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Security Council Rejects Demand for Return of Eichmann to Argentina

June 24, 1960
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The Security Council today rejected Argentina’s demand that Israel return Nazi killer Adolf Eichmann to Argentina.

All four of the world’s Big Powers–the United States, Britain, France and the Soviet Union–explicitly stated that was their interpretation of a resolution adopted by the Council late today. The resolution did declare, as Argentina had demanded, that “the transfer of Adolf Eichmann to the territory of Israel constitutes a violation of the sovereignty of the Argentine Republic.” However, Israel apologized for that act, and America, France and Britain told the Council that apology constituted the “appropriate reparation” which Argentina had requested, and they consider the Argentine-Israeli case now as “closed.”

The Argentine resolution, amended by the United States in such a way as to specifically condemn “persecution of Jews under the Nazis” and expressing the world’s concern that Eichmann be brought to trial, received eight of the Council’s 11 votes. Argentina, as a party to the dispute, disqualified itself from voting.

Russia and Poland abstained in the voting. However, both made it clear they did so out of fear that a vote for the measure might be interpreted as a vote in favor of an order for Israel’s return of Eichmann to Argentina. Of the others who voted for the resolution-China, Ecuador, Tunisia, Italy and Ceylon–not one voiced a demand that Israel return Eichmann to the Argentine.


Argentina itself, repeatedly challenged to interpret its demand for “appropriate reparation,” declined to take up the challenge. Dr. Mario Amadeo, Argentina’s delegation chairman, was asked sharply for a “yes or no” answer by Soviet delegation chairman Arkady A. Sobolev in regard to the demand he voiced in the Council yesterday for Eichmann’s return and punishment of those guilty of abducting the Nazi from Argentina. Dr. Amadeo refused flatly to give such an answer, declaring that each delegation is entitled to make its own interpretation of what “appropriate reparation” might mean.

The entire two-day debate had resulted in an extraordinary outpouring of world opinion about war criminals in general, Eichmann in particular and world expression of honor over the holocaust created by the Nazis who killed 6,000,000 Jews during World War II.

Israel was particularly pleased with that aspect of the debate. Mrs. Golda Meir, Israel Foreign Minister, told the JTA; “Israel has the right to feel satisfied with the results of the discussion.” She added, however: “Israel is anxious that her friendship with Argentina shall not be impaired.”

The Council session was closed with a statement by Mrs. Meir. She told the delegates:

“My delegation and I have been deeply moved by the unanimous expression of horror and revulsion by Council members at the unprecedented crimes committed by the Nazi regime, and especially those with which Adolf Eichmann is being charged.

“Since the birth of Israel as a State, it has been our aim to live in comity and friendship with all nations, and I wish to reaffirm our adherence to the principle that the relations between states must be based on mutual respect for national sovereignty, equality, political independence and territorial integrity.

“We cherish our traditional ties of friendship with the Argentine Republic. Members of the Council have expressed their earnest hope that these ties will be preserved. I can assure the Council that this is the sincere desire of my Government and people.”

In the course of the debate, Mr. Lodge stated explicitly that with the adoption of the resolution ‘adequate reparation’ will have been made and the incident will then be closed. The normal and friendly relations between the two governments can then progress.

Armand Bernard of France told the Council he considered that the apologies for violation of sovereignty already given by “the highest authorities of Israel” provided Argentina with the “expression of satisfaction” she had sought.

Sir Pierson Dixon of Britain made it clear that his Government felt “important satisfaction has been given Argentina by Israel.” “These satisfactions,” he stated, “could be regarded as adequate reparation.” He said he voted for the resolution “on this understanding.”

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