UNITED NATIONS (Sep. 10)
The Security Council continued debate late this evening on two draft resolutions, one sponsored by Somalia, Guinea and Yugoslavia calling for an immediate halt to military operations in the Middle East, and the other by the United States which would have the Council specifically condemn last week’s murder of 11 Israeli Olympic athletes by Arab terrorists in Munich and demand that states harboring the terrorists cease supporting and encouraging their acts.
The Security Council was called into emergency session this morning at the request of Syria and Lebanon to consider those countries’ complaints of “premeditated and unprovoked aggression” by Israel. The complaints referred to a series of Israeli air strikes Friday against seven terrorist strongholds in Syria and three in Lebanon in the aftermath of the Munich killings.
Following introduction of the two drafts the Council adjourned late this afternoon to permit delegates to contact their governments and to provide the text of the resolutions in all languages. The Israeli delegation was absent from the morning and afternoon sessions due to the High Holidays. No vote was expected at least until after a statement by Israel’s Ambassador Yosef Tekoah later this evening.
The Somalia resolution was described by its sponsor as an interim one to dispose of the immediate issue of military operations and did not preclude the American draft. It fell far short of Syria’s demand that the Council condemn Israel, compel it to halt all military operations and prevent renewal of further “armed aggression.”
LATEST FIGHTING SPARKED BY MUNICH EVENT
The US Ambassador, George Bush, prefaced the introduction of the American resolution with a fervent plea to the Security Council to consider the events in Munich as background to the latest eruption of fighting in the Middle East. He warned that one-sided resolutions did not contribute to the goal of peace but only encouraged the perpetrators of violence to believe they could escape the censure of the world.
Bush added that what happened at Munich was so brutal and so detrimental to peace in the Mideast that the Council should not pretend it did not exist. Bush’s remarks were counter to those of the Soviet Ambassador Jakob Malik, who insisted that references to the Munich episode be deleted from the resolutions under debate.
Malik, who supported the Somalia draft, spoke of “the new, unprovoked acts of aggression by Israel against the Arab states” and remarked that Israel used the pretext of religious holidays as an excuse for not attending the session, but those holidays did not prevent Israel from carrying out its aggression. Today’s sessions were presided over by Huang Hua of China, this month’s president of the Security Council.
END TERRORIST ATTACK
The US resolution stated: “The Security Council, gravely concerned at the renewal of terrorist attacks on innocent persons; deploring the loss of innocent lives on both sides and the outbreak of renewed violence in the Middle East; convinced that acts of terrorism and any encouragement and support for such acts are totally unacceptable in a civilized society and are inimical to the maintenance of the cease-fire in the Middle East, condemns the senseless and unprovoked terrorist attack in Munich on Sept. 5 by terrorists of the so-called Black September organization.”
The US resolution further called upon those states harboring and supporting such terrorists and their activities to cease their encouragement and support of terrorists and to take all necessary measures to bring about an immediate end of such senseless acts.
The issue of terrorism is expected to loom large at this fall’s session of the UN General Assembly–the 27th–beginning Sept. 19. On Friday, Ambassador Tekoah of Israel brought it formally to the attention of Secretary General Kurt Waldheim in a letter which accused the Arab states, “particularly Egypt, Lebanon. Syria and Libya” of having “initiated the establishment of the terror organizations.”
Those states, Tekoah’s letter said, “remain responsible for employing murder and hijacking as a method of warfare against Israel as well as for the political, organizational, financial and operational support they continue to extend to the Arab terror organizations.”
Waldheim, in a move late last week, apparently prompted by the Munich slayings, asked the General Assembly to place on its upcoming agenda consideration of “measures to prevent terrorism.” The Secretary General observed that acts of terrorism were increasing and that they had taken the lives of innocent people. The initial US response to Waldheim’s request was “strongly positive” according to an American spokesman at the UN.