emphasizing again, in the words of our Minister for Foreign Affairs, that "genuine peace in the Middle East must include a just and constructive solution for the Palestine Arab problem" [ibid., para. 53].
107. The major part of historic Palestine is the present-day Kingdom of Jordan. The bulk of the Palestinian Arabs, 80 per cent of them, live in Jordan, Israel, the West Bank and Gaza. Approximately 1.5 million of them, including those living on the West Bank, are Jordanian citizens and hold Jordanian passports. A sizable proportion of the members of Parliament in Jordan, the leaders of the country in all aspects of public, military and commercial life are Palestinians. It must be obvious that the problem can and should be solved in the context of a peace agreement between Israel and Jordan.
108. Two major events relating to Palestinian Arabs occurred this past week. In Lebanon, the PLO is an active participant in the process of the disintegration of a nation, bringing death, murder, economic disaster and physical destruction to an Arab people. In the territories administered by Israel, there took place orderly, democratic, secret elections for the local authorities, despite the opposition of the PLO to their being held. Everything possible was done by the PLO, as was done four years ago by them when the first elections took place, to disrupt this free and democratic process in the only area in the entire Arab world, apart from Lebanon as it used to be, in which Arabs are free to express their opinion, dispose of a free press and engage in the free democratic process of election by secret ballot. But the local Palestinian Arabs ignored the PLO threats. They prefer ballots to bullets. Here you have the stark confrontation between what the PLO is endeavouring to achieve, as expressed in Lebanon, and what Israel is endeavouring to achieve, as reflected in the orderly lines of Arabs waiting before the balloting booth to register their votes without fear or intimidation.
109. If Israel were such a hell on earth for the Arabs as my predecessor on this rostrum would have us believe, why should freely elected Arabs be serving in our Parliament? Why should Arab ministers be serving in our Government? Why should an Arab be serving in my delegation? Why should it be as natural for an Arab to serve in public office in Israel as it is incongruous to think of a Jew serving in any public office in an Arab country? Why should the first Arab woman mayor in the whole Middle East have been elected in Israel? Why should Arab officers and men be serving of their own volition in the Israel defence, border and police forces, in many cases in command of Jewish troops? Why should Arabic be an official language of the country, on a par with Hebrew? Why should hundreds of thousands of Arab tourists be crossing freely into Israel every year—157,000 last year? Why should thousands of Arab patients from all over the Middle East be clamouring to enter Jewish hospitals in Israel? Why should 50 per cent of the child patients in the Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem be Arab children who have come from all over the Middle East? Why should the three great faiths be living amicably, side by side, in the Holy City of Jerusalem, under the most liberal and imaginative leadership which that city has known in thousands of years? Why should 75,000 Arab workers be crossing daily into Israel to earn four times as much as they were earning before and to work for the first time in their lives protected by one of the most advanced trade union organizations in the world?
110. We live in daily close contact on a basis of mutual human respect and dignity with over a million Palestinian Arabs. We meet with them, we discuss with them, we debate with them, we have joint television programmes with them, we know what they feel and we know what they think. Not for a moment am I trying to suggest that they do not seek a Palestine Arab solution of their own, but I am suggesting, from daily intimate contact and knowledge, that the PLO does not represent them or their thinking.
111. In the meantime, pending an over-all political solution—and I emphasize that this problem cannot be isolated from the over-all Middle East problem—we are proud of our humane approach. We are proud of the fact that, despite the pressures and provocations over the years in which the most heinous crimes have been committed by terrorists, we have never carried out the death penalty. We are proud of the fact that there has been a real growth in the gross national product in both territories of an average of 18 per cent per annum; that income per capita has increased in the West Bank by 80 per cent and in Gaza by 120 per cent in eight years; that the unemployment rate had dropped from some 10 per cent in the West Bank and almost 30 per cent in the Gaza Strip in 1967 to zero by June of this year; that agricultural machinery in the territories has increased tenfold in eight years; and that there has been a 46 per cent increase in the number of educational institutions and classrooms in a system which provides free education on the West Bank and in Gaza. We are proud of the fact that over 4 100,000 people crossed the open bridges over the River Jordan in both directions between 1968 and 1975; that, of a total of 16,000 administrative officials in the territories, only 500 are Israelis; that all the mayors and municipal councils have been elected by free and secret ballot; that three newspapers in East Jerusalem are edited, written and published by Arab editors and journalists with absolute freedom to express any political opinion, including extreme views opposing the State of Israel; and that there is complete freedom of movement in Israel to and from the West Bank and the Gaza Strip and for visitors from the East Bank and Jordan—including visitors from all the Arab countries. We are proud of the absolute freedom of religion granted to all beliefs, in which all holy places are autonomously administered by the respective religious authorities. We are proud of this, because we know that it has already created a bridge to the Arab world, has created a daily dialogue between us and a major element of the Palestinian Arabs, has brought about a greater degree of mutual understanding than has ever been achieved before and has developed daily grass-roots Arab-Jewish co-operation in all fields of human endeavour, medicine, agriculture, commerce, politics, science and higher education.
