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.”
Lori Lowenthal Marcus
About the Author: Lori Lowenthal Marcus is the U.S. correspondent for The Jewish Press. A graduate of Harvard Law School, she 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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