Commentary Magazine

The Road to Geneva

In one way or another, every phase of the Arab-Israeli conflict has been linked with the United Nations. The current Geneva conference is but the latest in this tradition—with a difference. In the past, the UN was Israel's benefactor and the Arabs' affliction. Now the sides have been reversed. The Israelis have come to distrust the UN so much that they grudgingly agreed to give it a minimal role at Geneva; the Arabs are so fond of the UN that they wanted its role to be maximal.

For a state with Israel's unique background, the change has been peculiarly painful and damaging. It was the General Assembly's resolution of November 29, 1947, providing for an Arab and Jewish state in Palestine, that opened the way for the formal establishment of the state of Israel on May 14, 1948. After five Arab armies invaded Palestine and tried to strangle the new state at birth, a UN mediator, Dr. Ralph Bunche, helped to bring about the armistice agreements of 1949. In these first years, the Security Council tried repeatedly to restrain the Arabs. Egypt closed the Suez Canal to Israeli shipping in 1949 on the ground that, despite the armistice, it considered itself to be in a state of “belligerency” vis-à-vis Israel. Two years later, the Council called on Egypt to put an end to this restriction of the canal and held that it was “unreasonable” for Egypt to behave as if it were still an active belligerent. In 1954, when Israel protested against Egypt's blockade of the port of Eilat, Israel's only outlet to the Red Sea and the East, the Security Council upheld Israel, only to run into a Soviet veto. Though the UN did not open the Suez Canal for Israel or lift the blockade of Eilat—Israel never achieved the first and obtained the second in 1956—at least the UN did what it could. It passed resolutions, which the Arab nations ignored or defied.

Today the UN is Israel's affliction and the Arabs' benefactor. The Soviet veto for the Arabs has given way to the U.S. veto for the Israelis. The change that has taken place in the UN accounts for much of this change in Israel's position. The growth in UN membership from 51 to 135, together with the increasing prevalence of bloc voting, has altered the UN so much that its founding fathers would hardly recognize it. Where Israel is concerned, the bloc set-up works almost automatically against it. The Arabs start with their own eighteen votes. They are sure to pick up eight more from the non-Arab Muslim countries. Then come the twelve inevitable votes from the Communist countries. Twenty-six African nations, which do not now have diplomatic ties with Israel, unwaveringly back the Arabs as part of their dues in the Afro-Asian bloc, and they carry most of the other African nations along with them. About a dozen other “nonaligned” nations, such as India and Yugoslavia (for whom nonalignment has come to mean nonalignment with only one side), make no effort to hide their pro-Arab commitment. In Western Europe, France and Spain are consistently hostile to Israel, and Britain does not lag far behind. If most or all of the Latin-American bloc, as part of its lip service to the “Third World,” goes along, as it usually does, the Arabs can count on at least two-thirds of the General Assembly on almost any issue that lines them up against Israel.

At the time of the October 1973 war, the Security Council was equally one-sided. Of the five permanent members, Communist China and Soviet Russia were so hostile that they did not have diplomatic relations with Israel. The competition between them took the form of seeing which one could be more pro-Arab than the Arabs. Of the remaining three permanent members, the Arabs could count on France, if not Britain too. Three of the ten non-permanent members, Sudan, Yugoslavia, and Indonesia, had no diplomatic relations with Israel, and a fourth, India, virtually belonged in the same category. The 1974-75 Security Council is even worse from Israel's point of view. Of the five non-permanent members whose term expired at the end of 1973, only two had no diplomatic relations with Israel; of the five that replaced them four (Byelorussia, Cameroon, Iraq, and Mauretania) have no diplomatic relations with Israel. The Israeli diplomat who remarked that Arabs could get a majority in the UN for a resolution declaring that the earth is flat was exaggerating only a little.

In a previous article,1 I referred harshly to the UN's role in the October 1973 war. The trouble with referring to the UN as a single entity is that the organization does not live a life of its own. The UN may be international in form, but it is national in content; it is no more than the member states, and especially the permanent members of the Security Council, choose to make it. Whatever it was intended to be, it has become little more than an international forum in which member states ruthlessly pursue their national interests according to certain rules or principles which they recognize, ignore, or violate as they see fit. The UN is not a “supranational” government with any power of its own; it is not the “conscience of mankind,” dispensing a higher law equally to all. Whenever Israel is concerned, a disturbing pattern of behavior has developed. It should disturb the most those who wish the UN the best.



The pattern emerged clearly in 1967. When Egypt began to mass troops in the Sinai region bordering Israel on May 14, and especially when Egypt demanded the withdrawal of the United Nations Emergency Force (UNEF) on May 16, and even more so when Egypt closed the Straits of Tiran and blockaded the Israeli port of Eilat on May 22, a crisis was clearly on its way. What happened in the UN?

On May 23, Canada and Denmark requested an immediate meeting of the Security Council to deal with the Middle East crisis. On May 24, the Soviet representative, Nikolai T. Fedorenko, prevented the Council from even taking up the subject. He accused the Western powers of “artificially heating up the atmosphere” and insistently pooh-poohed the seriousness of the situation.2 As late as May 29, Fedorenko accused the U.S. representative, Ambassador Arthur J. Goldberg, of uselessly engaging in “histrionics of all kinds.”3 Until war broke out on June 5, the Soviet representative sought by one means or another to prevent serious discussion of the issue in the Security Council.

While the Soviet representative was running diplomatic interference, the Egyptian representative, Ambassador Mohammad Awad el-Kony, made head-on verbal attacks on Israel to justify Egypt's actions. He did not deny that they were acts of war, especially in the case of the blockade of Eilat. Nor were the Soviets in a good position to justify the blockade because that would have set a precedent for the unilateral closure of the Dardanelles by Turkey, blockading the Soviet ports in the Black Sea. Ambassador el-Kony boldly defended Egypt's action on the ground that “a state of overt war” had existed and continued to exist between the Arabs and Israelis.4 It is a mistake, then, to think that the Egyptians did not knowingly commit acts of war before June 5. A blockade of an international waterway, such as the Gulf of Aqaba, was an act of war—and the Egyptians did not try to hide that fact as long as they were confident of victory.

Thus, at least two things took place in the Security Council before the 1967 war. First, the Soviets immobilized the Council in the period of aggressive Egyptian actions. Second, a double-bookkeeping system operated as soon as the Egyptians were thrown on the defensive.

The second point is particularly striking because the charge of “Israeli aggression” came to have such importance for the Egyptians. The Egyptian rationale for blockading Eilat on May 22 was equally a rationale for the Israeli attack on June 5. If the one was a justified act of war because a state of war already existed, the other was no more than a justifiable response. So long as the Egyptians thought that they were sure to win the war, they wanted the world to know that they had started it. If the Egyptians had not miscalculated and had won the war, they would have dated it from May 14 or at latest May 22, not June 5.

But as soon as their plans misfired, and the war was lost in six days, the Arabs filled the air with cries of “Israeli aggression.” Forgotten was Ambassador el-Kony's proud boast that a “state of war” had always existed between Israel and the Arab states and that it gave Egypt the “legitimate right” to blockade the Straits of Tiran, an admittedly aggressive act. Now the Arabs were innocent victims of an unprovoked Israeli aggression which had broken the peace and harmony of the Middle East. In this way a double standard was smuggled into the Middle East conflict and has plagued it ever since.



After the 1967 war broke out on June 5, neither the Arabs nor the Israelis asked the Security Council to intervene. The Arabs were at first too confident of victory. As for the Israelis, they were determined to push back the 80,000 or so heavily armed Egyptian troops on their Sinai border and to reopen free passage of the Straits of Tiran. The Security Council met on June 5 without result. The legal position was obviously double-edged. As a fair-minded account by the former Indian ambassador to the UN, Arthur Lall, put it, the UN charter outlaws “not only the use of force or aggression but the threat of force.” On the latter count, Egypt had made threats of force repeatedly in the previous days. When did hostilities begin? When the Gulf of Aqaba was blockaded by Egypt or when Israel responded to it? Only the Soviet Union demanded unconditional condemnation of Israeli “aggression,” and it was supported by no more than two members, all the way by Bulgaria, less forcefully by Mali. On the second day of the war, June 6, the Egyptians knew that they were in trouble. “Late that afternoon,” Lall relates, “the Egyptians informed the Soviet Union that they would accept a cease-fire unless they received immediate military assistance. It was clear, however, that such assistance could not be given.”5

So the Arabs shopped around for a quick ceasefire to save them from further military disaster. A resolution limited to calling for an immediate cease-fire was unanimously voted on the early evening of June 6. But the fighting raged on after the Council's belated awakening to the seriousness of the situation. Still another Soviet-sponsored ceasefire resolution, this one with a specific time limit, was unanimously adopted on June 7. With an Arab military collapse approaching, the Arabs and their Communist allies had changed their attitude toward UN intervention. For at least three weeks before, and for thirty-two hours after the fighting started, they had blocked every effort to bring the issue before the Security Council. Now, suddenly, Security-Council resolutions were flaunted as if they had the force of absolute, peremptory, self-enforcing law. For years, the Security Council had passed resolutions obnoxious to the Arabs without the slightest effect on their behavior. This time it was different. The vaguest call of the Security Council for a cease-fire was touted as if it had come from on high.

