Agenda item 27:
Question of Palestine: report of the Secretary-General
1. Mr. BAROODY (Saudi Arabia): Mr. President, it was indeed kind of you and of the Vice-Chairman to allow me to resume not so much my statement as a sort of dissertation on the Palestine question.
2. Some of you might ask why I do not have a prepared statement. I have had many prepared statements, during the last 28 or 30 years, on the Palestine question. Very few people give much attention nowadays to prepared statements.
3. The question before us today is one that has befuddled so many newcomers to the United Nations, who do not know how they should vote, unless of course they have definite instructions from their respective governments. It is to clarify the situation that I took leave to delve into the roots or, rather, go into the genesis of the Palestine question.
4. I could dwell at greater length and try to give you the historical background, but I thought I should adduce the three arguments that the Israelis—or I should say the Zionists, before Israel existed—have always mentioned as giving them a legal right to part of the Middle East. I say part of the Middle East —but ultimately to a good chunk of it, if I may say so. There are historical arguments, religious arguments and political arguments which, with your patience, I will try to explain.
5. This morning I mentioned that Mr. Theodor Herzl thought that there was no future for the Jew in Europe, and that he would always be discriminated against. He was considered, and rightly so, as a second-class citizen by many Europeans; even after he had been enfranchised he was not looked upon, in many European countries, as exercising the full rights of a citizen. And Mr. Herzl thought that the only solution would be to gather the Jews in a land which they could call their own. But Mr. Herzl was neither a sociologist nor an ethnologist. He was, no doubt, a zealot for the idea of a Jewish State.
6. In fact, I researched his family. His family wanted to be integrated in the European communities. At one time they were in Hungary, and later they moved to Austria. He was a gentleman who was highly educated in many respects and, as I mentioned, he thought that the only salvation for the Jews in Europe would be to create a Jewish State. It was a dream. There is nothing wrong with a dream, but unfortunately it turned into a nightmare, not only for the Palestinians and the Arabs, but for the Jews themselves.
7. Many Jews, in fact, opposed the idea of a Jewish State. They became prosperous in Europe. Although the Rothschilds began in the eighteenth century—or it could be a little before that—near Frankfurt, they branched out and became the bankers of many European States. Hence, there were the German Rothschilds, the French Rothschilds, and the British Rothschilds.
8. They married into the aristocracy of those countries. Not only were they accepted, they exercised power. In fairness to them, it was not because they were Rothschilds but because they had money, and we know that money talks. People sell their souls to the devil for wealth, for power or distinction or for fame or glory—call it vainglory.
9. So there was no Jewish problem to speak of after the Dreyfus affair. However, there was some maltreatment of Jews in Central Europe, so we hear. And then, because of that maltreatment, the political Zionists —I am not talking of spiritual Zionism—thought that there would be no salvation for the Jews until they had their own territory, a State. That is the background.
10. Of course, like any movement it had adherents, and when there is a cause and a minority adheres to that cause it collects momentum. Notwithstanding this fact, there were many Jews—I am not speaking of our Semitic Jews, I am speaking of European Jews—who told me personally that they were not Zionists; they had been integrated into various nationalities. But the Zionists continued to play on their sentiments. In fact, the Rothschilds did not possess any territory abroad, and when they were consulted by Mr. Balfour they were not very keen about Zionism because they were afraid that the British would one day tell them, if they succeeded in having a State, "Now, you Jews, you go too; you have a land of your own". And they were rooted in British society and in the British way of life. So, whether or not they were Rothschilds, whether they were well-to-do or indigent,
they were trying to integrate themselves into European society. After all, the Europeans had woken up to the fact that they had no right to discriminate against people on the grounds of religion.
11. Some of you might ask, why did Mr. Balfour address the Declaration to Mr. Rothschild of the United Kingdom? Because there was nobody else to address it to, and the Rothschilds were the notables of the Jewish community. You find notables in any religion or party, political or otherwise. But the Rothschilds co-operated with Balfour to the extent that they preferred a national State to a Jewish State because they thought that perhaps the Zionists who wanted to go to Palestine might like to have an anchorage, but not necessarily a flag. This was debated at length in the United Kingdom. How do I know that? Because for 10 years, between 1929 and 1939, I carried out research into that matter in the United Kingdom. I spent, on and off, 10 years of my life there. I spoke to some of the Rothschilds in France and they corroborated the fact that the Rothschilds themselves had no family ambitions in Palestine.
12. Of course many of them were perhaps devout, but most of them were not so religious. How do I know that? Because many Rothschilds and wealthy Jews married shiksas, Gentile girls, to the chagrin of the orthodox Jews and the Jews who think that the mother is more important than the father for the propagation of religion. I stand to be corrected, if Mr. Herzog is here, if he can refute what I am going to tell him—that in many Jewish families when a man marries a Gentile girl they almost go into mourning. In other words, he has swerved, he has left the flock; and they try to proselytize the woman, because there is no other way of accepting the Gentile wife into their fold.
13. But the Jews, in fairness to them, like many others, were becoming liberal about their religion. The fundamentalists were becoming fewer and fewer in number, as is happening among the Christians or has happened already. There are very few fundamentalists in comparison with the majority of Christians, or for that matter Muslims. A fundamentalist, if a Christian, has to believe every letter, not just every word, of the Bible, if a Jew, of the Old Testament and, for that matter, if a Muslim, of the Holy Koran.
14. Well, we should respect the sentiments of fundamentalists. Religion is a matter between a man and his conscience. Freedom of belief is sacred, but not when freedom of belief is politicized and one makes a policy of fundamentalism. This was tried by two major monotheistic religions, first by Christians in both Rome and Constantinople. Byzantium spoke about the necessity of being faithful Christians, and at the same time lorded it over their subjects wherever they were. When Islam came on the scene many Christians embraced Islam, not because of missionaries but because they had become fed up with the Byzantines saying one thing and practising another.
