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Yesterday several speeches were delivered at the UN on the occasion of International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. The ceremony was held on Monday Nov. 29 2010 at the UN Office in Vienna. A special message from United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon was read in Arabic by Mr. Maher Nasser, the director of the United Nations Press office (UNIS) and who is Palestinian, on behalf of Yury Fedotov, the UN director in Vienna, who was not at the event because of being out of the city.
The formal ceremony included opening remarks and a statement by the Chairperson on behalf of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, a special statements delivered by the Host Country of Austria, the Non-Aligned Movement, the League of Arab States and the republic of Iran.
It was very clear that many Arab Ambassadors did not attend the Palestinian solidarity event, except Ambassador. Dr. Mikhail Wehbe, the representative of the League of Arab States. Present were the Ambassadors of Syria, Oman, Yemen, Indonesia, Sudan, Malaysia the Islamic of Republic of Iran, consuls from Jordan, Syria, Iraq, Egypt, Qatar, Oman and Lebanon. From the non-Arab countries, few ambassadors attended the event. Present were the Ambassador of Chile, Cuba, a Mexican representative and also representatives of a few more countries, and the representatives of organizations like of CTBTO, OFID, OPEC and some well-known Palestinian faces who represent ONLY themselves and Fatah.
Earlier during the same event, at 12:45 in the rotonda of the VIC, an event organized by the Permanent Observer Mission of Palestine in cooperation with UNOV, featuring a reading of “The Gaza Monologues” by Angela Waldegg was held. Bashir Mirzo, a Syrian musician, played Oud.
At 16:00, the formal session started in conference room M3. Excerpts from a speech by the United Nations Secretary-General, which was read by Mr. Nasser: “Every year on the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, we reflect on the situation of the Palestinians and consider what more we can do for peace. Two timelines reach a critical point in 2011.
First, Palestinian President Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu have pledged to seek a framework agreement on permanent status by September. Second, the Palestinian Authority is on track to complete its two-year agenda of readiness for statehood by August.
At its meeting in September 2010, the Quartet stated that an agreement can be reached in the timeframe set out by the leaders themselves, and that the Palestinian Authority, if it maintains its current performance in institution-building and the delivery of public services, is well-positioned for the establishment of a State at any point in the near future.
Yet few Palestinians are optimistic that anything decisive will be achieved next year, or even at all. Looking at the situation on the ground, I understand this despair. Soon after direct talks on final status began in September, they were undermined by the expiry of Israel’s commendable settlement moratorium. Construction of hundreds of new units throughout the West Bank commenced, and new approvals for settlements in East Jerusalem were given. This development is a serious blow to the credibility of the political process. The obligation remains on Israel to meet its responsibilities under international law and the Roadmap to freeze settlement activity.
It is also true that few Israelis seem hopeful that peace can be achieved soon, and I am sensitive to Israel’s security concerns. But I ask all Israelis to look with fresh eyes at the indisputable emergence of a reliable security partner on the ground, and the continued commitment of President Abbas to Israel’s right to live in peace and security, and to his rejection of violence and terrorism. I also remind everyone of the promise of the Arab Peace Initiative that a two-State solution and comprehensive Israeli-Arab peace would be followed by the establishment of normal relations between Israel and all Arab States.
I commend the steps taken during the past year to improve conditions on the ground. However, much more is needed. The Palestinian Authority must continue to roll out the institutions of statehood, combat terrorist attacks and curb incitement. Meanwhile, it is both Israel’s interest and its duty to begin rolling back the measures of occupation, particularly with respect to movement, access and security actions.
I remain very concerned about conditions in Gaza. I express appreciation for the modification of Israel’s policy and the approval of a substantial number of United Nations projects. But this can only be a first step. Full implementation of Security Council resolution 1860 should follow. Israel needs to enable broader civilian reconstruction, free movement of persons and the export of goods, and to facilitate the swift implementation of projects. Rocket fire from Gaza must stop. A prisoner exchange, the extension of de facto calm and progress on Palestinian reconciliation are also key steps.
An overwhelming international consensus exists on the need to end the occupation that began in 1967, address the fundamental security concerns of both parties, find a solution to the refugee issue and see Jerusalem emerge from negotiation as the capital of two States. I challenge the two leaders to show statesmanship and political courage in reaching a historic peace. The international community, for its part, must be ready to assume its own responsibilities for peace.
Let the year ahead be the one in which we realize, finally, a just and lasting peace in the Middle East based on Security Council resolutions 242, 338, 1397, 1515 and 1850, previous agreements, the Madrid framework, the Road Map and the Arab Peace Initiative. I will do everything in my power to support these efforts.
