Wednesday, November 22, 2017

  • Wednesday, November 22, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon


The official Palestinian news agency, Wafa, has an article that claims that Israel is violating the terms of UN Security Council resolution 242 which was passed on November 22,1967. It is nonsense, but that's never stopped them before.

The most contentious piece of the resolution is, of course, the deliberate omission of the word "the" from the call of  "Withdrawal of Israel armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict."

Interestingly, it includes an Arabic translation of the resolution that accurately translates that part without the "the."

In the debate before and after the vote, delegates to the UN Security Council were quite aware of the missing "the" and the implication that Israel would not have to withdraw from all the territories. The Syrian representative denounced the resolution for exactly that reason. The Russian and French delegates said that they choose to interpret it as if the "the" was there. The British delegate, Lord Caradon, who drafted the resolution, was insistent that the resolution's wording was exactly what was intended.

Here is what Israeli foreign minister*  Abba Eban said. It is remarkable how much of it applies today.
I regret that this meeting should have begun with the statement that we heard from the representative of Syria. On his interpretation of the resolution I have nothing to say, but on his comments on my country's policy I must say a few words.

The Syrian utterance speaks for itself; it was a hymn of hate and aggression trumpeted by the Government which, more than any other, was responsible for disrupting the tranquility of the Middle East in 1966 and 1967. The Syrian representative has repeated the revolting attempt to hang the odious Nazi label on the only people that sustained the full brunt and fury of Nazism without interruption or compromise for all the twelve Nazi years. What a sorry spectacle it is to see a tribunal of peace thus transformed into an arena of hate.

The policy of the Israel Government and nation remains as it was when I formulated it in the Security Council on 13 and 16 November [1375th and 1379th meetings], namely that we shall respect and fully maintain the situation embodied in the cease-fire agreements until it is succeeded by peace treaties between Israel and the Arab States ending the state of war, establishing agreed, recognized and secure territorial boundaries, guaranteeing free navigation for all shipping, including that of Israel, in all the waterways leading to and from the Red Sea, committing all signatories to the permanent and mutual recognition and respect of the sovereignty, security and national identity of all Middle Eastern States, and ensuring a stable and mutually guaranteed security. Such a peace settlement, directly negotiated and contractually confirmed, would create conditions in which refugee problems could be justly and effectively solved through international and regional co-operation.

Those are our aims and positions. They emerge from five months of international discussion, unchanged, unprejudiced and intact. It is now understood as axiomatic that movement from the cease-fire lines can be envisaged only in the framework of a lasting peace establishing recognized and secure boundaries.

The time has come to adapt the Middle Eastern situation to the general principles and concepts which regulate the international order. Let us be done, after nineteen years, with truces, armistices and "demarcation lines based on military considerations" which leave territorial problems unsolved. The relations between States in the Middle East for nineteen years have been fragile, anomalous, indeterminate and unresolved. The hour is ripe for building a stable and durable edifice within which the peoples of the eastern Mediterranean can pursue their separate national vocations and their common regional destiny. The tensions and rancours of the past cannot be ended overnight, but if the relations of States in the Middle East are contained in a permanent and contractually binding framework the patient task of reconciliation can go forward.

The Security Council, like the General Assembly, has consistently refused to endorse proposals which would have sought a return to the ambiguity, vulnerability and insecurity in which we have lived for nineteen years. It has now adopted a resolution of which the central and primary affirmation is the need for "the establishment of a just and lasting peace" based on secure and recognized boundaries. There is a clear understanding that it is only within the establishment of permanent peace with secure and recognized boundaries that other principles can be given effect. As my delegation and others have stated, the establishment for the first time of agreed and secure boundaries as part of a peace settlement is the only key which can unlock the present situation and set on foot a momentum of constructive and peaceful progress. As the representative of the United Kingdom indicated in his address on 16 November, the action to be taken must be within the framework of a permanent peace and of secure and recognized boundaries. It has been pointed out in the Security Council, and it is stated in the 1949 Agreements, that the armistice demarcation lines have never been regarded as boundaries so that, as the representative of the United States has said, the boundaries between Israel and her neighbors: "must be mutually worked out and recognized by the parties themselves as part of the peace-making process" [1377th meeting, para. 65].

We continue to believe that the States of the region, in direct negotiation with each other, have the sovereign responsibility for shaping their common future. It is the duty of international agencies at the behest of the parties to act in the measure that agreement can be promoted and a mutually accepted settlement can be advanced. We do not believe that Member States have the right to refuse direct negotiation with those to whom they address their claims. It is only when they come together that the Arab States and Israel will reveal the full potentialities of a peaceful settlement.

There were proposals, including those submitted by three Powers and then by the Soviet Union, which failed to win the necessary support because they rested in our view on the wrong premise that a solution could be formed on the basis of a return to the situation of 4 June. We hold that that premise has no logical or moral international basis. Similarly, the failure to understand that Israel's action last June was a response to aggression has prevented certain Governments from keeping pace with the development of international thinking. Israel notes, however, that recent Soviet statements and drafts reflect an understanding that the establishment of peace requires, amongst other things, an explicit respect of Israel's national identity and international rights.

