" Agenda item 27:
"Question of Palestine: report of the Secretary-General (continued)
President: Mr. Gaston THORN (Luxembourg).
AGENDA ITEM 27
Question of Palestine: report of the Secretary-General (continued)
1. Mrs. CISSE (Guinea) (interpretation from French): The State Party of Guinea warmly welcomes the fact that the international community, breaking with the unjust past, at the twenty-ninth session of the General Assembly adopted the historic decision to hear the authentic voice of the people of Palestine, the victim of an odious imperialist plot, which our Organization, sad to say, agreed to support.
2. The presence in the General Assembly last year of Mr. Yasser Arafat, Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization [PLO], and the important statement he made from this rostrum have in more than one way left their mark on the history of the United Nations and served to lighten the heavy burden which weighed and still weighs on the penitent conscience of the Organization and especially of those who were at the origin of the creation of the Zionist 'State of Israel and the sufferings of the Palestinian people.
3. The inscription of the question of Palestine as a separate item on the agenda of the General Assembly and its consideration from a political point of view have placed this problem in its true perspective. The participation of the representatives of the PLO, with all its important implications, in the present deliberations, clearly endorses the triumph of the principle of the right of peoples to self-determination and confirms the inalienable rights of man. It is also an eloquent illustration of an important aspect of international political life the evolution of which goes hand in hand with the legitimate struggles of oppressed peoples for liberty and independence. Recently, great stress has been laid on the exclusive right of a people with its own national identity to speak and negotiate on its own behalf. Common sense, as well as international practice, teaches us that no political question can be resolved satisfactorily if one of the parties, in particular the principal party, to the dispute is not present at discussions and negotiations concerning its rights and national status.
4. The PLO has for a long time represented and led the exiled Palestinian people in its bitter struggle for national survival and that organization is the symbol of the unconquerable courage of that people. The support it has received from the Conference of Non-Aligned Countries, the Islamic Conference, the Organization of African Unity, the socialist countries, and all countries that love justice and progress is undeniable proof that it is widely recognized as the legitimate representative of the Palestinian people. This recognition and the support the PLO has received from the great majority of Member States of the United Nations were confirmed by the historic decision of the twenty-ninth session of the General Assembly. It is regrettable that the Zionist State of Israel and its supporters should not have drawn the necessary lessons from this manifestation of the opinion of the majority of peoples who prize peace and justice and that it should persist in its refusal to recognize the PLO, which without the shadow of a doubt possesses national and international authority.
5. To sow confusion in the minds of honest persons, the adherents of Zionism, who are increasingly isolated in their intransigent expansionist policy, consider that the right of the Palestinian people to return to their country and to live off their own land is a threat to all Jews. Zionism would thus like to attribute to others the same feelings of racism which it consciously cultivates in attempting to create opposition between Jews and others. The right of the Jews to existence has never been denied, but that right does not mean that the Arab people of Palestine should be deprived of its legitimate right to live in its own country. The invitation to create a single democratic State for the whole population of Palestine is not directed against the presence of Jews. By the same token, the presence of Jews is not necessarily guaranteed by the existence of a Zionist State or because that Zionist State insists on preventing the Palestinians from returning to their native country and exiling them.
6. From the archives of the United Nations, confirmed, in particular, by the eloquent testimony of the wise representative of Saudi Arabia, Mr. Baroody, we have learned that the Zionist State of Israel was not born under normal conditions, that it is the fruit of aggression, that it can survive only by resorting to aggression, and that to do so it can count only upon its alliance with imperialism, of which it is the servile agent and with which it is developing organic links. But it is even more true that the negative attitude of Israel when confronted with the Palestinian national problem of which it is the cause is not conducive to extricating it from the increasingly serious international isolation in which it is already vainly struggling. This negative attitude, it must be stressed, can become even more prejudicial to Israel than it has been up to now, despite the powerful financial, military and other support it receives from the imperialists.
7. The question of Palestine is the cause of what is customarily called the situation in the Middle East. Because there has been an attempt, whether conscious or unconscious, to confuse cause and effect in this matter, taking one for the other, the basic facts of a problem that will not yield to the partial or superficial solutions which have been attempted up to now have been distorted. One should rather seek solutions that would associate the external aspect, which is the crisis that persists in this region, with the fundamental aspect of the problem, which is the restoration of its national rights to the Palestinian people. That is why we feel that any solution to the problem of the Middle East that does not encompass recognition and restoration of the national rights of the Palestinians can be only an illusion. The efforts of the international community to find the real solution to the problem should involve the closest possible association of the authentic representatives of the Palestinian people in all phases of negotiations, and in all conferences on the Middle East situation, which is the corollary of the Palestinian question. The authentic representatives of the' Palestinian people are none other than the PLO, which was recognized by our Organization in General Assembly resolution 3236 (XXIX).
8. Being firmly convinced that no satisfactory settlement, no just and lasting solution, could be found for the Middle East problem without the effective participation of the PLO throughout the entire process, the delegation of the State Party of Guinea has joined with others in submitting draft resolution A/L.768/Rev.l, which asks that the PLO, the representative of the Palestinian people, be invited to the deliberations of the Peace Conference on the Middle East, at Geneva, on an equal footing with other parties to the Conference.
9. For the same reasons, my country Will sponsor any other draft resolution that is designed to establish all the objective conditions favourable to a lasting solution of the Palestinian problem.
10. Draft resolution A/L.768/Rev.l follows the lines laid down by resolution 3236 (XXIX), whose sponsors have been treated by Israel as irresponsible and intransigent extremists. We have no intention here of getting into a futile argument, but we commend all they texts of these resolutions to Israel for reflection and meditation, since that country seems to be the only one to think that this organ is dominated by a group of irresponsible extremists. The whole world knows where irresponsibility and intransigence are really to be found in this Assembly. The whole world knows also that the Chairman of the PLO, Mr. Arafat, whom Israel has vainly attempted to stigmatize, spoke to us in very positive and constructive terms last year. In fighting for liberty, as leader of the Palestinian people, he said that he bore an olive branch representing peace and that he did not want the international community to allow it to fall from his hand. That historic message, despite its wisdom, has met "with the scorn of Israel, that Zionist State which is a past master in the art of distortion and displays irrational intransigence when confronted with the Palestinian question, whose definitive settlement is nevertheless the basis and the sole guarantee of peace and security in that region.
11. To conclude, the delegation of the State Party of Guinea would like once again to reaffirm that no lasting and equitable peace can be established in the Middle East unless Israel withdraws from the occupied Arab territories and unless the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people to its homeland are recognized and restored in their totality.
12. The United Nations, as the international body responsible above all for the establishment and strengthening of peace and security in the world, is under an obligation to redress the unjust situation which, for more than a quarter of a century, has been imposed on the Palestinian people. Our Organization should ensure that the numerous resolutions affirming the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people are implemented, including its right to return to its own usurped country.
