The Text of a Message sent by President Nyerere to all Permanent Members of the United Nations Security Council on the Question of Lebanon

I am writing to you on the subject of Lebanon. Without any question the Israeli invasion is a flagrant violation of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Lebanon. It constitutes an arrogant disregard of international law and of the basic principles of mankind’s common humanity; and it cannot possibly be justified on the grounds of a threat to Israel’s existence or security by Lebanon, or from Lebanon by the Palestine Liberation Organisation. No such threat did exist or could exist. The deaths of Israelis from guerilla activity or from terrorism in Israel, or elsewhere, can no more justify the massacre in Lebanon than the assassination of one Nazi official by one Jewish youth could justify the extermination at Lidice.

The State of Israel exists and has all the rights of a State. But it has no rights over other peoples or other nations, and it has no right to ignore the United Nations which created it. For the people of Palestine also exist; and they too have rights to a State within internationally recognised borders. The search for a solution to the problem of Palestinians and Israelis living together, each in their own homeland and on the basis of mutual respect, is an urgent one. The suffering, misery, and destruction caused by the Israeli invasion of Lebanon, and its air and sea attacks on the territory of that country, have had a devastating effect upon that search and therefore upon the future security of all the peoples of the Middle East including the Israelis themselves. It is certain that neither the cause of the Palestinian people, nor the authenticity of the P.L.O. as their representative, can be eliminated by death and destruction launched from Israel.

The number of children, as well as women and men, killed and wounded as a result of this invasion of Lebanon is at present – perhaps for ever – uncountable, for rescue teams and medical services have been overwhelmed. In addition, thousands upon thousands of people have been forced to flee from their homes and are wandering as refugees without food or shelter. Yet this tragedy has led to another: the world has been looking on as if it were helpless. Indeed one would almost think that we are all indifferent to the suffering, and ignorant of the danger of an even greater conflagration following upon this Israeli attack upon a United Nations member-country. And there is yet a third tragedy. It is that those who suffered from the holocaust, and whose state was established out of the world’s sympathy for the victims of that attempt at genocide should now themselves be engaged in what appears to be little less than an attempt to exterminate another people.

I am appealing to you to use the great influence, prestige and power of your country to do everything possible to bring Israel’s invasion of Lebanon to an end. In particular, and with the utmost urgency, I appeal to you to take such actions as will deter Israel from carrying out its threatened attack against West Beirut, and as will cause a speedy withdrawal of all Israeli forces from the territory of Lebanon.

I am sending a similar appeal to the Leaders of all other Permanent Members of the United Nations Security Council. My hope is that, either individually or collectively, you will act in accordance with the responsibility which this position gives to your nation for the maintenance or the re-establishment of peace and security in the world.

2nd July, 1982 Julius K. Nyerere

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