These are the remarks the Serbian politician Vuk Jeremic, the current president of the General Assembly of the United Nations will deliver today, when the historic vote to transform “Palestine” into a state is taken. As of 11:00 a.m. ET, the only countries committed to voting against the Resolution to upgrade the status of “Palestine” to that of a non-member observer STATE are Israel, Canada and the United States.
The session will begin at 3:00 p.m. ET, with Palestinian Authority head Mahmoud Abbas laying out his case. Afterwards, the vote will be taken by the 193-member body.
Abbas chose to present the Resolution today, because it is the 65th anniversary of the vote by the United Nations to partition the land, to re-create the Jewish homeland and to give the remaining area to Arabs for yet another Arab State. At that time the Jewish people accepted that decree, despite the land granted them being far less than had been promised, and not including most of their historic sites, while the Arabs rejected the offer and waged war. They have been waging war ever since, and for this they are today being rewarded.
Today, November 29, 2012, most of the world once again stands against Israel, and stands with the Arab Palestinians, some because they (erroneously) believe this measure will bring the Middle East closer to peace, others because of raw Jew hatred.
Remarks to the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People on the Occasion of the Observance of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People
New York, 29 November 2012
Mr. Chairman, President Abbas, Mr. Secretary-General, Mr. President of the Security Council, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is a great privilege to participate in the observance of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People on this historic date.
This is an emotional occasion for me personally, because of my ancestors’ legacy. Yugoslavia is with us no more, but we are with you and proudly so. Mr. President, it is truly an honor to have you here with us.
I would like to thank this Committee for its dedicated work, and for convening this meeting, as it has done every year since 1978.
The quest to fulfill the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people is the item that has remained on the agenda of the General Assembly longer than any other one.
Close to 70 years after the adoption of resolution 181 by the plenary in 1947, a two State solution had not yet come to pass. Millions of Palestinians continue to live in poverty in the myriad camps scattered throughout the Middle East.
My deeply held view is that this is one of the world’s most fundamental wrongs.
It stands in the face to the central tenet of the UN Charter: to create a workable international system that not only helps to prevent conflicts, but asserts the preeminence of justice pledging not only equal rights to all nations, but ensuring their equal dignity as well.
At the start of my term in office, I called on the Member States to work together so that this session of the General Assembly may go down in history as an Assembly of Peace an Assembly of Progress and Hope for all mankind.
On this occasion, when the United Nations solemnly observes the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, I renew this call.
I know how deep the feelings of injustice may rightfully be but focusing exclusively on this will not close the book on an era of enmity in the Middle East.
At this delicate moment, we truly need to avoid bitter, self-perpetuating divisions, and their accompanying calls for more and more vengeance.
The horrors of the past inevitably shape who we are, but unless we are ready to tame and eventually overcome them, the future is not likely to be any different.
I am convinced that the courage to reach out to one other can be found, so the wounds can heal and the region can finally come to prosper in peace and security.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Over the past few weeks, we have witnessed a new wave of violence in Gaza. I commend the fruitful efforts to help broker a truce by the His Excellency Mr. Mohammad Morsy, President of the Arab Republic of Egypt; His Excellency Mr. Ban Ki-moon, the Secretary-General of the United Nations; the Honorable Mrs. Hillary Clinton, Secretary of State of the United States; and others.
The recent upsurge in violence reminds us of the urgency of the task that now must follow: to resume peaceful negotiations leading to a comprehensive settlement to the question of Palestinian statehood.
The suffering in the Holy Land must come to an end.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am grateful to this Committee for their continuing role in focusing the attention of the General Assembly and the rest of the United Nations system on the plight of the Palestinian people.
Its consistent promotion of their inalienable rights and its support for the Middle East peace process remains critical and so are its efforts to mobilize international assistance to those who need it most.
In a few hours’ time, the General Assembly will consider a resolution to renew the mandates of this Committee and the respective Secretariat Units.
It will also take up for the first time a resolution to accord to Palestine the status of a Non-member Observer State in the United Nations.
Whatever the result, it will be crucial for the Palestinians and Israelis to transform its effects into an opportunity to return to the negotiating table actively supported by all who can help bring them closer together.
The goal must be to repair the breech, and to achieve at long last what was envisioned in 1947: a just and comprehensive settlement a two-State solution.
I come to the end of my remarks by recalling the eloquence of a great classical poet, and his timeless entreaty to “bring to pass that the savage works of war may be stilled to rest throughout all seas and lands” so that one day soon, the State of Israel can live in security with all its neighbors, and the State of Palestine can take its rightful place in the world family of nations.
Thank you for your attention.
And these are the remarks delivered this mornby Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, this morning (Thursday, 29 November 2012), at the Menachem Begin Heritage Center in Jerusalem, made the following statement:
“Israel is prepared to live in peace with a Palestinian state, but for peace to endure, Israel’s security must be protected. The Palestinians must recognize the Jewish State and they must be prepared to end the conflict with Israel once and for all. None of these vital interests, these vital interests of peace, none of them appear in the resolution that will be put forward before the General Assembly today and that is why Israel cannot accept it. The only way to achieve peace is through agreements that are reached by the parties directly; through valid negotiations between themselves, and not through UN resolutions that completely ignore Israel’s vital security and national interests. And because this resolution is so one-sided, it doesn’t advance peace, it pushes it backwards.
As for the rights of the Jewish people in this land, I have a simple message for those people gathered in the General Assembly today: No decision by the UN can break the 4000-year-old bond between the people of Israel and the land of Israel.”
About the Author: Lori Lowenthal Marcus is the US correspondent for The Jewish Press. She is a recovered lawyer who previously practiced First Amendment law and taught in Philadelphia-area graduate and law schools. You can reach her by email: Lori@JewishPressOnline.com
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