13. The State Party of Guinea reaffirms its unconditional support for the struggle of the Palestinian people to affirm its political and national existence as well as its right to self-determination. History is on the side of peoples that fight for liberty, peace and progress in all parts of the world. The people of Palestine will triumph, just as other peoples of the third world have triumphed, in the struggle to bring into existence a world based on equality, right and justice for all.
14. Mr. ALARCON (Cuba) (interpretation from Spanish): The Assembly's current consideration of the question of Palestine is a continuation of the debate held exactly a year ago.
15. Indeed, in 1974, the United Nations made a decisive change in its treatment of a question which traditionally, in one way or another, had figured in the Assembly's deliberations since the Organization was founded. Last year, this question was taken up for the first time with the active participation of the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian, people. The enthusiastic welcome and the spirit of solidarity manifested by the Assembly and the historic address to the Assembly by the Chairman of the Executive Committee of the PLO, Mr. Arafat, were a landmark in the history of our Organization.
16. That just and necessary turning-point was given concrete expression on 22 November 1974 with the adoption of resolutions 3236 (XXIX) and 3237 (XXIX).
17. The first resolution reaffirmed the national rights of the Palestinian people to self-determination, independence and sovereignty. By the second resolution the Assembly granted observer status to the PLO in the United Nations.
18. The adoption of both resolutions was possible because of the positive changes taking place in our Organization, which reflect the changes taking place on the international scene and the progress of the forces opposing imperialism and colonialism, the advocates of peace and international co-operation on the basis of justice and respect for the rights of peoples.
19. It is now for the Assembly to assess the results obtained in the course of the past year and to adopt new decisions which may make it possible to implement the objectives proclaimed in resolution 3236 (XXIX).
20. It is the duty of the Assembly to ensure that those objectives are not reduced to the level of mere rhetoric. It has an inescapable duty to take all the r necessary decisions until the people of Palestine can truly and fully exercise its sacred right to independence and self-determination in its usurped homeland. The Mother bodies of the United Nations system, including the Security Council, will have to decide what measures should be adopted to ensure the exercise of that right.
21. When we speak of the duty of the Organization to implement and ensure implementation of its decisions we are not simply repeating an evident truth. It is obvious that this constitutes a binding function for any United Nations body. But in the case of Palestine there is something more. We cannot forget that at the origin of the sufferings of the Palestine people was the action of the General Assembly. The decisions adopted almost 30 years ago completely ignored the will of the Arab people of Palestine and were taken under circumstances in which, in the Organization, racist, colonialist and imperialist interests $were predominant.
22. Times have changed. The world of today is not the same as that of 1947. Our Organization is not the same either. Today it responds in an increasingly consistent manner to the profound aspirations of peoples to peace, justice and independence.
23. Of course, there are some who seek to maintain their privileged position and to impose international relations based on obsolete ideas which have been superseded by the struggle of peoples. They try to preserve the interests of imperialist monopolies and their allies and instruments: colonialism and racism. To this end, they carry out an offensive against the ignited Nations in which they resort to all methods, from pressures and bold extortion to the insults of arrogant professors and the hostile campaign of a press which only refers to the United Nations when it sees the interests of the racist groups that pay and guide it imperilled.
24. At the helm, we find United States imperialism. United States diplomacy tries, by means of concealed manoeuvres, partial or gradual solutions, to undermine the true solution to the problems faced by the peoples of the Middle East. That solution cannot emerge until Israeli troops are completely withdrawn from all Arab 1 territories occupied since 1967 and until the Palestinian people can be assured of the full exercise of its national rights in the land from which it was driven. No formula which does not take account of those absolutely essential principles can lead to peace, but, on the contrary, will perpetuate the threat of new and even more serious conflicts in the region. On the other hand, the massive delivery to Israel of new and more sophisticated means of warfare constitutes a clear sign of the true intentions of imperialism with regard to peace in the Middle East.
25. A just solution to the Palestinian problem is imperative for all the peoples of Africa, Asia and Latin America, which are now confronting imperialism and which seek the establishment of an international order that will ensure their independent development. The heroic struggle of the Palestinian people is developing under particularly difficult conditions. Driven from its lands, persecuted and harassed by the imperialists and their followers, victims of the hostility of powerful interests, that people is deserving of the greatest, most generous and firmest solidarity. The people of the third world understand better every day the extent to which the national liberation of Palestine is an integral and inseparable part of their own struggle.
26. Testimony to the strong solidarity with the Palestinian people was embodied in the declaration of the fifth Ministerial Conference of the non-aligned countries held at Lima last August with the participation of the PLO as a full member. On that occasion the Foreign Ministers of the non-aligned countries declared:
"In the light of the analysis of the situation, the Ministers for Foreign Affairs agreed on the necessity to continue and intensify the efforts in order to implement resolution 3236 (XXIX) of November 22, 1974, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly and request—in that context—the Security Council to adopt a resolution embodying the principles and provisions of the above-mentioned General Assembly resolution.
"By its continuing aggression against Arab countries and by its persistent violations of the United Nations Charter and resolutions, Israel has isolated itself from the international community. The time has come for the non-aligned countries to consider other measures against Israel, in conformity with the provisions of Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter. "The Ministers for Foreign Affairs of the non-aligned countries demand therefore, that the United Nations Security Council, in compliance with its responsibilities, take all necessary measures, including those contemplated in Chapter VII of the Charter in order to force Israel to cease its aggression and its violations and implement all United Nations resolutions concerning the Palestinian and the Middle East question.
"The Conference most severely condemns Zionism as a threat to world peace and security, and calls upon all countries to oppose this racist and imperialistic ideology.
"The Conference reaffirms its satisfaction at the recognition by the General Assembly of the United Nations of the Palestine Liberation Organization as the sole representative of the Palestinian people, and welcomes the resolutions which grant the PLO the status of observer in the United Nations Organization and reaffirm the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, which must be taken into account in any solution to the Middle East problem. It welcomes the admission of the PLO as a full member of the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries, which constitutes a new expression of the firm solidarity of the non-aligned countries with the heroic struggle of this people for its inalienable national rights." [A/10217 and Corr.l, annex, paras. 55-59.]
27. We have referred extensively to this document because we strongly believe in the need for non-aligned countries to strengthen their unity and solidarity in the face of the problem of Palestine as well as with regard to many other items on our agenda, concerning which imperialism is making desperate attempts to divide our forces.
28. In a world in which imperialism and reactionary forces are attempting to rescue positions which have been definitively lost, where they are launching all manner of attacks against the United Nations and trying to deflect the common will of the progressive forces from continuing to advance along the path of positive change that has characterized the more recent history of our Organization, at a time when the imperialist press and other instruments of pressure and extortion employed by the great monopolies continue ceaselessly to attack our Organization and to divide our ranks, it seems to us more important than ever that the peoples of the third world should express their solidarity and give proof of their united will to support the just cause of the Palestinian people as the best reply to those who have made insult and abuse of our Organization into a daily habit in their diplomatic conduct.
