Seventh emergency special session
PROVISIONAL VERBATIM RECORD OF THE TWELFTH MEETING
Held at Headquarters, New York,
on Friday, 25 July 1980, at 10.30 a.m.
Mr. SALIM (United Republic of Tanzania)
Mr. SINCLAIR (Guyana)
– Question of Palestine  (continued)
This record contains the original text of speeches delivered in English and interpretations of speeches in the other languages. The final text will be printed in the Official Records of the General Assembly.
Corrections should be submitted to original speeches only. They should be sent under the signature of a member of the delegation concerned, within one week, to the Chief of the Official Records Editing Section, Department of Conference Services, room A-3550, 866 United Nations Plaza, and incorporated in a copy of the record.
The meeting was called to order at 11.00 p.m.
AGENDA ITEM 5 (continued)
QUESTION OF PALESTINE
Mr. Kostov (Bulgaria): Mr. President, permit me first of all to express the genuine satisfaction of the Bulgarian delegation at seeing the responsible post of President of this Assembly entrusted once again to you, the representative of friendly Tanzania, a worthy son of the African continent and a tireless fighter against colonialism.
The People's Republic of Bulgaria has fully supported the idea of opening the present emergency special session and is of the opinion that this convening is both timely and well justified.
For more than 30 years the Middle last has been a dangerous hotbed of political and military tension which has substantially strained the international framework and has posed a constant throat to world peace and security. For more than three decades now the Palestinian people hove been driven from their motherland and denied the right to enjoy a home of their own. The new element in the Middle East, which has prompted the convening of the current session, is that the situation in the region has deteriorated to such a critical point the international community can no longer tolerate the existing status quo. The failure to resolve the conflict has emboldened the aggressor who is continuing his policy of intransigence and faits accomplis thus raising further obstacles to the peaceful settlement of the crisis. The Israeli aggressor is taking advantage of the worsened international situation caused by the imperialist circles, to put fresh landmarks on the road of annexation and perpetuation of its rule over the occupied Arab territories.
Today it is abundantly clear that the core of the lengthy Arab-Israeli conflict is the unresolved question of the recognition of the inalienable national rights of the Arab people of Palestine, a question permeating the whole Middle East crisis, and that without the comprehensive solution of this crisis, including the issue of Palestine, it would not be possible to defuse the explosiveness of the tension, nor would it be possible to achieve a just and lasting peace in the region.
The current discussion reflects the sound contemplation by the international community of the very essence of the Palestinian issue. As is known, this issue was for many years viewed by the majority of countries solely in its humanitarian aspect, that is, as a refugee problem. Owing to the intensification of the struggle of the Palestinian people and the broadening of the international support it has received, mainly from the socialist and the non-aligned countries, the Palestinian problem has developed from a purely refugee problem into one of national self-determination of the whole Palestinian people. An important milestone in this development was the adoption by the United Nations General Assembly of the historic resolutions 3236 (XXIX) and 3237 (XXIX). The first one recognized the imprescriptible rights of the Palestinian people, including the right to self-determination, without any foreign interference, the right to national independence and sovereignty and the right of the Palestinians to return to their ancestral lands. The second resolution granted observer status at the United Nations to the political vanguard of the Palestinian people, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), as the sole legitimate representative of the Arab people of Palestine. Thus the Palestinian problem was put at last in its true perspective.
Since that time both the Security Council and the General Assembly have adopted a number of resolutions reaffirming the national rights of the Palestinian people. The United Nations now has a clear vision of the way the Palestinian question ought to be resolved. The Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, which was set up at the thirtieth session of the General Assembly, submitted its recommendations as early as 1976. Those recommendations are clear, simple and well known. They reaffirm the right of the Palestinians to self-determination, national independence and sovereignty on Palestinian land, including their right to create their own independent State and to recover their homes and property. The recommendations also call for the withdrawal of Israeli troops from all Arab territories seized since 1967 and for a halt to the establishment of new Israeli settlements in those lands.
As is known, those recommendations were approved by an overwhelming majority at the thirty-first session of the General Assembly in 1976. It is a telling; fact that over since then the General Assembly has every year reaffirmed those recommendations, which is a clear indication of their maturity and comprehensiveness as well as of the deep trust that the international community has placed in them.
The People's Republic of Bulgaria, along with the other members of the socialist community, has always been unswervingly and unremittingly in favour of the aforementioned recommendations as the only feasible way to the settlement of the Palestinian problem in the interests of justice, peace and security in the world. In their Declaration of 15 May 1980, the States Parties to the Warsaw Treaty confirmed once again their position:
"A lasting peace in the Middle East could have been established long ago. The road to such peace is well known, and the States represented at the meeting have also indicated it on many occasions – an all-embracing Middle East settlement with the direct participation of all the parties concerned, including the Palestinian Arab people as embodied by its representative, the Palestine Liberation Organization, on the basis of respect for the legitimate interests of all States and peoples of the Middle East, including Israel."
At the Sixth Conference in Havana the non-aligned countries also reaffirmed that it would not be possible to resolve the Middle East conflict without the exercise by the Palestinian people of their inalienable rights, including their right to return to their homeland, to self-determination and to the creation of an independent national State in Palestine. That position has been endorsed in many other authoritative international forums.
Only Israel continues persistently and arrogantly to defy and disregard the decisions of the General Assembly and the Security Council, to step up its reprisals in the occupied territories, gradually to implement its programme of annexation and colonization of the seized Arab lands and to deny the very existence of the Palestinian people and its representative, the PLO, which recognized world-wide. One may wonder how much longer the rulers of Israel will go on consoling themselves with the hope that by denying the existence of the Palestine Liberation Organization they can brush aside the very problem of Palestine.
In the light of the latest Israeli actions the real nature and goals of the Camp David accords and the separate Egypt-Israel deal have become more than clear. The propaganda flourish about them having died away, it has now become obvious that those documents represent in essence a smoke-screen for the true goals of the American imperialist policy in the Middle East and for Israel's policy of expansionism and aggression against the Palestinian people and the neighbouring Arab countries. The realization of the plan for so-called administrative autonomy would mean the denial of the national rights of the Palestinians, the perpetuation of the occupation of the Arab territories, the continuation, this time with the consent of the United States and Egypt, of the exploitation of their natural resources, the acquisition of lands and the changing of their demographic, economic, cultural and other features, or, in other words, the right of Israel to lord it in Gaza and the West Bank. In actual fact, the latest developments in the occupied territories, namely, the accelerated establishment of Jewish settlements, the displacement of the Arab population, the expropriation of the water resources, the systematic violation of the basic rights of the Palestinians and so forth, demonstrate unequivocally how Israel understands and is prepared to implement the famous "Palestinian autonomy". It is quite reasonable to raise the question of just how much longer the illusion can be sustained that there is any hope for the resolution of the Palestinian problem through "autonomy talks" in which the Palestinians, the main party and the one most concerned, are not represented.
In the entangled complex of problems related to the Middle East conflict there is one thing which is as clear as crystal-clear daylight, and that is the fact that Israel would never have been in a position to hold the Arab lands occupied in 1967 and to defy so arrogantly the international community, nor would it have been able to pursue a policy of flagrant violation of the principles and norms of international law, had it not been able to rely on the all-round and active support of the United States.
The United States has not only supplied Israel with arms and bolstered its aggressive aspirations, but it has vetoed in the Security Council any proposal for action. Thus the United States is warranting a line of policy which is condemned by the entire international community, although sometimes the American Government is not completely happy with the actions of its ally.
However, it would be naive to believe that the United States does not fully comprehend the essence of the Palestinian problem, or that its Government has to follow unwillingly a line of policy decried by the entire world. The truth is that we are witnessing a complete concurrence of the strategic global interests of American imperialism in the region of the Diddle East with the promotion of the Zionist idea of "greater Israel", whose borders have never been determined save through following the Bible which is a kind of foreign policy platform for the present Israeli establishment. Those borders could stretch from the Me to the Euphrates.
The latest news from the information agencies about the new military supplies for Israel, including the P-16 fighter-bomber, far from reflecting a concern for the security and the future of the Jewish State, as some tend to describe them, are part of the systematic realization of the American plans for military penetration in the Middle East. Other elements of those plans are the seeking of facilities in some countries of the region as a preliminary step to the creation of permanent military bases and the setting up of a military alliances, the feverish haste of building a rapid deployment force, and so on.
The Government and the people of the People's Republic of Bulgaria deeply cherish their traditional ties of friendship and co-operation with the Arab peoples, and more especially with the Arab people of Palestine and its Political vanguard, the Palestine Liberation Organization. As the President of the State Council of the People's Republic of Bulgaria, Todor Zhivkov, recently said:
"We cannot turn a deaf ear to the problems of the Middle East and be indifferent to the tragic plight of the Palestinian Arab people. The position of the People's Republic of Bulgaria remains unchanged: total withdrawal of Israel from all Arab territories occupied since 1967, exercise of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, including its right to create its own State, guarantees for the sovereignty and the security of all countries of the region.
Bulgaria will continue to render active assistance to the legitimate struggle of the Palestinian people until full realization of its just cause.
he Bulgarian delegation stands ready to lend its full-fledged support to all constructive proposals for the achievement of this noble goal.
