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Israel Affirms Categorical Acceptance of Security Council Peace Resolution

May 2, 1968
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Israel made a categorical declaration to the Security Council today that it accepted the Council’s Nov. 22 resolution “for the promotion of agreement on the establishment of a just and durable peace.” The declaration was made by Ambassador Yosef Tekoah, replying to a challenge from the Jordanian envoy, Muhammed El-Farra, to put Israel on the record. Mr. Tekoah told the Council that “I am also authorized to reaffirm that we are willing to seek agreement with each Arab state in all matters included in that resolution.”

The Arab and Soviet envoys have repeatedly taxed Israel with failure to state positively that it accepted the Nov. 22 resolution but in Jerusalem today, Gideon Rafael, Director-General of the Foreign Ministry and former head of the Israeli delegation at the UN, said categorically he had made such a declaration to the Security Council and that Israeli acceptance of their resolution had been affirmed by Prime Minister Eshkol on Dec. 1 and in “various clarifications” to Ambassador Gunnar V. Jarring, the UN special envoy in the Middle East.

Mr. Tekoah pointed out to the Council that “more recently, we have accepted the proposal of Ambassador Jarring to bring about a meeting between Israel and each of its neighbors under his auspices in fulfillment of his mandate for the purpose of reaching a peaceful and accepted settlement. No Arab state has yet accepted this proposal.”

Mr. Tekoah clashed sharply again today with Soviet Ambassador Yacob A. Malik who accused Israel of taking a “cynical” position which failed to accept U.N. resolutions. The Soviet envoy did not follow the Jordanian’s proposal that military intervention be taken against Israel by the U.N. but did state that the Soviet Union would approve “any measures” to curb what he called “Israel’s aggression.” Mr. Tekoah told the Council that Israel would listen to the Soviet Union’s statement more carefully if it were based on “equality of treatment and fairness.” He noted that there was a time in the United Nations when the Soviet Union opposed Arab hostilities and declared “the Soviet Union’s subsequent change of policy does not affect the truth of the situation.”

United States Ambassador Arthur J. Goldberg pleaded with the Council to halt all “invective” and push ahead instead toward full support of the efforts being made in the Middle East by Ambassador Gunnar Jarring, the special U.N. peace envoy. He told the Council that now “cooperation with Ambassador Jarring must be the principal objective. The need of the hour is for conciliation, magnanimity and a just settlement among all the states in the region as well as the status of Jerusalem.”

Mr. Tekoah replied to the Jordanian representative, Muhammed H. EI-Farra who once again called upon the Security Council to take effective actions against Israel’s planned military parade in Jerusalem, scheduled for tomorrow. He had demanded that unless Israel halt that event, which he called “expansionist” in its aims, the Security Council should take all measures possible including invocation of the sanctions article in the Charter which would permit United Nations military intervention against Israel. In answer, Ambassador Tekoah read into the record the letter sent to Secretary General U Thant yesterday by Foreign Minister Eban, explaining that the parade, to be held entirely inside the cease-fire lines, would not alter the status of Jerusalem. The Council will resume debate tomorrow morning.

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