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Abbas demands that UN turn back the hands of time

Maurice Hirsch, Adv.  |
  • Abbas on Israel's creation:
    "A disgrace to humanity"
  • ​​​​​​Abbas on terrorists who were imprisoned:
    “Our brave prisoners, the living conscience of our people… these people cannot be described in words.”
  • Abbas on terrorists who were killed:
    “The righteous martyrs … will remain symbols that the Palestinian generations will remember with gratitude and reverence, generation after generation.”
  • Abbas on the murderer of seven Israelis:
    “Heroic prisoner Nasser Abu Hmaid”

In his speech before the United Nations General Assembly, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas again demonstrated why he and the Palestinians have rejected every Israeli offer of peace.   

Denying and simultaneously rewriting history and the present reality, Abbas touched on most of the true impediments to peace. From his description of the creation of the State of Israel as a “disgrace to humanity” and a “heinous crime”  through his pledge of unwavering support to the “righteous martyrs” – i.e. dead terrorists – and the terrorist prisoners, and his homage to the mother of six terrorist murderers, to his demand that the UN now implement the 1947 UN Partition plan that was rejected by all the Arab countries, Abbas presented to the world the real explanation for the absence of Israeli-Palestinian peace. 

While almost every sentence of Abbas’ speech lacked a factual basis, the following are just a few excerpts of the speech that encapsulate the PA ideology, put into context with a brief PMW commentary. 

Abbas: 

“I speak to you on behalf of more than fourteen million Palestinian people, whose parents and grandparents lived through the tragedy of the “Nakba” seventy-four years ago, and they are still living the effects of this “Nakba”, which is a disgrace to humanity, especially those who conspired, planned and carried out this heinous crime. 

Moreover, more than five million Palestinians have been suffering under the Israeli military occupation for fifty-four years.” 

PMW: 

While at times pretending that he and the Palestinian leadership support a “two-state solution”, in this speech Abbas expressed the PA wordview that rejects Israel’s right to exist as a national homeland for the Jewish people. From his perspective, the creation of Israel - in any borders - was a “disgrace to humanity” and a “heinous crime.”  In Abbas’ eyes, the decision of the international community in San Remo in 1920 and the decision of the League of Nations in 1922, to recognize the historic connection of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel and endorse the reconstitution of the Jewish homeland was nothing more than a conspiracy against the “Palestinians”. All this, while simultaneously claiming that it is Israel “which disavows the resolutions of international legitimacy.”  

Abbas: 

“Israel is carrying out a frantic campaign to confiscate our lands and spread its colonial settlements and plunder our resources, as if this land was empty and had no owners, just as it did in 1948.” 

PMW:

When Abbas talks about “our lands” and “our resources” he is trying to reinforce the fictional idea that a Palestinian people once owned the entire Land of Israel. This notion lacks any factual basis. No independent country called “Palestine” ever existed. In fact, from 1517 to 1917, the general area called “Palestine” was merely another province of the Ottoman Empire. Prior to that, it had been conquered by a long list of invaders, since the Romans expelled the Jewish people in 70 CE. From 1917 to 1948, “Palestine” was administered by the British under a Mandate of the League of Nations. The express purpose of the Mandate was to reconstitute the Jewish national homeland.  

Furthermore, while many individual Arabs did and still do own land, Abbas ignores the fact that much of the area was indeed uninhabited and that these areas, similar to the status of uninhabited lands in many countries around the world, are considered “state lands.” Abbas also denies the fact, mentioned in the 1930 Shaw Report, following the Arab massacre of 130 Jews in 1929, that the Jews who moved to Israel following the adoption of the Mandate purchased huge areas of land from the Arabs “frequently at a very high price.” 

While Abbas’ statements lack factual basis, they do expose a fundamental PA message, often highlighted by PMW. According to the PA, Israel has no right to exist. All of Israel is “Palestine” and no one has the right to relinquish any part of it.   

Abbas: 

“Israel has left us nothing of the land to establish our independent state in light of its frenzied settlement attack, so where will our people live in freedom and dignity? Where will we establish our independent state to live in peace with our neighbors? The settlers now constitute about 751,000, which constitutes 25% of the total population in the West Bank and Jerusalem.” 

PMW:

This claim by Abbas similarly defies reality on multiple levels. Firstly, Abbas fails to explain why no independent “Palestinian State” was created from 1948-1967 when Israel did not control either the Gaza Strip nor Judea and Samaria, and no “settlements” existed. He similarly failed to explain why he rejected the 2008 peace offer of then Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. That offer included creating a “Palestinian State” on a territory greater than that of Gaza, Judea and Samaria, prior to 1967. He also fails to note that today Palestinians control all of Gaza and at least 40% of Judea and Samaria – the areas defined as areas A and B in the Oslo peace accords. 95% of the Palestinian population lives in these areas. In addition, the PA has also promoted and funded wide-scale, illegal, Palestinian land grabs in area C. In these land grabs, according to the Israeli NGO Regavim, Palestinians have built tens of thousands of illegal structures. In comparison, figures recently released suggest that the “Israeli settlements” in area C cover no more than 2.5% of that area.     

