Israel reacted sharply to the adoption of the above two General Assembly resolutions, describing them as a surrender to blackmail, and the result of enmity, hypocrisy and appeasement. The General Assembly had now become a tool for propaganda and political warfare at the hands of the dominating Arab-African-Asian and Communist majority. Israel announced that it "totally rejects these resolutions. It regards them as not valid, harmful and unworthy of consideration." (Foreign Ministry statement of 23 November 1974). In his Knesset statement the Foreign Minister elaborated further. Text:
The truth must be told: The fact that the UN General Assembly adopted its resolutions of last Friday did not come as a surprise for us. Not only did we foresee it, but we also predicted it, for example in my address to the Assembly on 3 October. Experience - and not only ours - has taught us that the UN is completely dominated by an arbitrary combination, an Arab-Soviet combination, which does whatever it desires in the Assembly, unrelated to - and sometimes in complete contravention of - the UN Charter, its aims and the spirit which stirred its founders after defeating the Nazi tyranny. The degeneration of the Assembly has reached such depths that any proposal, even the most absurd, can receive its blessing, if the combination of powers dominating it so desires. When the Arab-Soviet votes do not suffice, they are supplemented by the votes of those trying to curry favour with the Arabs and those yielding to oil-blackmail.
In the circumstances, no one can expect us to accord any weight whatsoever to these recommendations, which the Assembly accepted at the instigation of our enemies. No state in the world would behave differently if the Assembly were to adopt such resolutions against it. We totally reject and deplore the resolutions of the Assembly on the Palestinian question.
As regards public announcements and recommendations Israel did not, and does not hope for anything from the UN General Assembly in its present form. I would not say that the proceedings of the Assembly have no significance whatever. Its resolutions will have a certain political and propaganda value - a fact that will certainly be used to our detriment in other UN forums. However, that is as far as their value goes, and no further. The debates at the Assembly and its resolutions will not decide our behaviour or our fate, just as the resolution of the General Assembly of UNESCO will not decide the level of culture, education and scientific development in Israel. In the final analysis we alone shall determine both our actions and our future. It is our strength, resilience and policy, being correct and courageous, which will determine the outcome of the struggles ahead. They are at our command, and not at the command of our enemies at the UN headquarters in New York, and at UNESCO in Paris.
However, despite the Assembly's lack of real significance, we must sound a warning the uncontrolled callousness of the combination of powers which dominates the Assembly - a callousness which reached its peak in the resolutions of last Friday - is not a phenomenon which affects only Israel. This combination of powers, which is against us today, can very easily turn against any other state which tomorrow may fall out of favour for any reason. So long as the Assembly continues in its present form, so long as it is permitted to continue on its present course the result will not only be resolutions injurious to Israel. On the contrary: These resolutions are the beginning of a process which will turn the assembly into a forum for barbarity. The next candidates designated for similar treatment are the states of the democratic world, the civilized states of the free world. And the very fact that nations can already be intimidated, that their voting can be influenced by means of blackmail proves that this dangerous process has already commenced.
And indeed, there are already signs - to my regret, only initial signs as yet - that this realization has begun to penetrate the consciousness of not a few nations. The sense of outrage among hundreds of world-famous scientists and men of letters against the UNESCO resolutions, which are the antithesis of its cultural aims, is one such sign. The response of public opinion and of the information media in enlightened countries is another, and the cool reception given to the Assembly's resolutions of last Friday - much cooler than the Arab states expected - can also be seen as another sign in the same direction. I only hope that these will in fact herald a revolt against the barbarizing of international life and of international organization, and not prove to be just a momentary awakening.
In any event, the Israeli Foreign Service is engaged in a ramified diplomatic information campaign of unprecedented intensity, to encourage, strengthen and deepen this awareness. It will continue with this campaign with even greater force in the future.