15. So in Rome the Pope was the temporal as well as the spiritual leader of Europe. But nationalism began to grow. I would not call it nationalism, but at least independence of the suzerainty of the Pope, and it became more evident in the eleventh century.
Many of the vassals wanted to run their own provinces, and not have to ask the Pope for permission to act one way or the other. Hence, the Pope and those surrounding him thought that a Crusade to the Holy Land would come in handy to divert those vassals, the leaders of the provinces over which he exercised temporal power, from their goal of what I shall call nationalism.
16. And Peter the Hermit, who was a good propagandist, went around saying that the Christians should wrest the Holy Land from the hands of the infidel. Who was the infidel? The people who lived in Palestine, the Muslims, because, as I said, many Christians had become Muslims on account of the tyranny of Byzantium. There were five Crusades, and they all boomeranged. That was when the Europeans, who were mostly barbarians at that time, learned the rudiments of chivalry. You will remember the history of Richard Coeur-de-Lion, Richard Lion-Heart. Saladin, Salah ad-Din al-Ayubi, imprisoned him; he did not cut off his head when he was overpowered, he reprieved him. The first time he said, "Do not wage war against me any more", Richard promised, but he broke his promise, and even the second time Saladin reprieved him. What did they do at Nuremburg, the civilized Europeans, what did they do? When their enemies surrendered they hanged them. And what did they do in the case of Japan, the victorious nations of the Second World War? Did they treat those who had fought them with magnanimity? No, they hanged them. Well, that is their way of life.
17. So there was a lot of tribulation and suffering in the Middle East. Incidentally, I must state that many who fought against the Crusaders and alongside the Muslims were Christians. They had the same way of life, the same language, the same God. There was no Jewish problem then because the Jews, many of them oriental Jews, were Arabs. Their religion happened to be Christianity or Islam; many of them had become adherents of the new religions only a few centuries before.
18. These are historical facts for my sons and daughters and brothers sitting in this Hall. Mr. Herzog should know these facts. He is a learned man. I wonder whether he and Mr. Eban and Mr. Ben Gurion and Mrs. Meir are fundamentalists. I doubt it. You do not have to be a fundamentalist to have a nationalistic movement based on religion. You know, during the religious wars, as in any war, people had to use religion as a motivation for political or economic ends. Thus Christianity used the Crusades as a motivation for a political and also, I must say, an economic end, because, at the time of the Crusades, Europe for some reason was in a deep economic depression. So the Crusades were a diversion and this suited those who were in power. It so happened that the Pope, as I said, was then the religious as well as the temporal power in Europe.
19. Do not think I am being selective in my analogy of what centuries later came to be known as Zionism, which used Judaism, a noble religion, as a motivation for political and economic ends. Take Islam: in the name of Islam the caliphs at one time tried to spread their temporal power over many Muslim States that were not Semitic, and they failed. Hence, there are many Christian States and there are many Muslim States.
20. But then later, because of the suffering of the Jews in Europe, there were some who said, "Why not let us have a Jewish State?" When I was on speaking terms with the Zionists—I do not know how old Mr. Herzog was then, but I was on speaking terms with them in 1929, in London, when I was 24—I told them: "If you are really imbued with religious sentiments, I am sure the Palestinians will receive you with open arms". Because, after all, Palestine is a land of pilgrimage; the Palestinians greeted the Christians, the Muslims and the Jews. I must repeat that many of the Palestinians had at one time been Jews, and they adhered to Christianity because of Byzantium, then later, when they found Byzantium tyrannical, they embraced Islam.
21. So that the Zionists are expelling some of the Palestinians who were, ethnologically, Jews of that land. Is it not sad, is it not paradoxical, that Zionism, which is a European movement started and propagated by people who were not descended from the Jewish Semites but from those who were converted to Judaism in the eighth century, should do this?
22. The distinction is known to Mr. Herzog. The Sephardic Jews—they were in Spain, but they originally came from the Arab countries when the Arabs took over Spain—and the Ashkenazim, or the Ashkenazi Jews, are mostly descended from the tribes that lived in what today is southern Russia, which is also called, ironically, Bessarabia, before there was such a thing as Russia, because in Russian history, Rurik was the one identified with the growth of the Russian nation; and then came the Romanovs, and then the Communists. Rurik lived in the tenth century. Those people were pagans. There is nothing wrong in being pagan. We, in our area, before Judaism, Christianity and then Islam spread over the area, were pagans too. The Canaanites, or Phoenicians, gave the ancient Greeks many of their gods. Even the name "Europe" comes from Greek mythology. Europa was a daughter of Asia and she was abducted. Thus we gave our name to Europe.
23. And the Canaanites and the Jews were not cousins: they were brothers. In fact—for the information of Mr. Herzog—Abraham, who is the patriarch of all those religions, married many Canaanites, and he had concubines of various tribes. We were mixed up. And, as I said this morning, the word "Hebrew" comes from Habiru—the people of the dust, because they had donkeys and lived on the caravan trail between the north and south. And this explains Abraham's first visit to Egypt when there was a drought, as often happens. That was, of course, before the time of Joseph, the son of Jacob.
24. I am going into the historical background so that you, my good friends, including the Zionists, if only they were not blinded by religious emotionalism, may know what the facts are.
25. So the Bible was sometimes written—like much of the poetry of the region—in parables, in hyperbole, in florid language; there is nothing wrong with that. The Arabic language is a very rich language; it engages in all kinds of rich analogies and similes. For example, the fundamentalists believe—and I respect their belief—that God spoke to Moses from the midst of the bush. Well, that is the fundamentalists' privilege, too. And then God spoke to Moses and told him to tell Pharaoh that God had said: "Let my people go", when they had sought refuge in Egypt because of the drought or the dearth of foodstuffs. "Go and champion my people"—meaning Jehovah's people.