Another innovation became a bad habit in the Security Council. As Arthur Lall has noted, “condemnation” has no place in the tasks allotted to the Council in the UN charter. “Unfortunately,” he observed reproachfully, “it has become a tendency of certain organs of the United Nations to overlook the charter injunctions relating to conciliation and the harmonizing of the actions of nations, and to substitute for these approaches that of condemnation. It may, of course, be a matter of opinion as to whether condemnation is a more effective approach toward achieving settlements than the approach of skillful urgings, even demands, and quiet pressures. However, the essential point is that the charter rejects the former approach in favor of the latter, and whatever individual governments may say or do in their bilateral dealings, in the organs of the United Nations they should adhere to the charter's approaches.”6

The chief specialist in these “condemnations”—always, of course, against Israel—was the Soviet Union. While the Egyptians were satisfied for the moment to get no more than a cease-fire, the Soviet representative, Fedorenko, held out for an Israeli withdrawal from Arab territory; the “main task,” he said, was to condemn Israel as “the aggressor.”7 But Fedorenko failed to get Israel condemned as the “aggressor” or ordered to withdraw its forces. As matters stood when the Security Council adjourned on June 14, only a ceasefire had been agreed on by all parties. As Lall noted sadly. “The Council had missed its most constructive opportunities when it had failed to act in May, and thereafter it had never really caught up with the flow of events in the region.”8 And if it failed to act in May, as he makes clear, the Soviet Union was primarily responsible.

But this was only the beginning of the diplomatic battle that followed the military struggle.



We have now come to the magic number: 242.

After several futile attempts to reach an agreement acceptable to all sides in the dispute, the Security Council met again in November 1967. It did not seem like a propitious moment. The Arab states had come together at Khartoum two months earlier and had arrived at an intransigent formula vis-à-vis Israel: no peace, no recognition, no negotiations. Nevertheless, the mood in the Security Council favored one more big try to reach a settlement.

The Arab states, in line with the Khartoum formula, were merely interested in getting Israel out of the occupied territories. For Israel, the occupation of the territories won in June was still a somewhat unreal, fortuitous experience. Most Israelis were as yet less interested in keeping all or some of the territories than in using them to get the Arabs to recognize the state of Israel within “secure borders.” All outside efforts at the November meeting were bent on incorporating and reconciling these two main Arab and Israeli aims.

After a number of false starts by the Afro-Asian bloc, the Soviet Union, and the United States, the winner was—Resolution 242. The chief impresario was the British member, Lord Caradon, who gave a classical exhibition of diplomatic unflappability. The diplomatic struggle accompanying the military battle since 1967 has been based on this resolution. The present Geneva conference was set in motion by Resolution 338 of October 22, 1973, which in turn implements Resolution 242. Thus everything that has happened in the Arab-Israeli conflict in the past six years goes back in one way or another to Resolution 242. How it was concocted and why it was adopted constitute one of the most curious operations in recent diplomatic history.

Caradon's stratagem was to give something to everyone, and everything to no one—in such a way that no one knew whether he had anything.

In the preamble, Caradon managed to write a paragraph which began with something for the Arabs and ended with something for Israel. The first portion emphasized “the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war” and the second “the need to work for a just and lasting peace in which every State in the area can live in security.” Egypt, which had acquired the Gaza territory (that had not been Egyptian) and Jordan, which had acquired the territory on the West Bank of the Jordan River and the Old City of Jerusalem (that had not been Jordanian) by war in 1948, blithely hailed the principle of the “inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war” because, in their interpretation, it was aimed solely at Israel. As for the Soviet Union, it had acquired through World War II 272,500 square miles of territory with a population two-and-a-half times as large as Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq combined, but was not inhibited from voting for this lofty principle for someone else.9 Israel enjoyed reading the words “a just and lasting peace” and “security,” which had evaded it for so long.

But preambles are merely the appetizers of UN resolutions. The main courses come in the operative paragraphs. The Egyptians wanted most the withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from Arab territory. So Caradon gave them the first operative paragraph, which provided for the

Withdrawal of Israel armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict.

This combination of words was not as clear and simple as it may seem. For a previous Soviet resolution had stipulated that Israel “should immediately and unconditionally withdraw all its forces from the territory of those States [United Arab Republic, Syria, and Jordan] to positions behind the armistice demarcation lines [i.e., before June 5, 1967].” And another Latin-American draft resolution had urgently requested Israel “to withdraw all its forces from all the territories occupied by it as a result of the recent conflict.”


Caradon's formula omitted four key words: “immediately,” “unconditionally,” “all,” and “the.” By omitting “immediately” and “unconditionally” in the Soviet text, it implied that the withdrawal might not be immediate or unconditional. By omitting the first “all,” before the mention of Israeli “forces,” it implied that not all of them might be withdrawn—or, as in the previous case, at least left the question open. But the crucial excision was made in the reference to “the territory,” in the Russian text, or to “all the territories,” in the Latin-American text. By removing “the,” and even more so, “all the” before the word “territories” in his final text, Caradon deliberately left open the possibility that the Israeli withdrawal might be partial rather than complete. The Israelis could accept it because it might be partial; the Arabs could vote for it, albeit less enthusiastically, because it might be complete. In short, what Resolution 242 did not say was fully as important as what it did say.

To make matters even more complicated and dubious, the equally authoritative French version of Resolution 242, owing to the exigencies of the French language, translated “territories occupied” as “des territoires occupés,” making it possible for an interpretation to include the word “the” before territories. Thus, in effect, the English version seemed to favor the Israelis, the French version the Arabs.

The Israelis, of course, wanted recognition of their state within secure borders. So Caradon gave them the second operative paragraph:

Termination of all claims or states of belligerency and respect for and acknowledgment of the sovereignty, territorial integrity, and political independence of every State in the area and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force.

This paragraph also bears close scrutiny. It will be noticed that the state which was in contention, Israel, was not mentioned by name as deserving respect for its “sovereignty, territorial integrity, and political independence.” Did or did not the reference to “every State” include Israel? It might or it might not, depending on whether Israel was accepted as a valid, legitimate state. True, Israel was a member in good standing of the United Nations. On the other hand, the Arab states had ostentatiously refused to recognize Israel's rightful statehood. Israel in fact wanted to be mentioned by name. But Caradon's resolution bypassed the issue by using the much more general formulation, giving the Arabs the possibility of denying Israel the right to be accepted in their minds as a “State in the area.”

However, assuming that Israel was such a state—and for the United Nations as such, its status was unquestionable—the most important words in the resolution were the “right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries.” Without the reference to such boundaries Israel would probably not have accepted this resolution. For two things were inextricably meshed. One was the abstract acceptance of the state of Israel. But what and where was this state? What boundaries did it have? Without a clear and final delineation of its boundaries, Israel's acceptance as a state could mean anything or nothing. By challenging its boundaries concretely, the Arabs could make a mockery of accepting the state of Israel abstractly. As we shall see, the problem of “boundaries” is one of the most vexed and venomous of all aspects of the Arab-Israeli conflict. Resolution 242 demanded its solution without in the least resolving it.

Resolution 242 included three more major operative paragraphs:

Guaranteed “freedom of navigation through international waterways in the area.” This stipulation was supposed to reopen the Straits of Tiran and the Gulf of Aqaba to Israeli shipping.

“A just settlement of the refugee problem.” Each side, of course, wanted such a settlement, but whether they could agree on what was “just,” which the resolution did not define, was something else.

And the designation by the Secretary-General of the UN of a “Special Representative to proceed to the Middle East to establish and maintain contacts with the States concerned in order to promote agreement and assist efforts to achieve a peaceful and accepted settlement in accordance with the provisions and principles in this resolution.” On this provision hinged all the others. Everyone knew that Resolution 242 was merely the beginning of a long and tortuous process. This process was made all the more difficult by the Arab refusal to negotiate directly with Israel. As in 1949, the UN resorted to an intermediary to get the process going indirectly.


Alas, we are not yet finished with Resolution 242. Something more was needed before the diplomatic tapestry could be woven.

First, there apparently were private, behind-the-scenes, unwritten understandings. The most important of these related to the most hotly disputed clause about the “withdrawal of Israel armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict.” What did the omission of “all” and “the” before “territories” mean? An Arab delegate later revealed that the Arab delegations had been privately given the explanation that the omission of these words “really related to the possibility of minor and mutually agreed rectifications of the frontier.”10 He complained that Israel subsequently wanted more “substantial changes” than the Arabs had been led to expect. There was, evidently, some kind of private understanding about some frontier changes, even if opinions might differ about which were minor or major.

On the other hand, the Egyptian delegate, Mohammad Hassan el-Zayyat, claimed that Lord Caradon had privately told the then Egyptian Foreign Minister, Mahmoud Riad, that “the words ‘territories occupied’ meant all territories occupied.” El-Zayyat also claimed that the U.S. delegate, Arthur J. Goldberg, had given a private assurance that “not an inch of Egyptian territory is going to be touched.”11 Both Caradon and Goldberg have gone on record denying that Resolution 242 meant any such thing.12 In the fall of 1968, according to former Undersecretary of State, Eugene V. Rostow, who was then in charge of the Arab-Israeli conflict at the State Department, Soviet ambassadors both in Washington and at the UN indicated that they could agree to “insubstantial” modifications of the pre-1967 borders as part of a “package deal.” The next day, however, they reversed themselves.13

The former Indian ambassador, Arthur Lall, who was in a good position to know, tells us what went on behind the scenes between the Soviets and Arabs before the resolution was voted on. The Arab delegates came to the Soviet representative, V. V. Kuznetsov, to complain about the British version. “They insisted that the wording read either that Israeli forces would be withdrawn from ‘all the territories,’ instead of ‘territories’ occupied by Israel, or that Israel would ‘withdraw to the positions of 4 June 1967.’ In addition, the Arabs were unwilling to accept the phrase ‘recognized boundaries’ also occurring in the first operative paragraph.” But the Arabs changed their minds the next day because they “concluded that it was better to get a resolution backed by all fifteen votes in the Council than to insist on a resolution which might not be adopted or might obtain the bare minimum of nine votes.” They also tried to prevail on Caradon to substitute “all the territories” for “territories” in the crucial clause on Israeli withdrawal. He soothingly told them that his draft represented “a delicate balance” which could not be upset.14

It is obviously not safe to rely on anything but the actual words in the resolution. Yet some private give-and-take undoubtedly played a part in getting agreement on the resolution.

