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Israel Replies to Gromyko, Proposes Soviet Adopt ‘objective Attitude’

July 20, 1967
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Israel replied tonight to new Soviet charges that it was guilty of “continued aggression” in the Suez Canal and to demands that it withdraw its forces behind the pre-June 5th lines. It proposed that the Soviet Union “contribute to international peace and stability by adopting a balanced and objective attitude, by supporting the complete termination of belligerency and by repudiating the refusal of Arab states to recognize Israel’s right of national existence and by insisting upon their duty to live in peace with Israel.”

The new charges had been made by Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei A. Gromyko in a letter to the Presidents of the Security Council and General Assembly. Ambassador Gideon Rafael replied tonight for Israel.

“In the view of the Government of Israel,” he declared, “an integral and inseparable link exists between the withdrawal and disengagement of forces, and the establishment of normal, peaceful and good neighborly relations between the states of the region. Now that the cease-fire has been established and measures for its observance have been instituted with Security Council assistance, conditions are ripe for the Middle Eastern states to reach agreements for the establishment of peaceful conditions free from external intervention and from the effects of Great Power rivalries.

“No state can be expected to yield to the demands and claims of its neighbors while they proclaim a state of war against it, avow their desire to bring about its destruction, and withhold recognition of its sovereign rights,” Ambassador Rafael said. “Neither the Soviet Union nor any other country has acted or would act in the way that the Soviet Government is now suggesting that Israel should act.”

The Israeli envoy denied that Israel had violated the cease-fire, saying that “there is no international authority or factual basis for that allegation.” The allegation of Israeli “aggression,” he saudm “has no foundation whatever, it was put by the Soviet Union to the test of a vote in the Security Council on June 14 and at the General Assembly on July 4 and was emphatically rejected by both organs.”

Referring to Mr. Gromyko’s warning of “a wider military conflict and renewed hostilities,” Mr. Rafael said: “if the cease-fire is observed, and all member states refrain from illicit intervention, the conflict will not be widened but will, on the contrary, be brought to an end.”


Efforts in the United Nations General Assembly to reach agreement on a basic resolution dealing with the Middle East situation appeared to be at a complete standstill this evening with the collapse of all efforts to arrive at an acceptable compromise solution. The fifth emergency session of the Assembly, by agreement, is to end tomorrow.

The Soviet delegation, which was most active in seeking agreement on a resolution, was not able to overcome the objections of the Latin American states to any resolution which did not link termination of the state of belligerency to the demand for withdrawal of Israeli forces to their pre-June 5th positions. Soviet Ambassador Dobrynin called on Ambassador Arthur Goldberg last night in an attempt to overcome this barrier, but the United States held firm.


Abdul Rahman Pazhwak of Afghanistan, President of the General Assembly, issued a long statement today denying Israeli charges that be had permitted the rostrum of the General Assembly to be used for “venomous and scurrilous religions incitement.” The Israeli complaint followed a long, rambling speech by Jamil Baroody, Saudi Arabian delegate, in which he expressed regrets, in discussing the holy places that, “this time there will be no Jesus to drive the money-changers from the Temple.”

Mr. Pazhwak said that at one point in Mr. Baroody’s speech, he sent him a note of appeal which the speaker ignored. He said he then intervened orally to say that the speaker’s statement was irrelevant. “It should be noted that only one reference in the Saudi Arabian statement may be interpreted as offensive to Jewish tradition,” Mr. Pazhwak said. “That reference was made at the last stage of his speech.”

Israel meanwhile replied to an Egyptian complaint of Israeli cease-fire violations in the Suez Canal area by charging that the complaint was “a clear admission” that Egyptian forces had begun the fighting on July 14-15.

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