UNITED NATIONS (Oct. 3)
Foreign Minister Yigal Allon of Israel told the General Assembly today that “not a single one of the problems encompassed in the Arab-Israeli dispute can be solved by war” and that “there is no problem, including the question of the Independent identity of the Palestinians, which cannot be solved by sincere negotiations between the parties.”
Allon, speaking in Hebrew, the first time in the history of the United Nations that the Assembly was addressed in that language, declared. “Only a peace founded on respect for the interests of both parties can be genuine, stable and durable.” He said that “the geo-strategic conditions which have evolved in the Middle East make such a peace possible” and that “Israel would be prepared to give favorable considerations to a significant territorial compromise, but she cannot compromise on her security.”
He said that if “the conditions are not yet ripe” for the conclusion of a final peace settlement between Israel and its neighbors, Israel is prepared to “examine the possibilities of reaching interim agreements…providing for effective mutual security arrangements, that, in the course of time will lead to negotiations for a peace treaty which will determine, inter alia, the final borders.”
Allon, who is also Israel’s Deputy Prime Minister, addressed the Assembly’s 29th annual session late this afternoon. It was his first appearance before the 138-member body as head of the Israeli delegation since he became Foreign Minister earlier this year. The tone of his address was both firm and conciliatory.
WORLD DETENTE, OR NO DETENTE AT ALL
Declaring that “detente will either be global and apply to the Middle East as well, or there will be no detente at all,” Allon accused the Soviet Union, “which is inspired by a one-sided anti-Israel attitude,” of “incitement to intransigence and inflexibility” in the Middle East which was “one of the principal causes of tension” in the region. “The Soviet Union is doing no service to the people of the area when it counts weapons of war among its main exports to some countries of the Middle East, as if these, and not means of production and technological agreements, can raise these nations from their misery,” Allon said.
He declared that Israel “shall faithfully observe the cease-fire and separation of forces agreements, on a reciprocal basis, until they are replaced or supplemented by new agreements. But in the same way as we shall display the utmost good will in seeking to achieve balanced and constructive progress in the political sphere, we shall neither submit nor lend ourselves to the blackmail of threats of war or even war itself.”
Allon referred at length to the Yom Kippur War which, he said, showed clearly “if further proof were required” that “there cannot be, and there never will be a military solution of the Arab-Israeli conflict, which persists beyond all political realms, a conflict which saps the very marrow from the bones of all the peoples in the area.”
ISSUE OF PALESTINIAN IDENTITY
The Foreign Minister said that “Israel is cognizant of the existence of the question of Palestinian identity” and “holds that it can and should be solved in the context of the settlement of the dispute with her neighbor to the east,” meaning Jordan. He observed in this connection that the great majority of the Palestinian population is concentrated on both banks of the Jordan River and that most citizens of Jordan are Palestinians and most Palestinians are citizens of Jordan.
However, Allon declared, “The Palestine community in general must in no way be equated with the terrorist organizations.” The Israeli Foreign Minister was most bitter in his castigation of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) which he described as “not a national liberation movement but the roof organization of disunited and splintered terrorist groups whose pretensions and support do not spring from the broad masses of the Palestinian population.”
Noting that more Arabs than Israelis have been killed by these terrorist groups and more terrorists have been killed in clashes with regular Arab forces than by Israeli security forces, Allon noted that “these facts are obvious to anybody who cares to examine them.” The PLO, he said, “stands in direct contradiction to the Charter of the United Nations. It denies absolutely the right of Israel to exist and postulates its destruction as a principal objective.”
URGES THAT PLO NOT BE RECOGNIZED
Allon noted that “with the parliamentary situation existing in this General Assembly, the preconceived ideas held by a great number of those taking part here, and the irrelevant considerations which guide many delegations, a majority might concede the PLO demands” for recognition. But he said Israel would regard such a resolution as “impinging on its fundamental rights, as illegal and not binding in any way….One cannot ask of any nation to agree to its own elimination or to commit suicide.” he said.
The Foreign Minister also warned that the PLO’s insistence on inscribing the Palestine Question on the General Assembly’s agenda “is designed above all, to destroy the prospects of the political efforts at the very beginning. A debate on this matter cannot fail to poison the international atmosphere. Acceptance of the PLO demands may well condemn the prospects of the negotiating process to failure–just when the first ray of light has been glimpsed on the horizon.”
He added, however, that “Palestinians who wish to give constructive expression to their independent identity can be helped to do so in the context of the negotiations with Jordan. Moreover,” Allon said, “I would not agree to a general settlement without including in it satisfaction of the needs of the Palestinians.”
ARABS EXPLOIT REFUGEE PROBLEM
He also accused the Arab states of perpetuating the refugee problem since 1948 “in order to exploit
He noted that far more difficult refugee problems in other parts of the world have been solved long ago. He said that given good will, the question of compensation for both Arab refugees and Jewish refugees from the Arab states can be settled. “Israel is contributing and will continue to contribute its share in the solution of this painful human problem,” he said.
PLIGHT OF SYRIAN, SOVIET JEWRY
Earlier in his address, Allon called attention to the plight of Jews in Syria and the Soviet Union. He expressed hope that what is left of the ancient Jewish community of Syria which is “subjected to unceasing oppression” will, “as an act of humanity, be finally allowed to leave.”
Regarding Soviet Jewry, he observed: “It is not possible to solve the problem of the rights of the Jewish people in the Soviet Union, a problem anomalous from the national point of view, by means anomalous in human and moral terms The grant of permission to go to Israel, to those who want to go, will not only solve an agonizing Jewish problem which is unique in human history, but, I believe, will also provide the solution for a Soviet problem with which the Soviet government has struggled for many years.”
Allon expressed “appreciation for what has already been done” and appealed to the Soviet government “to show greater generosity, to cease harassing those who have applied to emigrate, to release the prisoners of Zion. to open the gates, and they will earn the praises of civilized men everywhere for their humanity.”
The Israeli Foreign Minister opened his address with an expression of sorrow and sympathy for the hurricane victims of Honduras. He extended congratulations to the newest member states of the UN–Bangladesh. Guinea-Bissau and Grenada. He also extended “warm greetings to Portugal which has chosen the path of de-cannibalization and on her own, liberation from the burden of empire.”