112. We are proud that we have created the foundations from which to advance further towards the solution of the Palestine Arab problem on a basis of growing understanding.
113. This we shall achieve if the process of negotiation and dialogue in the Middle East is encouraged and not obstructed by this Assembly. We shall not achieve it if the vicious invective which permeates the proposed resolution and which will undoubtedly be the theme of this debate is allowed to be the prevalent idiom in the Middle East today. I repeat, the Assembly has no option today but to choose between, on the one hand, the ongoing process towards peace in the Middle East as envisaged within the broad framework of Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973) calling for direct negotiations for the establishment of a just and lasting peace and, on the other hand, the uncompromising, intransigent attitude reflected in the draft resolution which will come before this house and which means a perpetuation of war and misery. For our part we shall continue on our path towards peace irrespective of the result of any vote in this Assembly. We are confident that we shall not be alone in following this path.
114. The PRESIDENT (interpretation from French): I shall now call on the representative of Saudi Arabia and then on the representatives of Lebanon and Jordan, who have asked to exercise the right of reply. Since, owing to the lack of speakers, this afternoon's plenary meeting has been cancelled, the two statements in exercise of the right of reply will have to be made at the end of this morning, after the representative of Saudi Arabia has spoken.
115. Mr. BAROODY (Saudi Arabia): Mr. President, before I begin my statement, I must say that I am happy that you are back with us because we indeed missed you when you were in your own country. However, I must make a remark on what you said about rights of reply and the fact that you have cancelled the meeting this afternoon because of lack of speakers. The implication is that I should speak now and, since the hour is late, make a short statement and that the two representatives who wish to exercise their right of reply can do so at this morning's meeting.
116. May I ask you to allow the exercise of the right of reply this afternoon, because I do not think anyone suggested that the representative of the PLO or, in fairness, the representative of Israel should limit the length of their statements. Therefore, as the representative of a sovereign State, I shall speak, taking into account that it will be lunchtime, freely and at the length I deem necessary in order to argue the case before us.
117. The PRESIDENT (interpretation from French): I merely wish to say that everybody wishes to exercise the right of reply as quickly as possible and it was this Assembly that decided that the right of reply should be exercised at the end of the day. The representatives of Jordan and Lebanon have asked to exercise the right of reply this morning and it is at their request that I decided to call on them at the end of the morning.
118. Mr. BAROODY (Saudi Arabia): Although my statement might seem repetitive, there are many representatives of new members here in the General Assembly who should have a glimpse of the background of zionism, because the question of Palestine and the question of the Middle East are only two items on an agenda that constitutes over 100 items.
119. Therefore I start by saying that the Jews in Europe, from the days of one of the Edwards in the United Kingdom—I do not know whether it was united then—were persona non grata and were expelled from England. Likewise, the Jews were handicapped in Europe and not allowed to have professions like the Gentiles. So they turned to money-changing; when the princes were in need of money, they provided it, for interest.
120. At that time and for hundreds of years before, the oriental Jew was persona grata, not persona non grata, in the Arab world and in Arab culture. There were Arabs who happened to be Christians and there were Arabs who happened to be Jews. In fact, the Arab Jews distinguished themselves in Arab culture and in Arab history, and there was no persecution whatsoever on account of their religion. In fact, they were the people of the Book, meaning the Bible, the Holy Book. Their prophets and ours are one, with the exception of Jesus, the Son of Mary. In the Holy Koran, Jesus is of the spirit of God. Of course, the Christians sometimes identify Jesus as being the Son of God, meaning coming out from God. It is the same interpretation almost, but for theological doctrines which the churches wrote down in the third century A.D.