29. Today we are also commemorating a date of great significance in the struggle of peoples for their liberation. Fifty-eight years ago the workers and people of Russia liquidated the Tsarist regime of exploitation, established the first Government of workers and peasants in history and initiated a new era in the evolution of mankind, which laid the groundwork for the liquidation of the colonial system and ensured, for the first time, the full exercise by all peoples of the sacred right to self-determination.
30. The year 1917, paradoxically, was also a tragic year for the Arab people of Palestine and its sacred right to independence and sovereignty. Today in commemorating the glorious anniversary of the October Revolution, we must proclaim our intention of applying its liberating and anti-colonial principles also to the case of the oppressed people of Palestine.
31. It is for these reasons and inspired by these principles that the Cuban delegation has sponsored draft resolution A/L.770, which invites the General Assembly to ratify the objectives proclaimed last year, to continue along the road to their reaffirmation and to work to achieve their practical implementation. We believe that this draft resolution, which is a logical outcome of the decisions taken by this Assembly last year, should represent the minimum of what we should decide this year. Its purpose should be to ensure that the principles and objectives that we accepted in 1974 remain in effect and that we are in a position to make an effort to achieve their practical implementation.
32. A few days ago, when he came to speak on behalf of his people before the General Assembly, Mr. Kaddoumi, the representative of the PLO, stated the following:
"We declare clearly and explicitly before you our unfaltering adherence to the goal of establishing a national independent authority in order to found a secular democratic State in all of Palestine, where all of us—Muslims, Christians and Jews—can dwell together in brotherhood, equality and openness to the world, and live free from any fear or anxiety, in fulfilment of our lofty and progressive aspirations for the future.
"We reaffirm our rejection of all the deceitful alternative solutions now proposed. The Palestinians' only homeland is Palestine. Their sole aim is to liberate this homeland and to live in it in peace.
"It is imperative to reiterate here that, other than the PLO, the official voice and legitimate representative of the Palestine people, there exists no party which can speak for our Palestinian people.
"Our Palestinian people must be provided with the objective conditions for the exercise of its legitimate right to self-determination and its right to establish an independent State on its national soil." [2390th meeting, paras. 62-65).
33. On behalf of my delegation, I should like to express our full endorsement of that clear, firm and generous position of the representative of the Palestine liberation movement, It is the voice of a national liberation movement that has struggled heroically under particularly difficult conditions in order to win for its people those rights which we have often proclaimed as universal. It is the clear programme of a national liberation movement the representatives of which have come to our Assembly to claim their rights and to demand from us the logical outcome of the positions proclaimed by the United Nations as the purposes and principles of the Organization since the drafting of the Charter.
34. This is a national liberation movement that deserves the unreserved support of all progressive forces in the world. My delegation trusts that, despite all the manoeuvres and all the pressures brought to bear by imperialism and the tools it employs, this Assembly will once more be able to proclaim its support in conformity with the principles of the Charter by categorically and unhesitatingly upholding the inalienable rights of the Arab people of Palestine.
35. Mr. KIMALEL (Kenya): Once again the General Assembly is considering the important question of Palestine. Listening to many speeches on this subject, one feels the urgency and the impatience of the Assembly to come up with a concrete solution to a problem which has lasted unnecessarily long. My delegation is encouraged by this mood and hopes that at last this matter is being looked into seriously and in a realistic manner. This approach will undoubtedly bear fruit.
36. For almost three decades following the General Assembly's decision to partition Palestine in 1947, the Palestinians have known nothing but misery and deprivation. They have been uprooted from their ancestral homelands, and today most of them live in camps, supported mainly by philanthropic Governments and organizations, as displaced persons. What we have heard in this debate and read in United Nations records gives us a picture of a people suffering a great deal with little being done to alleviate their position.
37. An attempt has been made here during the last few days to paint a picture of the leaders of the Palestinians as no more than criminals or born terrorists. This desperate effort to distort the truth has been going on for more than a quarter of a century. But, to everybody's comfort, truth has a capacity to survive even the best-equipped and organized effort to kill or hide it. It is surprising that, after all that has gone on for so many years, people who have a reputation for seeking truth can still go on trying to hide it when they find it uncomfortable. We reject these manoeuvres and counsel everyone to face the truth if a serious effort is to be made to find a solution to the problem.
38. It is not the number of speeches, the candour with which we make them, or indeed the number of resolutions adopted by this Organization that will bring us nearer a solution of this most dangerous P problem. It is the willingness of us all, and particularly of those directly concerned, to face the truth and be prepared to take the necessary steps towards the solution of the problem. It does not matter how many years it takes. We can only delay action; we cannot avoid it altogether.
39. Last year this Organization, which took a decision in 1947 to create two separate homelands for the peoples of Palestine, at last agreed to face the situation realistically and started to rectify its mistakes. In this connexion, I should like to refer to General Assembly resolution 3236 (XXIX) of 22 November 1974, which clearly demonstrated the awakening recognition in the international community of the root cause of the so-called Middle East crisis as being the suppression of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people. We want to believe that the international community has at last come to grips with the Palestinian question and will move faster in endeavouring to find a just solution of it. We are now convinced that most members of this Assembly look on the Palestinians no longer as mere refugees in need of food, clothing and a little education, but rather as a distinct people which has aspirations to enjoy basic human rights and independence, in accordance with the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations.
40. Kenya's position with regard to the problem of the Middle East has repeatedly been enunciated, both at this rostrum and in other international forums. We have welcomed all peace initiatives in the conflict "and have emphasized that intransigence should give ,way to compromise and that equitable and just solutions which take seriously into account the aspirations of all the parties concerned must be looked for. We have called, and do so again now, for the strict implementation of Security Council and General Assembly resolutions. The Minister for Foreign Affairs of Kenya, in his statement in the Assembly this year, expressed anxiety on the question of the Middle East and termed it "the most dangerous area on the international scene" [2362nd meeting, para. 21]. Continuing on this subject, he said:
"We believe that the following three principles are the prerequisite for a permanent and lasting peace: first, the right of all States to exist within secured boundaries; secondly, the right of the Palestinians to a national homeland; and thirdly, the inadmissibility of territorial acquisition by force of arms. . . . Israel must therefore withdraw from all occupied Arab territories in accordance with United Nations resolutions." [Ibid., para. 22.]
41. We all know that Israel exists and that no amount of exercise in self-deception can cover the debt Israel owes to this Organization. That fact has been reiterated here by many delegations. Israel has ignored many resolutions calling upon it to respect the rights of the Palestinians and to withdraw from all plundered territories. For any durable peace to be achieved in the Middle East, as many delegations have stressed, not only must the rights of the Palestinians be taken into account but also Israel must recognize that it has to settle the problems with those directly concerned.
42. It is not for Israel to determine who the representatives of those directly concerned are. That has been determined. This Organization has accepted the PLO as the legitimate representative of the Palestinians.
43. The people of Palestine are entitled to self-determination, as intended by this Organization in 1947. We stress again that unless that is achieved the problem of Palestine will continue to endanger international peace and security.
44. What is needed is the opening-up of minds. Israel must think again seriously about, and consider, the many arguments put forward by many members of this Assembly. Stubbornness and insensitivity to vital issues which concern not Israel alone but the whole world create dangers that we try to avoid in this Assembly.
