United Nations (Dec. 16)
Israel told the Security Council today that Israel’s decision to apply its laws to the Golan Heights was needed “to regularize the situation” there in the face of Syrian determination to perpetuate its no-peace policy with the Jewish State.
Yehuda Blum, Israel’s Ambassador the UN, speaking at the opening of the Security Council meeting, which was called into urgent session by Syria, recalled repeated Syrian declarations against peace with Israel and the mounting military threat to Israel by the Syrian control over Lebanon, Syria’s tightened links with Libya and its incitement of the Druze population on the Golan Heights.
“There is a limit to how long any country can live under such threats, particularly military threats backed up not only by a sizable arsenal but also the political will to use it. For 14 years, Israelis and the Druze inhabitants of the Golan Heights have lived well together there. All daily life on the Golan Heights, both of the Israeli residents and the Druze inhabitants, is with Israel,” Blum said.
The envoy continued: “The authorities on the Golan Heights, military and civilian, are Israelis. They certainly cannot wait a hundred years and more as the Syrian Foreign Minister would wish in order to register births, marriages and deaths.” The Syrian Foreign Minister, Blum recalled, suggested at the recent Arab summit at Fez that the Arabs should wait 100 years or more until Israel is weakened, and then the Arabs could act.
At the conclusion of his speech Blum appealed to Syria “to start negotiations with us directly with a view to achieving an agreed settlement on all outstanding issues between our two countries, including the question of the international boundary.”
SYRIA CALLS FOR VOIDING ISRAEL’S MOVE
Syria, which opened today’s debate, urged the Security Council to declare Israel’s annexation measures on the Golan Heights “null and void” and to demand that the Israeli government rescind the move.
Syrian Ambassador Dia-Allah El-Fattal, charged that by annexing the Golan Heights, Israel had flagrantly violated international law. He said that the annexation followed the strategic cooperation agreement signed recently between the U.S. and Israel, America’s “favorite surrogate.” He said the Israeli action was part of the process of “colonization” launched by Israel in June 1967, with the outbreak of the Six-Day War.
Ambassador Ahmed Esmat Abdel Meguid of Egypt told the Council that the Israeli action directly contradicted the framework of peace on which the Camp David accords were based, and posed a serious challenge to the prospects of stability and the peace process in the Middle East. The action, he said, ran counter to Security Council Resolution 242 and also violated the disengagement agreement between Israel and Syria.
Meguid said that the peace sought by Israel could not but remain an unfulfilled illusion in the face of her annexation and “colonization” of Arab territory. On the contrary, such actions would raise the psychological barrier even higher and heighten animosity, he said.
Stressing the need to resist acts which threatened the prospects of peace and peaceful coexistence among peoples and states in the region, he urged Israel to rescind the measure it had taken. The peace between Israel and Egypt was a genuine breakthrough, said Meguid. Israel now had to live up to the challenge of peace, he said.
U.S. NOT LIKELY TO SUPPORT CALL FOR SANCTIONS
Meanwhile, reliable sources here said that the U.S. is not likely to support any draft resolution calling for sanctions against Israel or leading toward such an eventuality. The U.S., along with other members of the Council, is also against a provision in a preliminary draft, which was circulated here today, calling on Israel to immediately rescind its action regarding the Golan Heights and “not later than one week from the adoption of the resolution,” the sources said.
According to the sources, the U.S. refuses to be “chained” by the timing of the resolution and would prefer reconsideration of the matter in January. If the Arabs persist in calling for sanctions against Israel, the U.S. is likely to veto the resolution, the sources said. The debate is expected to be concluded by Friday.