Mr. ARDEKANI (Iran): Mr. President, I should like to join other representatives in congratulating this august body on its electing you President, not only because of your skills and abilities in international diplomacy and politics but also for the role your country has played in promoting the cause of peace, freedom and liberation in the world, especially on the continent of Africa. A few months ago I had the opportunity to visit your country and to see for myself the progress that your country has made, in its own special way, to free itself from the political and economic yokes that had been imposed on it for years. I also had the opportunity to see your hometown on the beautiful green island of Pemba, and I had the opportunity to see some of your friends and colleagues who were there. Thus I have a really special affinity for being able to represent my country while you are presiding over the work of this body.
Since most speakers have adequately addressed the crux of the matter as far as the rights of the Palestinian nation are concerned, I should like to digress from the official statement that has been prepared and briefly raise special points that I should like to add to what has been said by most previous speakers.
In doing so I am reminded of the audience that took place some thousands of years ago between the representative of an oppressed people and their oppressor – between the Prophet Moses and the Pharoah. I repeat his prayer as it is given in the Holy Koran:
"0, my Lord, expand my mind; ease my task for me, and remove the impediments from my speech so that they may understand what I say."
As far as the national rights of the Palestinian people are concerned, probably not much needs to be added. From the time of antiquity, there has been a land of Palestine, and there has been a nation on that land, the Palestinian nation, and its inalienable rights do not have to be mentioned again and again. However, it is necessary to put them on record for those who have doubts, for those who cannot see the sunlight, for those whose arrogance and greed have blinded them to the logic of mankind. For our generation, and since the beginning of the century, the question of Palestine has not been a new question. The aggressors who came from the four quarters of the world and tried to occupy other people's land have created the problem, and the world knows that. When the aggressors tried to deprive the Palestinians of their homeland, the world's conscience was not present at the United Nations meeting at which the partition of Palestine was decided on without consideration of the national rights of the Palestinians. However, the world has resolved that what has been done to the Palestinians has deprived them of their national rights. Thus, we as representatives of the human community, must correct that mistake.
The world knows the rights of the Palestinians, their national rights. The world knows that the Palestine Liberation Organization is the representative of that nation, and the Palestinians, as a nation, agree, and they are willing to make sacrifices to implement the policies of their representative body. The Palestinians in exile and those in occupied lands have all confirmed that the PLO is the representative of the Palestinians as a nation.
So what I should like to add is that what has been said about those rights is all necessary, but not sufficient.
The problem we are facing is not the problem of whether or not we agree that the Palestinians are a nation and thus have inalienable rights, The problem that we are facing is how to implement those rights and how to induce those who ignore those rights – and by ignoring them are threatening world peace – to agree with the logic of this world body. The problem we are facing in this regard is two-dimensional.
The first dimension of the problem relates to the enemies of the Palestinians as a nation, of which certainly Israel is the foremost, and those who enable Israel to violate all the rights due to a nation in the annals of human history. Those enemies of peace on earth are Israel and its supporters, with the United States at the top of the list. They would like to say that"there are no Palestinians in Palestine". Then one might ask, "Why has Palestine become a national question for those people who consider themselves Palestinians?". It reminds me of an Iranian saying, If a bat does not like the sunlight, that does not diminish the popularity and warmth of the sun, nor delay the rising of the sun every morning".
The aggressor always, throughout history, has had the same logic: go to the limit of pressure that the situation can bear. I have just mentioned the example of the Pharaoh, and Pharaohs have been numerous throughout history. The United States knows that aggressors who do not find common ground with their foes will recognize no compromise. And so negotiations began, only to buy time for the aggressor to move away from its initial position, and thus the theatre of Camp David was created. The theatre of Camp David was created so that the Zionist entity could move away from its previous positions. It has been seen that in the course of implementing the so-called Camp David accords, Israel has increased its pace at which it is violating the rights of the Palestinians, has increased the rate at which it is blowing up houses, has stepped up the killing of youth, the orphaning of children and the widowing of women, and has advanced the so-called scheme of creating a Jewish Jerusalem and changing the historical, cultural and demographic characteristics of Al Quds-Al Sharif and the West Bank of Jordan to create so-called faits accomplis. But Israel can do all this only so long as it is nourished through lifelines connected with the United States and its other supporters. After all, its life is like that of any other parasitic body – it has to feed on other bodies – and that is exactly the logic of our argument.
Regarding the second dimension of the problem, to those who recognize the rights of the Palestinians as a nation and are trying to solve the problems of the Middle East so that peace on earth may be achieved, we say that the problem lies not with Israel – the problem is rather with those who created Israel, those who support Israel and those who use the resources of the world and channel them to Israel in order to be able to intensify the aggression and strengthen the Israeli garrison that they have created in the Middle East.
That is why we say that what the friends of Palestine have said here is not sufficient, even though it is necessary.
We should like to state that if we are about to enact a resolution which would be considered by those aggressors, we have to have a resolution combined with an action plan; and, one that is based on the logic I have just outlined. We think the way to do this is to put pressure on those who help the Israeli entity to continue its aggression in spite of all the resolutions that have been passed in the last 33 years.
The Islamic Republic of Iran was a case in point during a special dilemma over the past 26 years. Since the CIA-engineered coup against our nationally elected Government, when the whole nation of Iran became hostage to the American greed, we have seen Iran reduced to the same strategic depth as the Zionist entity. Our resources were exploited, our land was misused, our bases were abused, torture devices were imported from Israel, there was secret police collaboration, and so on. All that was there, not even for the sake of maintaining the regime that was in power but in order to ensure regional support for Israeli Zionism and American imperialism.
Now the people of Iran, with united action, have shown that blood is mightier than the sword, and Iran has turned,instead, to the strategic depth of the Palestinian nation. We should like to suggest the same to the world body: if we act in a united manner, we should be able to show that on the international scene and in Palestine, blood will again be mightier than the sword, as it has been throughout history.
That is why we suggest that political pressure is not enough. Supporters of Israel, namely the United States, only care for material things. Those who help Israel politically, economically and militarily would not have done so if they had known that there.would be retaliations from those who believe in peace and from those who believe in the national rights of the Palestinians. Thus we suggest that, besides recognizing the inalienable rights of the Palestinians, we should also exert economic and political pressure on those who help the parasitic entity to survive and to continue its aggression.
We suggest that, in due course, the peace-loving nations of the world, individually or collectively, should exert pressure on the United States and the other supporters of Israel by reducing their trade with them by banning the export of strategic raw materials to the United States, and by not letting their financial and other economic resources be used by financial and economic institutions of the United States, which could not then continue to nourish the illegal activities of the Israeli entity against the Palestinian people.
The PRESIDENT: I thank the representative of Iran for the very kind words he addressed both to my country and to me personally. In accordance with the decision taken by the Assembly yesterday afternoon, I now call on the Permanent Observer of the League of Arab States.
Mr. MAKSOUD (League of Arab States) (interpretation from Arabic): The General Assembly of the United Nations has convened this emergency special session in order to submit the Palestinian issue to a thorough in-depth analysis. The General Assembly has previously adopted many resolutions asserting the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people. It has stressed, in the clearest terms, the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and statehood, as well as their right of return.
Yet, ever since its creation, Israel has continuously violated these rights. This has led to the condemnation of Israel's aggressive stance, its expansionist behaviour and its racist ideology. The members of this Assembly know only too well the particulars of the Palestinian cause, and are fully aware of the reality of the situation. The General Assembly has consistently and repeatedly emphasized its commitment to Palestinian rights.
One may wonder why, then, this emergency special session. The answer is obvious: most United Nations Members have come to the conclusion that there must be a qualitative and fundamental change in the United Nations pattern of dealing with the Palestinian issue: that it is no longer enough for the United Nations merely to re-affirm its commitments; it must see to it that these commitments are enforced; the credibility of the United Nations resolutions must be established.
The convening of this emergency special session following the heels of the many attempts that have recently been made by the Security Council to induce Israel to comply with the international will. In this context, Israel's record is replete with examples of total disregard for the United Nations. It systematically mocks and rejects United Nations resolutions.
In fact, Israel considers itself capable of invalidating the role of this international body. Tel Aviv habitually undermines the prestige and credibility of the United Nations, an Organization which constitutes for the whole of mankind the most solid guarantee of peace, and the best evidence that peace is an enduring option.
It is our duty, therefore, to consolidate the United Nations resolutions to ensure their implementation and to make certain they achieve their proposed objectives. This is what we refer to when we speak of the need for a qualitative change in the equation governing the relationship between the. United Nations and the Palestinian issue.
What we call for, Mr. President, as you lead this historic debate with your usual clear vision, your full grasp of the international situation, your shrewd approach and your dedication to law, is that this session should respond to the pressing needs of mankind; that the United Nations should serve as the refuge to which mankind turns for the fulfilment of its aspirations to peace and justice. It is undeniable: there can be no peace when there is frustration, and no justice when man is denied his rights.
