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Mideast Peace Not Possible Without Palestinians, President Abbas Tells UN

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‘Israeli ministers brag about apartheid,’ Mahmoud Abbas says in speech at UN General Assembly, adding that Israel’s government is ‘assaulting our Islamic and Christian sacred sites,’ including ‘feverishly digging tunnels under and around Al-Aqsa Mosque, threatening its collapse’
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas addressed the UN General Assembly on Thursday, where he criticized Israeli’s “racist right-wing government” for its occupation of the Palestinian Territories.
Abbas began his speech saying that “Those who think that peace can prevail in the Middle East without the Palestinian people enjoying their full legitimate and national rights would be mistaken.”
He continued, “As I stand before you here, the Israeli racist right-wing government continues its attacks on our people, and through its army and its racist terrorist settlers, continues to intimidate and kill our people, destroy homes and property, steal our money and resources, and detain the bodies of the martyrs.
“This is being done in full view of the world, and without any deterrence, punishment, or accountability, and the leaders and ministers of this government have even been bragging about their apartheid policies on our people under occupation.”
At this point, the Israeli representative at the UN General Assembly left the hall.
Abbas emphasized the Israeli government’s practice of “assaulting our Islamic and Christian sacred sites” in Jerusalem, including “feverishly digging tunnels under and around Al-Aqsa Mosque, threatening its collapse.”
In light of the offenses the Palestinian president detailed, Abbas asked, “Why remain silent about all the flagrant violations of international law that are being committed by Israel, the occupying power?”
Abbas also criticized “Britain and America for their roles in the fateful Balfour Declaration,” which promised both a Jewish and an Arab state in what at the time was British Mandate Palestine.
In an appeal to the UN member states, Abbas called on the U.S. and European States to recognize Palestine and for the UN to grant Palestine full-membership status. It also called for resolutions to protect Palestinians from “the constant aggression of the occupation army and the terrorist Israeli settlers.”
The Palestinian president described “our people’s” resistance to the occupation as “peaceful popular resistance as a strategic option for self-defense, and to liberate the land from a colonial occupation that does not believe in peace, and has no regard for the principles of truth, justice and human values.”

Abbas blamed Israeli occupation measures as the reason Palestine will continue to require international aid. He also blamed Israel’s restrictions on elections being held in East Jerusalem as the reason the Palestinian Authority hasn’t held a general election since 2006.
He also addressed what he described as the distortion of the Palestinian narrative by calling on the UN to criminalize the denial of the Nakba.
Abbas concluded his speech expressing his gratitude for the Palestinian people and calling on the international community to “assume its responsibilities with full courage and implement its resolutions related to realizing Palestinian rights.”
On Monday, officials in Abbas’ office expressed satisfaction at the results of an international conference held in New York that affirmed backing for the two-state solution to the conflict and support for the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative. The 2002 initiative provides for peace between Israel and the Arab world in exchange for the establishment of a Palestinian state. The Peace Day Effort, as it was dubbed, was a joint initiative of Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, and the European Union. Its stated aim was advancing a two-state solution through political, economic, cultural, and security-oriented means.
It came amid increasing indications of a Saudi-Israeli normalization deal shepherded by the U.S. This week, nearly 80 senior U.S. Jewish leaders urged U.S. President Joe Biden to ensure any potential normalization deal between Israel and Saudi Arabia accounts for the Palestinians and a possible two-state solution.
Palestinians were at work this week trying to arrange meetings for President Abbas with other world leaders, particularly those who could influence the Palestinian issue. Aides acknowledged that part of the problem in arranging such meetings was lingering anger in the West over recently revealed remarks by Abbas about the Holocaust.
“They say that Hitler killed the Jews for being Jews, and that Europe hated the Jews because they were Jews. Not true,” Abbas said at the Fatah Revolutionary Council and released by the Middle East Media Research Institute, a Washington-based think tank.
“It was clearly explained that [the Europeans] fought [the Jews] because of their social role, and not their religion. Several authors wrote about this. Even Karl Marx said this was not true. He said that the enmity was not directed at Judaism as a religion, but to Judaism for its social role,” Abbas said.
“The [Europeans] fought against these people because of their role in society, which had to do with usury, money, and so on and so forth…[Hitler] said he fought the Jews because they were dealing with usury and money. In his view, they were engaged in sabotage, and this is why he hated them. We just want to make this point clear. This was not about Semitism and antisemitism.”

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Article source: Haaretz

2024-05-08 07:04:10.000000

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