26. Incidentally, the name "Jehovah"—Yehua in Arabic—is that of one of the gods that originated in what today is Jordan: he was the god of the priest whose daughter Moses married. Moses was a stalwart man. When he came to Sinai there were seven girls filling their jars at the well, and there were others chasing them away because they wanted their herd to drink from that well—I would not say it was a river, because there were no rivers there. So, being gallant, Moses shooed away those who were interfering with the seven girls drawing water for the household; when their father heard about it he said: "Show me that man", and then: "What a godsend; what a good gift from Yehua. I have seven daughters; this is a worthy son". So Moses married one of the seven girls.
27. I am going into all this so that you may know it. It is all in Exodus too, but if you want to go by scholarship, read the introduction to the Old Testament by none other than Robert Pfeiffer of Harvard, and read many other sources, so that you may know what was archaeologically and in terms of literary criticism correct—"literary criticism" meaning study of the texts—and what was fiction.
28. For example, the fundamentalists believe, aside from the story of the bush, that Moses, who had a cane, in order to gain the sympathies or the allegiance of the Habiru—meaning the Hebrews, the people who had donkey caravans, although Abraham acquired some camels east of Sinai—held it out like this, and the cane turned into a serpent. The fundamentalists are free to believe this.
29. Then Moses placed his hand in his garment and when he took it out it was stricken by leprosy; he put it back, and then took it out again and the leprosy had disappeared. And these were miracles. If people want to believe in miracles, let them.
30. "Let my people go" said Yehua, or Elihu, as he was called. There is also the word El, from which Allah comes. There is a dispute now among rabbis as well as priests who are scholars as to whether we should have Yehua and then Elihu, or Elohim, in Hebrew, which means "God". But I am not going into this scholarly sort of explanation: it is not conclusive —Yehua or El. Incidentally, the fact that you have the word El, from which the word Allah comes, and Elihu or Elohim, in Hebrew, which also means God, shows you that scholarship is not conclusive.
31. Then there are the Psalms of David—this has been researched, and they are not all attributed to David. Some of them were written before David's time, or at least the ideas were expressed, and others were from the post-David era. Likewise the Song of Solomon: the book of the Song of Solomon. Solomon never uttered that song. Now, if you want to know when it was written—or when it was composed, rather than written, because people did not write, they memorized poetry—the Song of Solomon was written in the sixth century before Christ; and Solomon lived about 1,000 years before Christ. But in fairness to those who compiled the Pentateuch, the first five books of the Bible, and the other following books, we should say that they worked from memory. They spoke, as I have said, in analogies and sometimes in hyperbole. This is why the Semitic languages are very flowery. There is nothing wrong with that. The phrase "Let my people go" came about because Ramses of Egypt wanted to engage in many construction projects and the Habiru—the Hebrews—were there and he thought he might use them. They considered themselves slaves because they could not have the same standard of living as the Egyptians. And it is natural to want to improve one's lot.
32. Of course, there are the plagues, and all this is in the Bible. Study it, as I have done. This is a fundamentalist approach to the Bible. In fairness I should say that we have a fundamentalist approach to the New Testament too, but I wonder whether the European leadership of those who were converted to Judaism were fundamentalists or whether they were using the letter of those sacred books—and "the letter killeth"—in order to play on the emotions of the common Jew, who is instructed by the rabbis. The same thing happens in Christianity, in Islam, in any religion, for that matter, even in Buddhism, which, when I studied it, was institutionalized and fundamentalized.
33. Do you mean to tell me, Mr. Herzog, that you are a fundamentalist, and that Mr. Eban who studied in Oxford or Cambridge, is a fundamentalist? They studied evolution. Do you mean to say that you believe everything in the Bible, even to believing that Eve was a rib of Adam? Do you believe in the post-Darwin theory of evolution, that of Huxley and others? Do you believe that there was a serpent that came to Eve and said, "If you eat of this apple, you will learn wisdom"? Whom do you think you are fooling, Mr. Herzog?
34. I say this because you are identifying yourself with the fundamentalists. But the leaders are no more fundamentalist than I am a Buddhist or a Shintoist or a follower of the Hindu religion. You are simply doing what many others have done: using a religion—in this case Judaism—as a motivation for a political and economic end.
35. I say again and again and again: "Herzl's dream turned, unfortunately, into a nightmare, for Jews, for Palestinians, for the Arab peoples—for the world at large. You created the Jewish problem. How many Jews are there? We are told that there are 16 million or 17 million. But the leadership of the Zionists, I was told by a non-Zionist Jew, numbers hot more than 4,000 to 5,000 all over the world. Of course, the Zionists have a good network.
36. Whom do you think you are fooling? You are playing on the sentiments of the Jew, preoccupied with making a living or integrating himself into society in Europe or elsewhere—as he had been integrated among the Arabs. For, as I have said, many of the philosophers and scientists in our Arab history were Jews. We never thought of discrimination. They worshipped the same God; they had the same prophets; it was simply that they did not believe in Christ. That is the historical background.
37. Let us now take up your religious argument: Judaism flourished in Palestine; therefore Palestine should be ours. But Christianity flourished there too. Christianity has about 1,000 million adherents. Those —the Muslims—who consider Jesus, the Son of Mary, as of the spirit of God, as is stated in the Holy Koran, also identify themselves with Palestine, including Jerusalem.
38. I have your speech here, Mr. Herzog. I listened to most of it while you were making it this morning, but I was also writing my notes for this statement. But, I repeat, I have your speech here and I have read it. You talk about democracy. By what yardstick of democracy should the 16 million Jews you are championing—and many of them would prefer to be left alone—be considered to have the ascendancy in the land of Palestine? There are 650 million—some say 700 million—Muslims and 1,000 million Christians. I do not say that Palestine is holier for them than it is for you, but let us assume that it is just as holy.
39. I hope that my voice is carrying to the American public, which is being duped by Zionist propaganda. I know the mass media of information here. They suppress the truth. They have been doing it since 1947 at least. And the Zionists play on the sentiments of the fundamentalist Christians too.
40. If we want to go by the democratic yardstick,the Jews have no case under the religious argument either. Actually, I should not say "the Jews"; I should say "the Zionists", because our Jews never asked for a terrestrial kind of Zionism; it was spiritual Zionism: "I look up to Zion", meaning the mountain—again an analogy—where God dwells in the sky.