The Zionist Mentality
Ambassador Ali Asghar Soltanieh, Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran, delivered a sensible speech on the occasion of the “International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People” in which he addressed and described the Zionist state of Israel correctly. He said: “The continuous Middle East crisis is originating from inattention and silence of the international community vis-à-vis the issue of occupation of the Palestinian territories, ignorance of basic human rights of the homeless people of this territory and continuous violation of internationally recognized norms and principles by the Zionism regime. The Israeli policy and conduct committing crimes such as massacre of thousands of innocent Palestinian children and women, targeted assassination, arrest of Palestinians including minors and women and keeping them in dreadful conditions in prisons and detention camps, siege of Palestinian regions, illegal settlement, destruction of houses and infrastructures, and construction of the apartheid wall are obvious examples of state-terrorism and racism”.
He added: “Less than two years ago, a horrific human tragedy took place in the Gaza Strip which resulted in the strangulation and slaughter of innocent and defenseless people, especially women and children, by using intentionally prohibited weapons such as phosphorus and depleted uranium. Those barbaric crimes, once again, challenged the credibility of the international community and undermined the most basic values for which the civilized world stands. The United Nations have recognized the atrocity of the Zionist regime in Gaza as war crime. Regretfully the siege of Gaza, the largest prison in the history, is still continued and innocent Palestinians are struggling to survive. The international community has to take serious steps to stop such crimes and humanitarian massacres”.
Soltanieh said that that the problem of the Middle East is not shortage of peace plans but the main problem is lack of recognition of the main root cause of the crisis: Zionist mentality and inaction vis-à-vis violation of the international law and the United Nations Charter by the Israeli regime. As the Secretary General of the United Nations in his message on this occasion stated, the Zionist regime, despite of its responsibilities under international law, has commenced construction of hundreds of new units throughout the West Bank and has given new approvals for settlements in East Jerusalem. Such measures clearly indicate once again that the regime neither respects international law nor heeds even to the advice of its alliance and supporters. The measures taken by the Zionist regime for continuous expansion and occupation of Palestinian territory and expelling its genuine inhabitants from their homeland is an obvious example of racism.”
Soltanieh exposed the Zionist regime saying that it has always tried to introduce external factors and regional countries as barriers towards peace and stability in the region. As a matter of fact, the regime resorts to this policy so as to export its crisis abroad. Some western countries, the United States in particular, have merely highlighted the security of the Zionist regime at the cost of insecurity of Palestinians and deprivation of benefiting minimum standard of peaceful living. They should note that this is a source of instability, insecurity and confrontation in the Middle East. The emphasis of the Israeli regime on the existence of a Jewish state is as re-emergence of an apartheid mentality which was finally removed after years of struggle and international condemnation.
Soltanieh asked: How can any civilized individual ever accept or even understand that a group of people, presumably followers of a religion, from different parts of the world, will occupy a homeland of another group of people living in peace for thousands of years, under the pretext that say 3 thousand years ago, their ancestors have called that area as “Promised land” thus they consider a right for themselves to occupy Palestine, massacre innocent Palestinians and establish a Jewish State by constructing buildings on their dead bodies and graves. Such buildings based on injustice and crimes against humanity are not stable and soon would collapse.
This is a shameful and dark chapter of our recent history. If peace loving people of the world would not protest actively in removing this ugly spot in the region, such a mentality will then become precedence, others might follow suit, and therefore the world would face anarchy and bloodshed. The above mentioned atrocities and aggression, along with nuclear weapons capabilities of the Israeli regime will surely threaten the security of countries in the Middle East and the world at large.
Therefore, the international community must not only categorically condemn but promptly destroy the root cause of such crimes against humanity, Zionist mentality, once for ever as it did by wiping out the “Apartheid mentality”, getting the world rid of such an inhumane danger. It requires global mobilization of all peace loving people of the world against the occupying regime of Palestine, the Zionist regime of Israel, and its guardians.
He ended his speech saying: “based on the above historical background and principles I have to reiterate the fact that the issue of occupation of Palestine is not only the concern of brotherly Arab countries, and over a billion of Muslims, but concern of the people of the whole world. Therefore, any attempt to make temporarily selectively peace agreements with selective countries in the region dooms to total failure, as we have witnessed during past decades.
The Islamic Republic of Iran is of the strong belief that the only pragmatic ultimate solution for a sustainable peace and stability in Palestine is through full restoration of the rights of the Palestinian People including return of all refugees to their homeland and a democratic mechanism, a referendum, through which all inhabitants of occupied Palestine, composed of Muslims, Jews, Christians, as well as the Palestinians driven out of their homeland, would have the possibility to determine their future in a democratic and peaceful manner.”