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September 2, 2014 / 7 Elul, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘UN General Assembly’

UAE Condemning Iranian Occupation of its Territories

Sunday, September 29th, 2013

While the United Arab Emirates has welcomed the refreshing stance of Iran’s president Hassan Rouhani, it has called upon the international community to urge Iran to respond to repeated calls for a just settlement of the islands dispute between the two countries, either through direct, serious negotiations or by referral to the International Court of Justice.

In 1971, after the British finally left the Middle East, Iranian forces occupied the islands of Abu Musa, Greater Tunb, and Lesser Tunb, located at the mouth of the Persian Gulf between Iran and the UAE. Iran continues to occupy the islands, which the UAE has been contesting to no avail.

Shaikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Foreign Minister, speaking before the meeting of the 68th Session of the UN General Assembly, denounced the Iranian occupation.

“…My Government expresses, once again, its regret regarding the continued Iranian occupation of our three islands: Abu Mousa, and Greater and Lesser Tunbs, and demands the restoration of the UAE’s full sovereignty over these islands,” Al Nahyan said.

“We emphasize that all actions and measures taken by the Iranian occupation authorities are null and void, and are contrary to international law and to all norms and common human values,” he continued. “Therefore, we call upon the international community to urge Iran to respond to the repeated peaceful, sincere calls of the United Arab Emirates for a just settlement of this issue, either through direct, serious negotiations or by referral to the International Court of Justice to settle this dispute in accordance with the principles of the UN Charter and the provisions of international law.”

Noting the change in tone in iran’s political leadership, the foreign minister declared: “Proceeding from the firm principals of our regional and international relations, we welcome the declared approach of Hassan Rouhani, President of Iran, and we affirm that our country will sincerely build on such approach in the interest of promoting security, stability and prosperity in the region.”

Now, why can’t the Palestinians be this polite?

International Law and the ‘Right of Return’

Tuesday, May 7th, 2013

Pro-Palestinian political leaders, media outlets, and activists the world over continuously assert that the Palestinians should be granted a right of return according to international law. However, NONE of these claims hold water if one actually examines international law. For example, the Palestinians rely heavily upon the 1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which states that “no one should be arbitrarily deprived of the right to enter his country.” Yet, can one consider Palestinians born in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and other Arab countries to be Israeli citizens and thus deprived of the right to enter their country?

Most of the Palestinians living across the Arab world were never born in Israel and have never lived in Israel. Secondly, even the minority who did live in Israel did so under the British Mandate, not under Israeli rule. They fled before they had a chance to receive citizenship rights and their Israeli blue ID cards, because their leadership was opposed to them coexisting with the Jewish people. Such peoples are about as Israeli as Turks who lived in Ottoman-controlled Greece yet left are Greek. So why should the Palestinians be any different? Based on international precedents, Palestinians are entitled to equal rights within their present countries, yet not Israeli citizenship.

Another document that pro-Palestine activists rely on when stating that there should be a Palestinian right of return is UN resolution 194, which states, “The General Assembly… resolves that refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbors should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return and for loss of or damage to property which, under principles of international law or in equity, should be made good by the Governments or authorities responsible.”

UN General Assembly resolutions, however are never legally binding. Instead, they can be viewed as mere suggestions, which Israel can either listen to or ignore. But even if this resolution was legally binding, it states “refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbors.” This means that any Palestinian who doesn’t want to live at peace with their neighbors shouldn’t be given a right of return, thus implying that the decades of terrorism orchestrated by the Palestinian leadership and supported by the majority of the Palestinian population means that the Palestinians lost their “right of return.”

Furthermore, the resolution states at the “earliest practicable date.” This means that so long as this proposal cannot be practically implemented, it doesn’t need to happen yet. Because there have been decades of animosity and hatred between Israelis and Palestinians and since the cultural gap between Israelis and Palestinians is gigantic, the idea of a Palestinian right of return seems impractical and it will continue to be so in the foreseeable future.