41. How can you make your religious argument stick? It is true that Judaism flourished there, but so did Christianity and so did Islam. The indigenous people lived there, not for centuries—and here I take issue with our friend from the Palestine Liberation Organization [PLO]—but even before our Jews came from western Iraq. The Semites came from the Arabian peninsula. They drifted, not because they wanted to drift but because when there was a drought they had to go wherever they could find grazing ground. The Fertile Crescent includes Palestine. So the Semites had always been there. You European Jews who started this ideology were converts to Judaism. I am, of course, talking about your ancestors, who came from the northern tier of Asia and migrated, like many Asian peoples, to Europe.
42. You want to be more fundamentalistic than the fundamentalists of our region. They have never claimed that, through infiltration or force of arms or some sort of organization, they should establish a State. For they are of us; as I have said, they are not our cousins but our brothers. Whom do you think you are fooling, except yourself?
43. We turn now to the political argument that the Zionists adduce. Unfortunately, a European—Hitler—persecuted them before and during the Second World War. That was not anti-Semitism but anti-Jewism. The bulk of the Semites are the people of the region, those who adopted a way of life and became Semites. Semitism is not a question of blood or colour; it is a question of culture, a way of life. Religion sometimes enters into it, but it is not conclusive. Sometimes there are sects that constitute a cleavage in a religion, but, regardless of their sects, people live together within the same religion.
44. So you have no right to talk about democracy and about your hospitals. Your argument is the argument used by the colonial Powers. They said that they went to Africa and to Asia to civilize those who were not Europeans—the so-called civilizing mission of Europe. They were barbarians in Europe. But they prospered; the wheel of fortune turned. They got drunk with power and with their higher standard of living, not realizing that so far as culture was concerned they were children.As I have said before—and I wish Mr. Moynihan were present to hear this—the Americans are really at the thumb-sucking stage; they are not yet 200 years old as a nation. Wonderful: I wish that we were still children because we should have so many adventures still before us. But we have matured—perhaps over-matured—in culture and religion, in the realm of thought.
45. I have mentioned the Buddha. You have only to read the Buddha—500 years before Christ—to see that he reached the same conclusion as Jesus, Son of Mary: love, compassion, do not hurt your enemy. Similarly, the Prophet Muhammad did not say, "In the name of God the Magnificent, the Sublime, the Omnipotent, the Vindictive".
46. There are 99 adjectives in an attempt to define or describe the Deity: God, Allah, and then the One who can never be fathomed or known—I am paraphrasing the Koran. How does the first chapter of the Koran begin? In the name of God, the Powerful, the Vindictive, the Supreme, the Magnificent? No. In the name of God, the Merciful. And as if, in his message, God wanted to emphasize mercy, the next adjective is "compassionate". These are religions of love. Judaism is a religion of love. "Love thy neighbour as thyself, Moses said.
47. Micah was one of the prophets in our area; he is called a lesser prophet because he was succinct and lucid. He asked, "What shall I bring to gain grace with God? Shall I bring burnt offerings?" In those days people sometimes sacrificed sheep as a burnt offering to God. "No, I tell you", said Micah, "to love mercy, to do justice and to walk numbly with thy Lord. That is the way to be accepted by God."
48. And what do our European Zionists say? They come and talk about Arab terrorism, Palestinian terrorism, and—I think I mentioned this this morning but it bears repetition—as Europeans they introduced terrorism into the Holy Land.
49. In my early days if someone was killed by tough guys, or gangsters, or whatever you call them, the city or the region rose up and said, "What is happening? There is no security". Life was sacred to us. Again, this bears repetition. Who bombed the King David Hotel? Who hanged British soldiers in Palestine from the branches of trees—some of them olive trees? Who killed Lord Moyne because they did not like his policy? He was an Englishman, incidentally, a man of the same nationality as Balfour. And who wiped out Deir Yassin at dawn one day? They intimidated the Arabs—I will not say "Arabs", but "Palestinians"; they happen to be Arabs, they happen to be Arabized; they were Jews at one time. Who wiped them out? Our Jews? No. You wiped them out; and remember, Mr. Herzog, I know that you were a member of the Haganah. I do not say you had a finger in all this. You know what the Haganah was. It used terrorism in order to gain its ends. So did the Stern Gang. And the Tzeva's Leumi group too used terror. And the Palestinian Arabs finally had no recourse but to use some of the same methods; but they do not know how to use them like the Europeans, who are experts. But, frustrated as they are, they sometimes use terror. So did the Maquis. The Maquisards are heroes because they are French. But if the Palestinian wants to exercise his right to self-determination, he is a terrorist, a thug.
50. What do you say to that, my good friend—we shall call you friend if you see reason—Mr. Herzog? Terrorists: you play with words the way you want. Who are those people of the Middle East, the Europeans? Their European attitude should be changed or Europe will go down into the abyss because of injustice. Their empires crumbled. I have fought their empires since I was young, and God has protected me. If anyone now wants to shoot me, I shall say, "Shoot me, my work is behind me and there will be others who will carry on that work."
51. But is it necessary? Should we kill one another? When I was speaking in the First Committee on the question of disarmament, I spoke of how man was a hunter and had to kill his brother because there was not enough game. There is not enough room in Palestine, but we shall make room for many Jews if they will renounce that extraneous element, saying they are exclusive. Why are you exclusive? Is it because you are called the "chosen people of God" in the Bible? But you are not descended from those people, who do not act as you do—you European Jews, you European Khazars.
52. Is God a discriminator? If God is a discriminator, let us close down this United Nations, because half our time is taken up with elaborating resolutions to fight discrimination. God gave you land? What did King David allegedly say in one of the Psalms? It is in the Bible, word for word: "The earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof. "Lord" here means "Creator". He did not say that the earth anywhere belonged to this nationality or this people, or to the adherents of this religion or that religion.