Of one all-important aspect of the resolution there can be no doubt. It was a “package deal.”

If it had not been such a deal, the Arabs could have claimed—as they proceeded to claim anyway—that it was necessary or possible to put into effect the first operative paragraph on Israeli withdrawal, in which they were primarily interested, before or without putting into effect the other operative paragraphs in which the Israelis were primarily interested. As a matter of fact, the order in which the various provisions were listed had nothing to do with priority or preeminence. The resolution was to be taken as a whole or not at all.

This point was clearly made by Lord Caradon at the time. He called the resolution “a balanced whole.”15 What he meant by this was later spelled out by him and other authoritative British officials who, after all, knew best what they had put together. In an interview on February 10, 1973, Caradon gave this explanation: “Withdrawal should take place to secure and recognized boundaries, and these words were carefully chosen: they have to be secure, and they have to be recognized. They will not be secure unless they are recognized.” Other British explications have emphasized the term “concurrently” to stress how the parts of Resolution 242 were linked together. The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Michael Stewart, stated in the House of Commons on November 17, 1969: “The resolution speaks of secure and recognized boundaries. Those words must be read concurrently with the statement on withdrawal.”16 A British member of the Security Council, K. D. Jamieson, reiterated as late as June 11, 1973, that “we for our part have always considered that there is a close interconnection between all the elements of the settlement envisaged in resolution 242 (1967).”17 Assistant Secretary of State Joseph Sisco, in charge of Middle East affairs, has stated: “The Security Council did not call for unconditional Israeli withdrawal to the armistice lines [of 1949] as had been the case at the time of the 1956 war in Sinai. Rather, it called for ‘withdrawal . . . from territories occupied’ in the 1967 war as part of a package settlement in which the parties would agree to respect each other's right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries.”18

It should be clear by now what Resolution 242 did and did not say.


Ah, but no—nothing about Resolution 242 was—or is—that easy.

When the members of the Security Council explained their votes on November 22, 1967, the disparity between their explanations was so great that one might have imagined that they were talking about different things. Although he did not rule out “mutual territorial adjustments,” the Indian member, Gopalaswami Parthasarathi, maintained: “It is our understanding that the draft resolution, if approved by the Council, will commit it to the application of the principle of total withdrawal of Israeli forces from all the territories—I repeat, all the territories—occupied by Israel as a result of the conflict which began on 5 June, 1967.” To which Lord Caradon coyly responded that only the resolution itself was binding but that “all of us, no doubt, have our own views and interpretations and understandings.” Foreign Minister Abba Eban of Israel cautioned: “The representative of India has now sought to interpret the resolution in the image of his own wishes. For us, the resolution says what it says. It does not say that which it has specifically and consciously avoided saying.” But this advice did not stop the Soviet member, Kuznetsov, from declaring that “we voted for the United Kingdom draft resolution, as interpreted by the representative of India, whose views we share.” Heedless of everything that had been said by the United Kingdom delegate, he continued, “We understand the decision to mean the withdrawal of Israel forces from all, and we repeat all, territories belonging to Arab States and seized by Israel following its attack on those States on 5 June 1967.” The Bulgarian member, Milko Tarabanov, echoed Kuznetsov. The Egyptian representative, Mahmoud Riad, insisted that the “full withdrawal of Israel forces from all territories they have occupied as a result of their aggression on 5 June” was the first step to be taken and that other steps could then follow. The Jordanian representative, Abdul Monem Rifa'i, called “the immediate and complete withdrawal”—neither of these qualifiers was in the resolution—the “essential step.” The U.S. member, Arthur Goldberg, gently chided: “The voting, of course, has taken place not on the individual views and policies of various members, but on the draft resolution. I, and I assume other members of the Council, voted for the draft resolution and not for each and every speech that has been made.” But he then slightly opened the door to the possibility of multiple interpretations: “I hastily add that I have voted for my own speech, and I assume others have done likewise with respect to their speeches.” Finally, the Israeli representative, Abba Eban, apparently aiming at the French version, informed the Council that he was communicating “nothing except the original English text of the draft resolution” to his government.19

From all this one might gather that a private understanding had been reached to permit members of the Security Council to vote for the resolution unanimously but to interpret it individually. This diplomatic technique for obtaining unanimity was such that it was sure to breed future confusion and contradiction. Nevertheless, this arrangement was probably the only course if unanimity was desirable or necessary to make any progress at all.

When the Security Council met in June 1973, however, arbitrary reinterpretations of Resolution 242 came from both sides. The Soviet member, Y. A. Malik, proclaimed that a complete Israeli withdrawal was “a primary prerequisite for peace in the Middle East” and “the key question of a Middle East settlement.”20 On the other hand, the Israeli representative, Yosef Tekoah, held that “the question of secure and recognized boundaries” was “the central problem.”21 Both sought shelter under Resolution 242 which had clearly and deliberately refrained from making withdrawal or boundaries “primary,” “the key,” or “central.” My impression is that by sheer repetition the Arabs and Soviets have come out ahead in this propaganda argument. Most people who read or think about Resolution 242 probably have the impression that it exclusively or mainly “orders” Israel to withdraw completely from the occupied territories.

And yet, all diplomatic activity since 1967 to settle the Arab-Israeli conflict has been based on the shifting sands of this resolution.22



Whatever Resolution 242 said or did not say, its fate depended on what the UN's Special Representative did or did not do. As representative, the Secretary-General appointed the Swedish ambassador to Moscow, Gunnar Jarring, who set up his headquarters in Cyprus.

The failure of the Jarring mission was one of the preconditions of the 1973 war. Why it failed is still critical for a full understanding of the deepest, most irreconcilable issues underlying the entire Arab-Israeli conflict.

The divergent interpretations of Resolution 242 were quick to emerge. Israel advised Jarring that the best way “to promote agreement” as provided for in the resolution was through direct negotiations, the first step of which should be an Israeli-Egyptian meeting to discuss an “agenda for peace.” Egypt—and Jordan too—replied that such discussion was out of the question so long as Israeli armed forces had not withdrawn from the occupied territories. The essential “ambiguity” built into Resolution 242 began to torment Jarring by the end of 1967.

The next gambit took the form of “indirect negotiations.” After some attempt to make “indirect negotiations” lead to “direct negotiations,” Israel accepted the indirect approach without conditions. But again the fundamental differences, especially the dispute over complete Israeli withdrawal, emphasized the hopelessness of Jarring's task. There is no need here to go into all the ingenious efforts made by Jarring to get around the main stumbling blocks. By the end of 1970, after three years of frustration and disenchantment with all sides, he seemed to have reached the end of the road.

Early in 1971, Jarring decided to make one final, desperate effort. What had thwarted him he thought, was the question of priorities. The Egyptians wanted to get a commitment on complete Israeli withdrawal before they did anything else, and the Israelis wanted to be sure of their security before they gave up anything. Jarring decided that the way to break the deadlock was to approach both sides to make “parallel and simultaneous” commitments. On February 8, 1971, Jarring sent proposals to this effect to Israel and Egypt. From Israel, in the main, he asked for a commitment to withdraw its forces from the occupied territories, and from Egypt he essentially wanted “respect for and acknowledgment of each other's right to live in peace with secure and recognized boundaries.” This time, Jarring had most trouble with Israel. On the most vital point of withdrawal, the Israeli reply of February 26, 1971, was willing to accept only the following: “Withdrawal of Israel's armed forces from the Israel-United Arab Republic cease-fire line to the secure, recognized, and agreed boundaries to be established in the peace agreement. Israel will not withdraw to the pre-5 June 1967 lines.”23

What was the trouble? Israel made known its objection that Jarring had overstepped the bounds of his authority as set forth in Resolution 242. In it the special representative had been enjoined “to promote agreement and assist efforts” of the states themselves to reach a peaceful settlement. Jarring, however, specified that Israel was to withdraw to “the former international boundary between Egypt and the British Mandate of Palestine.” The extent of the withdrawal had been deliberately left open in the resolution; Jarring had taken it on himself to spell it out. This was not a merely technical or formal deviation; for Israel, it went to the heart of the matter. Israel had agreed to the resolution in order to negotiate the precise boundaries with Egypt. Now Jarring had done all the “negotiating” by himself and had confronted Israel with a fait accompli.

Neither side was totally satisfied with the map of withdrawal as drawn by Jarring. Egypt's reply demanded Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip as well as from Sinai, even though the former had not been Egyptian territory during the British Mandate of Palestine. But the Israeli problem in this respect was probably more serious. Jarring's plan entailed only the Israeli-Egyptian border. Even there, Israel was supposed to get “respect” and “acknowledgment”—at most a promissory note that might be exceedingly difficult to collect on—in return for giving Egypt an immediate commitment on a definite delineation of the Israeli withdrawal. This exchange, from the Israeli point of view, was flagrantly one-sided. Israel had agreed in Resolution 242 to some form of withdrawal in return for “secure and recognized boundaries”—not on one side but on all sides. Jarring, however, could not deliver Jordan at the same time as Egypt, and Syria was out of the question altogether—Syria had never even accepted Resolution 242. If Israel was truly “to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force,” as the resolution required, its existence could not be separated from its boundaries, and its boundaries could not be decided only on the Egyptian front.

