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Tekoah Says Legal Experts Doubt Juridical Validity of UN Resolutions on Middle East

July 26, 1968
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Legal authorities on international affairs have begun to express doubts about the juridical validity of United Nations resolutions on the Arab-Israel conflict, according to Yosef Tekoah, Israel’s UN Ambassador.

These authorities have also expressed doubt about the “moral and political Import” of such resolutions, he said, adding that the authorities “point out that many of the resolutions on the Middle East situation lack in equity and fail to take into consideration Israel’s legitimate interests and rights.”

These statements were made by Mr. Tekoah in a speech delivered this week in Washington at a dinner of the American Friends of the Hebrew University. The speech was delivered on his behalf by Mrs. Tekoah because the Ambassador was obliged to stay in New York to deal with the El Al hijacking issue.

Mr. Tekoah made the point that the pursuit of peace in the Middle East depends not only on a permanent balance of arms between Israel and the Arab states but also upon a “moratorium on General Assembly and Security Council debates and decisions concerning the Israel-Arab problem…as long as Israel is denied in the UN the right of full equality with other member states.”

Mr. Tekoah observed that the international law specialists said the UN resolutions did not treat Israel equally or consider her “legitimate interests and rights” in “the past” and are not likely to do so in the “future.”

“It is obvious, for instance, that a resolution which would deny Israel the right to end the 20-year Arab war by a treaty of peace, or insist that Israel should surrender to the Arab boycott and acquiesce in the Arab refusal to negotiate with it on the basis of equality, would be devoid of legal effect.” he said.

Mr. Tekoah asserted that “for some years now Israel has been deprived of the basic right of UN members – the right to equality. Barred by Arab pressure from elected office in the General Assembly, deprived of its right of representation on the Security Council, Israel’s interests have frequently been unceremoniously dismissed as a result of Arab numerical pressure and the Soviet veto. “The Security Council, for instance, has reached a point at which it has become incapable of censuring even the murder of Israeli civilians by Arab attackers,” he said. It is these circumstances, he said, that have lead international law authorities to question the “juridical validity” of UN resolutions.

If Israel cannot ensure a “full balance of arms,” the Arab states, Mr. Tekoah said, “might become encouraged in the thought that the time has come for another round in the war against Israel. In any event they would be encouraged in their hostility toward Israel and strengthened in their refusal to make peace with us. “This would happen also if Israel were confronted by inimical international action.” he said, alluding to the Arab strength at the UN that enables it to muster effective anti-Israel support and action. Only agreement between the parties to the Middle East conflict can bring peace about, Mr. Tekoah said. “Debates in the UN organs and resolutions adopted by them have tended to deepen the conflict and heighten the tension.”

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