Kosygin Reiterates Soviet ‘charges’ Against Israel at U.N. General Assembly
Menu JTA Search

Kosygin Reiterates Soviet ‘charges’ Against Israel at U.N. General Assembly

Download PDF for this date

Reiterating the usual Soviet charges against Israel, as well as the accusations that the United States and Britain “promoted” Israel’s “aggression” against the Arab states, Soviet Premier Aleksei N. Kosygin, in his address today at the emergency special session of the U.N. General Assembly — which was called upon the insistence of the Soviet Union — demanded the withdrawal of Israel’s forces from the “occupied” Arab territories, the reimbursement of “the full cost of all it has destroyed” in Arab lands, and “the return of the captured property within the shortest possible time.”

The Soviet Premier, who was the first speaker before the Assembly this morning, also voiced a direct threat against Israel by stressing that early this month, leaders of the seven Communist countries had declared that their governments “would do everything necessary in order to aid the peoples of the Arab countries to deal a firm rebuff to the aggressor, to safeguard their legitimate rights, to quench the hotbed of war in the Middle East and to restore peace in that region.” Mr. Kosygin then introduced a draft resolution under which the General Assembly would:

“1. Resolutely condemn the aggressive actions of Israel and the continuing occupation by Israel and the continuing occupation by Israel of a part of the territory of the U.A.R., Syria and Jordan, which constitutes an act of aggression;

“2. Demand that Israel should immediately and without any condition withdraw all its forces from the territory of those states to positions beyond the armistice demarcation lines, as stipulated in the general armistice agreements, and should respect the status of the demilitarized zones as prescribed in those armistice agreements;

“3. Also demand that Israel should restitute in full and within the shortest possible period of time all the damage inflicted by its aggression upon the United Arab Republic, Syria and Jordan, and their nationals and should return to them all seized property and other material assets;

“4. Appeal to the Security Council to undertake on its part immediate effective measures in order to eliminate all consequences of the aggression committed by Israel.”

Mr. Kosygin charged Israel with committing “violence” in seized territories. “In the same way as Hitler’s Germany used to appoint gauleiters in the occupied regions, the Israeli Government is establishing an occupation administration on the seized territories and appointing its military governors there,” he said.


Israel Foreign Minister Abba Eban, who was the second speaker at the Assembly today, harshly castigated the Soviet Union following Mr. Kosygin’s address. He said that the Soviet Union cannot be “the judge” of the present Arab-Israel crisis, and had come here only to aggravate the situation instead of seeking peace. Telling the General Assembly that he would show how the Soviet Union has been aggravating the Arab-Israel situation for 15 years, Mr. Eban said that the facts he would cite would disprove “today’s intemperate utterances” by the USSR.

Mr. Eban rejected completely the USSR’s proposals as voiced by Mr. Kosygin, for condemnation of Israel, for calling Israel the aggressor in this month’s war, and for an Assembly demand that Israel withdraw its forces to the 1949 armistice lines between Israel on the one hand and Egypt, Jordan and Syria on the other. After detailing the Arab open declarations of intentions to destroy Israel by warfare, Mr. Eban told the Assembly that the Soviet Union initiative for the convening of the current Assembly session must be judged in the context of a “sad and shocking” series of events.

Recalling that in 1948,when Israel was attacked by the massed strength of the Arab countries, the Soviet Union voted in the Security Council to condemn “Arab aggression,” Mr. Eban told the Assembly that, since 1955, it was the Soviet Union that had enlarged and escalated the arms race in the Middle East. He gave the figures of the number of tanks, planes, guns, mortars, rocket launchers, ground-to-ground missiles and torpedo boats sent by the Soviet Union to the Arab states since 1955, most of them to Egypt.

Mr. Eban told the Assembly, that in the Sinai Peninsula alone, Israel found $2,000,000,000 worth of abandoned Soviet arms left there when Israel defeated the Egyptian forces this month. The consequences of the USSR’s exercise of its veto in the Security Council, Mr. Eban charged. were the denial of all rights to Israel, leading to the Arab determination to strangle Israel and to wipe it off the map.


Mr. Eban then told the Assembly that the Soviet Union’s “obscene comparison between Israel’s defense forces and Hitler Germany is odious and violates every cannon of truth and taste.” Taking up the Soviet Union’s specific points in the resolution introduced by Mr. Kosygin. Mr.

“It was a great power that increased and escalated the arms in the Middle East,” Mr. Eban said. “We and others have asked the Soviet Union to halt the arms race. We should have liked to see the arms race slowed down, relieving us from the necessity of expending our resources for deterrents. The situation that developed finally was the direct result of the Soviet efforts.”

Mr. Eban then went on to show how through five vetoes cast by the Soviet Union in the Security Council between 1954 and 1966, the Soviet Union had “paralyzed” the Council by preventing the Council from taking action regarding Jordan River waters, freedom of passage through the Suez Canal, and condemning or even expressing “regret” over terrorist murder and sabotage in Israel. The consequences of the USSR’s exercise of its veto in the Security Council, Mr. Eban charged, were the denial of all rights to Israel, leading to the Arab determination to strangle Israel and to wipe it off the map.

Founding Funders

The digitization of the JTA Archive would not have been possible without the generous support of the following donors:
  • The Gottesman Fund
  • Righteous Persons Foundation
  • Charles H. Revson Foundation
  • Elisa Spungen Bildner and Robert Bildner, in honor of Norma Spungen
  • George S. Blumenthal
  • Grace and Scott Offen Charitable Fund