121. When I say the churches, I mean the Church of Rome or the Church of what was then Constantinople, before the Ottomans came to Asia Minor, and was later known as Istanbul. Therefore, let it not cross anybody's mind that the Jew was persecuted in the Arab world, or in the Middle East for that matter, on the grounds that he held a different religion. In fact, I would consider the three monotheistic religions as being one. It is just as though you have three sects of a monotheistic religion: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Who persecuted the Jews? The Europeans. Why did they persecute them? Because sometimes they could not pay the debts they owed to the Jews. So they had to find a reason for persecuting them.
122. Came the French Revolution, and it enfranchised the Jews. Before that, the Jew was less than a second-class citizen; he was someone who was a money-changer. Hence, even Shakespeare, unfortunately, had to draw a character that made the Jew not only disliked but also despicable in many ways. I refer to Shy lock.
123. Why did the Europeans persecute the Jew? Let them provide the answer from this rostrum. We treated the Jews as ourselves, and, by we, I mean the people of the Middle East. Wherever they were, they distinguished themselves. They became part and parcel of the culture of the region. I said that the French Revolution enfranchised the Jews. The Germans were amongst the first to consider that the Jews were citizens, so that they participated in the government. I am talking of the nineteenth century. Then came the Dreyfus affair, at the end of the century. Dreyfus happened to be a Jew, and he was an officer in the French army. Just as today there were spies, and someone accused him of transmitting secret information about the French army to the Germans. And had it not been for Zola and other French liberals, he would have died on Devil's Island, to which he was banished. At that time a young man, Theodor Herzl—he must have been in his late thirties, but he did not live long—was sent by an Austrian newspaper to cover the Dreyfus affair as a reporter. He had great misgivings; he thought that however long the Jew was in Europe he would not be considered an integral part of European society.
124. That is the background of zionism. So he wrote about what came to be known as Judenstaat, the Jewish State. It was a dream. He tried very hard to tell his co-religionists that it was not a Utopia but was the only solution for the Jewish problem in Europe.
125. Theodor Herzl died at an early age, but it seems that he made an impact on many other Jews, although the Zionist ideas had existed before. In Herzl they flared up again and the Zionist movement was nurtured and strengthened by the Judenstaat of Herzl. Mr. Fall (Senegal), Vice-President, took the Chair.
126. In 1914 and up to the end of the First World War in 1918 the Jewish population of Palestine amounted to hardly 6 per cent of the whole. Even in 1945, after the Second World War was over, even after the intensive immigration of Jews into Palestine, their number amounted to one third—a little less or a little more; I am speaking from memory—of the Palestinian indigenous population.
127. Why did Mr. Balfour make a declaration about creating a national home for the Jews in Palestine? Because the United Kingdom was losing the war.
128. The Jews became rich and became enfranchised. Many were notable Jews because of their achievements in the fields of science and industry. There is nothing wrong with that. They were a minority in Europe and, like all minorities, they were prodded to do their best, and their best yielded good results. Nobody can underestimate the contribution of Europeans who happened to be Jews. I say "who happened to be Jews" because the contribution arose from the fact that they were a minority and not because of the Holy Book, the Bible.
129. Minorities always have a challenge. I was once told by none other than Mr. Jhabvala, a correspondent of the Herald Tribune, whom I thought was an Indian, that the Parsis did well because they were a minority in India. This is not applicable only to Jews.
130. Of course, Balfour was desperate, and he had leanings towards the Jews. Remember, his uncle was Lord Roseberry and there was some Jewish blood by marriage. The Jews no doubt considered some of the British to be Jews if their mothers happened to be Jews. The father does not count because it is the mother who bears the child. I stand to be corrected on this.
131. Mr. Woodrow Wilson was an isolationist, and so was the father of my friend, Henry Cabot Lodge, who represented the Republican Party. Both Democrats and Republicans were essentially isolationist. The British made great propaganda in the United States, but that was not enough. Even the sinking of the Lusitania did not push the United States into the First World War, because it was found that the Lusitania was carrying arms.
132. I am not going into more detail as to how the British railroaded this country into the First World War. All that is documented, and members can look it up when they have time.
