United Nations (Oct. 1)
Israeli Foreign Minister Yitzhak Shamir declared today that the Camp David accords "have been and remain the only feasible path to peace," in the Mideast. "No other viable solution appears on the horizon," he said.
In a speech prepared for delivery to the UN General Assembly late today, Shamir expressed confidence that the resumed negotiations for autonomy for the Palestinian Arabs living in Judaea, Samaria and the Gaza District will be concluded successfully in the near future.
He reiterated, however, Israel’s position that the Palestinian Arabs" do have a State on a major part of the territory of Palestine," namely Jordan, which is already a Palestinian state "by virtue of its geography, demography, history, culture, religion and language." Therefore, Shamir stated, "there is no need to speak further of self-determination for the Palestinian Arabs; their homeland is already in existence."
In his 18-page speech, the Israeli Foreign Minister outlined his country’s position on major Mideast questions, such as the situation in Lebanon, nuclear proliferation and the arms race, along with other issues of concern for the Jewish State, such as the fate of Soviet Jewry and the UN treatment of Israel.
DEFENDS RAID ON IRAQI NUCLEAR REACTOR
Shamir said that Israel had to destroy Iraq’s nuclear reactor "before it was to become operational in the summer of 1981, for its destruction at a later date would have brought about radioactive fallout endangering the civilian population of Baghdad." Charging that Iraq planned to produce an atom bomb to be used against Israel, Shamir said that "People in all parts of the world, including the Mideast, are sleeping more soundly today, secure in the knowledge that this particular reactor has been removed."
Shamir said that "The only genuine way to remove the nuclear threat to the Mideast can be found in the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone, freely and directly negotiated among the countries of the region and based on mutual assurances, on the pattern of the Tlatelolco Treaty of Latin America."
Noting that the Assembly is going to take up next month the issue of Israel’s attack on Iraq’s reactor, Shamir warned that the debate on the matter, initiated by Iraq, "has been formulated in a manner clearly intended to prejudge the outcome of the debate."
BLAMES SYRIA, PLO FOR PLIGHT OF LEBANESE
As for the Lebanese situation, Shamir said that "some 120,000 Lebanese civilians have been the victims of Syrian and PLO atrocities," in recent years. He said Israel hopes "that an independent and free Lebanon will soon re-emerge and maintain good relations with all its neighbors, including Israel."
But, Shamir warned, "this will be very difficult to achieve as long as the PLO is allowed to nest in Lebanon," and plan its terrorist acts from there and as long as the Syrian occupation of Lebanon continues. "The government of Israel will at all times support the re-establishment of a truly independent Lebanon, within its international boundaries, free of Syrian occupation and PLO terror," Shamir said.
Referring to the situation of Soviet Jews, Shamir accused the Soviet Union of preventing "many thousands" of Jews from emigrating to Israel. "Over the past year, we have been watching with growing anxiety the steady decrease in the number of Jews leaving the Soviet Union, to the lowest number for the last ten years," he said.
He charged that "over the past six months, the number of ‘Prisoners of Zion’ detained under false pretexts and sentenced by Soviet courts to long prison terms has doubled." He mentioned in that connection the names of imprisoned Jewish activists Ida Nudel, Viktor Brailovsky and Anatoly Shcharansky.
The Israeli minister appealed to the Soviet Union "to reopen its gates for Jews who wish to return to their homeland, and to cease the persecution of Jews in the Soviet Union." Shamir also expressed concern over the harrassment of Syrian Jewry, calling upon the Syrian government "to respect the basic human rights of its Jewish community which it holds hostage and which it prevents from leaving."
HITS UN TREATMENT OF ISRAEL
Shamir sharply criticized the United Nations for its treatment of Israel. "In recent years, this organization (UN) has repeatedly permitted itself to be abused by Israel’s adversaries who enjoy a built-in majority in the Assembly on any issue related to the Arab-Israeli conflict. As a result, Israel has more than once been the victim of discriminatory treatment in the United Nations." As a case in point Shamir cited the UN negative attitude toward the Camp David agreements.