Jarring no doubt had opted for the piecemeal approach because he could not bring off a “balanced whole.” Whatever his motives, he had transmogrified Resolution 242 in such a way that his plan was far more acceptable to the Egyptians and their Soviet backers than to the Israelis. Jarring had jarred loose the “package deal” and had spilled the pieces on the floor, hoping to pick them up and put them together as in a jigsaw puzzle one at a time. Whether he would have succeeded is more than doubtful, but he was never given the chance.

By March 1971, Jarring's mission was virtually dead. Those who imagine that Israel lost its great opportunity to make peace by not accepting Jarring's plan in 1971 have not fully understood why it failed.



In 1968, in the first months of Jarring's mission, the influential Egyptian editor, Mohammad Hassanein Heykal, put into words what he must have thought was a very witty idea:

If somebody says, for example, let's assume that Israel would demand recognition of the former cease-fire lines as permanent and recognized boundaries, the answer would be the following: What could prevent us in such a situation from stating that according to our own conception, the secure and recognized boundaries are one Jewish synagogue in Tel Aviv and ten meters around it?24

If this were written about almost any other country, it might stir up a little amusement or, at worst, annoyance. In Tel Aviv, it can inspire real consternation. The reason is not that Israelis are so very different from other people. The cause is buried deep in Israel's peculiar history.

At this point, we must step back a quarter of a century in order to go forward to the present. History has haunted the Arab-Israeli conflict in every phase and at every step, and never more than from 1967 to the present.

The Jewish state envisaged in the original UN partition plan of 1947 was a minuscule geopolitical monstrosity. The plan divided Palestine into seven parts, three Jewish and three Arab, each virtually disjointed, plus Jerusalem, which was to be “internationalized.” A condition of the partition was the economic union of the Jewish and Arab parts. The largest Jewish part consisted of the Negev, then a wasteland.

As if this were not enough, the UN plan also gave the Jewish state the “wrong” parts of Palestine. The Jewish parts were made up of those districts in which the Jews had been able to settle and own land, not where God had presumably put them in biblical times. “The nursery of the Jewish race and the Jewish religion,” as Cecil Roth put it, had been the Kingdom of Judah, which the UN plan allotted to the Arabs. David was anointed King of Judah in Hebron—an Arab center in the UN plan and still today. Tel Aviv was made up of little more than barren and swampy dunes at the beginning of the 20th century, disconcertingly situated in ancient Philistine territory.

If the Arabs had permitted the 1947 partition plan to go through, even temporarily, it is doubtful whether Israel could have survived until the present. Despite misgivings and dissension, the Jews accepted the plan. Confident of their superior numbers and arms, the Arabs did not. The result of the war that followed in 1948 was the enlargement of the Jewish state by about one fourth. But the Jewish state was not the only one that benefited territorially from the war. Instead of going ahead with the projected new Arab state in Palestine, Egypt and Transjordan proceeded to divide the remaining territory between themselves. Egypt gobbled up the Gaza Strip, which it never made part of the state of Egypt but ruled through a military governor. The Emirate of Transjordan, as it was then called, refused to give up the West Bank of the Jordan River and the Old City of Jerusalem, despite the bitter opposition of the other Arab states, and soon changed its name to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. All these territorial changes, according to the armistice agreements of 1949, were supposed to be provisional and temporary. Article XII of the Egyptian-Israeli General Armistice Agreement of February 24, 1949, for example, stated that the provisions “shall remain in force until a peaceful settlement between the parties is achieved.” But such a peaceful settlement was never achieved because the Arab states would never agree to negotiate one with Israel.

So the armistice agreements of 1949, not the UN partition plan of 1947, became the de facto basis of Arab-Israeli relations. No one, and certainly not the Soviet Union, objected to this change. No one denounced Israel as an aggressor because it had turned back the armies of five Arab states and had forced them to sign armistice agreements. No one was scandalized because the Arabs were compelled to pay a penalty for provoking and losing a war. As a result, the armistice agreements of 1949 set a precedent for territorial changes brought about by wars provoked by the Arabs themselves—a precedent which the Arabs have insistently tried to revoke by provoking more wars.

Nevertheless, the armistice agreements of 1949 left a difficult and dubious legacy which is still at the crux of the Arab-Israeli conflict. The trouble with those armistice agreements was that they were nothing more than—armistice agreements. From 1949 to 1967, the boundaries of Israel were not secure and were not recognized because they were not confirmed by a peace settlement. Indeed, since Egypt considered itself to be at war with Israel despite the armistice agreements and, the Egyptians even argued, by virtue of them, secure and recognized boundaries could not result from the armistice agreements of 1949 any more than they could derive from the cease-fire lines of 1967. Ironically, the claim to Palestinian territory by Egypt and Jordan is just as tenuous as they regard Israel's claim to be, since they are equally dependent on the armistice agreements of 1949 for any title to that land. By challenging Israel's boundaries, Egypt and Jordan logically call into question their own. Yet only Israel has been asked to justify being where it is.

History, then, has exerted a tormenting pull on both sides—on the Arabs to reduce Israel to an empty shell, on the Israelis to realize the Zionist dream of restoring the Jews to their ancient “homeland.” This pressure could have been held back if both sides had been able to reach some kind of stable territorial settlement. If such a settlement had been based on the UN partition plan of 1947 or the armistice agreements of 1949, it would not have been fully satisfactory to either side. But at least they would have arrived at some fixed points in their relationship. By never going beyond the armistice agreements or cease-fire lines, everything always remained open, uncertain, unhinged. When Israel asks to be a secure and recognized state, it asks for secure and recognized boundaries. Or conversely, without secure and recognized boundaries, Israel cannot be a secure and recognized state. Arabs and others are sometimes willing to pay lip-service to Israel as a state but never to what boundaries that state has. This is the “dirty little secret” of the Arab-Israeli conflict.


The secret has been fairly well kept from the general public—except, of course, in Israel, which has almost been fixated by the problem of boundaries. The impression must still be widespread that the Arab leaders wish nothing more than Israeli withdrawal to the pre-June 5, 1967 boundaries and that all would be well if only the Israelis agreed.

This myth should not have outlived the session of the Security Council in June 1973. Unfortunately, few bother to go through the dreary pages of Security Council discussions, though they sometimes contain the most devastating revelations of what official policies really are.

The Security Council met on June 6, 1973, to consider the Middle East problem as a whole for the first time since November 1967. Almost six years after Resolution 242 had been unanimously adopted, the Arab states had come to the conclusion that it was too ambiguous for their purposes and that it needed modification in their favor in order to serve as a diplomatic bludgeon against Israel. They also had had time to harden their position on the resolution's critical reference to “secure and recognized boundaries.”

The Egyptian press had already foreshadowed that position, which went far beyond any possible interpretation of Resolution 242. On February 25, 1971, Heykal had written in al-Ahram:

There are only two specific Arab goals at present: elimination of the consequences of the 1967 aggression through Israel's withdrawal from all the lands it occupied that year, and elimination of the consequences of the 1948 aggression through the eradication of Israel.

The second goal is not, in fact, specific but abstract, and some of us make the mistake of starting with the second step instead of the first. On the basis of the conditions I have mentioned, it is possible to believe in the possibility of attaining the first goal. As for the second goal, we should learn from the enemy to move step by step.

So, according to this highly authoritative spokesman and confidant of Egypt's top leaders, the goal in Resolution 242 was only the first step. If that were achieved, the second goal would be to go back to 1948 when Israel was established as a state.

An even more authoritative Egyptian spokesman and top leader, President Anwar el-Sadat, made another significant allusion to the first and second steps on February 17, 1972:

Nor do we have the right to compel the Palestinian people to accept the Security Council resolution because the land is their land, both those areas occupied in 1948 and the remainder of Palestine occupied after 1967 (al-Ahram, February 18, 1972).

From this, the Egyptians were clearly thinking far beyond Resolution 242, which seemingly concerned only the post-1967 occupied areas. In the background, but already emerging publicly, was another resolve to undo the 1948 war in the name of the “Palestinian people.”

All this came out openly in the Security Council in June 1973. At the very first meeting on June 6, the Egyptian representative, el-Zayyat, called on the Council to:

Resolve that all the rights and aspirations of the Palestinian nation be respected, including their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries in their homeland of Palestine as it was before the partition, as it was under the Mandate.25

Now the familiar terms, “homeland” and “secure and recognized boundaries” were made to apply to the “Palestinian nation” rather than to Israel. And the homeland of the “Palestinian nation” was so defined—“before the partition, as it was under the [British] Mandate”—that it antedated even the UN plan of 1947, when the state of Israel had not yet been established.

On June 11, the Sudanese representative, Khalid, also brought up 1947 in a somewhat more veiled form:

The truth of the matter is that the June [1967] war is a consequence of the unresolved crisis since Israel burgeoned its way into a State in 1947 [sic]. Any reference to the Armistice Agreement vexes Israel, because going back twenty-five years helps clear our thinking, though it does not necessarily mean that we are unaware of the facts created by war and current international diplomacy. The present cannot be divorced from the past. It is one piece with it. It is the prelude of the future.26

On the same day, another Egyptian representative, Abdel Meguid, again opened up the question of boundaries in this provocative fashion:

The logic of the representative of Israel surprises us, to say the least. He speaks about “safe and recognized boundaries” for Israel. Of what boundaries is he talking: those of 1947, 1948, 1949, 1956, or 1967? When certain States recognized the State of Israel they recognized it with boundaries that were defined in the partition plan—in other words, within a territory that had been allocated to it by a United Nations resolution, and nothing more.27

On June 13, the Egyptian, el-Zayyat, took the position that Egypt gave the Palestinians the right to decide the fate of Israel, again going back to 1947:

It is up to them [the Palestinians], if and when they desire, to put the territorial and political boundaries between them and the Jewish State—if and when they desire to accept the partition resolution of 1947, which they deem to be unjust.28

This strategy of “two stages”—one Egyptian, the other Palestinian—is now so deeply rooted in Egyptian thinking28a that it was expressed by Heykal in al-Ahram on October 19, 1973, just before the present cease-fire agreement:

The issue at present is not connected with the liberation of the Arab territories occupied after June 5, 1967, but concerns the Israeli future in a deeper sense and in the long run—even if this is not obvious right now. The issue is as follows: If the Arabs would be capable of liberating the territories occupied after June 5, 1967, by armed force, then what is there to prevent them in the next stage from liberating Palestine itself by armed force?