The League of Arab States, which does not merely stand for the collective will of the Arab States, but seeks to speak for the national conscience of the Arabs, holds it to be of the highest importance that the United Nations remain the repository of guaranteed rights, and the instrument of peace-keeping throughout the world. It is therefore urgently necessary at this critical phase of contemporary history that we explore the reasons and motivations behind the obstacles to a just and durable peace in that most dangerous area of the world, the Middle East.
As we examine closely these reasons and motivations, we find that they reside in – or, rather, wholly amount to – the belief by the Zionist entity that it is secure against sanctions, that its repeated, ever more intense, ever-escalating aggressions throughout the occupied territories and Southern Lebanon are immune from rebuke; that it can continue with the establishment, consolidation and arming of colonial settlements, not only in violation of international law and charters, but also as a prelude to the Zionization and annexation of the region – this by way of distorting the national and territorial characteristics within occupied Palestine as part of a planned course of action aimed at usurping the homes of the Palestinian people. We cannot stand passively by as Israel attempts to fulfil its long-standing Zionist, racist dream – namely, the achievement of the "Greater Israel" project.
Through its unilateral decision to attempt the annexation of Holy Jerusalem, through its obstinate quest to desecrate the religious and cultural heritage of that sacred City whose roots are deeply embedded in our hearts; Israel may be seeking to give us an idea of what it intends to do with every piece of land it touches, every place where its dominating rule can be expanded.
We are therefore faced with a racist and fascist entity, unchecked by any of the restraints and untrammeled by the obligations that nations have accepted as a pre-condition for meaningful intercourse. If we do not immediately take all the measures necessary to contain this voracious appetite for domination and ensure that Israel submits to the international will as embodied in United notions resolutions, we shall be helping to aggravate tension and instability and to endanger the future of peace and security in that region.
Why does Israel believe that it has the power to carry on along this unrestrained, self-indulgent course by means of aggression, expansionism and violation of law? The answer may be found in the motive underlying the convening of this emergency special session of the General Assembly. The United States has provided Israel with the material, moral, military and diplomatic support it needs to persevere in its stubborn defiance of the international will and consensus. This defiance has characterized Israel's behaviour pattern since its creation.
The international crisis is such now that the United States can no longer continue unconditionally to support Israel's tyranny and aggression. The pursuit of this policy may well end in further confusion and disarray in the Middle East, a very sensitive area of great importance for the future economic and political stability of the entire world.
We shall not go so far as to say that the goals of the United States and those of Israel coincide, but the nature of their relations appears to bear out this type of concomitance. We do not want this suspicion to take root in our minds. We in the Arab world are inclined to make accurate analyses and take into account all the various implications. But should this impression of United States and Israeli complicity persist, should the desired change in approach be too long in coming, then conjecture will inevitably turn into a certainty.
We can infer from statements by leading American officials involved in the Camp David agreements, from the competition between presidential candidates for Zionist votes – votes bought with the promise of commitment not only to Israel's security but also to the achievement of Tel Aviv's ambitious goals – or from the programmes of the two important parties, that the United States of America is keen on making the substance of our impression an undisputed fact. It seems as if the United States of America must dispel any possible doubt that might incur the wrath of Israel. In all perplexity and bewilderment, we cannot help wondering, in regard to this situation, how a super-Power of this calibre can be so blind to the dimensions of its role and responsibility regarding the requirements of peace in the Middle East and how most of its political leaders can continue to delude their people by hiding the truth from them.
United States officials are resolved that the Camp David accords should form the "only" platform for peace negotiations. The United States Secretary of State has insisted that his Government is determined to go on with the Camp David process. In an address before the Association for International Relations made in New York on 7 July 1980, he repeated that the Camp David approach must be continued. He maintained, however, that the question of Palestinian rights can be solved only through the association of Palestinians in the negotiations.
We are not the only ones to wonder about the reasons for this insistance on a "process" that has proved beyond any doubt to be a failure. The entire world is asking: Why this insistence? And the entire world is answering that the United States, obstinate in its commitment to the Camp David accords, is motivated by political and electoral considerations. Those considerations force the United States into disguising the Camp David failure as a success. To admit to have failed is likely to lead to increased internal political troubles for the United States Administration. But one may ask: Can the international community further tolerate the fact that one of the two world super-Powers, together with its public opinion, ignores to this degree the objective considerations that led to the Camp David accords?
Perhaps this emergency special session of the General Assembly will contribute to the enlightenment of American public opinion, in spite of the selective dissemination of information in the United States. Perhaps we can help to bring about a realization that what is being described as an achievement is in truth a fiasco.
The Camp David accords have proved to be a process that in no way serves the purpose of a just peace in the region. Ever since the signing of the accords and the treaty by the regime of Arab Egypt and Israel, the latter has sought to impose its own interpretation of that treaty. The result has been the establishment of additional colonial settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories. A further result has been the initiation of measures aimed at changing the identity of Holy Jerusalem, an Arab city and the meeting place of many religions, measures aimed at altering Jerusalem's status and future into that of an imperial "capital", founded on the negation of the Palestinian people's rights and of Palestine itself.
Ever since the signing of those accords, Israeli aggression has been escalating in Lebanon, especially in its southern region. Israel has thus used the renegades in the southern and other parts of Lebanon as a cunning device to implement its scheme of preventing Arab Lebanon from exercising its sovereignty over the land, of sowing discord among its citizens, of impeding the restoration of constitutional authority and the resumption of Lebanon's role and mission, both within the Arab context and in the international arena.
When the United States insists that the Camp David accords provide the "only" process for the achievement of peace, our answer can only be that those accords are a deliberate usurpation of the rights of the Palestinian people and the sovereignty of Arab States over their own land. The accords are devised merely to make it possible for Israel to achieve its goals. Begin and his supporters shamelessly proclaim these goals and intentions with an arrogance that is beyond human belief. The Camp David accords have paved the way to giving Israel a free hand in aggression, colonization and its contempt of world order. The parties to the Camp David accords are attempting through their declarations to cripple and hinder the United Nations in its assumption of responsibilities not only in regard to the achievement of a just peace in the Middle East, but also with regard to the requirements of international security and to the Palestinian people's right to self-determination.
The United Nations is requested to put an end to this usurpation, to this violation and to the licence granted Israel to continue its aggression. A mere condemnation is no longer enough. It is imperative that we seek ways and means whereby Israel can be deterred and forced to consider two, and only two, choices – either to submit to the international will or to be suspended from the international community.
The United Nations is at the crossroads. This emergency special session must implement the political option with regard to the middle East crisis and impose it on those who have chosen aggression as a rule of conduct and arrogance and racism as their distinctive label.
What we say here stems from our concern that violence must be avoided as a means of coping with crises. When violence is part and parcel of an aggressive strategy that revolves around expansionism and the desecration of the rights of others, then international society must find a meaningful deterrent to oppose it.
If we do not deter Israeli aggression now, violence will become the only alternative for those whose only other recourse is despair. The United Nations is called upon to summon its collective wisdom in order to convince the world of the practicality and credibility of its resolutions and the effectiveness of its decisions. This must be done not only out of respect for legitimacy, but also as an admonition to those who infringe upon it.
Most of the delegations participating in this session have dealt with the Palestinian issue. They have called upon the overwhelming majority of the world's nations to convene this session. The decision to call an emergency special session came after the Camp David trio attempted to entrap the international community into voluntarily neglecting to play its role.
It is as if the world had sensed the attempted entrapment and escaped from falling into it. The time has now come to move on to the stage of rejection, that is, to remove the trap. Thus viewed, the European Community's initiative as spelt out in the Venice declaration points to a new awakening.
We do welcome this beginning. But if some parties should believe that the Venice declaration constitutes the ultimate step, then the negative aspects of this move would outweigh the positive progress achieved. The Venice declaration does mark a step forward, but it is not enough: it is incomplete. We believe that the conscience of Western Europe shares the conviction of the universal conscience concerning the rights of the Palestinian people. But the stand taken by Europe, because of the strategic equation with the United States, has not risen to the level of what European conscience dictates. What, in fact, is wrong with this step? Essentially it is the hesitation fully to recognize the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) as the only legitimate representative of the Palestinian people. Indeed, the PLO is not only the legitimate representative of that people, but is also the framework of their unity and destiny. The PLO cannot merely be one of the Palestinian parties involved: deep down in the heart of this people, the PLO is Palestine itself. Any compromise on this subject is bound to jeopardize the unity of the Palestinian people and would constitute an attempt to deal with the Palestinian matter as a problem, not as a cause.
To speak of associating the PLO in the negotiating process rather than of considering it as the spokesman of and interlocutor for the Palestinian people further complicates the quest for peace and points to the inadequacy, and hence the incompleteness, of the Venice declaration.
We want to emphasize that what has been achieved at Venice constitutes a condemnation of the Camp David accords and points to European recognition of the basic invalidity of these agreements as a process leading to real peace. The declaration, however, does not provide for the target objective of guaranteeing the strategy for world peace and a just peace in the area. It thus appears to us that resolution 3236 (XXIX) of the United Nations General Assembly is of the essence and stands too as a critical test: the more clearly individual States can understand the real impact of this resolution, the more apt they will be to take part in securing the requirements of a just peace and in guaranteeing the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people.