45. The present position, despite the signing of the Sinai Agreement on partial disengagement, clearly indicates that without the full consultation and participation of and commitment to solutions by the Palestinian people, lasting peace will be an unattainable objective. It is because of that belief that my delegation will support any proposals to enable the Palestinians to be involved fully in any discussions of the problem of Palestine.
46. Let me conclude my short statement by pointing out clearly how disturbed my delegation is at the increasing speed of the arms race that is being encouraged through the supply of sophisticated weapons of mass destruction to the Middle East. We appeal to the major Powers that are entrusted with the responsibility of helping to solve this problem through talks at Geneva, to refrain from further exacerbating the situation by such supplying of armaments, since armaments only encourage nations to believe in the value of military strength, which is illusory in the long run.
47. Mr. KINENE (Uganda): Uganda's position on the question of Palestine was very ably and clearly stated by the President of the Republic of Uganda, His Excellency Field Marshal Al Hadji Idi Amin Dada, when he addressed the General Assembly on 1 October 1975 [2370th meeting].
48. By inviting Mr. Yasser Arafat, the Chairman of the PLO, to address it during its twenty-ninth session, the General Assembly corrected an anomaly which had beset and limited the deliberations on the question of Palestine. For 27 years the United Nations had discussed the Palestinian problem without hearing from the people directly involved—namely, the Palestinians. We were discussing a problem whose correct proportions and true version we did not really know. By granting the PLO observer status in the United Nations, the General Assembly took a very important step in the right direction, which constituted a turning-point in our deliberations on the question of Palestine.
49. Representatives were afforded an opportunity to listen to and assess the viewpoint of the Palestinians. I say it was a turning-point because essentially the Palestinian question is a colonial one. The Palestinians are homeless, have no shelter and no food. They have been reduced to the level of paupers. They have been taken for granted and are now classified as refugees and beggars, and slaves, on their own land. Their plight must be corrected if there is to be a real Middle East settlement. Indeed the Middle East problem is a consequence of what happened to the Palestinians over 27 years ago at the hands of the Zionists. When millions of Palestinians suffer because of a Zionist entity, the United Nations has to find a solution. The United Nations should not succumb to the distortion of facts propagated by the Zionist entity.
50. The General Assembly will recall that when Mr. Yasser Arafat addressed us at the twenty-ninth session,2 he made it very clear that he had come with an offer of peace in the form of an olive branch in one hand and with a gun in the other. Surely we cannot fail to understand that. He proposed a compromise solution to the Palestinian question. He clearly indicated that the Palestinians are prepared, ready and willing to live in a new Palestine, with the Jews. What better terms could be expected from the representative of the Palestinians who have suffered at the hands of the Zionist policy of expansion for decades? Could we not refer to these terms as having been very generous? Who could be more peace-loving than Yasser Arafat? But what we heard from the Zionists was a complete distortion of Arafat's offer. Arafat's demand for the right of the Palestinians to self-determination was branded by the Zionists as a demand from intransigent extremists.
51. The Zionists have refused the offer of peace and have turned down the idea of creating the State of Palestine. Moreover, unfortunately, even some of the so-called liberal democracies have backed up the Zionist stand. When shall we realize that the time is now ripe for us to pinpoint the fact that the real intransigent extremists are the Zionists, who have refused the offer of peace and continue to deny the Palestinians the right to self-determination? It is now very clear that the Zionists are the ones who have encouraged discord and conflict instead of compromise, co-operation and peace.
52. We have heard arguments to the effect that Israel has a right to exist within secure and defined boundaries. Those are very unfortunate arguments, because we are not told exactly how Israel acquired title to the land it is occupying today. All we know is that those who call for secure borders are the very people who abused their mandate, carved out Palestinian lands and dished out those lands to the Zionists at the expense of the rightful owners of Palestine, the Palestinians.
53. It is because of considerations of justice that Uganda takes a firm stand in supporting the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination. It is indeed in the light of Yasser Arafat's offer of a peaceful solution that we call for the extinction of Israel and its replacement by a truly democratic State of Palestine, where Muslims, Christians and Jews can live in peace and brotherhood and without discrimination.
54. I should like to emphasize that Uganda does not call for the elimination of the Jews as a people, because not all Jews are Zionists, but Zionism is a cancer that must be destroyed before it spreads beyond repair. It is in the light of this state of affairs that we call for the creation of the State of Palestine where Jews and Arabs, Muslims and Christians alike can live in amity and peace. We believe that the creation of the new State of Palestine will eliminate that ridiculous contention that the Zionists should be allowed to live where they are because of historical religious affiliations.
55. Recent developments have exposed the close links that already exist between the Zionists in the north and the racist regime of South Africa. The Zionists in the north continue to loot and grab Palestinian lands, while Vorster's racist regime grabs land from the black Africans who are the indigenous peoples of the areas in question. The Zionists continue to deny the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, as the racists deny the majority of blacks in South Africa the right to manage their affairs by putting them in the so-called bantustans. Here we have a very unfortunate link which this body must prevent. The black Africans of South Africa, like their Palestinian brothers, are forced to live in circumstances that reduce them to the level of slaves and squatters on lands to which they have a legitimate right. Surely there must be a limit to patience, and when these people reach the stage of no return and resort to force, to solve the problem, it will be because the Zionists and the racists have stubbornly refused to listen to the voice of reason.
56. I wish to reiterate our strong support for the Palestinian people's right to self-determination. My delegation supported resolution 3236 (XXIX), which among other things reaffirmed the national and legitimate rights of the Palestinian people to self-determination, independence and sovereignty. It is still our strong belief that resolution 3236 (XXIX) is the corner-stone, and provides the framework on which the problem of Palestine in particular and the Middle East crisis in general can be solved. Uganda will be ready, therefore, to support any resolution aimed at reaffirming the rights of the people of Palestine to self-determination and independence.
57. Mr. ROSSIDES (Cyprus): It is an undoubted reality that the problem of the Palestinian people lies at the very root and heart of the Middle East problem and is its causal origin, in fact, its pith and marrow. The discussion, therefore, on the item before us and any effort towards solving the relevant issue of the refugees is more significant for the solution of the Middle East problem than any attempts at palliative measures—measures which leave the basic issue untouched.
58. The Palestine refugee issue has been left increasingly to fester, unsolved and unresolved, over the years, without any meaningful effort towards a reasonable and workable solution in the vital interest of all concerned. Thus, a whole generation of Palestinian Arabs grew up drinking deeply of bitterness and frustration, and the problem has been left to assume its present explosive dimensions. The discussion of the item before us is, therefore, not only necessary as a historical review of the situation in search of a just solution but also in serving as a lesson for the conduct of nations in similar situations.
59. The Palestine question goes back to the time of the General Assembly partition resolution of 1947 [resolution 181 (11)]. Whatever the considerations for it, that was the original error, for that resolution not only was contrary to the Charter of the United Nations, but by bringing in the negativeness of division and partition it created situations that run counter to the positive laws of the universe, the laws of harmony and balance in a united whole. Cultivated divisions of countries and peoples, with their inevitable accompaniment of enmities and hatred, run counter to the very elements and essence of human life on this planet.
