UN Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, November 29, 2012
On November 29, 2012 the United Nations held its annual Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. This was the 65th anniversary of the UN General Assembly resolution which partitioned Palestine into a Jewish and an Arab state - a resolution accepted by its Jewish inhabitants and rejected across the Arab world.
This November, the Palestinians decided to present a resolution to the UN General Assembly following the morning's Solidarity Day event that would upgrade their UN status to that of a non-member observer state.
Exceptionally, the morning was attended by Mahmoud Abbas, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization and President of the Palestinian Authority, in addition to UN leaders, other diplomatic representatives and a representative of "civil society."
For the occasion, the UN also screened the film "Walled Horizons." An "art exhibit," called "Palestine: Memories, Dreams, Perseverance" and mounted under the auspices of the UN Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, was opened in the public entrance of UN Headquarters.
The meeting room was - again - adorned with just two flags, the UN flag and a Palestinian flag. The flag of the UN member state of Israel was nowhere to be seen.
At the podium, from left: Palitha T. B. Kohona (Sri Lanka), Chair of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories; Hardeep Singh Puri (India), President of the Security Council; Vuk Jeremic (Serbia), President of the General Assembly; Abdou Salam Diallo (Senegal), Chair of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People; UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon; Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian Authority; Salam Fayyad, Palestinian Authority Prime Minister, North Lawn Building, UN Headquarters, New York
Many of the speakers were on their best behaviour, cognizant of the vote in the General Assembly following the meeting and the fact that the resolution was being billed as a pro-peace and co-existence initiative.
Nevertheless, the Palestinian Authority made the adoption of one political strategy clear - abandoning negotiations. In the words of Riyadh Mansour, Palestinian UN Ambassador: "This historic event where we will legislate the two-state solution..."
In the presence of this unambiguously unilateral move, the UN Secretary-General said merely: "the Palestinians have decided to seek Non Member Observer State status in the General Assembly. This is a matter for Member States to decide. It is important for all concerned to approach this responsibly and constructively." In marked contrast, Ban Ki-Moon had no difficulty lecturing Israel: "Continued settlement activity in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, is contrary to international law and the Roadmap, and must cease. Unilateral actions on the ground will not be accepted by the international community."
The other forms of double-standards and Israel-bashing on the UN's 2012 Palestinian Solidarity Day:
Kadra Ahmed Hassan (Djibouti) speaking on behalf of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) alleged Israel was guilty of "apartheid" and "crime against humanity." He also claimed: "The Palestinians have been intensely negotiating with Israel in good faith over the last two decades."
Ahmed Fathalla, UN Observer for the League of Arab States, reading out a message from Nabil Elaraby, Secretary-General of the Arab League: "...the racism of Israel...Israel also persists in...Judaizing East Jerusalem and its surroundings..Israel continues...to adopt dangerous racial practices that call to mind the apartheid policies of South Africa."
And then there was Roger Waters, musician, founding member of Pink Floyd, "speaking on behalf of civil society:"
(From the written text on the UN website, November 29, 2012):
"Following a call from Palestinian civil society, social movements, activists...have created the campaign for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions. It aims...to bring an end to...apartheid, an end to the denial of Palestinians' right of return...[W]e must aim to end the root causes of violence. In this conflict, that means ending Israel's...ethnic cleansing...The leaders of Hamas have made their position clear over and over again. It is this: Hamas is open to permanent peace with Israel...And declare Israel's continued membership of the UN to be dependent on reform of its illegal apartheid regime."
Waters didn't let the facts get in the way. Here's what Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh has actually said over and over again: "We will never, never, ever recognize Israel." Al-Aqsa TV, January 5-10, 2012, MEMRI.
The Film Screened
At the conclusion of the speeches, the UN screened the film "Walled Horizons" narrated by Rogers Waters, the invited "civil society" representative.
In this performance, Roger Waters presents the narrative of Palestinian victims, evil Israeli perpetrators and the answers of an old hippy to real life.
On the one hand, Palestinian mothers and fathers are portrayed as innocent, peaceful and suffering: "This is a peaceful demonstration. It is a peaceful demonstration. It is my land. It's my land. I want to go on my land." Their misfortune is Israel's fault; the ruthless Israeli is guilty of deprivation after deprivation: "We have no money. We don't even have enough to buy a sack of flour to feed our children. They won't let the water truck enter. Where are we supposed to drink from?"
On the other hand, Waters never speaks to Israeli victims or their families about the pain that follows suicide-bombing or terrorism. The only Israelis here are politicians and armed forces personnel – depicted as cruel and callous. He says Israelis claim the "wall" limits suicide bombing and never asks, or cares, whether it's true.
