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Eshkol Assails Security Council Condemnation As “one-sided, Unjust”

August 19, 1968
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Prime Minister Levi Eshkol criticized today as “one-sided and unjust” the unanimous vote Friday by the Security Council condemning Israel for its Aug. 4 air attack on terrorist bases near the Jordanian village of Salt. The Premier told the regular Cabinet meeting that the Council resolution “cannot help to stop acts of terrorism perpetrated against Israel which force her to resort to self-defense.”

He said it was regrettable that the Council did not consider itself duty-bound to condemn explicitly those responsible for terrorist penetrations from Jordanian territory into Israel to lay mines and commit “sabotage and murder.” Such acts, he declared, “constitute not only a flagrant violation of the cease-fire but are also a continuation of aggression against Israel.” He reiterated that Israel had observed and would continue to fully observe the cease-fire agreements on the basis of reciprocity and “strongly wished” that these agreements be kept by all sides “but like all states belonging to the family of nations, Israel will not lay her roads open to mining and her citizens to murder.” Mr. Eshkol, who is acting Foreign Minister in the absence of Abba Eban, made his statement at the end of a short report on developments leading to the Council session and the resolution.

Prior to the Cabinet meeting. Foreign Ministry sources similarly assailed the Council resolution but expressed satisfaction with the stands of the United States, Canada. Britain and Denmark whose delegates, in statements after the voting, referred to the terrorist attacks as one of the factors undermining the June 1967 cease-fire agreements. Ambassador George Ball, the United States chief delegate, specifically cited Jordanian support of such raids in expressing the hope that the latest Council resolution would serve to end all violations of the cease-fire.


The resolution declared that Israel’s attack near Salt was a “flagrant violation” of the UN Charter and of the Security Council’s resolutions dealing with the Middle East. It warned that if such attacks continued, the Council would “duly take account of the failure to comply with the present resolution” and “would have to consider further and more effective steps as envisaged in the Charter to ensure against repetition of such acts.” The resolution deplored “all violent incidents in violation of the cease-fire” and considered “that all violations of the cease-fire should be prevented,” an oblique reference to Arab terrorist incursions against Israel and the only one in the resolution. Ambassador Ball and most other Council members urged continued support for the peace-seeking mission of the UN’s special envoy Dr. Gunnar V.Jarring and expressed hopes that the resolution would dampen hostilities in the Middle East and improve prospects for the Jarring mission’s success.

Ambassador Yosef Tekoah, Israel’s chief representative, said that the two weeks of debate preceding the resolution demonstrated continued Arab intransigence, belligerence and the destructive Arab attitude toward Israel. He declared the resolution demonstrated again the inadequacy of the Council’s handling of the problem and that Israel retained its “inalienable right” to defend itself against continued Arab warfare. He stressed, however, that Israel would do its utmost to ensure maintenance of the cease-fire and expected the Arab states to do the same. He re-affirmed Israel’s support of the Jarring mission. Ambassador Yakov Malik, the Soviet envoy said that his Government supported the resolution because unanimous approval could be a “tangible barrier” to Israeli “aggression.” He assailed Israel for allegedly refusing to accept the Security Council’s Nov. 22,1967 resolution on the Middle East which, he claimed, the Arab states had accepted.

(The New York Times, in an editorial yesterday, sharply criticized the resolution as a one-sided document “that can only make Ambassador Jarring’s task more difficult.” It described the resolution “which virtually ignores Arab guerrilla actions In violation of the cease-fire while condemning Israeli reactions” as “an exercise in futility – and worse.” “As long as Arab guerrillas can cross ceasefire lines to blow up Installations and kill Israeli citizens without so much as a slap on the wrist from the world community, the Israelis are certain to take the law into their own hands and strike back,” the Times said.)

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