60. In Palestine, the Arabs and Jews have lived over the ages in peace and harmony. Under the changed political circumstances after the Second World War they could have well continued to do so in a spirit of understanding, unity and co-operation within the framework of positive arrangements with due regard to the legitimate interests of all concerned, if it were not for divisive concepts from the very outset and outside influences that, for interests alien to the people themselves, methodically drove a wedge between them and ultimately took the form of a partition resolution. Division was thereby sanctioned by the resolution.
61. As could be expected, the partition resolution of 1947 brought not peace to that area, as the United Nations was meant to do, but brought perpetual and recurring war that continues to this day. Psychologically, what would have been a passing phase of animosities derived from differences at the time, was given the permanent character and stamp of territorial partition. National differences of a fluid and temporary nature were thus given geographic content and became fixed enmities. They grew in depth and intensity, as intensified trouble and fighting started over artificially created and shifting boundaries in a dismembered and divided country.
62. The Middle East problem is thus gradually engulfing the whole area and constitutes admittedly the most dangerous and explosive problem of our times, which, in a nuclear age, involves the threat of a global catastrophe.
63. Efforts by the United Nations to remedy the situation resulting from partition, through a series of other resolutions of the General Assembly and of the Security Council, were of no effect and remain to this day wholly unimplemented, thereby rendering the function of the United Nations problematic in its meaning and main purpose as an instrument of international security and peace.
64. This is an aspect closely related to most, if not all, present-day problems that accumulate unsolved and tend to aggravate the dangers already threatening the whole of the international community. Security Council resolutions particularly, which were intended to preserve international security and peace in the world, and which under the Charter should be implemented, cannot remain ineffective without bringing dire consequences upon the world community.
65. Measures should, therefore, be sought and found to remedy this basic weakness of the United Nations, Particularly on matters of international security and peace, which constitute the very raison d'etre of the United Nations under its Charter. But to proceed effectively in this direction, in order to solve the Problems that are now overwhelming our world, a new approach is needed, in particular with regard to the Problem we are now discussing, the Palestinian problem, an approach that would be freed from traditionally self-centred national policies and would turn to wider horizons of positive co-operation for the common good.
66. To that end, beyond the human intellect, the spirit of man must be brought into play. Only through this spirit can conciliation, understanding, co-operation and harmony come about and flower in the hearts and minds of the people concerned, because it is from the people that the solutions will come, the people in that ancient and historic land.
67. I spoke a minute ago about the laws of the universe, for a growing consciousness of our shrunken little planet and of the ever-closer interdependence of its inhabitants brings us nearer to a realistic notion of the universe of which we all form a part and of our link with its moral flow. This moral flow, in terms of human experience, is but the law of justice without which no human society can exist, nor any international problem be solved. Justice may be long delayed, but not for ever, without the most dire consequences for the world community in general.
68. We speak with experience, having had a taste of the evils of division and partition, of expulsion and colonization, of changing the demographic character of the land. And we are suffering today from these evils, so we know what their meaning and effect are. But we also know and realize very well that they go beyond the particular land involved. They go beyond the particular victimized people. They affect the whole of the international community, and no nation can consider itself safe from the resulting dangers, for our lot in this interdependent world is one and undivided, and whatever injustice is done in one part of the world is an injustice to the whole world.
69. The experience of the Middle East situation, involving the forced removal of the Palestinians from their homes and properties and the denial of their legitimate right to return to their homeland, results from the partition. And the ensuing grave deterioration of the situation now engulfing more globally the whole world brings out one cardinal lesson—that it would be highly unwise for the international community to disregard and forget that partition, the split of countries, is comparable in the dangers involved to the split of the atom. Both these fissions release energies which become negative energy in their combined effect. And in the Middle East, if they were allowed to combine, could well result in a global disaster, particularly in the current period of obvious proliferation of nuclear reactors and potential nuclear weapons in the hands of people who are suffering from frustration and who look for justice and cannot get it by peaceful means.
70. This is a situation that calls for urgent and necessary consideration by the international community, through the United Nations, in order to find peaceful solutions based on justice and the Charter of the United Nations. Hence, we support the Geneva Peace Conference with full participation of the representatives of the Palestinian people. We consider it necessary also that there be some kind of research into this problem of the Palestinian refugees, so that a way may be found of ensuring that justice is done to those people of Palestine who have been deprived of their rights, and in this way there may be a solution satisfactory to all concerned.
71. We do not say that the rights of other adjacent peoples should be disregarded; we say that a positive solution can be found if only there is the will to cooperate, the will to search for such a solution, the will that comes to man from his spirit, not from his intellect turned to self-seeking pursuits. That is what I say to this international gathering: that we must have a new approach to world problems for otherwise there can be a solution to none of them.
72. The PRESIDENT (interpretation from French): I now call on the representative of the Palestine Liberation Organization.
73. Mr. AQL (Palestine Liberation Organization): We are approaching the end of our discussions on the question of Palestine after five days during which we have heard one representative after another reaffirming his support for our case. Socialist, non-aligned, Islamic and other voices, making up the overwhelming majority of the Assembly, have been heard reiterating their firm belief in the justice of our cause and calling for the speedy restoration of our inalienable rights.
74. We shall return to our Palestinian people, in their camps and under occupation, and share with them the gratification we have experienced during this week.
75. Had it not been for the discordant notes struck by the representative of Costa Rica, the isolation of the United States in its mechanical but vastly destructive support of Israel would have been almost complete.
76. Our delegation, as was indicated in our opening statement to this Assembly, came to you with great hopes and well-placed confidence. The United Nations today is almost universal in its membership. In the not too distant future it will become truly universal, when the struggle of today's oppressed and colonized people in Africa, Asia and Latin America is consummated and independence is attained.
77. Your Assembly has played a crucial role in the struggle of all colonized peoples, whom you have supported materially and morally. Now, the struggle of the people of Palestine requires your attention after it has become amply clear that our views are at great variance with those of Zionism. We believe that this international body has the right and duty to intervene and take effective measures to ensure peace with justice in our region. We do not share the view that General Assembly resolutions are of little value. On the contrary, we believe they reflect the obvious commitments of Member States, which are translated into concrete support for our political and military struggle. We are further heartened to note that this Assembly is at much greater liberty today to deliberate issues and to resolve disputes than it has ever been in the past. You will undoubtedly recall that, some years ago, the United Nations was susceptible to influence and was subjected to intimidation by the United States. Fortunately, this is no longer the case. The United States will undoubtedly keep trying to shield Israel. Its decision to withdraw from the International Labour Organisation in order to appease Israel is only an illustration of this unusual behaviour on the part of a super-Power.
78. But we are confident that this Assembly will continue to act courageously and independently to arrive at just and permanent solutions to all problems confronting the world. Meanwhile, our Palestinian people have arrived at an important juncture in the struggle for sovereignty and independence. We are aware of all the efforts to divert us from attaining our goals, and this may be the appropriate moment to clarify some of our stands.
