HC Deb 26 November 1975 vol 901 cc834-6
9. Mr. David Steel

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the policy that Her Majesty's Government are pursuing within the United Nations Organisation on the existence of Zionism.

Mr. Ennals

We have resolutely opposed the campaign against Zionism at the United Nations and will continue to do so.

Mr. Steel

I welcome that stance of the British Government. Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that we particularly welcome the speech by Mr. Ivor Richard in his condemnation of the rôle which the United States Ambassador has played in the United Nations in stirring up antagonism towards Israel?

Mr. Ennals

I am glad that the hon. Gentleman supports the very firm position that we have taken on this resolution, to which I referred in answer to an earlier Question. Mr. Ivor Richard made a very outspoken speech in the General Assembly condemning that resolution. I have read Mr. Richard's speech to the American Association for the United Nations and it made no mention of Mr. Moynihan. All this story is sheer Press speculation.

Mr. Greville Janner

Is my right hon. Friend aware that the Government's outspoken and staunch opposition to this disgraceful resolution in the United Nations is very much appreciated by all, in this House and outside, who value the continued and lively existence of the State of Israel?

Mr. Ennals

I hank my hon. and learned Friend.

Mr. Walters

Although in many ways the resolution and the discussion at the United Nations were ill conceived, does not the right hon. Gentleman agree that they should not distract attention from the realities of the situation? One very important point is that the Israelis are continuing to build new settlements on the West Bank and on other occupied territories, which will make it more difficult for them eventually to withdraw. As there will not be a settlement without withdrawal, should there not be more concentration on this aspect?

Mr. Ennals

Without necessarily disagreeing with much of what the hon. Gentleman said, I should point out that our principal condemnation of this resolution is that it sought to put into one framework two subjects which in our view were totally different. There is plenty of opportunity for serious debate in the United Nations about the problems of the Middle East and plenty of opportunity for campaigning against racialism. Our regret was that what was virtually a unanimous agreement of the United Nations to have a campaign against racialism divided the United Nations down the middle because the two issues were unnecessarily pushed together.

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