133. We come to 1947. I was there at Lake Success, in the General Assembly, when Palestine was partitioned. Before that, a prelate—I do not want to mention names; the documents are there—was sent to Latin America from New York to lobby for the creation of a Zionist State in Palestine. There was a man by the name of Tov. He was an Argentinian Jew. I shall quote from a book by Mr. Horowitz, who tells about the Herculean efforts that were exerted by Mr. Tov in Latin American States. He wrote:
"Explanations, cajolings, pressure and use of pull—all these he operated with skill and success. He was glued to the telephone day and night, speaking with the capitals of Latin American republics, and his emissaries sped to every part of the continent."4
That is from Horowitz's book. State in the Making, translated from the Hebrew.
134. That is the kind of pressure the Zionists exerted on Latin American States before the partition of Palestine. They were worried at the State Department that Mr. Truman might be swayed on account of the pressures that were brought to bear on him in the White House. So the American diplomats who served in the Arab world thought they had better talk to the President about the dangers of partitioning Palestine, and the spokesman for the group was Mr. George Wads-worth, whom I also knew personally. He presented orally an agreed statement in about 20 minutes. There was little discussion and the President asked a few questions in the meeting whose minutes have been carefully guarded by the Department of State. Finally Mr. Truman summed up his position with the utmost candour: "I am sorry, gentlemen, but I have to answer to hundreds of thousands who are anxious for the success of Zionism. I do not have hundreds of thousands of Arabs among my constituents." It was a question of the Zionists giving him their vote.
135. These are only glimpses into the history of the Zionists' efforts. Let whoever it is who is sitting there in the Israeli seat tell Mr. Herzog of these events.
136. Then why did not the British give a part, if not of the United Kingdom, then of somewhere in their vast empire to the Jews to establish a Zionist State? At one time Argentina was thought of, but it did not work out. At another time Uganda was thought of. Allegedly the Jews wanted a land where they could create a motivation amongst all the Jews of the world, and that was Palestine, where Judaism thrived. We have in mind Israel and Judaea—they did not last for more than 400 or 500 years—but those lands of Palestine were occupied by Semitic people, the Canaanites, the Amorites—I do not have to tell you all the names of the tribes.
137. But who wanted to create a State in Palestine? Our Jews? Never. It never crossed their minds. They were Arabs; they were Semites. The Arabs and the Jews are Semites. I will come to that later.
138. This is what actually happened. The Jews were persecuted in Europe, and also by Hitler, who regrettably killed millions of them, and the European countries and their extension, the United States, wanted the Palestinians to pay the price. It is as simple as that. By what feat of logic could this be considered just?
139. All right, you might say that Judaism flourished in Palestine, but so did Christianity and so did Islam, in the sense that the Koran says that Jesus was of the spirit of God. Even the Prophet Muhammad did not claim to be of the spirit of God, and it was the first kiblah in Islam, Jerusalem, which had been inhabited by Semites from the Arabian peninsula 2,500 years before Joshua came to Jericho and then to Jerusalem. They were Semites. What were they? And who were those Europeans? Let us see: they were Khazars, they were Ashkenazim. They were converted to Judaism in the seventh century A.D. when there was a confrontation between Byzantium and Islam. They had come to Europe from the northern tier of Asia, skirting the Caspian, and lived in what today is southern Russia. So the Muslims and the Byzantines said "Let us not convert them either to Christianity or to Islam".
140. From this podium time and again, Jewish—or rather I should say Zionist—representatives, including Mr. Eban, would say "God gave us Palestine", and probably most of them, if not all of them, are descended from forebears who never set eyes on Palestine.
141. Christianity is a Semitic religion. Does that make of the British, or the French or the Germans, Semites? No. Judaism, like Islam, is also a Semitic religion. Does that make of the converted Jew a Semite? The answer is a simple no; or our Nigerian brothers who are Muslims, does it make them Semites? The Sudanese are, because they embrace the religion, the culture, the language and the way of life of the Arabs. Therefore there is no such thing as Semitic blood. There is Semitic culture, there is European culture, there is an American way of life, there is a Jewish way of life, though not a uniform one because the Jews have been known to be nationals of many lands.
142. God does not discriminate. Many people do not believe in the fundamentalistic concept of God just because it is mentioned in the Bible that Moses, the prophet of Judaism who is also the prophet of Christianity and Islam, said that God told him "If the Hebrews relent and keep my covenant I will give them the land". But the land had been populated, and the people who came from Europe are not descended from those whom Moses addressed.