79. The United States does not recognize the PLO, and yet it insists that we should recognize Israel before the latter recognizes us. But if we are nonexistent by United States standards, how can we possibly begin to discuss these conditions? Obviously, by United States standards it is a norm of international behaviour for the victim to recognize his persecutor. This discrepancy is not new to the world. For 25 years United States policy adamantly refused to recognize over 800 million people in the People's Republic of China until that policy ultimately crumbled and became bankrupt.
80. Although in number we total more than Israel's Jewish population, the United States refuses to recognize our very existence as a political community entitled to national self-determination. Unless our existence and right to independence are fully recognized by the United States, suggestions of recognition indicate total cynicism.
81. We take pride in the legality and representativeness of the PLO despite our regional dispersion and the very harsh conditions under which our people continue to live. The PLO, as most Member States know, represents all sectors of the Palestinian people including labour, farmers', writers', students', women's and other unions. Had it not been for Israel's oppressive laws, you would have found among our delegation representatives from occupied Palestine. Our National Congress, comprising all political groups, of all persuasions current among Palestinians, is already recognized by regional and international parliamentary unions, where our delegates constructively contribute to their proceedings.
82. Had the United States not been fully certain of the representative character of the PLO and its legitimacy, it would not have undertaken its pledge to Israel not to recognize the PLO. We take this opportunity to state once more that we will unhesitatingly pursue our just policies and programmes, which have been approved by the Palestine National Council, no matter what pledges and undertakings the United States makes to its surrogate in the Middle East.
83. During the deliberations some representatives wondered why the Palestinians reject Security Council resolution 242 (1967) as the basis for a solution. Resolution 242 (1967) refers to us as refugees without national political rights. Its only indirect reference to us appears in the phrase "for achieving a just settlement of the refugee problem". Our acceptance of it would not only reduce our problem to a question of international charity and technical know-how, but would also mean our extinction as a political community struggling to achieve liberation and independence. To most of the world, that resolution has become an anachronism because it addresses itself basically to the task of removing the traces of the 1967 Israeli aggression against the Arab States, whereas General Assembly resolution 3236 (XXIX) has by-passed it altogether in recognizing the right of the Palestinians to self-determination in their homeland.
84. You have all heard the Israeli representative and his Costa Rican friend hiding behind the vagueness of resolution 242 (1967), generously offering us the territory of another Member State—namely, Jordan. This is the extent to which resolution 242 (1967) can be disfigured.
85. You have also been told by the Zionists that we are engaged in undermining the security of another State in the region—namely, Lebanon. Both the representative of Lebanon and our delegation have tried to explain to you the real issues in the tragic Lebanese dilemma. We therefore repeat that our only goal is to liberate Palestine and thereby reintegrate our national community on our national Palestinian soil. We neither seek the national patrimony of another people, as the Zionists have done, nor do we undermine the peace and security of another State, as they have been doing for the past 27 years to all the Arab States in the region.
86. Oppressive as our objective conditions may be, and severe as our daily hardships are, we continue to state categorically that we still persist in our struggle for the unconditional liberation of the whole of Palestine from Zionism, fully confident that we have the support of all the countries of our region as well as the encouragement of all other freedom-loving States and peoples.
87. Naturally, the only path for us is that of liberation. That is what you said last year in your resolution, and that is what we expect you to say again this year. On our part, we will honour both our commitments and your resolutions.
88. Our vision of the future is a bright one. We envisage the establishment of a society based upon equality irrespective of a citizen's faith or national origin. We envisage a society which is truly democratic, based neither on sectarianism, as Israel is, nor on differential values attached to particular types or groups. We envisage a society which is based on the principle of one person, one vote, where there is no superior white vote, Jewish vote, European vote or any other kind of vote save that of a human being. We envisage a society characterized by distributive justice, in which all individuals, irrespective of their faith or colour, will fully benefit from the State and its institutions. That is what we offer, and that is what we will continue to offer regardless of the intellectual or political attempts at distortion or insinuation, or the aspersions which the Zionists may cast. Furthermore, such a society will establish relations with other societies on similar principles. It will accept the equality and integrity of all other democratic, non-sectarian States. It will also assist other oppressed groups engaged in the task of national liberation in the Arab world and elsewhere, to attain freedom and dignity.
89. Israel cannot and will not offer such a programme. For Israel is based on principles of inequality. Its behaviour is consistent with its beliefs and its Zionist ideology. For what is Israel today if not an expanding "ghetto"? It is well known that the ghetto as a form of human settlement was imposed on the Jews by others in medieval times. But Zionism and the Zionists have self-consciously chosen that form of human settlement for themselves. It addresses itself to Jew and non-Jew alike to accept the doctrine that the ghetto form of existence is the most natural. To our offer of inclusion, they counter with exclusion; to our offer of integration, they counter with racial purity. Their reality is a counter-historical one; their ideology is at best medieval and at worst primitive. To our offer of a multinational and multi-religious communal society, they oppose a tribal form of existence predicated on bonds of unity that are mythical in character.
90. But, as is well known, the relationship of the ghetto to the non-ghetto is a relationship of conflict. The ghetto periodically erupts in violence. Unlike contemporary ghettos in the Western world, the Israeli ghetto, self-imposed and assisted by the arsenal of the United States, periodically erupts in violence and aggression, victimizing the Palestinians and the Arab States. Its violence is the consequence of its attempt to maintain an unviable and counter-historical form of settlement. The Zionists apparently believe that the ghetto is the most valuable form of settlement, not only for them but also for others. Thus they compel the so-called Arab citizens of Israel to live in, and confine themselves to, Arab ghettos. Today's issue of The New York Times objectively reports a natural happening in Israel. Thousands of acres of fertile Arab lands in the Galilee are being requisitioned, against the vehement opposition of Israel's Arab citizens. The aim is to establish yet another Jewish ghetto to be settled by new colonial settlers and to reduce the Arab majority of Galilee, and to alter permanently the national character of the Palestinian landscape. The conflict between us and the Zionists is therefore very natural. The Israeli ghetto endeavours, without success, to dominate the region. Thus Mr. Abba Eban, Israel's former Foreign Minister, made this clear when he stated a few years ago:
"What we aspire to is not the relationship which exists between Lebanon and Syria . . . [we aspire] to the relationship between the United States and the Latin American continent . . . [to] economic interaction, but across a frankly confessed gulf of historic, cultural and linguistic differences. Integration is something to be avoided . . . [because of] the danger lest the predominance of immigrants of Oriental origin force Israel to equalize its cultural level with that of the neighbouring world. Our object should be to infuse them with an Occidental spirit, rather than to allow them to draw us into an unnatural Orientalism."