53. Whom are you still fooling in the latter part of the twentieth century, except yourselves? I feel sorry for you because I should like to consider you as brothers under the skin, whether you are Jews, Gentiles, Zionists, non-Zionists, Zionists of the spirit, but not Zionists that want to carve up land. Let us be fair.
54. Sir, I may raise my voice, but I can assure you that there is neither hatred nor rancour in my heart, or in the hearts of the Palestinians, or in the hearts of many people in our region. They do not want to crucify the Jews or kill them. They want to exercise their inalienable right to self-determination. If the Jews want to live among us, they will be welcome.
They have to seek acceptance by the people of the land—not only of Palestine, but of the whole region. Otherwise we are wasting our time here in the United Nations and outside this Assembly because the Zionists have found themselves not in one hornet's nest but in one hornet's nest after another—I am using an analogy—and it is not pleasant to live in a hornet's nest.
55. And who is this man, the late Mr. Truman, from whom I quoted this morning: "How many Arabs do I have in my constituency?" Is that justice? I checked with the dramatis personae of the State Department —he went entirely against their counsel. When they tried to submit their views, he stated derisively, "Who are these striped-pants boys of the State Department to tell me what the President of the United States should do?" He created Israel for votes. Why was it at the expense of the Palestinian people? What did the Palestinian people do to the people of the United States? They loved the United States, and the American people here are a lovable people. But God help them when they have the wrong leaders.
56. I personally warned my American friends here that there will be no peace in Palestine because it is against justice. Anything that is not based on justice sooner or later is bound to totter and fall. Empires have fallen.
57. Why did the British want to establish the Zionists there? Only for the beauty of Jewish eyes? It was astride the route of the British Empire. Where is the British Empire now? And you Americans—not the American people, but the successive American Governments—were deriving interest from supporting the unjust cause of political Zionism. You are alienating not only the Arab world, not only the Muslim world, but the young all over the world. Some Japanese addressed themselves in a violent manner, I must say, in Lod. They were not Arabs, they were not Palestinians. In Germany, in France, I am contacted wherever I go and I tell them, "Let us settle this question ourselves; do not interfere."
58. You have fomented the whole world and you have created a world Jewish problem. I should be the first to defend and rescue any Zionist from the mob and the crowd, if they went so far as to rouse the ire of none other than the Europeans, who will make of you Zionists the scapegoat when it suits their purpose. You are human beings. We do not want to see you suffer or persecuted.
59. At one time it was darkness. I was heartened by a phrase in Mr. Herzog's statement. He said, "Everything through negotiations" and this is one of the rare occasions when the Palestinian people are mentioned. But what did Mrs. Meir say not too long ago when she was asked about the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people? She said, "Who are the Palestinian people? They do not exist." And you predicated your policy of 25 years on the thesis that there is no such thing as a Palestinian people.
60. But you forgot that the victors, none other than Great Britain and France, betrayed the Arab world and put the countries of the Fertile Crescent under Mandates, which was colonialism in disguise. And the British Mandate, what was it called? The mandate of the Arab world? It was called the Mandate over Palestine. It was the French Mandate over Lebanon, the French Mandate over Syria, the British Mandate over Iraq. They divided the spoils and became rivals, and I played on their rivalry in the 1920s. They were too much imbued with the English stiff upper lip. In fairness to them, I should say that none humanized the British more than the Labour Party, and I raise my hat to them, although I am a monarchist and I am not for the excesses of labour anywhere.
61. Year in and year out we remonstrated with you, the Europeans and Americans—there will be no peace, there will be suffering. As I have said, until 1944 I was on speaking terms with the Zionists, pleading with them not to create problems for themselves and the people of Palestine. Now they think they can protract and protract this situation until they hope they will be able to master it. They will never master it. Five waves of Crusaders over a period of 200 to 250 years tried. They failed. Other conquerors failed. You cannot easily beat the real Semite, even when he is weak, because he is tenacious. I am talking of our Semites—and you call us anti-Semites. Are we anti-ourselves? Of course during our decline in Europe a Jew was called a Semite. But he did not care to know whether people other than Jews happened to be the Semites of the land, including, of course, our Oriental Jews.
62. Mr. Herzog says that the United Nations is being manoeuvred. It is from a sense of frustration that we are focusing the attention of the United Nations and the world on the injustice that has been meted out to the Palestinian people. Have you forgotten what you did? I read out a quotation from a book by Mr. Horowitz published in 1953 by Alfred Knopf, indicating how Mr. Moshe Tov tried to do everything in his power in Latin America to get votes for the creation of a Jewish State. Just this morning [2390th meeting, para. 134] I mentioned the occasion on which Mr. Truman asked how many Arabs he had in his constituency.
Who manoeuvred whom? Even if the Arabs wanted to manoeuvre, we did not know how. We are simple in these matters.
63. I shall not speak about resolutions. Resolutions will be discussed in time in this General Assembly or in Committees where the Middle East question has been discussed since 1947. We do not need so many resolutions; we need action—not on this question, but on other questions.
64. I am sorry to say to Mr. Herzog that the Zionists are their own worst enemies. They are still drunk with power and think they can make things work their own way. They thought that after 1947 and the conflict that ensued in 1948 and the Palestinian refugees who were terrorized by Deir Yassin and other terrorist activities had to leave, that the elders would die and the children would be integrated, and then Palestine would become Israel's for good. But it did not work out that way. We told them it would not work out that way. They did not believe us. We did not tell them as a prophecy, but out of analysis, out of our firsthand knowledge of the people who lived there. The Palestinians have fermented the whole world, especially the Arab world, the Muslim world, and others who champion their cause.
65. You want them to integrate with Arab countries because they speak Arabic? All right, go and ask the United States to reintegrate with the United Kingdom. Why don't you, any of you? One cannot set back the clock of history.
66. They were known as Palestinians and are still Palestinians. They have their entity, and sovereignty lies in the people. They were the majority and they lived there, not for centuries, but for thousands of years, ethnologically speaking, and you want us to tell them: "Now, be good boys. Those poor Jews; Hitler and others before Hitler have massacred them. Leave your homes, forget." We have no right to tell them that.
