I must tell you in all candor, however, that events of the past few weeks have caused us some concern. The Israeli government has chosen to go back into the vicious circle of arguing over every single word or comma. They are resorting, again, to the old tactics and worn-out ideas. One gets the impression that there is a deliberate attempt to erase the impact of the historic initiative and divest it of its driving spirit. This is most dangerous and no one stands to gain of such a development. I firmly believe that the initiative belongs now to all the people on earth. It has become part of the collective human conscience. It is the living symbol of the salvation of our souls.
Mr. Chairman, Dear Friends, I knew all along, that the road to peace was not full of roses. It is an arduous process that requires hard work, dedication and the perseverance. But I must tell you in all frankness that I was disappointed to see certain negative developments that could endanger our effort against all expectations and despite the good will that exists.
As we proved, beyond any doubt, that we are willing to accept Israel fully as a good neighbor . . .
As we said that we are prepared to live in peace and harmony with Israeli people . . .
As we expressed our genuine desire to make the October war the last war if the other side accepts its obligations under the U.N. charter and the general principles of international law . . .
As I said that we are willing to declare the applicability of the right to innocent passage through the Strait of Tiron . . .
As we did all that, we were told that there shall be no return to the 1967 boundaries. We were told, also that the Palestinian people are not entitled to the right to self-determination which is a fundamental human right . We were told that the Israelu government would rather resign than compromise on the illegal settlements that were built on Arab land in defiance of world public opinion as reflected in unanimous U.N. resolutions. We are told that the Arabs Christian and Muslims alike have no claim to Jerusalem. What is worse is that we are told that Israel does not need our recognition.
NOT THE WAY TO PEACE
This is not the spirit of Jerusalem. This is no way to establish peace and eliminate war and hatred. This attitude is liable to revive old misconceptions and suspicions. It is apt to rebuild the old barriers between the Arab nation and the Israel people. That would be most tragic indeed.
It has been suggested that any negotiation is, by definition, a process of give and take. In other words, it involves successive concessions by both sides. Hence, the Arabs should keep negotiating and bargaining regardless of the Israeli attitude. I would like to make it crystal clear that we remain committed to the cause of peace. I am determined to give it every possible chance. Despite all difficulties, we will persevere. To us, the pursuit of peace is a strategic goal which we pursue with determination.
I know that the notion of bargaining and making concessions is an accepted value in the American system. It has a certain appeal to you as a means of settling claims and resolving disputes. But I submit that it has to be looked upon in a different light in this particular case.
This is the case where one party has voluntarily declared its willingness to meet its obligations on the basis of reciprocity. In other words, that party has already fulfilled its share of the bargain.
Naturally, one can not be asked to make concessions unilaterally. But the fact remains that we have expressed our genuine willingness to fulfill all our obligations under the definition of the essentials for peace in accordance with Security Council Resolution 242. A comprehensive settlement of this conflict, like any other conflict, involves a delicate balance between two sets of obligations . . . one of each arty.
We are on record agreeing to fulfill our part. Needless to say that this acceptance hinges upon the agreement of the other party to declare his willingness to assume his obligations as well. What is needed is the implementation of Resolution 242 in all its parts. We stated that we are ready to accept the following:
1. The termination of gelligerency, together with all of its corollaries . . .
2. The establishment of peaceful relations.
3. Providing all the necessary guarantees for the security of every state.
4. Allowing innocent passage through the Strait of Tiran.
5. Resect for the right of every state in the area to sovereignity, territorial integrity and political independence. NOT MERELY RECOGNITION
Those who say that the Arab recognition of Israel is neither required nor significant are missing the main point. The KEY WORD IS ACCEPTANCE, not only recognition. The former is an all-embracing concept, while the latter is a narrow legal one. The Israelis should be the first people to realize this subtle difference and appreciate it. When we offer to accept them fully and without any reservation as an independent entity in our midst, that should not be taken lightly.
I trust that you agree with me, dear friends, that it remains for the other party to reciprocate, be demonstrating his willingness to assume his obligations within the framework of a comprehensive settlement. To be specific, he is required to accept the following:
1. Withdrawal from all Arab territories occupied since June 1967, in conformity with the principle of inadmisibility of the acquisition of territory by war.