The only thing really bothering tourist Roger Waters is a security fence: "It fills me with horror." The self-proclaimed authority on maintaining peace and security lectures: "These Walls that separate peoples...history tells us never survive...We need...Israelis to tear down the Walls" – oblivious to the antisemitism and rejection of a Jewish state that is what actually separates these peoples.
The "art exhibit:" "Palestine: Memories, Dreams, Perseverance"
In the evening, the UN opened an exhibit in the public entrance hall of its New York headquarters that included pieces artfully depicting all of Israel as Palestine.
Palestinian UN representative Riyadh Mansour opens Palestinian-UN exhibit, New York, Nov. 29, 2012
The exhibit went hand-in-hand with the logo featured at the top of the cover page of the speech that Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas' delivered to the General Assembly on November 29, 2012. That emblem continues to promote a one state solution, namely, Palestine without Israel.
The General Assembly vote granted "Palestine" the status of "non-member observer state" under the pretence that the move brought the world closer to a two-state solution. But the "art exhibit" opened by Palestinian UN representative Riyadh Mansour had a plain political message; the works bore such titles as "homeless," "delirious in exile," and "to Jerusalem we travel."
The emblems of a long list of Palestinian terrorist organizations include the familiar shape in which Israel, the Gaza Strip and the West Bank are all combined into the one and only Palestine.
And here is the front page of the speech of Mahmoud Abbas' - the "President of the State of Palestine":
Here is a close-up of the logo on the cover page of Abbas' speech:
It's a perfect fit with the message embedded in the UN public exhibit. Here is "A Standing Prayer" by Manal Deeb.
The exhibit also includes Deeb's "Memories of Trees" (a series with similar images):
Whether "art" or "emblem" or the words of Abbas himself - who told the General Assembly that the creation of Israel, the so-called "Al-Nakba of 1948," "was "one of the most dreadful campaigns of ethnic cleansing and dispossession in modern history" - the Palestinian-UN agenda is hidden in plain sight.
The UN General Assembly Debate: November 29-30, 2012
When the UN Committee on the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People was finished with its meeting, Solidarity Day moved to the General Assembly and the vote on the Palestinian unilateral move to upgrade their UN status.
The General Assembly resolution upgrading the status of "Palestine" to a "non-member observer state" was adopted by a vote: in favor 138, opposed 9, abstentions, 41.
The resolution was introduced by Sudan - a country whose leader is wanted for genocide and crimes against humanity by the International Criminal Court.
Speeches by states explaining their votes and positions were made on November 29 and 30, 2012.
Welcome to all of you, President Abbas, our brother, the militant... I have the honor and the pleasure of introducing the draft resolution entitled "The Status of Palestine in the United Nations" ...This is a victory of the values of truth.
Palestinian Leader Mahmoud Abbas
The Palestinian people . . . miraculously recovered from the ashes of Al-Nakba of 1948 which was intended to extinguish their being....one of the most dreadful campaigns of ethnic cleansing and dispossession in modern history...Israeli occupation is...an apartheid system...which institutionalizes the plague of racism...Our people always have strived not to lose...hope, despite the horrors that befell them and continue befall them today as a consequence of Al-Nakba and its horrors...Israeli occupation is becoming synonymous with an apartheid system of colonial occupation, which institutionalizes the plague of racism and entrenches hatred and incitement.
The reality of the Palestine is simple...an inhuman blockade in an open prison...the Palestinian people who have been subjected to exiles, massacres...for many decades... I am pleased and honored to participate in this historical meeting at the General Assembly.
Iran (on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement)
I have the honor to address the General Assembly today on behalf of the Non-aligned Movement... On this day, the international community reaffirms its continued and unwavering support for and solidarity with the long-suffering people of Palestine...We condemn... the killing of...women and children...the perpetration by the occupying power of war crimes ...We condemn also the terror, violence and provocations by extremist Israeli settlers...The occupying power continues pursuing measures aimed at... ensuring a Jewish majority in the city.
Iran (speaking in its national capacity)
As the ambassador and permanent representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran...I would like to congratulate the Palestinian people...for the historic victory they achieved today...I would also like to present a message of solidarity with the Palestinian people sent by his Excellency Ahmadinejad...The...inhuman policies of the occupying and fabricated Zionist regimen have resulted in...imposing five wars on nations of the region...The recent aggression of Gaza is but clear indications of the true nature of the uncivilized Zionists and the mission they carry...The era of Zionism and the occupation is over.
Djibouti (on behalf of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC))
On behalf of the OIC group, I am pleased to express gratitude to the United Nations and all its organs working on this issue...Israel is...constructing the apartheid wall...The group condemns the terror, violence and provocation by extremist Israeli settlers...Israel's escalating military aggression...represent the continuation of a war crime against humanity ...
Kuwait congratulates the Palestinian people on the support of the General Assembly...the brutality of the Israeli aggression... The continued occupation by Israel of Syrian territories constitutes a real obstacle in the face of establishing peace and security in the Middle East region.