67. Some of them became integrated of their own free will, but there are one and a half million who do not want to be integrated. Shall we force them? What right have I, as representative of Saudi Arabia, or the Syrians for that matter, or the Egyptians, or the Libyans, or the Moroccans to tell them, "Now, you integrate yourselves here". They do not want to. It is as if one were to tell this country, "It is in your interest to integrate yourself with the United Kingdom because you speak English and most of you are their descendants"—although there was an exodus from Europe of many Europeans of other nationalities. We have no right to tell anybody that. People would laugh at us.
68. Therefore, how can we find a solution?
69. You all will say Yasser Arafat stood here with a gun in his pocket and an olive branch in his hand. I had never met Yasser Arafat, but he knew about me and I knew of him. I met him here in the office behind the podium. I asked him: "Do you have a solution?" I am not giving him away, because the reply was a most humanitarian one. I am paraphrasing now. He said: "If they want to come and live amongst us and we form a State together, we would welcome them. But they want to lord it over us." And perhaps before Yasser Arafat was born the same thing was told me in 1925, in Jerusalem, by none other than Hadj Amin El Husseini, the Grand Mufti.
70. The first trip I made to Palestine was 50 years ago to investigate—that was my last year in college. I asked: "What if some of the Jews come here from Europe?" He said: "These are not the Jews of your country and mine. They want to colonize us. They want to have a flag." I thought he was exaggerating, but he was vindicated by the events that followed.
71. Do you want Arafat to throw away his gun and hold the olive branch? You would cut off his arm with a sword—if you could; you never will, I hope.
72. You have marshalled all your forces wherever there are newspapers. I mention The New York Times —of course they sell ads and they will take our money if I have an ad against Zionism; it happens to lean towards Zionism. I have no time to study systematically what the pro-Zionist American press is doing. I come haphazardly to certain well-thought-out, well-designed ads and articles in one of the papers—which happens to be The New York Times. I used to read the Herald Tribune, the Sun and the Telegraph. I have no choice but to read between the lines, sometimes, of The New York Times. I am not casting slurs on The New York Times.
73. At one time Mr. Sulzberger—not the present one—chided the Jews for wanting to emphasize Zionism in America. I once quoted what he said on that subject. But things have changed. Morgenthau did the same thing; in 1917 he was the United States Ambassador to Turkey. He was a Jew. He tried to counsel the Jews. He said: "For Heaven's sake, we are happy here in the United States. We are integrating." His son, though, was a Zionist; he was Secretary of the Treasury in the days of Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
74. Then, there is the father of the famous violinist who happens to be a Jew and one of the best musicians in the world—Yehudi Menuhin. His father wrote a book called The Decadence of Judaism in Our Time and decried the excesses in which the Jews were engaging.
75. I have several Jewish friends who asked me: "What are those Zionists doing to us?" I said: "Why ask me? Go and ask them." They said: "They won't listen to us. It is a psychosis with them." I am quoting my Jewish friends, non-Zionists, and there is a good number of them.
76. "Bigotry in the United Nations!" Here, in the Times. Of course, they pay for it. If I said "Bigotry of the Zionists" they would take my money too, but I think I should lose and not gain anything if I said that.
77. "A message for President Sadat". "This is an obscene act". Where is the courtesy and the decorum of Zionists who live in this country, if not for their own sake, for the sake of the country which gave them shelter, where they identify themselves, where they flourish, where they control many industries, where they are persona grata ? Is there no sense of decorum? Obscene?
78. By whom is this ad signed? American-Israel Public Affairs and Zionist organizations of America, maybe some 20 or 30 Zionist groups in the United States that send their tentacles all over the land, all over Europe, and which try to permeate Asia—but they do not succeed because the Asians understand us—and Africa, but they will not succeed there either. Let them try. We do not depend on our friends unless we are sure of ourselves, and we are sure of ourselves.
79. This word "obscene". Where is Professor Moynihan today? He is an American. I respect him for his intellect, but you Americans here, do not let him play politics, unless he wants the votes of the Zionists as a ladder to some political goal or ambition —you know, votes.
80. Mr. Moynihan did not mention it; he mentioned something worse. It was Mr. Garment who, on behalf of the United States Government, said that it was obscene. Now Mr. Garment happens to be a Jew. That is all right, but let him wash his mouth—before and after he hurls calumnies on us Arabs, including Palestinians.
81. The word "obscene" comes from the Latin obscenus, meaning ill-looking, filthy, foul, disgusting, offensive to chastity or modesty and lewd. You can find all these meanings in the word "obscene". I have been speaking for almost 30 years here in the United Nations, and we have never used such terms. We could look in the dictionary and find words worse than this one.
82. However, from my humble etymological knowledge I can say that the word "obscene" is connected with the word "pornography". The latter word comes from the Greek pome, meaning harlot, and graphos —as in "photography". And one of the first meanings of "pornography" is obscene, licentious in writing or painting. Where is Mr. Garment? Who is obscene? We or those who started pornography and obscenity in this erstwhile clean country? That is why I said that he should wash his mouth when he mentions the Arabs and says that they are obscene—before and after he speaks. He can get away with it; you appointed him, in a democratic way, as a representative of the United States. We could use such language, but we do not care to, because it is inappropriate and will not make for peace.
76. 83. Seventy-six senators of the United States opted for keeping Israel well armed so that it might continue to lord it over the Palestinians. What have we done to the United States? We opened our economic doors to them. We swore by them before they sponsored this Palestinian question. I told you that, understandably, when Balfour was losing the war he gave in to the Zionists because they railroaded this country into the First World War. Otherwise the Germans—I do not say Hitler, but the Germans of Kaiser Wilhelm II— would have won the war. But what have we done to Mr. Truman and to the American Government and the American people that they should interfere in our affairs? Why did they not give them a part of Texas or Arkansas, or why did our British friends not give them a part of Australia, if they felt such a deep sense of guilt that something should be done to assuage or alleviate the sufferings of the Jews? Why should the Palestinians pay the price? What have they done to the British or the Americans or to those they are in solidarity with—the Europeans—because you always support something that is proposed by the European Zionists? What have we done to you?