91. We have shown that Israel's behaviour stems from its ideology and practices. The society known as Israel is based on discredited conceptions of medieval or tribal ancestry. In our struggle for the non-sectarian, democratic State, we have relied on principles of political and social existence acceptable to the peoples of the world and congruent with the progressive movement of history. In that sense, we are not just struggling to free our people from the oppression of Zionism, but we are struggling to liberate the Jew, as well as human society in general, from the evils of an ideology which is purely and simply violent, anti-historical and regressive. In our struggle we are supported by the peoples of the world. By the successful consummation of our struggle, an enduring, just and peaceful society will be established in the whole of Palestine.
92. Mr. FALL (Senegal) (interpretation from French): Before submitting, on behalf of the sponsors, the draft resolution in document A/L.770, may I be permitted to inform the Assembly that the following countries have joined the sponsors: Laos, Maldives, Mauritius and Mongolia. Thus this draft resolution is now being submitted by 51 delegations. It goes without saying that the sponsors of the draft resolution are ready to accept all members that may wish to join them.
93. If there is one point upon which there is no difference of opinion in the Assembly it is the point that any solution to this problem of the Middle East is predicated upon settlement of the Palestine question. Whichever side one is on, this fact is not questioned by anyone. The draft resolution I have the honour of submitting to you contains no element that might aggravate an already explosive situation in that area of the Middle East. It confines itself, above all, to making the necessary recommendations for implementation of the various decisions already adopted by our Organization.
94. The draft resolution has three parts: there is, of course, a preambular part, in which we recall the reasons for which we took the initiative of submitting this draft resolution to the Assembly to set the seal on the debate we have had on Palestine. In the preamble, the General Assembly would recall the terms of its resolution 3236 (XXIX) of 22 November 1974; expressing in particular its deep concern that no just solution to the problem of Palestine has yet been achieved; and recognizing also that the problem of Palestine continues to endanger international peace and security. That would be denied by no one.
95. In the second part of the draft resolution, operative paragraphs 1 and 2, the Assembly would reaffirm resolution 3236 (XXIX), which is the first resolution of its kind adopted by the Assembly since it was agreed that the problem of Palestine should be considered henceforth as a separate part of the Middle East problem.
96. I should also add that this resolution 3236 (XXIX), which seems to have been the subject of vehement criticism by certain delegations, is not in itself any innovation. On 11 November 1948, as a result of the report of Count Bernadotte, who was the United Nations Mediator in Palestine, the Assembly adopted a resolution in which it decided that:
". . . the refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbours should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return …" [Resolution 194 (III).}
97. Thus, a long time ago the Assembly recognized the rights of the Palestinian people. The problem is that these decisions of our Assembly have never been implemented. No one has ever envisaged the setting-up of any means of ensuring that implementation—which brings us to the third part of this draft resolution in which the Assembly would decide to establish a committee on the exercise of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people. This third part could be called the essential innovation of our proposal. But, for the Assembly, I must say that it is not an innovation. The Assembly has already set up a Committee to study the implementation of resolution 1514 (XV) on decolonization; the Assembly has already set up a Committee to study the problems of apartheid in southern Africa; the Assembly has already created the United Nations' Council for Namibia; and the Assembly has already established certain other bodies entrusted with the supervision of the application of these decisions. Thus this third part of our draft resolution is no innovation, but we do call upon the Assembly to do for the Palestinian people what it has already done for other peoples living in the same conditions and subjected to the same unjust fate.
98. In this part of our draft resolution you will find, in operative paragraph 5, a mention of the PLO. There also we have not invented anything new, since last year, during its twenty-ninth session, the General Assembly adopted resolution 3237 (XXIX), which I have here before me, in which it recognizes that the PLO is the authentic spokesman for the people of Palestine. Thus, we could not do other than to ask the Assembly to authorize this committee, in the fulfilment of its mandate, to establish contact with, and to receive and consider suggestions and proposals from, any State and intergovernmental regional organization and the PLO.
99. In the draft resolution, the Assembly, after, establishing the principle of this means of supervision, would also define what the relations are to be between the committee and the various United Nations bodies in particular, the Secretariat, the Security Council, the Secretary-General and the General Assembly,"'which is the supreme organ of our United Nations. Those relations are defined in operative paragraphs 6 to 10.
100. Finally, in operative paragraph 11, it is proposed "to include the item entitled "Question of Palestine" on the provisional agenda of the thirty-first session. That is obvious since we ask the Secretary-General to submit to the Assembly at its thirty-first session a report on the action taken by the Security Council.
101. As the members of the Assembly will realize, this draft resolution aims at avoiding all controversial or disputatious considerations, for we want the draft resolution to be adopted to be a rallying point for all persons of good will working for peace in the Middle East and, in particular, in Palestine. In this draft resolution you will find no element that could in any way destroy any arrangements for peace made by the United Nations, contrary to what one speaker this morning wanted us to believe. That is why the sponsors of this draft resolution urgently request the Assembly," to make this text the common denominator of our opinion on the Palestine problem and to adopt it, if not unanimously, then at least by almost all the Members of our Organization.
102. The PRESIDENT (interpretation from French): I now call on the two delegations that wish to speak in exercise of the right of reply.
103. Mr. SHARAF (Jordan): The representative of Israel devoted most of his speech today [2397th meeting] to a bitter, angry and even personal attack, on Jordan and on the Jordan delegation. That is not surprising. Truth can be very hurtful to the guilty and there were many truths in my moderate and restrained statement on the question of Palestine and that of the Middle East [2392nd meeting]. Truth hurts the guilty, and that has been reflected in the Israeli reaction to three main themes in my delegation's statement, think.
104. First, Israel is unhappy with the fact that Jordan agrees with history that the Palestinian people were expelled from their homeland between 1947 and 1948. Why else would a million people leave their homes and property and homeland? No false quotations and distortion of facts can in any way cover up this essential fact. No nation leaves of its own volition its m ancestral homeland. But, more important still, if he Palestinian people were not driven and expelled from their homes and their land in 1947-1948 by violence, Israel has only to indicate its willingness to let hem go back to their homes and their homeland, and hat will settle the historical controversy.
105. Secondly, Israel is also unhappy with another fact in the Jordan delegation's statement, that Jordan agrees again with history regarding 1967 and Israel's aggression in that year. Again we are convinced and have stated repeatedly at the highest level—my monarch, whose name was injected today into Israel's statement, agrees with this fact and has stated it repeatedly—that Israel attacked three Arab countries in 1967, because this was an unfolding of a pattern in its conduct, a pattern which started with the Palestinian expulsion episode in 1947-1948, unfolded further in 1956 and again in the aggression of 1967, from the consequences of which we are still suffering. This is a fact. Again, it can only be disproved if Israel decides to liquidate the consequences of that aggression by withdrawing from the territories it occupied and by recognizing the right of the Palestinian people to their ancestral homeland.
106. Thirdly, again to the discomfiture of the Israeli representative, Jordan does not agree with the Israeli solution for the Palestinian problem. What were we goffered by the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Israel, Mr. Allon, and by the Israeli representative today? I Jordan was asked to participate with Israel in a perpetuation of the present tragedy and plight of the Palestinian people and the present occupation. In very crude and simple terms, Israel was saying: let Jordan absorb the Palestinians and Israel will absorb the West Bank and Gaza; let Jordan absorb the people and we will absorb the land of the people.
