UNITED NATIONS N.Y (Apr. 11)
On the initiative of the United States Government, the Security Council today adopted a resolution which enjoins Jordan as well as Israel to comply with the terms of the 1949 armistice agreement between the two countries. Eight of the 11 members-of the Council voted for the resolution, none voted against it, and only three members–the Soviet Union, the United Arab Republic and Ceylon abstained.
The resolution, however, does, in effect condemn Israel for holding a rehearsal in Jerusalem, last month, of heavy tanks, artillery and other armaments to be used April 20 in connection with Israel’s forthcoming celebration of the State’s 13th anniversary. But the body of the condemnatory resolution, introduced yesterday by Ceylon and the United Arab Republic in support of a complaint by Jordan that the parade would be a threat to peace and security, was eased considerably by an amendment introduced this morning by Francis T.P. Plimpton, deputy permanent representative of the U.S.A. here.
Against sharp objections by Jordan-and the UAR, the United States insisted on its amendment which requests the Jordan-Israel Mixed Armistice Commission “to cooperate so as to ensure that the General Armistice Agreement will be complied with.” Both Jordan and the UAR told the Council this amendment puts Jordan on an equal footing with Israel whereas, they affirmed, only Israel is guilty of a violation at this time.
“The purpose of the United States amendment, ” Mr. Plimpton told the Council, “is to put on record again the fact that compliance with the General Armistice Agreement is not a unilateral obligation. Neither party to any of the General Armistice Agreements can expect the other party will fully honor the provisions of the agreement if it itself is not prepared to show good faith in compliance. So long as the General Armistice Agreements are in effect and still govern the relations of the parties, this Council must, we submit, take every appropriate opportunity to demonstrate its continued determination to ensure their effectiveness.”
Abdel Monem Rifai, of Jordan, who introduced the complaint before the Council, threatened that, if the United States amendment were adopted, the result would be an increase in tensions in the Middle East, permitting “Israel to take the law into its own hands, ” and would make a “dead letter” of the armistice agreement. He was supported in this view by Dr. Omar Loutfi, of the United Arab Republic, a member of the Council.
Arthur Lourie, on behalf of Israel, warned the Council it must take into account “the implicit and explicit threats” by Jordan. He told the Council that, since the Israel-Jordan armistice agreement was adopted, Jordan had been condemned by the Mixed Armistice Commission for a total of 355 violations, while only 155 MAC votes had been cast against Israel.
Mr. Plimpton’s address, prior to the introduction of his amendment, seemed to make a deep impression upon the Council since this was the first time the United States Government has been called upon in the United Nations to take a stand on an Israeli-Arab dispute since the Kennedy Administration came into office last January 20.
Throughout his address, Mr. Plimpton dealt equally with both Jordan’s and Israel’s desire for continued tranquility in the Middle East. Over and over again; he emphasized the current Jordanian complaint against Israel’s planned military parade concerned only a holiday observance and was in no sense a threat to the peace. He appealed to “all parties” to refrain from increasing tensions, termed Israel’s parade plans “not ill-intentioned, ” and said “both Israel and Jordan have a particularly heavy responsibility for the exercise of patience and statesmanship.”
It was this American equation of Jordan, the complainant, with Israel, allegedly the “defendant.” that angered the Arab spokesmen here and led them to threaten the general peace in the area.