Security Council Postpones Consideration of Resolution on Sanctions Against Israel
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Security Council Postpones Consideration of Resolution on Sanctions Against Israel

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The U.N. Security Council today decided to postpone consideration of a British-Chinese resolution which would apply sanctions against Israel for refusing to surrender its gains in the Negev. Following opposition by France, the Soviet Union and Israel, the Council which yesterday appeared all prepared to vote the sanctions, today accepted a Canadian suggestion for the appointment of a special sub-committee to draft a more acceptable compromise of the resolution.

The special unit, suggested by Canada, consists of the United Kingdom, France, Belgium, China and the Ukraine, It began meeting this afternoon and is expected to report to the Council some time next work.

Meanwhile, Britain today used the interval created by the postponement yesterday of the Council meeting to insert a new stipulation into the Anglo-Chinese draft resolution presented at that time. This new provision by Britain, which has the support again of China, calls upon both disputants to withdraw to the lines of Oct, 14, when fighting was resumed in the Negev. The underlying effect of this is a double assault on the Israeli position.

Firstly, it is aimed at nullifying all changes in Israel’s favor produced by the fighting in the Palestine desert. The second attack, drawn up yesterday, proposes the creation of an instrument (the imposition of sanctions or penalties) for use by the U.N. Security Council as a threat against Israel if the Jewish state does not comply with the request for a withdrawal to the Oct. 14 positions.


Alexandre Parodi, French delegate to the Council, today expressed the French attitude, the sense of which would be to extract all the teeth from the Anglo-Chinese resolution provision for sanctions. The French want the Israelis to withdraw from their new positions, but they do not want the Egyptians to return to their positions, now lost to them. They envisage a sort of no-man’s land to be created in the disputed area in the Negev. Parodi also felt it would be better to request the two parties to withdraw troops rather than issue an injunction.

The French delegate also suggested there be no reference in the resolution of any specific article of the U.N. Charter under which enforcement action would be taken. He felt it was sufficient to refer to the chapter in the Charter under which such action would be taken.

Mahmoud Bey Fawzi, representative of Egypt, then Jumped in to suggest that this was unfair to Egypt, He wanted the new British resolution amended to insure that the Egyptians would return to all the positions they held before their rout in the Negev. At this point, British delegate Sir Alexander Cadogan asked Dr. Ralph J. Bunche, acting mediator, whether it was desirable that this should take place. Bunche answered by saying he supported the French view of creating a neutral zone in the desert between the Israeli and Egyptian positions.


He was followed by Aubrey S. Eban, chief of the Israeli mission here, who delivered a sharp indictment of the British and Chinese for making an exception of Israel and for threatening the use of sanctions when for a period of four months the U.N. had failed to deal with repeated appeals by the late mediator Count Folke Bernadotte that Israeli convoys should be permitted to pass freely to settlements in the Negev.

Eban asserted that “those who refused us new days of negotiations” were then prepared to permit certified truce violations to continue for a period of four months. The proposed Anglo-Chinese resolution, he charged, was not objective and did not provide for penalties against Egypt for the original truce violations, but was directed only at the effect of those violations. He also protested that it was unfair to isolate the Negev situation from other sectors of Palestine where the truce was also being violated. If a “principle” was being applied, he argued, then all the armies should be ordered to withdraw their forces to the positions they held May 14-on the eve of the establishment of Israel- and not to the positions of Oct. 14.

He added that a neutral zone in the Negev as proposed by France, was not practical, The Anglo-Chinese resolution would permit the Egyptians to return to Ishdud, just north of the Negev, which they had evacuated because their position there was no longer tenable. In fact, the Israeli spokesman argued, the resolution was so drafted that if the Egyptians did not resume their Ishdud positions, they would be liable to sanctions by the United Nations.

“It was once considered by the Security Council that to attack Israel was an act of aggression. It has presently become almost an act of aggression to defend it,” he said. He then asked the Council to return to the resolution of Oct. 19 and suggested that that body instruct the mediator to begin negotiations between Israel and Egypt, as instructed in that resolution. Earlier, it was made plain here that the Egyptians would reject any bid for negotiation with Israel since that would imply its recognition as a sovereign state.


For the Soviet Union, Yakov Malik Said he could not support the United Kingdom-China resolution. He said on Oct. 19 the Security Council passed a resolution calling for an immediate cease-fire. It also contained conditions, he said, which could be considered as a basis for further negotiations. The cease-fire order, Malik pointed out, had been obeyed but no steps had been taken to implement the second part of the resolution. He considered that Bunche could and should take steps to initiate negotiations provided for in that resolution.

The Chinese delegate claimed that it was impossible to decide who was the aggressor without a decision of the International Court of Justice, as China had always advocated. He further suggested that all parties who propose amendments to the Sino-British resolution meet and draft a resolution acceptable to all. Whereupon, Canadian delegate Gen. Andrew G.L. McNaughton proposed the formation of the drafting sub-committee.

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