Given what has happened in Bosnia since the signing of the Dayton Agreements, where ethnic animosity and violence has prevented most refugees from returning to their homes despite the existence of such a right, it seems that a right of return isn’t a good solution for ethnic conflicts. Most Holocaust survivors didn’t want a right of return to Europe, preferring to be resettled in a new country that was free of the traumas that they experienced. Jewish refugees from Arab countries also generally have no desire to return to Arab states, for similar reasons. Given this, is it really in the Palestinians best interest to come to a foreign country whom they have been engaged with in a violent conflict for decades? While the Palestinian refugee crisis needs to be solved, it should be solved in the Arab world, not in Israel.

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Israeli UN Envoy Admonishes UN Security Council

Sunday, January 27th, 2013

Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations Ron Prosor told the UN Security Council last week that the “Council needs a GPS system to find its moral center in this debate on the Middle East.”

Prosor addressed the issue of settlements in his speech, saying that “there are many threats to the security in our region. But the presence of Jewish homes in Jerusalem – the eternal capital of the Jewish people, has never been one of them.”

He further clarified that the existence of a Palestinian state did not depend on E-1 construction connecting Ma’ale Adumim and Jerusalem, which are 7 kilometers apart. “Those who make this claim are the same people who stand up and speak about a contiguous state between Gaza and the West Bank, areas divided by more than 70 kilometers… which would cut Israel in two.”

Addressing the current Middle East situation and Israel’s latest elections, Prosor admonished the Security Council for its continued silence in the face of terror and oppression that reigns across the Middle East. “Most of the millions in our region who live under oppression, fear, and violence are completely ignored in this debate,” the ambassador stated during UN Security Council’s monthly open debate on the Middle East in New York last Wednesday.

Prosor stated that, instead, a “litany of half-truths, myths, and outright lies about Israel” are the focal points of Security Council sessions, adding that the monthly debate which the Security Council holds on the Middle East falls short of its original mission to advance global peace and security.

The ambassador emphasized that there were other challenges facing the Middle East, highlighting both the regime of Syrian President Bashaar Assad and the Aytollah regime in Iran. “More than 60,000 were killed in Syria in just the past two years,” Prosor stated. Among those killed, he said, were hundreds of Palestinians living in refugee camps bombed by Assad’s fighter jets. Prosor also noted that Assad’s chemical weapons could be taken over by Al Qaeda or Hezbollah. He mentioned the oppressive Hezbollah regime in Lebanon that had “transformed the country into an Iranian terror base,” and that Iran’s advanced missile technology with nuclear weapons and extremist ideology “leaves the lives of millions” hanging in balance.

Following Prosor’s speech, U.S. ambassador to the UN Susan Rice took the opportunity to criticize Israel on settlement activity. “We have reiterated our longstanding opposition to Israel’s West Bank settlement activity, as well as construction in East Jerusalem, which run counter to the cause of peace,” declared Rice. She said that construction in E-1, connecting Jerusalem to Ma’aleh Adumim, “would be especially damaging to efforts to achieve a two-state solution.”

Ambassador Rice, however also voiced Washington’s disapproval of the Palestinians’ use of ‘State of Palestine’ on their nameplate at the UN Security Council session. She stated that the United States did not recognize the UN General Assembly vote to upgrade the status of Palestine as a non-member observer state on November 29, 2012, saying that “…any reference to the ‘State of Palestine’…do not reflect acquiescence that ‘Palestine’ is a state.”

While the Middle East peace process and occasionally even Syria, dominated the Security Council session on Wednesday – they were described as the “two major crisis” facing the region by several ambassadors – Israel’s UN envoy offered another perspective on the debate.

“I have a novel idea. Perhaps this discussion could occasionally spend some time examining why the situation in the Middle East remains unstable, undemocratic and violent. I’ll give you a hint: it has nothing to do with Israel,” stated Prosor.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/israeli-un-envoy-admonishes-rice-over-east-jerusalem/2013/01/27/

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