This Egyptian line clearly threatens the state of Jordan as well as the state of Israel. King Hussein of Jordan knew what he was doing at the end of November 1973 when he refused to attend the Arab leaders' “summit meeting” in Algiers which issued a declaration that, among other things, called for “Re-establishment of the full national rights for the Palestinian people.” This formula could only mean the dismemberment of Jordan by means of a new Palestinian state in the West Bank, or the overthrow of the Hashemite regime and takeover of all Jordan by the Palestinians. This threat to the present state of Jordan logically flowed from the strategy of returning to the boundaries of 1947—if at all—in the case of Israel. By going so far back, the other Arab states undercut all claim of Jordan to the West Bank, which dated only from the military invasion of 1948. Hussein now has far more to fear from his Arab neighbors than from Israel, though he has been living dangerously by playing the game of his would-be executioners.

In effect, the Arabs had fully worked out their political and military strategy by the time they came to the Security Council in June 1973. It was, basically, a strategy of “stages.” The reason they could not live with Resolution 242 as a “package deal” was that it precluded a strategy of stages. When they could not get what they wanted out of 242, they went back to the Security Council in 1973 to get something stronger. In July, they almost got what they wanted.


The last diplomatic struggle in the UN before the outbreak of war took place over a draft resolution known as document S/10974, submitted by eight co-sponsors (Guinea, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Panama, Peru, Sudan, and Yugoslavia) on July 24. The vote two days later showed how much had changed in the UN since November 1967.

S/10974 changed Resolution 242 in at least three basic respects. It substituted “the territories” for “territories” in the second operative paragraph dealing with Israeli withdrawal. It substituted “the legitimate interests of the Palestinian people,” the new code term, for what had been “a just settlement of the refugee problem.” And it substituted a piecemeal approach for the “package deal,” which had been the essence of Resolution 242.

The vote on S/10974 was 13 to 1 (with China not voting). Since the one vote was cast by the United States, the draft resolution was vetoed. Only the Australian and British members expressed some discomfort in going along with the majority.

As has now been admitted, Egypt was already actively preparing for its attack when this vote was taken. If the diplomatic isolation of Israel was one of the preconditions of the attack, Egypt had succeeded in its purpose. Since all those who voted for S/10974 knew in advance that the United States was going to cast a veto, it also represented an advanced state of U.S. isolation in the UN.

This action was but a prelude to what happened in the UN after the war actually broke out.



Before we see how the UN—or, more exactly, the members of the Security Council—dealt with the October 1973 war, let us try to reconstruct, as best we can, how the war came about.

There is one firm bit of evidence from an unimpeachable source, Major General Sa'ad ad-Din al-Shazli, the Egyptian Chief of Staff. He has disclosed that the planning of the war took nine to ten months before the outbreak of hostilities.29 This would put the initiation of active Egyptian war preparations at the beginning of 1973.

A most circumstantial account has been given by the Middle East correspondent of Le Monde, Eric Rouleau. Long persona grata in Egypt, Rouleau has had unrivaled Arab sources, though, of course, we cannot be sure of every detail in the story that he has put together.

Rouleau draws particular attention to one occurrence, unnoticed at the time. In July 1972, about 20,000 Soviet advisers and technicians had been expelled from Egypt. But, Rouleau informs us, an important Soviet military mission came back to Egypt on February 1, 1973. The arrival of the new Soviet military mission would coincide with the date of Egypt's initial war preparations given by General al-Shazli.

The actual date for the outbreak of hostilities, according to Rouleau, was probably fixed in July or August 1973. In any case, Sadat is said to have referred to the “imminence” of war on several occasions in August 1973. No one, it seems, took him seriously. The first operational military measures, such as moving forward Egyptian infantry forces, were taken on September 3. Sadat and Syrian President Assad discussed these military preparations in Cairo on September 10. U.S. intelligence sources allegedly learned on September 26 that Egyptian forces had been put on the alert. When the Americans, it is said, tried to warn the Israelis, the latter refused to be alarmed and interpreted the troop movements as “routine maneuvers.” On October 3, Sadat and Assad informed the Soviet ambassadors in Cairo and Damascus that war was imminent. Soviet planes were immediately sent to evacuate the families of Soviet “advisers” in Egypt and Syria. U.S. diplomats allegedly interpreted the evacuation as evidence of another Soviet-Arab break. Until the morning of October 4, the exact timing of the Arab attack was a closely guarded secret, known only to four men, the presidents and war ministers of Egypt and Syria. At 2 PM on October 6, the attack was launched across the canal by 8,000 men and hundreds of tanks.30

An American version places the Egyptian decision “to resume war with Israel” in March 1973, and the final operational decision to invade the Sinai “sometime in early August,” the operation itself being set for “sometime in October.” The March decision, according to this account, came because Sadat was disappointed with the result of the mission to Washington the month before by his foreign-policy adviser, Hafez Ismail. After March 1973, Sadat was mainly bent on lining up the support of other Arab states and camouflaging his war preparations.31

A reliable Israeli source has reported that the Israeli Chief of Staff, Lieutenant General David Elazar, doubted until the early morning hours of October 6 that war was imminent. A single item of intelligence from one source, not yet revealed publicly, caused the Israeli General Staff to change its evaluation of the situation. Soon after 4 AM that day, General Elazar proposed a preemptive air strike and asked permission to mobilize reserves. The first request was rejected, the second granted. A top state of alert was ordered at 11 AM, too late to save the limited Israeli forces at the canal and in the Golan Heights from being taken by almost absolute surprise.32 As Prime Minister Golda Meir later put it: “What happened was a disaster. It is no secret, and no one intended, or intends, to keep it a secret. We misinterpreted the information we had.”33

Still another version, in the Sunday Times (London), says that the order to prepare to reopen hostilities was given by President Sadat in November 1972. The actual planning, however, began the following February, which would coincide with the arrival of the Soviet military mission. By September 10, Egypt, Syria, and Jordan were lined up together militarily and diplomatically. Egyptian tanks began assembling the last week of September; Syrian tanks and heavy artillery moved to forward positions on October 1. Though these movements were being closely watched, Israeli—and influenced by it, U.S.—intelligence was not convinced that war was imminent until 4 AM on October 6 when, according to this account, “Israeli and American monitors picked up the unmistakable radio traffic patterns of final Arab preparations for war.” When General Elazar proposed a preemptive air strike, Prime Minister Meir is supposed to have asked: “How many friends would we have left if we did that?” Two hours later, Mrs. Meir summoned the U.S. ambassador, Kenneth Keating, who, it is said, reinforced her decision against the preemptive strike by warning her, in effect, that “if Israel struck first, world opinion would make it hard for America to supply Israel with war material.”

This British version also purports to give the inside story of a bitter U.S.-British falling-out during the war. The Israelis, it is said, asked for U.S. arms as early as October 7, the second day of the fighting, and were turned down by Secretary Kissinger. His first diplomatic stance was to call for a cease-fire based on a return to the pre-October 6 positions; it never had a chance because the Egyptians were ahead and had no intention of withdrawing. Four or five days later, Kissinger presented another cease-fire proposal, but this time based on pinning down both warring sides to the positions held at the time; now the Israelis were unhappy because it meant giving up all hope of driving the Egyptians back across the canal. By October 12, Secretary Kissinger and Ambassador Dobrynin had concocted a plan to get Britain to sponsor a resolution in the Security Council for just such a cease-fire “in place.” Unfortunately, the British ambassador in Cairo, Sir Philip Adams, checked this plan with Sadat and found him totally uninterested in it owing to what still seemed the favorable prospects of the Egyptian army. When the British refused to act as front men for the U.S.-USSR scheme, which fell through on October 13, “Kissinger blew up”—if we may believe this account which apparently derives from British sources. Obviously we need to learn much more before we can know what to believe about this entire sequence of events.34


The UN, of all parties, should have had no doubt which side had started the war. Even if it knew nothing about Yom Kippur, the state of Israeli mobilization, or the Egyptian-

Syrian preparations, it had its own observers on the spot. The first report from the war fronts came through on October 6 at 12:14 GMT (two hours earlier than Cairo time): “General heavy activity along Israel-Syria and Suez Canal sectors. Further information will follow.” The second report at 12:21 was still inconclusive. But the third at 13:40 read: “General heavy air and ground activity continues along all sectors. Egyptian ground forces have crossed the Suez Canal in vicinity of OP's Copper, Yellow, Pink, Red, and Blue. Syrian forces have crossed the area between the limits of the forward defended localities indicating the ceasefire lines in the vicinity of Quneitra and near OP November. Detailed summaries of incidents now under preparation.” A more detailed report was made at 2 PM, confirming that Syrian and Egyptian forces had taken the initiative.35

It has been reported without denial that “sizable segments” of the U.S. intelligence community continued to believe for as much as eight hours after the outbreak of hostilities that Israel, not the Arabs, had launched the attack.36 If so, “sizable segments” of the U.S. intelligence community should have their heads examined or were too predisposed against Israel to think clearly.