I do not see any purpose in discussing the contents of the resolutions which were adopted by the Assembly on the Palestinian question four days ago. They are so distorted, extreme, and detached from reality that only delegations completely under the thumb of the Arab-Soviet combination could bring themselves to vote for them. Apart from the 74 states which do not maintain diplomatic relations with Israel, only 15 others joined in supporting the more important of the two resolutions, and among them there were those who did so with distinct unwillingness. All the others - including all the enlightened states of the world - expressed their reservations vis-a-vis these resolutions, either by courageously and openly opposing, or more evasively by abstaining or absenting themselves. The Arab states obtained many less than the 120 votes which they so arrogantly expected on the eve of the vote. They scarcely received a single vote from states whose voice carries more than merely numerical significance, in fact, they received 16 votes less than the number received when the PLO was invited to take part in the Assembly's deliberations. The joint communique published by the two leaders of the super-powers at the end of the summit conference at Vladivostok shows the extent to which no practical importance should be attached to the Assembly's resolutions. The same Soviet Union, which at the Assembly supported the PLO position all along the line, deserted -or was forced to desert - the PLO in its joint communique with the United States. Not only is there no detrimental deviation from parallel communiques published in the past, but this communique makes no reference at all to the PLO on the other hand, it makes explicit mention of Security Council Resolution 338, the resolution which the Arab states so ardently wished to circumvent in the debate which ended in the Assembly last Friday.
With the approval of the vast majority of the people of Israel, the government, as I have said, totally rejected the shameful resolutions which the UN Assembly accepted on the Palestinian question on 22 November. The government is united in its recognition that these resolutions are devoid of any moral basis and political justification, and that they are a denial of the very essence of the United Nations. No one can expect us to recognize the terrorist organization called the PLO as representing the Palestinians - because it does not. No one can expect us to negotiate with the heads of terror-gangs, who through their ideology and actions, endeavour to liquidate the State of Israel. The heads of the PLO will not be a party to the dialogue seeking through peaceful means a constructive expression for the identity of the Palestinian Arabs.
Fortunately for the Palestinians, their destiny is not in the hands of the leaders of the terrorist gangs, who have slaughtered more Palestinian Arabs than anyone else. As a result of international circumstances - concrete circumstances which reek of the smell of oil the PLO is at the moment at the height of its conceit and reaching the maximum of publicity. But, it was not, and is not, a national liberation movement-It was and remains the roof organization of terror and murder groups, which have learnt nothing, and forgotten nothing, which seek to gain control over the Palestinian masses and to foist on them the line which in the past inflicted disaster after disaster upon them. Just as the PLO's "success" is liable to surpass all previous disasters, so the eclipse of the terrorist organization would prepare the ground for a rational solution - a just and honourable solution for the deep desire of the Palestinian Arabs to find an expression for their identity. In the wide expanse between the Mediterranean and the desert - in the historical land of Israel - there is room alongside the State of Israel for an Arab state, of whatever name, which will give expression to that identity, not in place of the State of Israel - as the lunatic desire of the PLO would have it - but alongside the State of Israel, with borders which will be defined through negotiations. This is the only logical course open to the Palestinian masses - and on this course they will find a sincere partner in the State of Israel.
Despite the Assembly's resolutions - which are the result of obstinacy and intransigence, inviting the same reply -the prospects of a political settlement to the Arab-Israel dispute have not been closed completely, It is true that what happened at the last Arab summit at Rabat, and at the UN Assembly before and after that summit, has harmed its prospects. Perhaps they have even been harmed severely but, for the time being at least, they have not been harmed disastrously. There is still point in allowing some prospect to the political moves. There is still room to continue with the sincere efforts to exhaust every possibility in the political dialogue to prevent war. At any event we must not give into despairing of peace, nor give way to desperate solutions. This is the aim of the terrorist organizations, which seek to propel the region into another war. There is no doubt that many formidable obstacles face us on the way to peace, but there is also no doubt that we are capable of overcoming them
If, God forbid, we are fated to have another war, we shall carry it through in a manner which will surprise our neighbours. We do not want wars, and we do not seek further victories. We have done everything in our power to prevent wars, and to settle the differences between ourselves and our neighbours peacefully - and we shall continue to do so, but at the same time, we shall not yield to the blackmail of war or threats of war. Whoever wishes to draw parallels between our situation and that of Czechoslovakia at the time of Munich is making a grave error. We are not Czechoslovakia. We shall not act like Czechoslovakia, nor shall we allow fearful governments to try to appease our enemies at our expense. If any government attempts this course, its own people will rebel.
Without surrendering any of our rights and vital interests to the slightest degree, we have no option but to continue to seek, and examine every possible way of progressing towards understanding and peace in this area.
The policy of the government of Israel thus far has been marked by a double emblem: The emblem of preparedness in the face of any military adventures on the part of our neighbours, and the emblem symbolising the wish to exhaust every possible way to peace. The policy of the government of Israel will continue to bear this double banner.