Posted on September 27, 2014
by Jerry Alatalo
Millions of men, women, and children around the Earth agree with head of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas when he told the United Nations (UN) General Assembly – and the world community – that it is time for Palestine to become an independent, sovereign nation.
Here is a partial transcript of Mahmoud Abbas’ historic address plus a video with the address in its entirety.
“… this war came after long, difficult negotiations for more than eight months under the auspices of the United States, the efforts of President Barack Obama, and the tenacious efforts of his Secretary of State John Kerry. We engaged in this endeavor which opened minds in good faith and a positive spirit. We engaged with the efforts of the American administration and put forth our firm positions based on resolutions of international legitimacy. We genuinely respected all of our commitments and our standards. As we watched ongoing and escalating Israeli violations we exercised unimaginable self-restraint, silencing our cries and tending to our wounds in order to give American efforts the best possible chance for success”.
“However, as usual, the Israeli government did not miss the opportunity without undermining chances for peace. throughout the months of the negotiations, settlement construction, land confiscations, home demolitions, killing and arrest campaigns, forced displacement on a large scale on the West Bank continued unabated, and the unjust blockade on the Gaza Strip was tightened. The occupation’s campaign specifically targeted the City of Jerusalem and its inhabitants, attempting to artificially alter the spirit, identity, and character of the Holy City… threatening grave consequences”.
“At the same time, racist and armed gangs of settlers persisted in their crimes against the Palestinian people, the land, mosques, property, and olive trees. As usual, the Israeli government once again failed the test of peace. It breeched an agreement with the American administration regarding the release of a number of Palestinian prisoners in the occupation’s jails, and we continue to insist on releasing all of them. When confronted with simple questions in direct negotiations or through the American mediator, it did not, the Israeli government did not, hesitate to reveal its true position”.
“Israel refuses to end its occupation of the State of Palestine, which it occupied in 1967, rather it seeks its continuation and entrenchment. It rejects the Palestinian state. It refuses to find a just solution to the plight of the Palestinian refugees. This is the official position of the government of Israel. The future proposed by the Israeli government for the Palestine people is, at best, isolated ghettos for Palestinians on fragmented lands without borders, and without sovereignty over its airspace, water, and natural resources, which will be under the subjugation and control of the racist settlers and the army of occupation”.
“And, at worst, will be an abhorrent form of apartheid. Some of them say we are for two states. Where is the State of Palestine? These are the characteristics they intend for the State of Palestine. Israel has confirmed in the course of negotiations that it rejects making peace with its victims – the Palestinian people. This has all been done concurrently with an attempt to give a religious nature to the conflict, and with the rising and rampant racism in the Israeli political and media discourse, its entrenchment in the school curriculum, and in a series of laws and practices of the occupation and its settlers. This culture of racism incitement and hatred was glaringly manifested in the despicable, appalling crime committed months ago by fascist settlers who abducted the young Jerusalem boy, burnt him alive, and then killed him”.
“This reminds them of something else in history. Over the past years, the occupying power has also pursued a policy aimed at deliberately debilitating the Palestinian National Authority, to undermining it, and in essence to fully negate its role. Occupation targeted the work we have been relentlessly undertaking to establish the foundations of the State of Palestine; that we want a sovereign and independent state, living in peace and building bridges of mutual cooperation with its neighbors that respect commitments, obligations, and agreements, strengthens the values of citizenship, equality, non-discrimination, human rights, the rule of law, and pluralism”.
“…deepens the Palestinian enlightened tradition of tolerance, co-existence, and non-exclusion. Strengthens the culture of peace, promotes the role of women, establishes effective administration committed to the standards of good governance. The occupation wants to impose its own model, because it is the antithesis of its settlement policies; because it wants to destroy the chance for the realization of the Palestinian existence in an independent state, within the framework of the two-state solution. When our efforts to end the internal division through national dialogue succeeded a few months ago, and we prepared to restore the unity of our land, nation, and institutions, we formed a national consensus government and began the process to lead to the holding of residential and legislative elections”.
“All states of the world welcomed that achievement with the exception of Israel, which has constantly sought to fragment our land and our national unity”.
“Mr. President, ladies and gentlemen, Now, where do we go from here? The idea that it is possible to simply return to the work which repeatedly fails is naïve at best, and in any case erroneous, as it knows the fact that it is no longer acceptable nor possible to repeat methods that have proven futile, or continue approaches that have repeatedly failed and require comprehensive review and radical correction. It is impossible – I repeat, it is impossible – to return to the, where and when the cycle of negotiations that failed to deal with the substance of the matter and the fundamental questions. There is neither credibility nor seriousness in negotiations in which Israel pre-determines the results”.
“There is no meaning or value in negotiations for which the agreed objective is not ending the Israeli occupation and achieving the independence of the State of Palestine, with East Jerusalem as its capital on the entire Palestinian territory occupied in 1967 war. There is no value in negotiations which are not linked to affirm the timetable for the implementation of this goal. It’s high time for this settlement and occupation to end now”.
“… The people of Palestine are actually the ones who need immediate international protection; we are seeking this through international organizations. We are in need of security and peace more than any other people. The children of Palestine are worthy of the world’s efforts to ensure that their childhood dreams and lives will not be devastated again. It is time for the chapter of this prolonged, ongoing tragedy to be closed. Those who were uprooted from their homes, good land, and beautiful country during nakhba 66 years ago, pushed in the misery and life lived as a refugee, now being forced into new ways of expulsion onto the ships of death in the world seas, are in need of assurances that they will not be displaced from their homes once again”.
“That their homes will not be destroyed again, and that they will not spend their lives awaiting the explosion of a new war. It is time for this long tragedy to come to an end”.