84. When we finally became desperate because we could no longer reason with you, His Majesty the late King Faisal—may God rest his soul in peace—thought that perhaps those people would understand economics better than politics. So we instituted an embargo for a short period in order to drive home how deeply we felt. You then began to write articles to the effect that we were "despots", "Arab sheikhs", and that we were wantonly creating a depression. As if we had created the depression; inflation created the depression of the Western world. In two world wars and wars in between and after, what did they do? They spent beyond their revenues. I went into this during the seventh special session, so I shall not repeat it now as it is in the record.
85. What did we do to you Americans, British and Europeans for you to exercise solidarity against us? Do you want to work for peace? Yasser Arafat, and today the PLO representatives, stretch their hands out to you. But you want them also to throw down their guns, which they have for self-defence and in order to regain their homeland. They have stretched their hands out to you. Come and talk to them; say that you will talk to them seriously.
86. I said to them once: "Perhaps you can have a bi-national State; perhaps a confederation; perhaps a State based on cantons, like in Switzerland; and we shall respect your religion just as, I am sure, you respect ours—whether it be Christianity or Islam. You respect anyone who comes to the Holy Land, just as everyone who came to Palestine before that imbroglio, that tragedy, was welcomed." We had a clean slate in Palestine, in so far as strangers were concerned. Even when our enemy gives in, we protect him from our own people, should anyone, out of vengeance, want to hurt him. Anyone who hurts our former enemy becomes an outcast. This is not because we are Arabs, but because it is in the tradition of the Middle East and, I dare say, of the Asian communities, whether they are monotheistic or belong to other religions.
87. Give it a try, political Zionists, if you are really imbued with religious sentiments. And even if you are not imbued with religious sentiments and you want to live there, come and live there and prosper. Why not? But not under the flag of an ideology that started in Europe.
88. Colonialism is nothing compared to the usurpation of a people. The colonialists, in fairness to them, did not take the land; the British and the French did not take the land of the indigenous people in their colonies. They wanted to exploit that land for their own benefit, and our own people sometimes benefited also. But one cannot go on like that. I am speaking objectively now. Sometimes I raise my voice for emphasis. We do not hate the Zionists who tried to kill the Palestinians and usurp their rights, we feel sorry for them. Do not tell us, "There is an Arab in our delegation". That ploy was used by many countries in colonial days. I do not want to mention, in order not to exacerbate matters, that year in, year out a Member State of the United Nations has had a couple of black people on its delegation—they are colonialists in Africa—and they are like false witnesses. What can they do? Maybe they brainwashed them. Maybe they had no other way, those people who accepted the posts, but to serve, praying in their hearts that perhaps one day things will change. So, do not give us that reasoning. You are still controlling the mass media of the United States, whether it be the printed word, radio or television, but you will not succeed. You may succeed in delaying the day of reckoning for some of the Zionists. I, if I am alive, and I am sure many others like me, whether they hail from the region or not, will be on the side of those who may finally be the scapegoats because, after all, they are human beings.
89. You have to seek acceptance in the area. You cannot keep driving the world community, whether inside the United Nations or outside it, to bend to your will. First seek acceptance, and then ask the PLO to talk to you seriously—or you talk to them seriously, and I assure you they will be ready to listen. It may not be a road strewn with roses. And even roses have thorns, and you may be pricked if you want to pick a rose.
90. At the core of the problem of the Middle East is the Palestinian people. As long as the Palestinian people are denied their right to self-determination —as I have said since 1947—the trouble will remain; and it may snowball, and nobody knows what the consequences will be.
91. Mr. Herzog talked about ballots being better than bullets. That is an extraneous question. This is a question not of ballots and bullets but of understanding one another. And do not try to sell us the idea that in certain countries there are no ballots. So what? There are different systems of government. There is a tribal system, and there is more liberty and more rapport between the rulers and the governed than in any so-called democracy. Can anyone contest what I am saying, that, unfortunately, democracy has been ritualized, like most religions? Do not use those cliches.
92. Now, you say we are raising the old monster of anti-Semitism by saying political Zionism is tantamount to racism. Perhaps it will comfort the hearts of the Zionists present here that at one time when the Anglo-Saxons—more precisely, the British—gained power they thought they were a superior people. There is no such thing as race, let me make that clear, but people think they are superior because they amass power and wealth. I remember that as a youngster I won a prize, a book, The Secret of the Superiority of the Anglo-Saxons. That did not mean that there was an Anglo-Saxon race. At that time I was a teenager. I knew later, when I went to Britain—and even before—that the United Kingdom was made up of the so-called Angles, Saxons, Celts, that is the Welsh, the Scots, and the people of Yorkshire and the Isle of Man. It was a conglomeration of various ethnic strains, with one common interest: to see that their country became strong and prosperous.
93. We take issue with the Zionists when they say, time and again, that they have the right to Palestine because they are the chosen people of God. That is exclusivity. God forbid that God should be a discriminator. We are all His creatures.
94. We take issue with those who say that Judaism is superior to any other religion. We respect Judaism, but not political Zionism, because it is aggressive. The Zionists say, and have said, time and again, that they are a people who have suffered in past ages. That was not at the hands of their brothers in the Arab world or in Palestine but at the hands of the Europeans, who connived with the Zionist leadership, not entirely for humanistic purposes but to serve their own policies also.
95. Things cannot go on like that. Do you want peace? Then open a direct dialogue between yourselves and the PLO, not with any other country. The other countries are on the periphery, at least four of them. Do not go by what Mr. Kissinger did, to the best of his ability, to bring some sort of understanding between yourselves and Egypt. I am being frank with you: this will not do.