We all know that since the June 1967 aggression Israel has continued its occupation of Arab territories in defiance of the resolutions calling upon it to withdraw. Worse still, this occupation has been further complicated by radical changes concerning the land itself made in preparation for confiscating it from its owners and subsequently annexing it to Israel. This plan stems from a specific Zionist concept, namely that the Judaization operation is a continuing process which, from Israel's viewpoint, cannot – or rather must not – be interrupted or handicapped.
When the Arab States and the third world – indeed, the entire world, including the United States itself – tried to cope with the question of Israel's inevitable withdrawal from the occupied territories, it became patently clear that Israel does not deal with the problem as one of occupation, but rather as an indisputable and permanent Zionist right. This Israeli' interpretation has clouded the perceptions of many countries in one way or another. Those countries tend to handle the crisis as though Israel were an ordinary State when, in fact, its behaviour, policy and philosophy show clearly that it considers itself to be a State in the making rather than a fully completed State. In this way, aggression, expansionism and the violation of the rights of the Palestinian people and of the sovereignty of the Arab States have become actual components of the Zionist entity.
Hence, I wish to emphasize that there is a pressing need for radical change in the pattern of relationships between the United Nations and Israel. By association, the necessity of reconsidering the Palestinian case imposes itself as a condition to the achievement of peace and stability in the region. Israel calls the occupied territories "administered areas" and even has the audacity to call them "liberated areas", The purpose of these deceitful semantics is to justify Tel Aviv's tyranny, oppression and colonial thrust in expanding its racist entity over an important and organic part of the Arab nation.
We have learned that Ali el-Jafari and Kassem Mohammed Halawia have been martyred as a result of their fasting in protest at Hafha Prison in the Negev. It follows from this that the world must penetrate the core of the crisis. It must fully grasp the true nature of the doctrinal and ideological, premises from which Israel perpetrates its acts of aggression. The world must understand that Israel behaves with a total lack of responsibility towards the international community, while expecting that same community to show concern for its future. This situation is no longer tolerated by the vast majority of the States and peoples of the world. It is extremely regrettable that the United States should feel responsible for Israel, while Israel itself behaves as if it were free from any kind of responsibility.
For all these reasons, the withdrawal from the occupied territories becomes something to be carried out according to a specific time schedule. The international community must be able to deal with Israel in a normal way. If Israel proves adamant in its rejection of the common international will, in its defiance of United Nations decisions and in its obstinate provocation of events designed to disguise its expansionist drive, then the international community will have no alternative but to suspend Israel's membership in the United Nations. (spoke in English)
I should like, in view of the various questions asked yesterday, to take this opportunity to respond. It is obvious that the thrust of this debate concerns, in fact, not only Israel's contempt for the United Nations, its Charter, its resolutions and its very existence, but also how to deal objectively and credibly with the consequences of Israel's defiance and contempt. This is important – it is vital – and requires an action-oriented resolution, so that the United Nations will no longer find itself in a position of debating Israel, but will be equipped to deal with its addiction to aggression, expansion and colonization.
I should now like to address myself to the questions that the United States delegation raised during the debate yesterday, and attempt to provide some answers, for we must assume that if the United States asks questions this means – despite all evidence to the contrary – that it is interested in the debate of this session and, thus, in its possible outcome. This is why we listened carefully to what the American delegation stated yesterday. The overriding question the United States delegation put forward was, "What better alternative to the negotiating process of Camp David do those who oppose it suggest?"
Inasmuch as the League of Arab States represents the Arab nation that opposes the Camp David agreements, I should like to answer in the following manner: There are many better alternatives. One could say, as a matter of fact, that any alternative is better. Even some of the alternatives that have been proposed by the United States itself are better alternatives.
First of all, the joint statement made by the United States and the Soviet Union on 1 October 1977 is a better alternative. While it was not totally satisfactory to us, at least it provided a framework in which to resolve the Middle East crisis within the context of international detente, unlike the Camp David agreements which escalate and render more acute and dangerous the atmosphere of cold war in the region and throughout the world.
That joint statement presumes that that was a studied American plan. How did it happen that the United States was derailed from this commitment into a near reversal of its policy?
Secondly, the United Nations, as the framework for dealing with the question of Palestine and the crisis in the Middle East, would be the best instrument in the framework of which an international consensus could be reached. This agreement would stand the outcome of the negotiations and would give them a legitimate character and consequently a basis of credibility, continuity or justice on which the settlement would rest.
The United States delegation considers resort to the United Nations a futile exercise and complains about our propensity for resorting as frequently as we do to the Security Council and to the General Assembly of the United Nations. The United States, as a founding Member of this Organization and as one of the super-Powers, should be gratified at the resilience of the Arab persistence in having faith in the United Nations.
In fact, the United States should consider our resort to the United Nations as an intrinsic preference for the option of peace. For the option of non-violence. So the machinery of the United Nations should be put to maximum use and its effectiveness should not be minimized and undermined. That would be a far better alternative.
The United States delegation challenges us – that is to say, the delegations who oppose the Camp David agreements – to find an alternative strategy. Let me state it very clearly: as far as the Arab nation is concerned, our first priority is the return of Egypt to the Arab fold as a necessary requirement to enable us to advance towards an alternative over-all strategy that assumes Egypt's involvement and not its insulation and isolation.
That is why the restoration of Egypt's normal and national sense of belonging is so crucial for the Egyptian people as well as for all the Arab peoples, for the Camp David agreements, inasmuch as they perpetuate this disruption and distortion of Egyptian relations with the Arab nation, constitute a disservice to the prospects of genuine peace in the region.
Thirdly, the United States delegation stated yesterday that "Innumerable resolutions have been passed, but we are no closer to peace as a result of them." (A/ES-7/PV.6, p. 13)
True, the United States can afford to be "cool", even to pontificate. That is why it exhorts us "not to use inflammatory rhetoric". What else does the United States want those living under occupation and in refugee camps to do? Can they negotiate, and with whom? Is it not only logical that they should focus on the United Nations, through their legitimate national liberation movement, as all colonial victims have done throughout modern history and as the Palestinian people are doing today through the Palestine Liberation Organization?
Nobody begrudges the United States its intransigence in the conjured euphoria of the Camp David agreements. But we are deeply concerned that the United States should make itself available and participate in a just and comprehensive solution of the Middle East crisis, and that it should not become the pillar of a countervailing axis to the authentic search for a just and durable peace, as the Camp David agreements have clearly shown it to be.
Fourthly, to declare Security Council resolution 242 (1967) sacrosanct and to disavow Security Council resolution 465 (1980) of 1 March 1980 in the manner in which it has been disavowed do not really entitle the United States delegation to lecture us and this Assembly on objectivity and on one-sidedness.
The reason why Security Council resolution 242 (1967) has been considered inadequate and inoperative is well established: it treats the central issue in the Middle East conflict as one of refugees. We have seen how during the past 13 years Israel has treated the deletion of the word "the" in the paragraph pertaining to withdrawal as if it was a dispensation for it to persist in its occupation and in its total violation of international law and the Geneva conventions. We have seen how, even after the so-called Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty, Israel has made every minute and minor compliance a major "concession" and "sacrifice".
Fifthly, the United States delegation yesterday kept repeating that the thrust of the resolutions of the United Nations General Assembly and even the debates tend to be what he described as 'one-sided'. To quote the representative of the United States:
"There are two sides to the Arab-Israeli conflict, and each has legitimate… aspirations and concerns." (Ibid, p. 14-15)
Objectivity, as we all know, is not an equidistant position between what is right and what is wrong, between those who violate the rights of others and those whose rights are denied and violated. Hence the thrust of the United Nations General Assembly resolutions recently has not been one-sided; they have been adopted in response to and a result of Israel's establishment of settlements in the occupied territories, Israel's violations of the human rights of the Palestinian people, Israel's repeated air and sea bombardments of refugee camps in southern Lebanon, Israel's providing logistical, military and financial support to the renegade forces in southern Lebanon, thus preventing the central legitimate Government of Lebanon from exercising its authority and sovereignty in part of its country.
Therefore, to equate what is termed "Israel's security" with "Palestinian aspirations" is in fact a semantical cover-up for the green light that Israel enjoys in playing havoc with the chances of peace in the region.
Sixthly, the United States representative yesterday stated that
"Peace cannot be imposed on the parties." (Ibid., p. 16)
This is a truism which is inapplicable in this case, because as long as it has been universally determined that Israel is behaving illegally in regard to its settlements policy, that it is illegally annexing Jerusalem, that it is illegally maintaining its settlements in the Golan Heights, that it is making illegal strikes into southern Lebanon, and that the United States has had a share in condemning some of those illegal consequences – then something must be done to punish the party that is violating the law of nations. Therefore, to state that "peace cannot be imposed on the parties" provides the aggressor, the usurper, the violator a in this case, Israel .. with a veto power on whatever credible process for peace in the region can be initiated.
Seventhly, as for the term "recognition of the right of Israel to exist"', we should like to ask the United States delegation the following question: Which Israel does the United States delegation want to have the right to exist? Has the United States been able to declare what are the modalities for the security of Israel? And, if those }.we been defined, for which Israel?