I also note that the Soviet text [S/8253], like that of the United States [S/8229], included a reference to the need for curbing the destructive and wasteful arms race. I hope that the absence of this provision in the text on which the Council has voted does not mean that that objective will be lost from sight.

The termination of this debate takes us into a new phase, of which the center lies not here in New York, but in the Middle East. What will henceforward be decisive is not the particular words of an enabling resolution, but the spirit and attitude and policies of the Middle Eastern States. One of the points most strongly emphasized around this table and in all the exchanges which I and my associates have been privileged to have with representatives of Member States is that the only peace that can be established in the Middle East is one that the Governments of the Middle East build together. Peace can grow by agreement. It cannot be imposed. Our Governments in the area must look more and more towards each other. For it is only from each other that they can obtain the satisfaction of their most vital need, the need of peace.

I reiterate that in negotiations with our neighbors we shall present a concrete vision of peace. Before saying what that vision is, I should like to make one comment on the course of this debate with special reference to the remarks of the Indian representative. The establishment of a peace settlement, including secure and recognized boundaries, is quite different from what he had been proposing, namely, withdrawal, without final peace, to demarcation lines. The representative of India has now sought to interpret the resolution in the image of his own wishes. For us, the resolution says what it says. It does not say that which it has specifically and consciously avoided saying.

Thus, if the representative of India is in any predicament, he should not escape it by reading into a text adjectives and place-names which do not occur in the text. He must know that the crucial specifications to which he referred were discussed at length in consultations and deliberately and not accidentally excluded in order to be non-prejudicial to the negotiating position of all parties. The important words in most languages are short words, and every word, long or short, which is not in the text, is not there because it was deliberately concluded that it should not be there.

I have said that we would, in peace negotiations, present a vision and a program of peace. I draw attention to the ideas which I proposed to the General Assembly at its 1577th meeting on 3 October 1967 under the heading of an "agenda for peace". In direct negotiation, we would seek the discussion of juridical problems, including the establishment of peace treaties instead of cease-fire or armistice lines; security and territorial problems, including the establishment of permanent and agreed frontiers of peace and security; population problems, involving regional effort and international co-operation to resolve the problems of displaced populations created by wars and perpetuated by belligerency; economic questions, including the replacement of blockades and boycotts by intense economic co-operation; communications problems, including the opening of the Middle East to a free and normal flow of commerce; cultural and scientific problems, involving an attempt to substitute the best traditions of Arab-Jewish co-operation for the recent tensions and disputes, thus ending the epoch of alienation and hostility.

These are the horizons to which we shall address ourselves. For all the States and peoples of the Middle East, they hold the promise of a new and better age.
Syria responded:

Mr. TOMEH (Syria): The test of the success or failure of any major resolution can be measured only by its results. The future will prove whether or not the resolution adopted today will secure the cause of peace in the Middle East
I have listened very carefully to Mr. Eban's statement and his interpretation of the resolution, but not equally so to the acrimonious part about Syria, which is to be expected. His interpretation of the withdrawal only confirms, but in a very roundabout way, the full intent of Israel to consolidate its gains as a result of its aggression, which was amply explained in my statement to the Council. Again, the words spoken are denied by the intent expressed and the deed achieved. I should have liked Mr. Eban to have denied some of the facts and occurrences which I brought out in my statement. However, it is to be noted that the following sentence occurred in Mr. Eban's statement: "Peace... cannot be imposed" [supra, para. 92]. I should like to quote what I said in my statement about peace, which was the following: "A lasting peace cannot be imposed by force. One does not open the way for it by seizing another's property and demanding certain concessions before that property is given back to its legal, lawful Owner." [supra, para. 25.] Mr. Eban went on to attribute aggressive acts and intentions to Syria, I need not go into the details of what happened on 7 April 1967, which we put before the Council when an attack was perpetrated against Syria, and which included seven sorties by the Israel air force, with a battle ensuing that took place over Damascus, the capital of Syria.
Finally and briefly I should like to comment on the description given by Mr. Eban of my statement as a "hymn of hate" [supra, para. 83]. That is really an amazing interpretation because, reduced to its basic principles, my statement invokes two of the Ten Commandments: "Thou shalt not kill"; and "Thou shalt not covet" other people's property. That two of the Ten Commandments should be interpreted as a "hymn of hate" is really beyond my understanding, but the twisting of words and meanings can result in anything. We condemn killing and the stealing of other people's property most strongly and most vehemently, whether it has been committed by Nazi Germany against the innocent Jews, the French, the Danes or the people of any other country which it occupied, just as we condemn it most strongly and vehemently when it is committed by the Israelis against the Arabs--by Dayan and Begin and justified by Mr. Eban.

And Eban responded to him again:

Mr. EBAN (Israel): I do not propose to maintain the discussion with the representative of Syria, except to say that if he is interested in the document of Hebrew literature to which he referred I recommend that he should not stop short with two commandments but should also study the statement "Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor", because the quotations which he put in my mouth were not there.
I intervene for another purpose, which is to say that I am communicating to my Government for its consideration nothing except the original English text of the draft resolution as presented by the original sponsor on 16 November. Having studied that text, document S/8247, my Government will determine its attitude to the Security Council's resolution in the light of its own policy, which is as I have stated it.
(h/t zee for correction)



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