From all this, it is abundantly clear that the key Arab war decisions antedated the meetings of the Security Council in June-July 1973. Even if the United States had not vetoed S/10974, it is hard to see what the Arabs would have gained immediately, inasmuch as its provisions were not self-enforceable. A 13-1 vote was not much worse than a 14-0 vote if the diplomatic isolation of Israel was the objective. The United States might even have cast a favorable vote without doing much more for Egypt. Some Egyptian comments have sought to give the impression that the vote on S/10974 was the last straw, after which war was inevitable. In fact, the diplomatic struggle over S/10974 was a propaganda operation which led to the war because it was so successful, not because it was such a failure.

As for the Soviet Union, the available evidence indicates that it must be judged by Lord Salisbury's rule that “those who have the absolute power of preventing lamentable events, and, knowing what is taking place, refuse to exercise that power, are responsible for what happens.” The Soviet Union certainly had the power to prevent this war, because it had to furnish the enormous quantity of arms that made it possible. The Soviet military missions with the Egyptian and Syrian forces certainly knew what was taking place, advised both Arab commands in their planning, and trained the Arab military in the use of Soviet equipment, much of it of the latest vintage.37 The Soviet Union is not in the habit of giving away thousands of tanks, and hundreds of planes, missiles, rockets, and artillery pieces without having a good idea of what is going to be done with them. Even if the Soviet ambassadors in Cairo and Damascus were not officially informed that war was imminent until October 3, Soviet military intelligence had other sources of information, and there is reason to believe that preparations for the airlift and re-supply operation had been set in motion considerably before October 3.

These are some aspects of the situation that should be kept in mind as we follow what happened in the UN after October 6.



The UN did not react to the October 1973 war the way it had reacted to the June 1967 war. When the earlier war broke out on June 5, none of the combatants asked for a cease-fire, but their reticence did not stop the Security Council from voting for a cease-fire twenty-four hours later. In 1973, the combatants again did not ask for a cease-fire, but this time the Security Council did not vote for a cease-fire until seventeen days later.

In those seventeen days, this is what happened in the Security Council:

October 8: This first meeting of the Security Council after the outbreak of war was requested by the United States, which, however, did not present any cease-fire resolution, no doubt because it would have been a futile gesture. The Egyptian representative, el-Zayyat, accused Israel of “aggression” on October 6 and pretended that the Israelis had attacked at points where the UN did not have observers. The Chinese member, Huang, was so sure of what had happened in the Middle East that he denounced Israel for having “flagrantly launched on 6 October fresh military attacks on a large scale in expanded aggression against Egypt, Syria, and the Palestinian guerrillas.” In a demonstration of how little ideology may have to do with reality, the Chinese spokesman accused the Soviet Union as well as the United States of “conniving at and supporting the Israeli policies of expansion and aggression.” It remained for the Soviet Union's Malik to reveal why the Security Council had done nothing and was not likely to do anything until the Soviet Union was ready and willing to let it do something. Reminiscent of Fedorenko's obstructionism before the June 1967 war, Malik coolly criticized the Security Council for having come together at all and insisted that no new decision or resolution was called for on the part of the Council.38

So the first session of the Council after the out-break of war was an almost total waste of time in an atmosphere of almost total unreality. Meanwhile, in Washington, a U.S. government spokesman reported that the Soviets were already providing a “massive” airlift of military supplies to Egypt and Syria.

October 9: The Yugoslav member, Minic, went farther than anyone had yet dared to go by threatening possible “sanctions” to punish Israel for its “aggression.” The Syrian representative, Ismail, repeated a false report that Israeli planes had bombed the Soviet embassy in Damascus and had killed thirty of its members. Malik then outdid himself. “This bloody act is similar to the acts of Hitler when entire cities and villages were removed from the face of the earth,” he shouted. And then this: “Like savage, barbaric tribes, in their mad destruction they [the Israelis] have annihilated, destroyed, and tried to remove from the surface of the earth cities, villages, the cultural heritage of mankind. They have ravaged entire civilizations.” He accused Israel of responsibility for “world inflation and the rise of prices throughout the world.” When the Israeli representative Tekoah tried to express his sympathy for all the human losses suffered in the war, including those at the Soviet cultural center in Damascus, which had been hit, Malik heatedly interrupted him with the words: “The Soviet delegation is unwilling to hear excuses and condolences from a representative of the murderers and international gangsters”—and stalked out of the chamber. At this, according to the Washington Post's correspondent at the UN, Anthony Astrachan, “diplomats crowding the Council chamber burst into applause. Other diplomats said later that there had been a feeling of lynch mob and pogrom in the chamber of peace.”40

Other than that, very little of importance happened at the second meeting of the Security Council.40

October 11: For the first time, an Arab representative, Baroody of Saudi Arabia, the UN's licensed jester, virtually gave up the pretense of an Israeli attack on October 6 and fell back on the plea that it was “immaterial” which side had started the present conflict. Malik, however, was less inhibited. He continued to inveigh against Israel as the “aggressor country,” whose representatives at the UN were trying to justify “the barbarous murders of peaceful populations.” He compared them to the Hitlerites: “This was how they ‘Coventrified’ Coventry; that was how they destroyed thousands of towns in the Soviet Union and tens of thousands of villages.” Tekoah replied to Malik: “You mentioned, in your usual manner, Goebbels and his methods. If my memory does not fail me, there was a time when Goebbels was Stalin's ally; and if my memory does not fail me, you were brought up in the so-called Stalinist school.” Malik spoke again, perhaps thinking that he had gone too far: “Do not speculate on these feelings of anti-Semitism. Do not accuse me of this. My best friends are Jews. I can mention their names here: Brodsky, Chernjak, and Shub.”

Apart from these pleasantries, very little worth preserving happened at the third meeting of the Security Council.41

October 12: This relatively short meeting was taken up with tired charges and counter-charges, as if all the speakers knew that nothing they said could change anything.42

October 13-20: No meetings of the Security Council.


Yet it was while the Council was not in session that the crucial turn in the war occurred. On October 13, the Israeli position was so precarious that President Nixon decided to start the resupply effort to Israel. On October 15, a small Israeli force turned the tide of battle by crossing the canal and establishing a foothold on the West Bank. According to Rouleau, it took the Egyptian high command in Cairo three or four days to realize how serious the situation had become. On October 16, President Sadat was so little cognizant of the true state of affairs at the front that he still spoke of liberating all of Sinai. On the same day, Soviet Prime Minister Kosygin arrived in Cairo. Evidently the U.S. resupply effort had shaken the Soviet leaders sufficiently to make them more amenable to renewed U.S. overtures for a cease-fire. Rouleau says that Sadat very probably was not fully conscious of the seriousness of the Israeli breakthrough until the 18th. Only on the 19th, in a meeting with Kosygin, was Sadat willing to accept a cease-fire in principle.43 When Kosygin returned to Moscow later that same day, the men in the Kremlin must have received the news from Egypt with something akin to consternation. For they proceeded to send messages of such grave import to Washington that Secretary of State Kissinger, who was preparing to leave for Peking shortly, abruptly changed his plans and rushed off to Moscow in the early morning hours of October 20. One can only assume that Dr. Kissinger would not have acted with such unseemly haste if the Soviet messages had not been extraordinarily alarming. What these messages were, we still do not know and have been given no hint.

This sequence of events was the reason there were no meetings of the Security Council between October 13 and 20. It was also the reason why the Council was called together at 10:15 on the night of October 21. Now that the Soviets and their Egyptian clients were hell-bent on getting a ceasefire without delay, the Council could meet again.

October 21-22: On the seventeenth day of the war, the fifth meeting of the Security Council opened on the night of October 21 with the presentation by the U.S. member, John Scali, of a joint U.S.-USSR resolution, the product of the previous two days of hard bargaining in Moscow by Secretary Kissinger and General Secretary Brezhnev. It was made up of three interrelated parts: 1) A cease-fire in place within twelve hours after adoption of the resolution; 2) implementation of Resolution 242 “in all its parts” immediately after the cease-fire; and 3) “negotiations [to] start between the parties concerned” aimed at establishing “a just and durable peace in the Middle East” immediately and “concurrently” with the cease-fire and “under appropriate auspices.” It was also explained by Mr. Scali that the cease-fire applied “not only to the parties directly concerned but also to those who have joined in the fighting by sending units” and that both sponsors had agreed that there should be an immediate exchange of prisoners of war.

In the discussion, Baroody of Saudi Arabia used the occasion to defend the Germans during and after the Weimar regime for having considered the Jews to be “their enemy” and for having believed that they had “been sold out by the Jews.” The Indian, Sen, revealed that members of the Security Council had been informed only at 7 PM that evening that a meeting was planned and that he had received definite word only at 8:30 PM that the meeting was to be held. The members were thus given only about three hours for consultation among themselves and no time at all to get guidance or instructions from their governments. As Sen put it, “The United States and the Soviet Union have come to an agreement the details of which are not fully known and perhaps cannot and should not be known to us now or in the foreseeable future” and “the two Powers, however great and however powerful, have come to an agreement and we have to underwrite it quickly.” The Chinese member, Huang, also protested against the methods of the two superpowers: “This practice of imposing one's view on the Security Council is most unreasonable and is one we cannot agree to.” Nevertheless, the vote at about 1 AM on October 22 went 14 to 0 in favor of the resolution (with China not voting).44

Resolution 338 of October 22, as it came to be known, was clearly a “trade-off.” Egypt got the cease-fire which it desperately needed. Israel got a reinstatement of Resolution 242 as a “package deal” in the words “in all its parts,” a promise of “negotiations,” and a U.S.-USSR commitment, not in the resolution, for an immediate prisoner exchange. And so Resolution 242, with all its ambiguities and contradictory interpretations intact, was reincarnated in Resolution 338 but with something added that Israel had never obtained before—“negotiations” between “the parties concerned,” whatever that might come to mean.