For the past 13 years Israel has maintained its occupation under the pretense of security and, more recently, under the pretense of fulfilling metaphysical objectives. There would have been more credibility in the statement of the United States delegation had there been concern for the security of the Palestinian people, the security of southern Lebanon, the security of the Arab population of Jerusalem.
Finally, let it be stated clearly once again tat our fundamental opposition to the Camp David agreements is due to the fact that the central issue in the Arab-Israeli conflict – namely, the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination – has been rendered as marginal and peripheral by the Camp David agreements.
Furthermore, the autonomy plan is an administrative formula which is pre-emptive of the right of the Palestinian people to an independent State in their homeland. If autonomy is adopted as a solution, the rights which are national rights for the Palestinians become merely municipal rights. (continued in Arabic)
We in the Arab nation believe that the existence and mission of the United rations is indispensable. We abide by the spirit of the Charter and contribute as much as we can to the realization of its aspirations. We should like to take this opportunity to stress the constant efforts that the Secretary-General of the United Nations exerts towards advancing international concord, efforts geared to promoting common denominators and reducing dividing factors among the peoples of the world.
There is no doubt that a momentous responsibility rests on the shoulders of the Secretary-General, Mr. Kurt Waldheim. It is the responsibility of putting the United Nations resolutions into effect. We all know him to be a forward-looking statesman of great wisdom and perspicacity. The draft resolution, in essence, is oriented towards the entrusting of a mission of historic value, a mission meant to renew the confidence of the Member States in the United Nations Organization and their commitment to its decisions.
It is imperative that the emergency special session guarantee the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people and, in particular, their right to self-determination and statehood. It is also imperative for this emergency special session to entrust to a competent body the task of supervising the implementation of the decision to be made. That must be done not only to ensure the safety of individual States and the pence of the world, but also to enhance the credibility of the United Nations as a framework for successful international action.
The League of Arab States takes this opportunity to convey, from this tribune, the deepest thanks of the Arab nation to all the countries which have, over the years, contributed to bolstering the legitimate character of the Palestinian people's struggle for the recovery of its homeland and the establishment of its State.
The League of Arab States sees in that global support for the Palestine Liberation Organization heightened confidence that it is working for a just and humane cause. It is of constant concern to us that our national goals be for ever in harmony with human aspirations, the very aspirations that this venerable Assembly incarnates.
Mr. ROMULO (Philippines): Sixty-odd years ago the international community faced a problem of decolonization: what to do with the dissolved Ottoman Empire, which included Palestine. In seeking to resolve the problem by setting up a Mandate system under the Covenant of the League of Nations the international community failed and the Palestinian problem was born.
Thirty years later, in 1947, the Palestinian problem was passed on by the Mandatory Power to the newly born United Nations. Then the international community proposed to solve it by approving a Plan of Partition for Palestine. For reasons well known to all of us that attempt also failed.
Today, 33 years after the second attempt, the international community once again has the opportunity to resolve the problem. But it must do so, and quickly, for the matter is almost beyond redemption and every attempt to resolve it has not brought any improvement but a worsening of it. Today it has become a truly international issue as more and more parties have entered the fray. The stakes for the international community have become enormous.
We cannot leave the issue hanging indefinitely without making a fresh attempt at resolving it. Not only are the consequences for the peace and security of the world potentially dangerous, not only are vital principles on which the United Nations was founded at stake; but an entire people lies prostrate, continually deprived of their most elementary rights as a people and subject to continuing assault on their dignity, their lives and their property. Long after other peoples have emancipated themselves and begun freely to exercise their rights and fulfil their aspirations the Palestinians continue to be deprived of theirs, one of only two peoples in the world left in that situation. No people deserve that fate less than the Palestinians, for they are a courageous and talented people, who even under adverse circumstances contribute much to the world's fund of intellectual and artistic treasures. Instead of progress, there has ensued a deterioration in relations among the communities of that region, setting off cycles of violence that perpetuate the problem and threaten to spark a larger conflagration in the international community.
My country, the Philippines, has consistently viewed this problem as one of decolonization, the acceleration of which is one of the major tasks of the United Nations. Had the process been allowed to proceed in Palestine in a natural fashion, free from external interference and with only the United Nations as such involved in the process, the principle of self-determination would have proceeded apace to move the Palestinian people to full independence without the complications that make the problem so intractable today.
The subversion of that principle, which President Woodrow Wilson sought so hard but without success to instil into the League of Nations, began,as we know, 60 years ago. Only in the United Nations Charter and recently in 1960 and again in 1966 and in 1970 did that principle become explicitly linked with the right of peoples to determine, under that right, their political status and the nature of their political institutions, and to pursue their economic, social and cultural development according to their own lights, as stated in General Assembly resolutions 1514 (XV) and 2625 (XXV) and in international covenants of 1966. Had that principle been allowed to operate in Palestine there would have been an evolution towards peace, an accommodation of differing ends and possibly today a strong bond of affinity and common purpose among the peoples there. For, may I ask, was it not the Emir Feisal who said, 60 years ago, that there is room. for both Arabs and Jews there and that the two communities could collaborate towards building an Arab State and Palestine there?
It was for the sake of supporting the objective of decolonization and that of self-determination, with the ultimate goal of independence for the people of Palestine, that I, in the name of the Philippines, vigourously opposed the Plan of Partition when it was first proposed in the General Assembly on 26 November 1947, at Flushing Meadow. I opposed partition on the basis of what I spoke of then, that is, "the primordial right of a people to determine its political future and to preserve the territorial integrity of its native land", having in mind that in my country we were once threatened with such territorial dismemberment at a time when we were also prostrate and not yet independent. It was our belief and our hope that, left to themselves, the peoples of Palestine would in time develop a powerful spirit of union in accord with the ideals of religious tolerance, national co-operation and freedom without distinction as to race, sex, language or religion, ideals which are enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations.
At the time, in 1947, I voiced the fear that the setting up of a separate Jewish State would run counter to these ideals and would not lead to a solution of the Palestinian problem, for the two were separate and incompatible solutions to two different problems. Instead, the solution suggested was the "possibility of setting up a single independent State of Palestine…. wherein the various races and creeds in the region would receive just and democratic representation", a solution that would more nearly accord with "the modern trend towards interracial co-operation and secular democracy". Having in mind also the special character of the region and its significance to other peoples of the world, I was opposed to the possibility of creating political disunion and the territorial mutilation of the Holy Land. That was in 1947.
What I feared then is exactly the reality today. An exclusive State has come into being, political disunion has ensued and the Holy Land, including Jerusalem, faces dismemberment and alienation. The ideals of tolerance and co-operation are nowhere being realized and the Arab people of Palestine are not being afforded their right of self-determination or their other civil, economic and religious rights.
Instead of a plan which takes into account the wishes and the aspirations of the peoples involved, other plans have been put into effect. This has created some ironies. In 1920, at the time of the allocation of the Palestinian Mandate to Great Britain, the Arab peoples feared that the Balfour Declaration would lead to the denial of self-determination to them, and that a Jewish National Home would lead to their political subjection to the Jewish State. The Plan of Partition, which was favoured by the Jewish Agency, was regarded with a parallel suspicion by the Arabs. Now that conditions have changed in the region, with the Arab Palestinians now favouring the Plan and supporting all resolutions in the General Assembly and Security Council that would put it into effect, Israel has turned about and considers the Plan a dead letter.
The reason for Israeli intransigence is not difficult to see. Israel fears that an Arab Palestinian State under the Palestine Liberation Organization, or PLO, would threaten the safety and even the existence of Israel. This fear underlies the persisting rigidity of Israel's position on the question of a Palestinian homeland and State. This stand in turn provokes the rising belligerency of the PLO and their supporters throughout the world. This is a fatal regressive circle which will render negotiations in the future difficult, if not impossible.
My country has, since the beginning, in this and other international forums, maintained the position that there can be no start towards a just, comprehensive and lasting solution unless it is recognized, as it is now recognized by the international community, and unless it is fully accepted by Israel, that the Palestinian people are, by the same right Israel claimed for itself, equally entitled to their own homeland, and to the free exercise of their inalienable right to national existence within secure and recognized boundaries. The President of the Philippines, His Excellency Ferdinand Marcos, who identifies strongly with the Palestinian cause, said in 1973 that the forcible occupation of Arab lands is to be condemned as a violation of the United Nations Charter and of the principle of the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force, and that therefore such occupation must be terminated in accordance with Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973) and that the legitimate rights of the people of Palestine should be restored to them.
In the past we have also maintained an even-handed approach whereby the Israeli State must also be guaranteed its safety and its right to exist within secure and recognized boundaries. For we must recognize the realities in the Middle East. Because of this recognition, it is our belief that the original Plan of Partition, resolution 181 (II) of 29 November 1947, and resolution 194 (III) of 1948, should now be brought to the fore. That Plan authorized a Jewish State, an Arab State and an international regime for Jerusalem. 'Although the Plan was at the time a Solomonic solution that satisfied neither party, it appears to be the best available proposal that satisfies equity claims and does justice to all parties concerned.
