Menu JTA Search

UN Debate on the Golan Issue

SIGN UP FOR THE JTA DAILY BRIEFING

The Security Council, which resumed its debate last night over Israel’s annexation of the Golan Heights, was told by Ambassador Yehuda Blum of Israel that it is “preposterous that a state like Syria should be permitted to unleash repeated acts of aggression with the aim of conquering and even destroying a neighboring country (Israel) and then, having been repulsed, should be permitted to come before this Council to invoke international law in a selective and distorted manner.”

Ambassador Dia-Allah el-Fattal of Syria, who opened the debate, called on the Council to impose sanctions against Israel, including cutting off economic and military aid. In a sharply worded speech, punctuated with emotional outbursts, the Syrian envoy accused Israel of “deceitful arguments” and “lies” to justify its annexation at the Golan. “We demand sanctions, and only sanctions are the sole avenue left” to deal with Israel’s move on the Golan, el-Fattal said, his voice quivering with anger.

U.S. VETO SEEN

The meeting last night was a follow up of a Security Council resolution adopted December 17 demanding that Israel rescind its decision to apply its law, jurisdiction and administration to the Golan Heights, a measure which was adopted by the Knesset December 14. The Council’s resolution stipulated that if Israel did not comply by January 5 the Council would reconvene to consider taking “appropriate measures” against Israel. Israel ignored the Council’s request.

The Syrian insistence on mandatory sanctions against Israel is certain to prompt a veto by the United States, diplomats here said, adding that France and Britain might also vote against an extreme Syrian resolution. The Council is not expected to vote on the issue until next week. The debate continued this afternoon.

Blum, in his address to the Council Wednesday night, said that in applying Israeli law to the Golan, his country acted against repeated Syrian aggression toward Israel. The Israeli move on the Golan “seeks, in the absence of peace or even of negotiations aimed at reaching peace, to normalize the situation in the area in question,” Blum declared.

“The Israeli law on the Golan Heights does not in the slightest diminish the rights of the local population including, of course, their property rights and their right to education and religious worship according to their traditions. All these are fully safeguarded,” the Israeli envoy said.

Blum concluded by reiterating Israel’s willingness, “now as always to negotiate unconditionally with Syria, as with its other neighbors, for a lasting peace in accordance with Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338.”

NEXT STORY