Israel, Libya and Saudi Arabia entered into stormy debate in the United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday (1 October), shortly after the Assembly had accepted Israel's credentials for the 13-week session.
SCU Libyan delegate Kikha speaking in Arabic
CU Israeli delegate Herzog speaking
SV Saudi Arabian Ambassador Barro speaking
TRANSCRIPT: HERZOG: "I can only reiterate that Israel has embarked on the road of negotiation in an endeavour to achieve peace with all our neighbours and to bring a solution with honour for all sides to out strife-torn area. We will not be deflected in any way from this, our purpose, by malicious rhetoric and purposeless diatribe. As for the remarks made by the Libyan delegate when making reservations as to Israel's membership of the United Nations, I reject with all the emphasis at my command this unwarranted statement which contributes nothing to the dignity of the world body, and strikes at the very roots of its existence.
(HEREZOG): I note with satisfaction that world opinion as expressed at the various international meetings in Stockholm, in western Europe, in Kampaka and in Lime, has rejected this move, conscious of the dangers to the future existence of the United Nations arising there from."
BARRO: "God is no discriminator, to choose one people and say they are above others. Not did Allah, not God Almighty -- as I said to none other than one of your representatives, Mr. Abha Eban -- that God is not in the real-estate business, to distribute land to one people and withhold it from others. I don't know how you communicated with God almighty to say, yes, he gave you Palestine. Then show us the title deed, as I said and repeat, with the seal therein. You British and American -- since when did God give you a power-of-attorney to transfer the land that was fully populated, because you British (did) in the days of Balfour."
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Background: Israel, Libya and Saudi Arabia entered into stormy debate in the United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday (1 October), shortly after the Assembly had accepted Israel's credentials for the 13-week session.
Israeli membership of the world body had been threatened by Arab proposals demanding the state's expulsion from the U.N. The move was dropped at a meeting of Islamic ministers in New York on Tuesday.
Speaking to delegates in Arabic, Libyan representative Mr. Mansur Kikha said he spoke for all Arabs, and claimed that Israel had persisted in disregarding the wishes of the U.N. in its policy of "intransigence". He denounced Israel for what he called its policy of genocide towards the Palestinians, and reserved Libya's right to reintroduce the question of Israeli membership of the U.N.
In reply, Mr. Chaim Herzog -- speaking for Israel -- said his country sought peace "with honour for all sides" in the Middle East. He rejected Libya's earlier statements and said that world opinion was against setting an unwelcome precedent for expulsion of states from the organisation.
Saudi Arabia also expressed reservations on the nine-member Credentials Committee's acceptance of Israel. Its representative, Mr. Barro, speaking in English, made a bitter attack, not only on Israel, but also on those states responsible for the setting up of the israeli state. The United States, and Britain in Particular, he called to account for its part in Israel's post-Second World Was following British Prime Minister A.J. Balfour's 1917 declaration supporting the establishment of a Jewish national homeland in Palestine.
(Parts of the speeches by all three representatives appear on film. An alternative commentary is provided for Libyan delegates Mr. Kikha's Arabic comments, and transcripts of the English speeches by Mr. Herzog and Mr. Barro appear below.)