96. If the slow process of understanding is proceeding at this pace, there may soon not be a human species, because there might be a nuclear war and you might well contribute towards this if you want to adopt the philosophy of Masada, the philosophy of mass suicide, or like Samson in the Bible, when he cried out that the roof of the temple should fall on his head and the heads of his enemies. We do not want to be your enemies, you chose that we should be your enemies. You will find the Palestinians are very peaceful people if you know how to talk to them, and I am sure there are many Palestinians who yearn for peace just as you do. There are also many who are rebels, just as the French Maquis were rebels or those who fought against the British in the American revolution were rebels, or the people who lived under the colonial yoke were rebels—but neither more nor less.
97. Wake up, you Zionists! I do not want to see a day of reckoning when your children, wives and loved ones will suffer inadvertently. You are closing your eyes as to what might happen, if not in the near future, in the intermediate future. You have no hope of surviving unless you come to an understanding with the people of the region. Wake up—not only for the sake of the Palestinians but for your own sake, for the sake of all peoples in the region. And stop making Zionism a world problem. The world will get fed up with Zionism, and with the Palestinians and the Arabs to boot. But the Palestinians and the Arabs do not care, because they believe they have a just cause. If the world gets fed up with us that is its business; but you cannot afford to let the world get fed up with you, dispersed as you are in many countries.
98. Again, do not think that because of the fait accompli you have become respectable—politically speaking—for the time being. And let any one, Jew or Gentile, dare another time to use the word obscene, and I shall ask to speak and shall give you a dissertation on the obscenity of those who use such words—if not of them personally, because I have no spies on their personal lives, then of the way of life they have created for their citizens. So I repeat, wake up! As we say in Arabic: "There is benefit in repetition."
99. The PLO does not represent the Palestinians as a whole? Did the Free French and de Gaulle represent all the French? I remember having spoken to the representative of Petain, one who was accredited to this country, none other than Mr. Henry-Haye—who was at one time the mayor of Versailles. May God rest his soul in peace. He was a Petainist of course. He said, "What do the British and Americans want us to do? We have had 32 wars and smaller conflicts with our neighbours the Germans. Do you want to fuel the war between us and the Germans?" Then I said, "What about de Gaulle?" He said, "Mr. de Gaulle is free to act as he does, but most of us French do not want to be used by Britain or the United States." Later, he was sent to Hershey because the Americans broke off relations with France. And I went and said goodbye to him, and I was, of course, followed by the FBI. And I saw the people from the FBI and said "Why are you following me?" "Where do you get your money?" they said. I said "I have a little money of my own." I was here during the war. "Designate a country to which I can go." When I was in England I was tipped off by an Englishman that the British were going into the war. I am relating this not as a personal story but because it has relevance. "Oh," they said, "you can stay here, this is a democratic country." Then later they wanted to enlist my services in the war. I said "I do not believe in war." That is why when I was tipped off, I left England in time. "But this is a war for democracy", they said. And who created Hitler but the victors of the First World War? None other than Clemenceau and Lloyd George.
"I tell you, I am not a fool. If you think my presence in this country constitutes a danger, I am ready to leave", I said. They saw it was the better part of wisdom that I should not leave, because probably they thought I might be a propagandist for peace.
100. What is wrong with peace? What is wrong with the man with the umbrella—Chamberlain? There is a lot of wrong in Churchill, the Tory leader—may God also rest his soul in peace and forgive him. At Potsdam he whispered to Mr. Truman, while they were discussing with Mr. Stalin the peace of the Second World War: "What about rearming the 700,000 Nazis in the British zone and marching them on to Moscow?"
They were talking peace with Stalin. I do not say that Stalin was a saint, but the Russians are deep—the Americans give themselves away.
101. The British were fed up with Mr. Churchill, they were getting tired. Read the memoirs of his doctor and of Sir Alexander Cadogan whom I knew personally. And then again I harp on the same point —when in the Security Council we were discussing the same Palestine question, only a couple of years before, Mr. Churchill made this statement: "I was not appointed His Majesty's Prime Minister to preside over the liquidation of the British Empire." What British Empire? Most of those who lived in the British Empire thought they were slaves—at least they thought so for otherwise why were they waging war?
102. Now, the American Government here may still think it can play a big role by persuading the Zionists to come to their senses, lest they alienate our people from you, and many other people, and we do not want to be alienated, especially now that they have detente and seem to have worked out some understanding with the Russians. But the Russians are cleverer than you. They are not declaring that they will have a confrontation in order to save the Palestinians, but, as was said, their stand is laudable. This is from a monarchist. I do not believe in communism. They are laudable in the sense that, as the Arabic saying goes, "We judge by appearances". Why should I delve into the motives of anybody?
103. But what have we done to the American Government since 1947? Just because the Zionists are powerful you do not remain powerful. And remember that all American citizens do not number more than 6 per cent of the world's population, and it is not in the interests of the United States to alienate itself from others because, at one time, it wielded world power and it still does. Times will change.
104. We had a couple of empires. They crumbled when they got drunk with power—Alexander the Great occupied our region, the Seleucids, the Romans, the Byzantines, the Crusaders, the Mongols, our Ottoman brothers—where are they now? Their empires have vanished, and is it now your tum, European Zionists descended from the Khazars, whose forebears never saw the land of Palestine? You cannot sell this bill of goods—to use an Americanism—to the world, saying: "God gave us Palestine. You people of the world should heed the fact that we suffered at the hands of the Europeans. Therefore, give us Palestine." What logic. I appeal to you as brothers in humanity, although I am opposed to your ideology, to see the light and to make peace with the Palestinians, and then you will be at peace with the whole Arab Muslim world and those who have seen what tribulations the Palestinians have suffered on account of your acting like the worst colonialists.
105. See the light, stretch out your hand, and there will be peace in the world.
Download Document Files: apv2391.pdf
Document Type: Meeting record
Document Sources: Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People (CEIRPP), General Assembly
Subject: Inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, Middle East situation, PLO/Palestine, Palestine question, Situation in the OPT including Jerusalem, Statehood-related
Publication Date: 03/11/1975