To us all the necessary elements for a just and comprehensive peace now exist, and they include: first, the withdrawal of Israel from Arab lands occupied by it since 1967, including Jerusalem; secondly, the return of all refugees and their just compensation; thirdly, the implementation of resolutions 181 (II) and 194 (III); fourthly, the implementation of resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973) ; fifthly, the implementation of all other resolutions of the General Assembly and the Security Council; sixthly, negotiations for peace among all parties concerned; seventhly, participation of the PLO in negotiations as representative of the Arab inhabitants of Gaza and the West Bank; and eighthly, international guarantees as to "secure and recognized boundaries" for both Israel and Palestine.
At this point in history, all parties seem to be so deeply entrenched in their respective positions that a start towards bringing parties together hardly seems feasible, although, to be sure, there are current attempts to do so. But the fatal cycle must be broken. There can be no progress until this deadly and recurring sequence of cause and effect is successfully derailed.
Let us allay the fears of Israel that the rise to full stature of the Palestinians will be a threat to its safety and its existence. For it seems to us at this juncture that it is Israel's intransigent opposition that is in fact activating the threat and that, conversely, its acquiescence to full implementation of the Plan of Partition would abolish that threat.
Let us remind ourselves that, at the present stage of global development the interests and the welfare of the international community are bound together not in a mechanical but an organic unity, which signifies that it is not likely for a State such as Israel and a people such as the Palestinian people to be left to shift for themselves should they ever need the help or succour of the international community or a part of it. Let us also remind ourselves, and particularly the leaders of Israel, that if rights such as the right to a homeland and to self-determination are, as they have claimed, rights to be enforced by the people themselves and not to be conferred by others, then we can all expect in that region a descent into turmoil in which rights may be pitted against rights, and, because of that organic unity that now binds nations together, the conflict may expand to disastrous proportions.
In that event we may not have the opportunity to recall that we had at our disposal the moment to extricate ourselves from that cycle of despair by having recourse, as we did 33 years ago, to the larger wisdom of the international community. This is such a moment. This is the opportunity to avail ourselves of the helping hand of this assemblage of nations, where the prevailing sentiment is for justice and fair play for all. This is the opportunity to redirect events away from the path they seem to be taking and towards first that rapprochement and later that partnership and collaboration that all men of goodwill regard as the destiny of these two peoples, united as they are by blood, by the Book, and by history. This is the vision that should animate us in our decisions today. Let these two peoples reap the fruits of their ancient bond, let the entire world rejoice in the puissance of their heritage.
Mr. SHELDOV (Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic) (interpretation from Russian): Mr. President, on behalf of the Byelorussian SSR, I should like first of all to join in the warm welcome and the good wishes for success in carrying out the important and responsible tasks facing this session that have been extended to you by those who have addressed this international forum.
Our delegation warmly and heartily welcomes the representatives of the steadfast and courageous Arab people of Palestine, the delegation of the Palestine Liberation Organization that is taking part in the work of this session, headed by the head of the political department of the Palestine Liberation Organization, Farouk Kaddoumi. *
In our quickly changing world, underlying paramount values are of special significance, and just such a value – something that is necessary and dear to every people – is a homeland and peaceful skies over it, and life without war. Needless to say, the Middle East is no exception in this respect. However, as has once again been clearly and convincingly shown by the discussion at this emergency special session of the United Nations General Assembly, the convening of which is extremely timely, the situation in that part of the world is not only worsening but becoming even tenser. Moreover, it is explosive.
Now virtually all the States of the world acknowledge that the crux of the worsening of the constantly bloody crisis in the Middle East is the unsolved problem of Palestine, whose Arab people have for more than three decades now been subjected to cruel expulsion and oppression. Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians have been doomed to a status of exile, have been deprived of their homes, their lands, their homeland. The Palestinian people has thus far not been able to enjoy basic rights which, in accordance with the United Nations Charter and other norms of international law, are recognized for all peoples the world over, including, and most importantly, their inalienable right to self-determination and to the establishment of their own independent State. The reasons for this are well known. They are rooted in the fact that the rulers of Israel, with the support and protection of imperialist circles, and first and foremost the United States, continue stubbornly to pursue adventuristic expansionist policies, constantly and haughtily disregarding General Assembly and Security Council resolutions and brazenly defying world public opinion. Many facts, including facts that have been spoken of by many of those who have addressed the Assembly – the increasing wrongdoing, cruel terror and repression engaged in by the Israeli occupiers the most flagrant violation of elementary human rights; the wholesale expulsion of the indigenous Arab population from their homes and hearths; open attempts by force, under cover of all types of legal subterfuges, to transform Jerusalem into the Israeli capital for all time once again show quite convincingly the true strategic goals of the Israeli expansionists, which are to ensure that the foreign lands it has occupied as a result of aggression are kept, while the Palestinians are expelled and first and foremost the vanguard of-the Palestinian people, the Palestine: Liberation Organization is eliminated. Those are precisely the essential goals served by all types of plans, schemes and alternatives, including the Camp David version of a separate Israeli-Egyptian deal.
About two years have elapsed since the time of the conclusion of the separate Camp David agreements, with the active participation of the United States, and more than a year has elapsed since the signing of the Egyptian-Israeli treaty. But peace has still not come to the Middle East, and it cannot come to it as long as the key issue of the Middle East problem remains unsettled – and that issue is the full withdrawal of Israeli troops from all Arab territories occupied in 1967, including East Jerusalem, the ensuring of the legal national rights of the Arab people of Palestine, including their right to self-determination and to the establishment of their own independent State, and the ensuring of the right of all the States of the region to secure and independent existence and development.
Moreover, there was not even an attempt to solve those problems at Camp David, however some may try, even during this emergency special session of the General Assembly, to convince us of the opposite. Quite the contrary the Camp David process has in fact led to an impasse. The cardinal issue of a Middle East settlement is how to ensure the legitimate national rights of the Arab people of Palestine and the future of it million Palestinians, and these are questions beyond the purview of Camp David. The negotiations on so-called administrative autonomy for the Palestinians, rejected by the Palestinian people itself, are nothing other than a bare-faced attempt to prevent the exercise of the legitimate national rights of the Arab people of Palestine and to perpetuate the occupation by Israel of Arab and Palestinian lands and the annexation of East Jerusalem. They are merely a smoke-screen to conceal programmes for the setting up of a so-called Greater Israel.
The fact that those negotiations are doomed to failure is quite obvious. The deadline for an agreement on that so-called autonomy has already passed and the results of the negotiations are simply a further worsening of the condition of the Palestinians on the West Bank of Jordan and in the Gaza Strip. There is a continuation of the bloodshed in southern Lebanon, an intensification of the terrorist activity against the Palestinians and their representatives, a continuation of the policy of setting up armed Israeli settlements in the Arab territories occupied since 1967, as part of a plan of invidious "creeping annexations".
Recently world public opinion condemned with indignation and revulsion the new, outrageous acts of terror by extremist forces of Israel committed against the mayors elected by the Arab population.
The Camp David deal is a multifaceted one. It is one of the steps taken by the United States in its attempt to turn the clear and Middle East into its exclusive sphere of influence. The tactics, methods and means used to achieve that goal are nothing new. The Near and Middle East, many thousands of kilometres from the United States, have been declared a sphere of vital American interests. The Pentagon has undertaken and is stepping up efforts to set up and modernize, in that part of the world and in the Indian Ocean region, networks of military bases. The United States army is setting up special military divisions such as the rapid deployment force for armed intervention in the affairs of Arab – and not only Arab States. The mass media are carrying out the appropriate brainwashing of the American population in the event of such operations taking place.
At the same time it is being stated openly at several levels that the United States will resolutely oppose the establishment of a Palestinian State and does not intend to recognize the Palestine Liberation Organization. In that connexion, we should bear in mind constantly the fact that it is precisely the United States that has been lending to Israel political support and comprehensive military and economic assistance and which has been systematically granting billion-dollar loans. Here in the United Nations it has been obstructing the adoption of effective measures against the aggressor and occupier, repeatedly using the veto in the Security Council.
And so, as has already been pointed out by many delegations, today the Middle East is further from a true peace, from a real political settlement, than at any time in the past. And that, too, is one of the sad consequences of Camp David.
The delegation of the Byelorussian SSR, as in the past, continues to oppose a separate agreement, concluded behind the back of the Palestinian people, and opposes playing off the interests of some States and peoples against those of others. We feel that a real and genuine means of solving the Middle East problem would be through collective efforts on the part of all interested parties, including the Palestine Liberation Organization, the sole legitimate representative of the Arab people of Palestine.
There is no reasonable alternative, and time is not on our side. We should like once again to draw the attention of representatives to the fact that the May Declaration of States Parties to the Warsaw – Treaty includes among the steps they put forward for the just settlement of situations of conflict that of a "comprehensive political settlement in the Middle East" That Declaration emphasizes, in particular, that:
"Such a settlement requires the withdrawal of Israeli forces from all Arab territories occupied in 1967, the restoration of the right of the Arab people of Palestine to self-determination, including the establishment of its own independent State, and the safeguarding of the, sovereignty and security of all States of the region". (A/35/237, annex II, p.11)
What can one say? That is not easily achieved, but it must be achieved. The United Nations and all progressive forces the world over must remain vigilant and steadfast in the face of the manoeuvres of Zionist and imperialist forces regarding a settlement in the Middle East. Israel cannot be allowed, relying on its protector across the sea, to entrench the results of its aggression against the Arab peoples, including the aggression against the people of Palestine, and to legalize the annexation of the occupied Arab territories and East Jerusalem.