143. You know that the word "Hebrew" is from habiru. Habiru means "the donkey people". They had caravanserais, they had donkeys. Later on we know that Abraham had camels which he picked from amongst his brothers, the Arabs.
144. Whom do they think they are fooling here, those European Jews, talking in the cliches of ritualized democracy?
145. They mention terrorism. What terrorism? Let Mr. Herzog, who was a member of the Haganah, know who the terrorists were in Palestine. They were various groups—the Haganah, the Tzeva'i Leumi, the Stern Gang, to mention only the most prominent among them. Who destroyed the King David Hotel, killing so many people—the Arabs, or the Palestinian Arabs? Who massacred all the people of Deir Yassin when there was an exodus? Who killed Lord Moyne because what he said did not suit the Zionists? Who killed Count Bernadotte? Who hanged British Tommies from the trees in Palestine? Were they Arabs, or the Zionists? They forget all that.
146. They say, "Oh, that is something in the past". Now they want to become respectable, having got what they wanted, abetted as they were by the Europeans—mostly by the United Kingdom, but also by the United States. They want to be respectable now; they never engage in terrorism.
147. Well, that is the policy of fait accompli. Fait accompli is rejected by the Palestinian people just as it was rejected by de Gaulle and the Free French. What about the Maquis? What did they do to the Maquis? Were they saints? Did they use arms against their foes, the Nazis? They were heroes, but the Palestinians are terrorists. Are there two standards? Do the Europeans and the Zionists have the privilege of taking land that does not belong to them by hook or by crook? As I said when Mr. Eban spoke, show us the title deed from God Almighty. And you British and Americans, show us your power of attorney from God Almighty, that drives you to dance to the tune of the Zionists and help them against the Palestinians, many of whom, incidentally, may have been Jews, converted to Judaism and later to Islam. They are the ethnological Semites of the people. And you European Zionists still say, "God gave us Palestine", when, as I have said, your ancestors never laid eyes on Palestine. That is a hoax to researchers, but a hoax that becomes a reality is very dangerous.
148. Mr. President, the hour is late and I ask you to kindly hold a meeting this afternoon, when I shall resume my statement. I should like once and for all to broach this subject fully and to make suggestions as to how we may resolve this imbroglio. My stopping now depends on whether you will be kind enough to allow me to resume my statement at a meeting this afternoon. If not, I shall continue with my statement now.
149. The PRESIDENT (interpretation from French): Mr. Baroody, as the President said before he left this rostrum, two speakers have asked to exercise the right of reply this morning. We should like to ask them whether they still wish to exercise the right of reply this morning. If they wish to do so, I shall call on them now and you may continue your statement this afternoon. I hear no objections, so I shall take it that this procedure meets with the approval of the General Assembly.
150. Mr. BAROODY (Saudi Arabia) (interpretation from French): Thank you, Sir.
151. The PRESIDENT (interpretation from French): I shall now call on the representatives of Lebanon and Jordan, who have asked to exercise the right of reply.
152. Members will recall that the General Assembly decided, at its 2353rd meeting, that statements in exercise of the right of reply should be limited to 10 minutes. I say this for the benefit of the two speakers who have asked to exercise that right at this meeting, as well as for the benefit of all those who intend subsequently to exercise the right of reply.
153. Mr. HAIDAR (Lebanon) (interpretation from Arabic): Once again the representative of Israel has gone to the trouble of taking up Lebanese events so as to use them to sway world public opinion in the service of the Zionist regime based on racism and prejudice; and, once again, the delegation of Lebanon would like to answer his allegations and to affirm that what is taking place in Lebanon is not happening because of religious beliefs, which call for tolerance among the sons of one nation.
154. The Lebanese formula is the only, the best and the ideal one. For us with many religions, we consider that there is no alternative to that formula that calls for coexistence. We are therefore not surprised to find the representative of the Zionist entity trying to destroy this formula or to cast doubt on it in order to justify the Zionist regime and its philosophy.
155. Lebanese events are, in the first analysis, the result of a political conflict which has been escalated by the policy of aggression followed by Israel itself. If Israel had implemented United Nations resolutions on the Middle East crisis and had responded to the resolutions of the international community with regard to respect for the national rights of the Palestinian people and many Security Council resolutions which condemned it and its intensified aggression against Lebanese territory, the Lebanese people and the Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon—if Israel had done that, Lebanon would not be confronted with the crisis that it is now facing.