“We will not accept or forever be the ones being demanded to prove their good intentions, by making concessions at the expense of their rights, and to remain silent as they are killed and their land is devoured. … We are trying to exercise our primordial life to dream about more beautiful days, to expect a stable and ordinary tomorrow, and for our youth to be able to plan their coming days and years safely in peace and freedom over our land like all other peoples of the world. The time has come for real, just peace to prevail in the land of peace”.
“As I mentioned more than once, we are the only people remaining under occupation in the world”.
“Mr. President, ladies and gentlemen, We, along with all the Arab countries, have constantly cautioned about the disastrous consequences of the continuation of the Israeli occupation and the denial of freedom and independence for the people of Palestine. We have repeatedly drawn attention to the fact that allowing Israel to act as a state above the law with impunity and without any accountability or punishment for its policies, aggression, and defiance of the international will and legitimacy, has absolutely provided fertile ground and an environment conducive for the growth of extremism, hatred, and terrorism in our region; confronting the terrorism that plagues our region by groups such as ISIL and others, that have no basis whatsoever in the tolerant Islamic religion, or with humanity”.
” They are committing brutal and heinous atrocities. This requires more than military confrontation; this is an urgent matter. It requires more than condemnations and declarations of positions, which of course are necessary. This requires a comprehensive and credible strategy to dry up the sources of terrorism and eradicate its roots in all political, intellectual, economic, and social spheres in our region. It requires the creation of solid foundations for a reasonable, practical consensus that makes the fight against all forms of terrorism, in any place everyone, a collective task that is undertaken by the alliance of nations, peoples, and civilizations”.
“It requires in this context, and as a priority, bringing an end to the Israeli occupation of our country, which constitutes in its practice and perpetuation an abhorrent form of state terrorism, and breeding ground for incitement of tension and hatred”.
“Mr. President, At a time when we are still suffering for the horrors of war, we face a formidable challenge to reconstruct what has been destroyed by occupation. This is the 3rd time to reconstruct the destruction waged upon us by occupation. At the invitation of the Arab Republic of Egypt and the kingdom of Norway, which we deeply appreciate, the city of Cairo will host next month an international conference for the relief and reconstruction of the Gaza Strip. Our government will present comprehensive reports to the conference on the loss inflicted by the aggression on the different sectors of society, and it will provide details of the plans and programs that will rapidly be implemented and supervised in the Gaza Strip to meet immediate relief and the requirements for reconstruction in full coordination with United Nations agencies and bodies”.
“Everything will take place under the supervision of the UN. More than two days ago, the Palestinian faction emphasized its support for Gaza to facilitate reconstruction. While we reiterate our appreciation on to, and gratitude to all states and organizations that rushed to provide assistance to the people of Palestine in the course and after the war, we are confident that brotherly and friendly countries will not waver in supporting support and plans and programs. … We are also confident that the conference will achieve practical results that fulfill expectations and needs of the victims of this aggression”.
“We reaffirm here that the primary prerequisite for the success of all those plans and efforts is an end to the ongoing Israeli despicable blockade that has for years suffocated the Gaza Strip and turned it into the largest prison in the world for nearly two million Palestinian citizens. At the same time we affirm our commitment and need to consolidate the ceasefire through negotiations under the auspices of Egypt. However, in order to avert repeating the cycle of war and the whirlwind of reconstruction every two or three years, it is imperative to focus on the fundamental issue, the starting point, that is the suffering of Gaza will not be completely terminated except by ending the occupation and the achievement of the independence of the States of Palestine”.
“Mr. President, ladies and gentlemen, During the past two weeks, Palestine and the Arab group undertook intensive contacts with the various regional groups and the United Nations to prepare for the introduction of a draft resolution to be adopted by the Security Council on the Israel-Palestine conflict, and to push forward the efforts to achieve peace. We still believe in peace through international legitimacy. This endeavor reaffirms our commitment to achieve a just peace through a negotiated solution, and our adoption of a diplomatic and political effort through United nations bodies. This endeavor was inspired by and based fully on the spirit and provisions of the many resolutions you have approved in the General Assembly and those adopted by the Security Council, which have set the foundations for a lasting solution and just peace”.
“There is nothing new. All those are adopted resolutions. This endeavor aspires to correct the deficiency of previous efforts to achieve peace by affirming the goal of ending the Israeli occupation and achieving the two-state solution. The State of Palestine with East Jerusalem as its capital over the entire territory occupied in 1967, alongside the State of Israel and reaching a just and agreed solution to the plight of the Palestine refugees on the basis of Resolution 194, with a specific timeframe for the implementation of these objectives, as stipulated in the Arab Peace Initiative”.
“There must be a timeframe for the implementation of these objectives. This will be linked to the immediate resumption of negotiations between Palestine and Israel to demarcate the borders, reach a detailed and comprehensive agreement, draft a peace treaty between them; detailed and comprehensive agreement on all issues of the final status and a comprehensive peace treaty between us and them. We are confident that this endeavor receives all-out support by those who are committed to ensuring that our country will not witness new wars and atrocities. By those who wish to support a campaign to combat terrorism; those who believe that it is necessary to act expeditiously to rectify the historical injustice inflicted by the nakhba on the people of Palestine, and those who wish to see peace prevail in the land of monolithic religions”.
“The adoption of this resolution will affirm what you strove to realize in this year as the “International Year of Solidarity With the People of Palestine”, who will continue their struggle and steadfastness and will rise brave and strong from the rubble of destruction. We are infected with an incurable disease – that is hope. We are infected with an incurable disease that is hope. We love life if we are given the chance for it”.
“Mr. President, ladies and gentlemen, There is an occupation that must end now. There is a people that must be freed immediately. The hour of independence of the State of Palestine has arrived. Thank you very much”.
(RT – Headphones suggested)