We note with satisfaction that the work of the current session of the Assembly is taking place in a business-like atmosphere. The representatives who have spoken have quite rightly and justly focused their attention on the issue for which the present emergency special session of the General Assembly was convened, namely, the question of Palestine. They have been sternly condemning the adventurist policy of Israel, its flouting of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, while the Israeli representative, not being in a position to justify the lawlessness exemplified by the Israeli expansionists and attempting to divert the attention of those taking part in this session, has, as usual in such situations, resorted to slanderous attacks on other States, bringing into the discussion subjects that have nothing to do with the agenda of our session. That representative gained the support of only one representative in the hall for his attempts – the representative of China. Indulging in all manner of fabrications, the Chinese representative thereby abetted the representative of Israel in the latter's shabby attempts to divert the Assembly from carrying out the important and urgent task facing it.
Many statements made by representatives at this session of the General Assembly attest to the constantly growing international solidarity with the just and courageous struggle of the Arab people of Palestine, which will never renounce its legitimate national rights. Moreover, at the same time as we express our solidarity with the Palestinian people, we must take effective measures so as to compel Israel to comply with the relevant decisions of the United Nations pertaining to the Middle East settlement, including the ensuring of the legitimate national rights of the Arab people of Palestine. Any delay in solving the vital problems of the Middle East will be fraught with serious consequences not only for the States and peoples of the, region but for the security of the world as a whole.
As the General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme. Soviet of the USSR, Leonid Ilyich Brezhnev, emphasized:
"One can surely see clearly the serious responsibility borne by those who, in pursuit of selfish purposes, are turning the Middle East settlement into a political game, by those who are using separate, piecemeal agreements to drag out genuine solutions, and, in fact, even call them in question."
Peace in the Middle East is an urgent necessity; a just and lasting peace is of interest, first and foremost, to all peoples of that region and to all neighbouring States. Lasting peace there is needed for the stabilization of the entire international situation.
The delegation of the Byelorussian SSR once again affirms its unswerving support for the just struggle of the Arab peoples for the elimination of the consequences of Israeli aggression and for a comprehensive political settlement in the Middle East, as well as for the exercise of their inalienable legitimate rights by the Arab people of Palestine. We support the demand of delegations here that the Security Council consider the imposition of sanctions against Israel, pursuant to Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, if Israel further disregards the relevant United Nations decisions on the Palestine question.
Our delegation is firmly convinced that the Arab people of Palestine, with the support of all progressive, peace-loving forces, will achieve final victory in the just struggle against the forces of zionism and imperialism and for national self-determination and independence. The Byelorussian SSR will continue to be on the side of the courageous Palestinian people in that difficult struggle.
Mr. PINIES (Spain) (interpretation from Spanish): The question of Palestine, which is the core of the Middle East problem, has frequently been considered by both the Security Council and the General Assembly, It would seem as if those two major bodies of the United Nations were relaying it back and forth between them and that the blockage that occurs in the Security Council because of the veto cast by one of its permanent members compels the Assembly to convene so as to make new recommendations to the international community and new requirements of the Security Council.
From my experience with 21 regular sessions of the General Assembly, as well as a number of emergency and other special sessions, I can attest, before this Assembly, that we are confronted with one of the most serious and unjust issues that has ever been before the United Nations.
While the 1956 war was rapidly halted thanks to the vision of those who forced a solution to the problem by demanding total withdrawal from Arab territories occupied by force, the issue before us today has become increasingly acute since the 1967 war. While the Palestinian people has suffered injustices because its right to existence as a people has not been recognized, ever since 1967, with the failure to comply with the provisions of relevant Security Council resolutions – particularly resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973) – the Palestine problem has been constantly deferred as if there were no possible solution. To assert that the Palestinian people has exercised its right to self-determination in the past is tantamount to denying the facts.
My Government listened to the request made by the representative of Senegal for the convening of an emergency session and gave a rapid and affirmative answer. I do not feel it necessary to recall the traditional position of my Government to the effect that the historic injustice committed against the Palestinian people lies at the root of the successive conflicts that have beset the Middle East, Suffice it to reaffirm that, if we do not confront the Palestinian question with determination, any attempt to find a solution will be doomed to failure. It is obvious that no one can speak on behalf of Palestine except the Palestinians, whose spokesman is the Palestine Liberation Organization.
In connexion with this matter, I should like to refer to the statement made yesterday at the Vienna Institute for Foreign Policy and Foreign Affairs by the Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs and to cite several paragraphs that bear on this question. The Minister stated that a Middle East peace and the solution of the question of Palestine must be based on the following principles: first, the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force and the concomitant requirement that Israel withdraw from all Arab territories occupied in 1967; secondly, the unacceptability of the policy of settlements pursued by the Israeli authorities and of the attempts to change the nature and status of the Holy City of Jerusalem, for which a final solution must be found which would guarantee free access to the Holy Places; thirdly, the right of all States in the area to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries, which would mean the renunciation of all attempts to destroy Israel and acceptance of its security and its right to exist; fourthly, recognition and implementation of the national rights of the Palestinian people, including the right to self-determination in its homeland.
It is obvious that resolution 242 (1967), which is basic to a solution to the Middle East problem, does not deal appropriately with the Palestinian people, and although it does enshrine important principles for the solution of this problem, the fact that the Palestinian problem is there considered to be exclusively a refugee problem shows that that resolution was merely attempting to restore a precarious peace. Indeed, as events of the ensuing years have proved, however important an interim solution to the conflict may be, it is not sufficient for the purpose of achieving lasting peace based on a comprehensive settlement of the problem. Something else is required for that. Moreover, however important what has been achieved between Egypt and Israel and the partial withdrawal from Sinai may be, it is obvious that it will always come up against the restrictions imposed on negotiations concerning other occupied territories, and this is especially true because it is based on ambiguities and misunderstandings which have become increasingly evident that time passed.
I should like once again to quote from my Minister's statement to which I referred earlier:
"Neither the Camp David accords nor resolution 242 (1967) as currently drafted can constitute a definitive negotiating machinery or sufficient juridical basis for satisfactorily resolving the problem. The scope of that resolution would have to be expanded."
My delegation trusts that the resolution that this Assembly adopts will make it possible to establish the machinery that will enable us to reach a satisfactory solution of the Palestine problem. We hope that the recommendation of this Assembly, with the support of the great majority of Member States, will make the Security Council understand that measures must be adopted within a just context, in accordance with the principles to which we referred previously, so as to achieve a solution of the problem, with regard to which we trust that any decisions that might be adopted by the Security Council will not be blocked. Were this to occur, it would be necessary to envisage other alternatives or other channels for negotiation that would enable us to extricate ourselves from this vicious circle between the Council and the Assembly which always leads us to a deadlock. Peace and security in the region, as well as world peace and security, are seriously involved.
Thirty-odd years after the partition of Palestine and 13 years after the war of 1967, it is only right that an end should be put to the sufferings of the noble people of Palestine, who have been so sorely tried and are so courageous.
Mr. TOURE (Guinea) (interpretation from French): I should first of all like to say how comforting it is to see Mr. Salim presiding over this important emergency special session. He represents a country that has made a noteworthy contribution to the liberation struggle of oppressed peoples, and we are aware that he is a man of great experience and wisdom, qualities which augur well for a happy issue of our work.
We note that the current initiative to convene an emergency special session to consider the question of Palestine might be interpreted as timely by some and as untimely by others.
It is timely when we consider the continuing urgency of an issue so important as that of Palestine. It may seem untimely when we consider international contingencies and the balance of forces existing in the world at this time, when one of the protagonists is attempting to find internal balance through the forthcoming elections.
The Palestinian issue dates back 33 years. From one session of the General Assembly to another since 1947 and through various special sessions, no definitive solution has been found for this question, or even the beginning of a solution.
The Non-Aligned Movement, the Islamic Conference, the Organization of African Unity and the League of Arab States have also been dealing with the Palestinian issue.
In spite of all the stands taken the world over urging the protagonist, that is, the Jewish State, to adopt sound concepts of justice, peace and harmony between peoples, we are bound to admit today that Israel has remained inflexible in the face of all the appeals made to it and that it is pursuing imperturbably its aggressive and expansionist policy.
The Palestinian problem is doubtless the Gordian knot of the Middle East problem, Any solution that is not part of a comprehensive solution of the Middle East problem is impossible, and even less a definitive solution, In our view, it is dangerous to seek a comprehensive solution of the Middle East problem by beginning at the wrong end, that is, through the strategy or tactic of piecemeal solutions which has turned out to be inoperative and which today is further complicating the problem instead of helping to solve it.