For all but two members of the Security Council, the night of October 21-22 was probably the most humiliating experience in UN history. After seventeen days of doing nothing in the face of an Israeli “disaster,” the Security Council suddenly shook itself out of inertia in order, as a Chinese member rightly put it,45 “to rubber-stamp” a U.S.-USSR deal with hardly enough time to know what it was doing when the Egyptians were facing disaster. The double standard had never operated more ruthlessly.

October 23: This sixth meeting of the Security Council was requested by Egypt because the proclamatory cease-fire provision of Resolution 338 had not been implemented and Israeli forces had succeeded in cutting off the Egyptian Third Army on the east bank of the canal. Each side accused the other of having violated the cease-fire agreement. According to Rouleau, the Israeli advance across the canal had resulted in the first signs of “panic” in both Cairo and Moscow. It would seem that the two top Egyptian commanders, including General al-Shazli, offered to resign, and Sadat himself thought of giving up the Presidency. If we may trust Rouleau, the Russians reacted with an “unaccustomed firmness” that surprised the Egyptian leaders. The Russians undertook to re-supply the Egyptian Third Army by air if necessary, and allegedly told Sadat: “We will not permit a new defeat; we will be at your sides until the end and whatever the consequences may be.”46

The Russians, who had now put their own power and prestige on the line, moved on three fronts—in Cairo to bolster Egyptian morale, in Washington to put additional pressure on the Israelis, and in the UN to give their next move a semblance of international legitimacy. In Washington, Secretary Kissinger and Ambassador Dobrynin worked out a new UN resolution urging the embattled forces in the Middle East to return to the original line of October 22 and requesting the UN Secretary-General to send observers to supervise the cease-fire. Unfortunately, no one knew where the original line had been. The resolution of October 22 had been drawn up so hastily that no provision had been made to implement it. To make matters worse, the Russians in the UN decided to take things into their own hands. They presented Ambassador Scali with a draft resolution which had changed a few key words from the version agreed on by Kissinger and Dobrynin in Washington. “Urges” was changed to “demands” in the provision pertaining to the return of the forces to the mysterious line of October 22, and the line itself was defined as that which had prevailed at the time of the vote by the Security Council, without the leeway of twelve hours clearly set forth in Resolution 338. This contretemps delayed the Council meeting on October 23 until agreement was reached to go back to the original Kissinger-Dobrynin version.47

For thirteen of the fifteen members, the meeting itself was in some ways even more humiliating than the previous one had been. Most of them had been ready to swallow their pride and go along with the first U.S.-USSR gang-up, but the second one, so soon after, was almost too much. Malik chose to behave in his most insufferable bully-boy fashion. His main victim was none other than Chiao Kuan-hua, the deputy foreign minister of the People's Republic of China. Malik took it upon himself to demand a vote on the new resolution without any prior discussion. When the Chinese representative protested, Malik repeatedly interrupted and tried to cut him off. The meeting degenerated into such a brawl that the presiding officer had to suspend it for ten minutes, the first such occurrence in the history of the Security Council. The Chinese member was finally able to complete his statement, which took about half an hour. The vote was 14 to 0 (with China not voting). Malik still could not leave the matter alone. When he spoke after the vote, he temporarily forgot that Israel was supposed to be the enemy and showed off his considerable repertoire of insult at the expense of the Chinese.

Several members could no longer repress their indignation. The Sudanese member, Khalid, started off by saying: “When we accepted the ceasefire resolution [of October 22] we did so in trust, and therefore refrained from discussing its implications. We marked the hasty manner in which it was conceived, we marked the hasty manner in which it was presented to us, we marked our rejection, as loyal members of this Organization and as a nonaligned country, of any concept of condominium that reduces this Council to a rubber stamp.” The Indonesian member, Anwar Sani, observed: “Two days ago we were asked to vote on a draft resolution practically without being given time to study it properly.” He expressed regret that his delegation had not asked how the previous cease-fire resolution was going to be implemented. The Peruvian member, Perez de Cuellar, spoke of Resolution 338's “obvious lack of clarity” and suggested that the continuation of military action could be attributed “precisely to the lack of clarity in resolution 338 (1973) and also to the excessive speed with which it was adopted.” Sadly, he confessed: “Once again we have adopted, almost without considering it, a draft resolution submitted by the United States and the Soviet Union.” Then Huang of China revealed that his delegation had been asked to vote on the latest resolution without even having seen it.48

In truth, the first cease-fire Resolution 338 of October 22 was a diplomatic monstrosity. It violated every conceivable requirement for a successful cease-fire. As the British member of the Security Council, Sir Donald Maitland, soon observed, “It is unfortunately clear that a cease-fire in such a complex military situation could not have been self-policing. If the cease-fire is to be maintained, there must be proper arrangements on the ground to supervise it, of the sort which have been tested and have on the whole proved effective over the years.”49 Resolution 338 made no such arrangement. Instead, it was rushed through as if the United States and the Soviet Union could wave a magic wand and, by their joint fiat, bring to a sudden halt a war that had been raging in a Middle Eastern desert for seventeen boiling, bleeding days. Of the ten Arab states that had participated in the war against Israel, only one, Egypt, had accepted the cease-fire. The response of Syria had so little to do with what was actually in Resolution 338 that it approached the ludicrous.50 Syria had never accepted Resolution 242; it did not, in fact, accept Resolution 338; it did not agree to attend the Geneva conference. Yet no Security Council resolution was ever passed or offered condemning or even gently reproaching Syria. Instead, an intense and incessant propaganda campaign was launched against Israel for having committed the crime of lèse majesté by not stopping in its tracks as soon as the Soviet Union decided to save the Egyptian army from disaster.

The road to Geneva was paved with Resolutions 242 and 338. They were the best the diplomatic mind could devise.



What is there to be learned from this history, if it is not to be repeated? One of the chief factors that makes this conflict so difficult to resolve is its asymmetry. The areas and populations of the combatants are so disproportionate that the perspective of each side must be fundamentally different. Israel cannot possibly swallow up Egypt, let alone the rest of the Arab world. The Arabs can very easily conceive of swallowing up Israel. Loss of territory means totally different things to Egypt and Israel—to the former, loss of territory; to the latter, the very basis of existence. If Israel had suffered the 1967 defeat, it would not be here today or it would have survived in such a puny, mangled state that the Arabs could have finished it off at will. But Egypt could survive an unprecedented debacle and immediately prepare for another, greater battle. Even though the Arabs have feared and fought against Israeli “expansionism,” they well know that, even for Israeli extremists, it has logistical and historical limits. No such consolation can reassure the Israelis.

The Arabs cannot deny that this asymmetry exists; it is what gives them confidence in ultimate victory. As a consequence, any peace settlement which does not take this factor into consideration cannot be fair or “just” to both sides.

Yet the Arabs also face a problem with some Israelis' version of the strategy of stages. The more extremist or religious Zionists have regarded each war, even if forced on them, as a stage in the reclamation of the biblical land of Israel and the relocation of the Jews in the “right” places. In a postwar self-examination of Israeli “illusions” bred by the 1967 victory, Foreign Minister Abba Eban recently cited “the illusion that Israel's historic legacy was exclusively a matter of geography and not also, and principally, a heritage of prophetic values of which the central value was peace” and “the fallacy that to see anything temporary in some of Israel's positions west of the Jordan was tantamount to alienation from the biblical culture.”51 As long as the Arabs refused to settle for any boundaries, Israelis were almost irresistibly tempted to set those boundaries by themselves on the basis of historic legacy and military security. Though the Israelis did not threaten the Arab world the way the Arabs threatened Israel, that is not to say that the Arabs have not felt threatened, if to a much lesser degree, and much of it self-inflicted.

No diplomacy can do much about a holy war. A strategy of stages based on immemorial claims is a prescription for protracted conflict. The only way out of the dilemma is to start with the present and the living and not with the past and the dead. It is too late for Arabs to say that so many Jews do not belong in Palestine; they are there, and they cannot be removed or dispossessed without another Holocaust. It is too late for Israelis to say that the West Bank does not belong to the Arabs; they are there, and they cannot be removed or disregarded without incalculable suffering. The trouble with history is that it is non-negotiable, and diplomacy is negotiation or it is nothing.

Without seeking to negotiate the Arab-Israeli differences here, it may be useful to clarify the terms of such a negotiation. Secretary Kissinger has given his understanding of what the Geneva conference is all about: “The question then is where are the borders and what are the security arrangements, and this is what is going to be negotiated in the next phase in accordance with Security Council Resolution 242.”52 On the Israeli side, Defense Minister Dayan has asserted: “The central issue is the borders of the state of Israel.”53 However difficult its implementation may be, the concept of “borders” is at least sufficiently clear and concrete to provide a basis for meaningful negotiations.

Those who have accepted Resolutions 242 and 338 on the road to Geneva have implicitly agreed to negotiate in good faith on “secure and recognized boundaries,” as stated in Resolution 242, and “a just and durable peace,” as in Resolution 338. There can be no negotiation if the Egyptians simply demand that the Israelis withdraw to the pre-June 5, 1967 borders, or if the Israelis take the position that they have already negotiated their borders with God. There must have been something wrong with the 1967 borders if they were such as to provoke a war on June 5. And, even if the borders should be God-given ones, the Jewish God has never been strong on security for His chosen people.