156. It would be better for Israel to remember those resolutions and to respect and be committed to them. That would be much more useful than its attempts at dissension and intervention in Lebanon's affairs.
157. I shall stop here and reserve my right to return to this subject, if necessary.
158. Mr. SHARAF (Jordan): The theme of the Israeli representative has been an attack on intransigent extremism and a call for the respect of facts. Yet his statement was the exact opposite. Not one single proposal of a constructive nature was presented which took into account the realities of the situation or respect for human rights or for the rights of the Palestinian people, which are the theme of this debate.
159. With regard to respect for facts, we have heard instead of facts distortions of fact. I must reply to at least two main distortions. The Israeli representative first attempted to distort one fact by confusing Palestinian rights with inter-Arab politics. Whether there are disagreements among the Arab countries or whether the Arab countries have not as yet developed into the mature and highly advanced societies to which they aspire is one thing; and the fact that there are Arabs, Palestinians, whose rights have been denied and flouted and whose aspirations have been suppressed is another matter. It does not detract in any way from the right of the Palestinians that they have internal disagreements, that they have a debate amongst them with regard to their future, or that they have a debate with other Arab countries, even if at times it is heated or violent. This does not in any way affect within this international body the validity of the Palestinian cause—the cause of a people seeking its own homeland, a people which by force and violence has been denied its own ancestral homeland, which has been dispersed and denied the right to exercise self-determination or to return to its homeland and homes, in accordance with United Nations resolutions repeated and reiterated every year for the past 20 or 25 years. This is the theme; this is the issue before this Assembly.
160. The other distortion and confusion—which is also very characteristic of Israel—was an attempt to confuse Palestine with Jordan. Jordan and Palestine are Arab countries, but they are distinct Arab countries. Whether they choose to unite or to lead separate ways is their own business. We all hope as Arabs that Palestine, Jordan, Syria, Algeria—all the Arab countries—will move towards unification and coordination of their policies. But that is not the issue.
161. Palestine is the land inhabited for centuries by the Palestinians west of the Jordan River. The fact that Jordan chose its own destiny in unity and in merging its own future, its feelings, its aspirations and even its agonies with those of the Palestinian people does not in any way offer a basis for asking for an alternative homeland for the Palestinians, away from their own homeland west of the Jordan River, in Palestine, from which they have been expelled and uprooted and of which they have been dispossessed.
162. This deceitful facade and argument cannot in any way change the facts of the situation. The Palestinians have the right to their own national soil in Palestine. It was from Palestine that the bulk of the Palestinian people—now over 1.5 million—were expelled and uprooted and to which they were denied return; and it is in Palestine, under Israeli occupation, that many others—over 1 million—live at the moment.
163. Israel is faced with making two main decisions: one is to end its occupation, which at the moment oppresses over 1 million Palestinian Arabs on the West Bank and in Gaza, and the other is to accede to the calls of the United Nations, of the international community and of justice to allow the Palestinian refugees who have been dispossessed and expelled from their homeland in Palestine to return to their homes, in accordance with United Nations resolutions and their inalienable right. Those are the issues, the theme, the thrust and the essence of the Palestinian problem and question. Nothing else is in any way related to them.
164. Finally, it is not surprising that the Israeli representative came here to parade the "humane" administration of Israel in the occupied territories. It is a mockery and a joke. But we have heard the same arguments in other United Nations committees—in the Fourth Committee and in the Special Committee against Apartheid. We have heard it in connexion with the bantustans. We heard the same arguments repeated half a century and even a century ago by nations suppressing peoples under their own forms of colonialism and foreign domination, in favour of their exploitation, nations that lauded and heaped praise on
their own "civilizing" mission in the territories they occupied against the peoples' will. This is not only irrelevant but also shameful to hear in this chamber.
1 Official Records of the General Assembly, Twenty-ninth Session, Plenary Meetings, 2282nd meeting.
2 Ibid., para. 83.
3 Official Records of the Security Council, Thirtieth Year, Supplement for July, August and September 1975, document S/11818/Add.l.
4 David Horowitz, State in the Making, translated from the Hebrew by Julian Meltzer (New York, Alfred A. Knopf, 1953).