UNITED NATIONS, N.Y. (Jul. 9)
The Soviet Union, in a bitter, vitriolic attack on Israel tonight, called on the United Nations Security Council to condemn Israel as the aggressor in Saturday’s Suez Canal clashes and to enjoin Israel from further aggression under pain of sanctions. Ambassador Nikolai T. Fedorenko of the Soviet Union told the Council that if it found it necessary to impose sanctions on Israel, the Soviet Union was prepared to participate.
In an abusive, polemical tirade in which he described the Israelis as “the Tel Aviv bandits” and “pirates,” the Soviet envoy made slashing attacks on the United States accusing it of supporting Israel in an “imperialistic conspiracy” to prevent the democratic development of the Arab states. Israel would not act so recklessly, the Soviet spokesman said, if it did not have the support of Washington, London, Bonn and others. He insisted that “immediate Israeli withdrawal and the liquidation of the consequences of the aggression” remained the most urgent task before the Council.
The Soviet spokesman was immediately answered by Lord Caradon of Britain and Ambassador Arthur Goldberg of the United States. The British ambassador deplored the Soviet attack and called on the Council for practical measures to further peace. He proposed that the Council authorize the Secretary General to send observers to the Sinai Peninsula and a representative to deal with the parties concerned on all matters involving peace.
Mr. Goldberg, dismissing the Fedorenko charges as “boilerplate.” stressed the need for strict observance of the cease-fire by all parties and endorsed Secretary-General U Thant’s proposals to send observers to the scene. He said the United States favored in principle the withdrawal of the Israeli forces but said this had to be coupled with the termination of the state of war and belligerency and the agreement for total peace.
The Secretary-General told the Council tonight that Lt. Gen. Odd Bull had informed him he would need 25 additional observers to cover both sides of the Suez Canal, these observers to be supported by technical and logistics staff. He noted that it was advisable to have the approval of the countries concerned as to the countries from which the observers would be drawn.
Mr. Thant’s proposals for stationing of observers were favorably received by a majority of the Council. The debate was expected to be concluded tonight with the expression of a consensus supporting the Secretary-General’s plan to send in an observer team.
(In Jerusalem, Foreign Minister Abba S. Eban reported today to the Cabinet on the General Assembly debate on the Middle East situation. He was quoted as saying that the diplomatic battle had not yet ended and Israel must prepare to withstand strong pressures from various directions. The Foreign Minister also reported to the Cabinet on Secretary-General U Thant’s proposals to station U.N. observers on both the Israeli and Egyptian sides in the Suez Canal area. The Cabinet did not reach a decision on this question.)
EGYPT AND ISRAEL ACCUSE EACH OTHER OF CEASE-FIRE VIOLATIONS
Both Israel and Egypt lost no time Saturday in seeking an urgent meeting of the Security Council to deal with the situation and the Council was convened Saturday evening at 6 P.M. In his letter to the president of the Security Council, Ambassador Gideon Rafael of Israel charged that its “aggressive actions showed that the UAR policy remained that of maintaining a continued state of belligerence against Israel.”
Ambassador Mohammed el-Kony of Egypt, who was permitted to speak first, accused Israel of escalating military activities in violation of the cease-fire agreements in an “overall scheme supported and encouraged by certain powers, aimed at disturbing international peace.” He repeated the discredited Egyptian charge that the United States and Britain had participated in the war on June 5 at the side of Israel and said the United States had clearly encouraged Israel “to flout the General Assembly.”
Referring to the failure of the Soviet Union and the non-aligned bloc to put through a resolution in the General Assembly to require Israel to withdraw its forces to their pre-June 5 positions, the Egyptian envoy said: “Israel might have interpreted the General Assembly’s inaction as an open invitation for it to continue to disregard all ethics.” He warned that as long as Israeli forces occupied Arab territory, “there are bound to be violations of the cease-fire.”
Ambassador Rafael told the Council that the incidents Saturday were part of a chain of events which began July 1 which had resulted in the death or injury of more than 40 Israeli soldiers. He told the Council that “Israel firmly wishes to observe the cease-fire and see it enforced, but the UAR seems set on eroding it away and adapting the old policy of belligerency to the new circumstances.” He said it was clear that Egypt had carefully planned the Saturday attack. At no time, he insisted, had Israeli forces initiated violation of the cease-fire and Israel would continue to operate with the Security Council to ensure an effective cease-fire.