Something can also be gained from a closer examination of the term “secure and recognized boundaries.” The two adjectives have become inseparable, but they need to be clearly differentiated. Boundaries can be recognized without being secure, and they can be secure without being recognized. Moreover, it is much easier to know what recognized boundaries are than what secure boundaries are. In the present circumstances, Israeli security depends on so much more than boundaries that the very notion of secure boundaries is far more complex than it may seem to be. Israeli security cannot be separated from, but neither can it be reduced to, Israeli territory.

Unfortunately, the very term, “secure boundaries,” lends itself to some misconception. Security in this world is relative, but the term tends to make it appear to be absolute, as if boundaries by themselves can be secure or not secure instead of more or less secure. Surely the 1949 boundaries were more secure from the Israeli point of view than the 1947 boundaries in the sense that they were easier to defend. The post-1967 boundaries seemed to be easier to defend than the previous ones and yet they proved to be harder to defend because they lulled the Israelis into a false sense of security. The idea that Israel could have had security after the 1967 war by unilaterally withdrawing to the former boundaries is hardly credible; those were the very boundaries that had brought on the war in the first place. These examples of the security problem should be enough to show how tricky and deceptive the concept of security can be.

Until now, however, Israel has had neither recognized nor secure boundaries. It may be useful, as a starting point, to agree on the principle of recognized boundaries before tackling the more difficult question of secure boundaries. If, as heretofore, the Arabs refuse to recognize any boundaries for Israel, there is little point in trying to get them to recognize more secure boundaries.

The Israeli craving for security is historically understandable, but it will never be satisfied simplistically or to the exclusion of other factors. The Arabs, on the other hand, were not satisfied with any previous boundaries, and it is up to them to negotiate in good faith on boundaries before any progress can even be hoped for. If there is going to be negotiation in good faith at Geneva, the old issues in the UN are bound to arise again. Is negotiation in accordance with Security Council Resolution 242 going to take the form of a “package deal” or will it degenerate into a demand for a unilateral and arbitrary “priority” that favors only one side? Is Israeli withdrawal to be separated from agreeing on more secure, recognized boundaries? Is a strategy of stages going to be pursued, making impossible any prospect of a “durable peace”? These are some of the questions that were never satisfactorily answered in the Security Council and, therefore, must still seek for answers in Geneva. Diplomacy may be able to help but, like psychoanalysis, diplomacy helps those who want to be helped.


1 “From 1967 to 1973: The Arab-Israeli Wars,” COMMENTARY, December 1973.

2 United Nations, Security Council Doc. S/1342 (May 24, 1967), p. 4.

3 Ibid., S/1343 (May 29, 1967), p. 20.

4 El-Kony stated that “there is not a shadow of doubt as to the continued existence of the state of war between the Israelis and both the Arabs of Palestine and their brethren in the Arab countries” and that “a state of overt war has been existing.” It was this state of war, he insisted, that gave the Egyptian government “the legitimate right” to restrict navigation in the Straits of Tiran “with respect to shipping to an enemy” (S/1343 [May 29, 1967], p. 8).

5 Arthur Lall, The UN and the Middle East Crisis, 1967 (Columbia University Press, 1968), p. 51.

6 Lall, p. 65.

7 S/1351 (June 8, 1967), p. 4.

8 Lall, p. 106.

9 On September 2, 1964, Pravda defended the Soviet acquisition of territory in these terms: “A people which has been attacked, has defended itself, and wins the war is bound in sacred duty to establish in perpetuity a political situation which will ensure the liquidation of the sources of aggression. It is entitled to maintain this state of affairs as long as the danger of aggression does not cease. A nation which has attained security at the cost of numerous victims will never agree to the restoration of previous borders. No territories are to be returned as long as the danger of aggression prevails.”

10 Al-Pachachi, United Arab Emirates, S/PV. 1724 (June 13, 1973), p. 51.

11 S/PV. 1726 (June 14, 1973), pp. 117-18.

12 Lord Caradon, interview of February 10, 1978, and Arthur J. Goldberg, speech in Washington, May 8, 1973, cited in S/PV. 1721 (June 11, 1973), pp. 43-5, 56.

13 Eugene V. Rostow, Peace in the Balance (Simon & Schuster, 1972), p. 270.

14 Lall, pp. 253-54.

15 S/1382 (November 22, 1967), p. 7.

16 Parliamentary Debates (Hansard), House of Commons, November 17, 1969, p. 846. See also George Brown, In My Way, Gollancz (London, 1971), p. 233.

17 S/PV. 1721 (June 11, 1973), p. 33.

18 Department of State Bulletin, June 11, 1973, pp. 846-47.

19 S/1382 (November 22, 1967), pp. 6-7 (Parthasarathi); 7 (Caradon); 10 (Eban); 12-13 (Kuznetsov); 14 (Tarabanov); 15 (Riad, Rifa'i); 18 (Goldberg); 19 (Eban).

20 S/PV. 1723 (June 12, 1973), p. 11, and S/PV. 1733 (July 20, 1973), p. 58.

21 S/PV. 1733, p. 32.

22 On Resolution 242, see also Eugene V. Rostow's article in this issue, especially pp. 52-53.—Ed.

23 The final report on the Jarring mission, with documents, is S/10929, dated May 18, 1973.

24 Al-Ahram, February 2, 1968.

25 S/PV. 1717 (June 6, 1973), p. 41.

26 S/PV. 1721 (June 11, 1973), pp. 9 10.

27 Ibid., p. 72.

28 S/PV. 1724 (June 13, 1973), pp. 98 100.

28a On the “two-stage” strategy, see also Gil Carl AlRoy's article on p. 56 of this issue.—Ed.

29 Al-Ahram, December 6, 1973.

30 Le Monde, November 24, 25-26, 1973.

31 Edward R. F. Sheehan, New York Times Magazine, November 18, 1973.

32 Ze'ev Schul, Jerusalem Post Weekly, December 4, 1973, p. 12.

33 Interview on Israeli radio, Jerusalem Post Weekly, December 11, 1973, p. 11. Accordng to the former Israeli Chief of Staff, Haim Bar-Lev, now Minister of Commerce and Industry, Israeli intelligence had no shortage of reliable information on Egyptian and Syrian preparations, but “the evaluation did not stand the test” (ibid., November 6, 1973, P. 8).

34 “Insight on the Middle East War,” Sunday Times Weekly Review (London), December 9 and 16, 1973.

35 S/7930/Add. 2141 and S/7930/Add. 2142 (October 6, 1973).

36 John W. Finney, New York Times, October 31, 1973.

37 The enormity of the Soviet Union's investment in this war may be gathered from Israeli estimates, which are probably as close as we can get to it. According to Defense Minister Moshe Dayan, Syria used 450 tanks in 1967 and 2,700 in 1973, the Egyptians 1,000 tanks in 1967 and 2,600 in 1973 as well as 230 planes in 1967 and 680 in 1973 (Jerusalem Post Weekly, November 27, 1973, p. 5). The Syrians used about the same number of tanks against the Golan Heights as General Sir Bernard Montgomery had at the Battle of El Alamein in World War II.

38 S/PV. 1743 (October 8, 1973), pp. 3-43.

39 Anthony Astrachan, “The October War at the UN,” Midstream, December 1973, p. 53.

40 S/PV. 1744 (October 9, 1973), pp. 8 (Minic), 41 (Ismail), 43-45, 47 (Malik), 51 (Tekoah, Malik).

41 S/PV. 1745 (October 11, 1973), pp. 31 (Baroody), 77, 81 (Malik), 97 (Tekoah), 103-5 (Malik).

42 S/PV. 1746 (October 12, 1973).

43 Le Monde, November 25-26, 1973.

44 S/PV. 1747 (October 21, 1973), pp. 6 (Scali), 12-15 (Baroody), 53-55 (Sen), 67 (Huang).

45 S/PV. 1748 (October 23, 1973), p. 27-30 (Chiao).

46 Le Monde, November 25-26, 1973.

47 Astrachan, op. cit., p. 57.

48 S/PV. 1748 (October 23, 1973), pp. 16-36 (Malik, Chiao), 42 (Khalid), 61 (Anwar Sani), 62-63 (Perez de Cuellar), 66 (Huang).

49 S/PV. 1748 (October 23, 1973), p. 46.

50 Ibid., p. 122.

51 Jersualem Post Weekly, December 4, 1973, p. 10.

52 Interview in Peking, New York Times, November 13, 1973, p. 16.

53 Speech in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem Post Weekly, November 27, 1973, p. 5.

About the Author

Welcome to Commentary Magazine.
We hope you enjoy your visit.
As a visitor to our site, you are allowed 8 free articles this month.
This is your first of 8 free articles.

If you are already a digital subscriber, log in here »

Print subscriber? For free access to the website and iPad, register here »

To subscribe, click here to see our subscription offers »

Please note this is an advertisement skip this ad
Clearly, you have a passion for ideas.
Subscribe today for unlimited digital access to the publication that shapes the minds of the people who shape our world.
Get for just
Welcome to Commentary Magazine.
We hope you enjoy your visit.
As a visitor, you are allowed 8 free articles.
This is your first article.
You have read of 8 free articles this month.
for full access to
Digital subscriber?
Print subscriber? Get free access »
Call to subscribe: 1-800-829-6270
You can also subscribe
on your computer at
Don't have a log in?
Enter you email address and password below. A confirmation email will be sent to the email address that you provide.