107. Whether the majority of the Palestinians are Jordanian citizens is not the issue. Any nation, any People, any individual, is entitled to the inalienable right of choosing citizenship in accordance with circumstances and will. But people, human beings, do not choose their birthplace, and the Palestinian birthplace is known. The Palestinian people were expelled in 1947-1948 from their ancestral homeland in Palestine, from an area known and geographically defined, and, at the moment, there are over a million people now under Israeli occupation in Palestine, west of the river Jordan. These are concrete facts; no semantics can cover them up; no juggling with words can hide them. Changing the name of the land in the area does not change the fact. The Palestinian people have either been expelled as refugees from their ancestral homes and their property, regardless of where they reside at the moment or what citizenship they chose or will choose in the future, or, as regards the vast majority of the rest of them, are in the occupied territories west of the river Jordan, on the West Bank and in Gaza.
108. Only an Israeli decision, regardless of how it is arrived at, will solve that problem through the evacuation by Israel of the occupied territories and the restoration of the rights of the Palestinian people who were forced out of their homes and homeland. That decision would be in accordance with repeated United Nations resolutions urging that the Palestinians be allowed to go back to their homes if they so choose.
109. These simple facts cannot be covered up by words or juggling with words. These facts represent the truth which Jordan has stated today. Jordan will continue to believe this because it believes in the rights of the Palestinian people as the basis for a settlement, as the basis for a solution which will establish peace and justice in the Middle East. Only an agonizing reappraisal by Israel's leadership and establishment will bring about the necessary basic change, which will in turn bring about peace and justice. It is not the facade and the barrage of myth-making propaganda and totally negative statements we hear in this Assembly from the Israeli representative that we need; what we need is action, decisive action that can take into account the realities, the fact that there are Palestinians, that there is occupation. Israel should address itself to those two major facts. There is no other constructive way towards peace and towards a just and lasting settlement in the area.
110. Mr. HERZOG (Israel): In exercising the right of reply, I do not propose to enter into polemics with the representatives who have just spoken.
111. However, I must again refer to the reiteration by the PLO of its dream of a democratic and secular State. Again I ask, where is there such a State in the Arab world? They answer, in Lebanon, and I say, look at Lebanon; do you believe that prospect is so encouraging?
112. As for my Jordanian colleague, I do not know what sort of book he would have liked me to quote. If I had quoted from one of my own books, would he have believed me? I felt that by quoting from his own monarch's book I should have a better chance of gaining credibility in his eyes than by quoting from my own.
113. However, one point which emerges from this debate is the unbelievable lack of co-ordination between the leaders of various Arab States and their representatives in this Assembly. Whom are we to believe? I have just listened to my Jordanian colleague, who is a sponsor of these pro-PLO resolutions. Yet his monarch, King Hussein, when interviewed by the magazine Der Stern in Germany and asked how he reacted to the claim of the PLO to act as spokesman for the Palestinian people, replied: "Ridiculous. How can half a dozen disunited organizations, partly dominated by criminals, disunited by radical ideologies, make this claim?"
114. Allow me to reiterate King Hussein's question and to put it to all the sponsors of this draft resolution.
115. Or take my Egyptian colleague. Let me recall that President Sadat in this very Hall only nine days ago [2388th meeting] formally requested the Secretary-General, and the Soviet Union and the United States as Co-Chairmen of the Geneva Peace Conference on the Middle East, to begin immediately their consultations with all interested parties so that the Conference could be resumed in the near future and that it meet to continue uninterruptedly to deal with the whole problem in all its aspects. I ask you, Mr. President, is it not unbelievable that we ourselves heard the policy of the Egyptian President in this Hall and yet nine days later we are presented with a draft resolution originally sponsored by his representative to the United Nations in which no mention is made of the Geneva Conference, no mention is made of Security Council resolution 242 (1967) and no mention is made of Security Council resolution 338 (1973) within the framework of which Egypt has just signed an agreement with Israel?
116. 1 ask you, Mr. President, do not these two incidents in themselves raise many doubts in your mind as to the sincerity and credibility of the Arab delegations when submitting draft resolutions to this forum?
117. Two draft resolutions have been submitted to us today. These two drafts are utterly unacceptable to us. The Government of Israel has unequivocally defined its position regarding the PLO. This so-called organization, which is the umbrella organization for a number of terrorist groups, bent by their Covenant on the destruction of the State of Israel, and which is far from representing the Arabs of Palestinian origin, has no right to participate in any consultations or negotiations on matters of peace.
118. I can only repeat that my country will not, under any circumstances, sit down and negotiate with the representative of a body with the lack of qualifications, the criminal record and the destructive intentions of the PLO as far as Israel is concerned.
119. The adoption of draft resolution A/L.768/ Rev.l would be a tragic blow to the peace effort mechanism in our region, and the members of this Assembly who vote for it will bear the responsibility for its dire consequences.
120. For the same reasons and others, the other draft resolution must also be rejected. It makes no mention of resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973) of the Security Council and makes no mention of the Geneva Conference, as if the General Assembly could ignore the resolutions of the Security Council as well as the existing international mechanisms which have, brought about, in the course of the year, the signature of the significant agreement between Egypt and Israel.
121. Moreover, in the face of this development so generally welcomed, the PLO has pursued its terrorist activities, has maintained an unrelenting effort to obtain the suspension of Israel from the United Nations and-has done everything possible to sabotage the negotiations between Israel and Egypt and the agreement arrived at between them.
122. Not a single hint of compromise or a tendency in this direction can be discerned in the positions taken by the PLO, whether you follow the official statements made by its representatives or their meetings with the press in which a representative has stated bluntly that he considers even Tel Aviv as occupied territory.
123. It should be obvious that the adoption of a draft resolution which is manifestly intended to be in the nature of a diktat by the PLO must gravely compromise the cause of negotiation and peace.
124. These two draft resolutions submitted to the Assembly, if adopted, would create an impasse. The Government of Israel, in the exercise of its rights, will reject such recommendations of the General, Assembly. It will not participate in any negotiation with the so-called PLO and will not co-operate in any manner within the framework of resolutions 3236/(XXIX) and 3237 (XXIX). My delegation appeals, therefore, to the members of this Assembly to oppose, in the interests of peace and of the ongoing negotiations in the Middle East today, the two draft resolutions submitted to their vote.
The meeting rose at 6 p.m.
1 Agreement between Egypt and Israel, signed at Geneva on 4 September 1974. See Official Records of the Security Council, Thirtieth Year, Supplement for July, August and September 1975, document S/11818/Add.l.
2 Official Records of the General Assembly, Twenty-ninth Session, Plenary Meetings, 2282nd meeting, paras. 3-83.
Download Document Files: apv2398.pdf
Document Type: Meeting record
Document Sources: Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People (CEIRPP), General Assembly
Subject: Inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, Middle East situation, PLO/Palestine, Palestine question, Situation in the OPT including Jerusalem, Statehood-related
Publication Date: 07/11/1975