2. Enabling the Palestinian people to exercise their natural right to self-determination.
3. Providing for the necessary guarantees for the security of Arab states.
It has been suggester that the establishment of any Palestinian entity, even when accompanied by all guarantees, means the destruction of Israel. This is a fallacy. A Palestinian state, linked with Jordan, will be a positive force of stability and normalcy in the area. Without it the structure of peace will remain vulnerable. Any peace treaty could collapse so long as the Palestinians are left frustrated and unsatisfied. In short, that would be an open invitation to renewed violence and unrest. The conflict would be like a volcano in doarmant state, which might erupt at any moment. Is this what we are working for? A HARDENING POSITION
The proposed Israeli solution for the West Bank and Gaza is simply inadequate. It is based on the continuation of occupation. It means the establishment of more illegal settlements in a heavily populated area where emotions run very high . . .
Amother factor which stands in the way of justice is that the Israeli position is hardening, rather than softening, as we go along. This is an impediment to epace.
After conceding their obligation to withdraw to the international boundaries of Egypt, they are saying that we should be contended with limited sovereignity over a certain part of our territory. When we showed appreciation of their need to feel secure, they began to put every conceivable item under the heading of security. The annexation of territory became a matter of security. The establishment of illegal settlements on other peoples' land became a matter of security. Keeping the Palestinians constantly under occupation and subjugation is a matter of security.
Establishing more illegal settlements and expanding the existing ones in Arab land is an act of sheer defiance and escalation. It defies the fourth Geneva convention and several U.N. resolutions which this country endorsed. It introduces a new complication to an already complicated problem. It generates hatred and friction between the two communities as it casts one of them in the role of the trespasser on the property of the other. It is indicative of the real intentions of the Israeli establishment. That widens the gap of distrust and suspicion. What is our goal exactly? Reaching a peace settlement or building illegal settlements? UNHOLY LAWBREAKERS MARCHING
The Israeli government can not hide behind fanatic groups which are beating the drums of war in their feverish campaign to build these settlements. It is the task and responsibility of every government to curb the excesses of all individuals and groups. In fact, the government is leading the unholy march of the lawbreakers. They all should realize that the establishment of an ultra-modern and foreign-imanced ghetto around every Arab town is not a way to coexist. Coexistence can take place only through good neighborhood. It requires respect for one's feelings and property.
Then Israeli policy of settlement is a short-cut to chaos and lawlessness. We, together with world public opinion, hold the Israeli government responsible for this institutionalization of anarchy and aggression. It certainly jeopardizes the prospects for peace. If the Israeli government thinks that it can use these settlements as a leverage in the negotiations, the anser is no. It is stopped from using such an argument, for it knew, all along, that it was violating the law of nations as well as the norm of legitimacy.
It has been said that Israel made no commitment to anyone to refrain from building new settlements. Does compliance with the rule of law need a commitment? Does one have to make a commitment to live up to his obligations?
The Israelis have based their position with regard to Jerusalem on false arguments. They gloss over the fact that the Arab section of the city is part of the West Bank and, therefore, should be dealt with under the heading of Israeli withdrawal. To be sure, withdrawal does not mean the imposition of barriers or hindering free access to all parts of the holy city. Peoples of all creeds and nationalities should be guaranteed free access throughout the city which has a spiritual significance to all of us. What is needed is coexistence within an open city.
Let us not forget also that what is asked of the Israelis is not to make concessions. They are not asked to give up an inch of their territory. But they must know that they can not ask for peace, security, acceptance, plus our territories. As you say, one can not have the cake and eat it.
Mr. Chairman, we are often advised to be patient. I know that every process should take its due course. I am both realistic and pragmatic. But you must realize that efforts exerted to solve the dispute go back to November 1967. In other words, we did not start on Christmas Day 1977. For over 10 ears, both sides had an opportunity to articulate their positions and examine their available options. My initiative has not added any new element to the dispute itself but it paved the way for resolving it.I sincerely believe that, with good will and the