United Arab Emirates
On behalf of the government and people of the United Arab Emirates, I would like to congratulate Palestine today for being accorded the non-member observer state in the United Nations...The United Arab Emirates strongly condemns...serious acts of aggression committed by Israel until this day, including...deliberate targeting of unarmed civilians, including children and women.
In 1948, "Al Nakba" began for the Palestinians...a process of expulsion...was set in motion...of aggression against their heritage and cultural identity. A planned strategy for changing the ethnic and cultural composition of the Palestinian territories was implemented. A thick framework of inhumane policies has been used to consummate the segregation...The occupying power practices state terrorism. It is a factory of mourning and pain in Palestine...Israel... has implemented apartheid. It has carried out an ethnic cleansing...The warmongering Israeli elite...must be held accountable for the...crimes...against humanity committed against the Palestinian people...Today we have approved, by a large majority, to give the State of Palestine the status of Permanent Observer State, an important step...
Two weeks ago, Israel attacked the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip...with Israel seeing itself as a victim of numerous rocket attacks...responding with...military power to what it terms as terrorists...this inhuman behavior of Israel...We...welcome the adoption of the resolution that has enhanced the status of Palestine to an observer state...
Allow me to begin by conveying our congratulations to the brotherly people of Palestine. ... We recall...the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their land from which they were expelled as a cause of the Zionist policy...The Israeli authorities have engaged in a war of hate...barbarous attacks...blockade...did not satisfy their hate. They continued their barbarous aggressions...These people have suffered the worst war crimes and violations of human rights...The picture is clear...occupation and oppressing the Palestinian people over more than six decades...
This afternoon we had the privilege to welcome His Excellency Mahmoud Abbas...We congratulate them on the support they received today...As a people who...have been subjected to a brutal apartheid system, we in Namibia know very well how it feels to live under...dehumanization...
Democratic People's Republic of Korea:
My delegation, once again, welcomes and congratulates Palestine for having received absolute majority recognition of statehood of the United Nations...Israel continues its aggressive policy of... indiscriminately killing civilians...Israeli atrocities...We strongly denounce the Israeli unpardonable criminal acts...
...a historic day...Bolivia support[s] the resolution...also condemns the crimes perpetrated by Israel against the Palestinian people...the bombings, the attacks, the killings...
More than six decades have past...and we regret that after all this time has gone by that the Palestinian people have been deprived of their rights as a result of the terrible escalation of Israeli violence...We commend the Palestinian state and the Palestinian people on this historic occasion...Heinous crimes have been perpetrated against innocent civilians, against women, children and the elderly...one of the worst faces of state terrorism...
I should like to express our sincere congratulations to the Palestinian people and government on the nonmember observer status... We call on the international community to deter continuing Israeli aggression against the Palestinian people that has led to thousands of victims among children, women and old people.
I would like to congratulate Palestine for being accorded the nonmember observer state status in the United Nations. On this occasion, Vietnam wishes to reaffirm its principle support for the courageous struggle...over more than 65 years...
We are proud to be a cosponsor of the resolution that granted this status... Gaza borders have been subjected to a regime of closure that is without precedent anywhere on this planet earth.
The vote that we witnessed...was a voice of history...It was a symphony of peace, independence and freedom. At the same time, it was a cry in the face of...racism...barbaric aggression launched by Israel...Mecca and Medina...awaiting a day when the blessed Aqsa Mosque is freed from imprisonment and Jerusalem comes back as the capital, the eternal capital of the Palestinian people...when it breaks the shackles of occupation, persecution and racism.
I am honored to congratulate at the outset President Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian brotherly people... Israel's claims that it fights terrorism is false...The right to overthrow foreign occupation is a legal right... Israel continues... trying to change the character of Jerusalem...Measures taken by the Israeli authorities to Judaize Jerusalem and to change the Islamic and Arab character of this city are null and void.
...was a historic day for the Palestinian people...There is no way for me to describe the enthusiasm that the General Assembly has demonstrated...legislating in this chamber the recognition of the state of Palestine and changing our status to a nonmember observer state.
These are not the words of countries interested in peace, or negotiation. Their purpose - to use the Palestinian representatives own word - is "legislating," that is, imposing the will of the UN majority on Israel. The majority of UN countries are not themselves fully free. Arabs rejected a Palestinian state in 1947. Almost all Arab and Muslim states have rejected a Jewish state ever since. Nothing has changed - except control of the United Nations - now a bully pulpit for the demonization and destruction of the Jewish state.
Additional UN General Assembly Resolutions - November 30, 2012
The Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People transmitted four draft resolutions to the General Assembly (under the agenda item "The Question of Palestine.") The drafts were all adopted by the General Assembly on November 30, 2012.