We must note that any solution of the Palestinian problem that does not involve the Palestinians themselves and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), the sole legal and legitimate representative of the Palestinian people under the leadership of Yasser Arafat, cannot succeed and even less produce a welcome outcome of this grave and serious situation.
It is enough to recall that the importance of the Palestinian question lies in the fact that it has always been the basis of the conflicts that have erupted in that part of the Middle East. The first Israeli-Arab war of 1948, the tripartite aggression of 1956 against Egypt; the surprise attach by Israel against Egypt in June 1967; and the Ramadan or Yom Kuppur war are the consequences of continuing injustice in the Middle East, which has now become one of the hotpoints of the world.
Being aware of and motivated by this concern, our world Organization adopted at its thirtieth session resolution 3376 (XXX), which established the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People as a rough outline of a solution of the xdrama being played out in the Middle East.
It was in the same spirit that on 17 December 1975 the General Assembly, at its 2443rd meeting, appointed the members of this Committee, composed of 20 countries, of which the People's Revolutionary Republic of Guinea is an active one.
It is our hope that all States Members of our Organization will support the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People in its difficult work and lend it any aid and assistance which will make its activities as effective as possible.
We should like to take this opportunity to express our very sincere appreciation to all those who have helped to make our Committee a permanent, active body. In that connexion, we must not fail to mention the positive contribution made by two Permanent Representatives of the sister republic of Senegal, Their Excellencies Messrs. Medoune Fall and Falilou Kane as well as all their colleagues, and to thank them for their devotion to their duty.
The paradox is that the State of Israel continues with impunity to defy the world and to defy the United Nations, the very Organization which gave it birth. It is bitter to have to recall the only Security Council resolution whose terms have been recognized by Israel is resolution 242 (1967), which confers on the Palestinians the sad status of mere refugees. Israel's inadmissible attitude creates and sustains a real danger to the balance of the entire world, for it takes us back more than 35 years to the time when the last world conflagration plunged humanity into the holocaust.
By its nature, this Israeli attitude carries with it the de facto violation of all the provisions of the relevant articles of the Geneva Convention, 47 and 49, which forbid the annexation of territory by force, the transfer of civilian populations and the occupation of territories formerly occupied by those populations.
My country, the People's Revolutionary Republic of Guinea, which suffered so much from the oppression, exploitation and high-handedness due to its colonial past, cannot remain passive in the face of the atrocities to which our brothers in Palestine have been subjected. We, the People's Revolutionary Republic of Guinea, have made a well-considered choice between law and arbitrariness. between justice and injustice, between equity and integrity. We believe that all peoples on earth, without discrimination, have the right to exist. This existence must be enjoyed in freedom and security. It cannot be imposed by divesting some people of their vested interests for the benefit of others.
Our country is 90 per cent Moslem. Thus, the People's Revolutionary Republic of Guinea cannot remain indifferent to the fate of the Holy City of Jerusalem. That is why the last unilateral decision taken by the Knesset, to transfer the capital of Israel to Jerusalem, must be fought with our greatest determination and consistency. Retaliatory measures must be effectively applied against any State which transfers its embassy to Al Buds, thereby legitimizing the illegal decision made by Israel in violation of the international status of the city of Jerusalem provided for by General Assembly resolution 181 (II) as well as of the provisions of Security Council resolution 298 (1971).
There has been a growing awareness throughout the world of the need to restore the legitimate and inalienable rights of the Palestinian and Arab peoples. The recent stands taken by the European Community, the clear and precise statements of His Holiness Pope John Paul II on Jerusalem and the statement made by Mr. Valery Giscard-d'Estaing, President of the French Republic, on the question of the Middle East, all attest to the seriousness of this problem and of the urgent and imperative need to repair injustice.
The voice of Africa has been raised unequivocally in international forums in favour of the just struggle being waged by the brother people of Palestine. African solidarity was not lacking in the face of Israeli aggression and of the occupation of Arab territories. In the Organization of African Unity (OAU), Africa, with one voice, condemned that act, and then broke off all diplomatic relations with the State of Israel. This solidarity is not mere sentimentality. It is the result of an awareness of the facts, which show not only the iniquitousness of Israel's position, but also the collusion between Israel and South Africa. The Pretoria-Tel Aviv axis is not only a constant threat to our security, but an actual attack on Africa.
Therefore, Africa cannot remain indifferent in the face of these facts. Thus, the thirty-fifth session of the Council of Ministers of the OAU, held from 18 to 28 June 1980 at Freetown, gave the Middle East problem, and especially the question of Palestine, the pride of place it deserved. The resolutions adopted are eloquent of the concern of all of Africa at the persistence of the explosive situation in the Middle East.
The 33-year-old situation in the Middle East should be understood in a realistic and practical manner, above and beyond the concern it arouses in us and the instability which it causes in that part of the world. Everyone is aware of the potential risks of a world conflagration inherent in the situation in the Middle East, where from time immemorial there has been nothing but tolerance between communities living together in harmony and peace.
Therefore, the international community must spare no effort and is in duty bound to seek the ways and means which would lead to a comprehensive, just and lasting solution of the Middle East question.
As President Ahmed Sekou Toure has said:
" … It is time for the process of war to come to an end and for peace and security to foster a dynamic development in the Middle East: economic, social and cultural."
The position of the People's Revolutionary Republic of Guinea is neither racist nor opportunistic. It is dictated by historical truth and based on a sense of justice.
The Israeli theory of security based on an endless expansion of its borders at the expense of the territories of the Arab countries, is neither conceivable nor acceptable. This theory justifies Israel's policy of expansionism and illegal occupation of Arab territories on the fallacious pretext of eliminating the danger of a direct confrontation, while ignoring the fact that occupation in itself is a conflict.
In the view of the People's Revolutionary Republic of Guinea, a view expressed by the Guinean Head of State; President Ahmed Sekou Toure, at the last Summit of the Non-Aligned in Havana, the solution to the Palestinian problem can be summarized as follows: total withdrawal of Israel from all occupied Arab territories, including Jerusalem; exercise of the right to self-determination of the Palestinian people and the establishment of an independent and sovereign Palestinian State: and mutual recognition of all States in the region.
For our part we consider – and experience proves – that doubt and suspicion are not constructive, above all when they are the essential element in relations between communities. In our view, we must install, among the populations living in the region, a genuine climate of confidence and mutual security. The guarantees to be provided by the States concerned, which should be supported, consolidated and made effective by our Organization, will be the only sure bases for true stability; for genuine security and for lasting peace in the Middle East.
The world community must daily make ever greater efforts and increase its initiatives to save the Middle East from a continuing climate of tension and war.
Thus the olive branch, the symbol of peace, will regain its full meaning.
The PRESIDENT: The representative of the Palestine Liberation Organization has asked to be allowed to inane a statement in reply, and I now call on him.
Mr. AQL (Palestine Liberation Organization); In his statement days ago the Israeli representative of Menachem Begin, the terrorist par excellence, referred to the Palestine Liberation Organization in terms such as "criminal activities of the PLO" and "the lynchpin of the terrorist international".
Since this emergency special session started, two further crimes have been perpetrated by the Israeli authorities against the Palestinian people subjected to Israeli occupation since 1967. Ali Mohamad El Jabari, aged 36 and Kassem Mohammed Halawi, aged 28, who were on a hunger strike, together with some 76 Palestinian prisoners, in protest against the unbearable and inhuman conditions in the Israeli Nafha prison, have both died in hospital as a result of forced-feeding at the hands of the Israeli authorities.
According to reports we have received from the occupied West Bank, parts of which appear in The New York Times of today – 25 July 1980:
"… the cells are poorly ventilated with only air slits for windows and solid metal doors… too many inmates are crammed into each cell… they must sleep and eat on the floor… they get only two hours of daily exercise outside their cells … food and medical care are poor and they are subjected to frequent terms of solitary confinement."
Moreover, Palestinian prisoners, totalling several thousands, are being subjected to the most sophisticated and ruthless forms of torture, already attested to by Amnesty International, the Swiss League for Human Rights, various United Nations Commissions and the Israeli League for Human Rights.
The delegation of the Palestine Liberation Organization to this emergency special session would like to draw the attention of the Member States to those hideous Israeli crimes, which only intensify hatred for Israeli occupation forces, generate further Palestinian resistance and precipitate more violence and bloodshed.
The responsibility for the continuation of these Israeli crimes against the people of Palestine lies fairly and squarely on the shoulders of the United States administration, which professes to champion the cause of human rights in the world and yet tramples underfoot the basic rights of the people of Palestine.
Had it not been for United States support of Israel, the latter would not have indulged in such flagrant violations of human dignity.
The delegation of the Palestine Liberation Organization calls upon this emergency special session to use every possible means at its disposal to contain and stop Israel's criminal and Nazi-like practices.
The meeting rose at 1.30 D.m.
* Mr. Sinclair (Guyana) took the Chair.
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Document Type: Meeting record, Provisional verbatim record
Document Sources: General Assembly, General Assembly 7th Emergency Special Session
Subject: Agenda Item, Human rights and international humanitarian law, Inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, Jerusalem, Middle East situation, Palestine question
Publication Date: 25/07/1980