Abbas: 

“Therefore, I present today to this UN organization, the title of international legitimacy in this world, with a formal request to implement General Assembly resolution 181, which formed the basis for the two-state solution in 1947, as well as resolution 194 calling for the right of return of Palestine refugees.” 

PMW: 

Having already called the creation of Israel a catastrophe, and added sundry lies and libels against Israeli and Israelis, Abbas then demanded that the UN implement the 1947 UN Partition Plan. Clearly, in Abbas’ eyes, it is possible to turn back the hands of time to implement a defunct decision that was thoroughly rejected by the Arabs at the time. 

Regarding the implementation of resolution 194, as PMW has already demonstrated, when Abbas and the PA talk about the implementation of the so-called “Palestinian right of return,” what they are really calling for is for Israel to commit national suicide. 

Abbas: 

“All glory to the righteous martyrs of the Palestinian people who enlightened the path of freedom and independence with their pure blood. They will remain symbols that the Palestinian generations will remember with gratitude and reverence, generation after generation, and we remain accountable to them. 

As for our brave prisoners, the living conscience of our people, who sacrifice their freedom for the sake of the freedom of their people, these people cannot be described in words. They are living martyrs, they are heroes and firm leaders, and we have an obligation to secure their freedom, and we will not abandon them. We will not leave their sons and daughters and their families, and we tell them and our detained children and the heroic prisoner Nasser Abu Hmaid and his companions that dawn is coming, and it is time for their chains to be broken. Greetings from me and our entire people to all our heroic martyrs and families. I salute from this podium Nasser’s mother, the mother of prisoners and martyrs, and it is unfortunate that the occupation authorities did not allow her to see her captive, heroic son for one minute as he is struggling with death due to medical negligence.” 

PMW: 

Having denounced Israel’s creation, demanded that Israel commit national suicide and that the UN turn back the hands of time to implement a defunct decision, ignored reality and rewritten history, Abbas then turned to the only subject that he can truly identify as his lasting legacy to the Palestinians and the Israeli Palestinian peace process: Glorifying terror and terrorists.  

The “righteous martyrs” and “brave prisoners” Abbas refers to include thousands of dead terrorists, including suicide bombers and also murderers such as Abdallah Barghouti, responsible for the murder of 67 people, Ibrahim Hamed, responsible for the murder of 54 people, and scores of other terrorist murderers.  

His support for these murderers includes paying them generous monthly salaries and demanding their release, as a precondition to any future peace agreement. Abbas’ dedication to the terrorists is not mere lip service. Rather, it is a reflection of the priorities of the Palestinian Authority which puts the interests of the terrorists above the welfare, education, and health of the Palestinians.    

Put into context, this statement is the equivalent of Osama Bin Laden standing on the podium of the UN and singing the praises of Mohamed Atta, Marwan Al-Shehhi, and their accomplices, the terrorists who carried out the 9/11 terror attacks.  

The following is the full text of Abbas’ speech:  

In the name of Allah the Merciful 

His Excellency Mr. Csaba Kőrösi, President of the United Nations General Assembly, 

Your Excellency Mr. António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations, 

Ladies and gentlemen, heads and members of delegations, 

Peace, mercy and blessings of God, 

I speak to you on behalf of more than fourteen million Palestinian people, whose parents and grandparents lived through the tragedy of the “Nakba” seventy-four years ago, and they are still living the effects of this “Nakba”, which is a disgrace to humanity, especially those who conspired, planned and carried out this heinous crime. 

Moreover, more than five million Palestinians have been suffering under the Israeli military occupation for fifty-four years. 

Today, on behalf of the Palestinian people, to whom I am proud to belong, I tell you that our confidence in achieving a peace based on justice and international law is waning, due to the Israeli occupation policies. Do you want to kill what remains of hope in our souls? 

It has become clear, ladies and gentlemen, that Israel, which disavows the resolutions of international legitimacy, has decided not to be our partner in the peace process. Israel is the one that destroyed the Oslo Accords it signed with the Palestine Liberation Organization. It is the one that, with its current policy, has premeditated and determined to destroy the two-state solution, which proves with conclusive evidence that they do not believe in peace, but in the policy of imposing a fait accompli by brute force and aggression, and therefore there is no longer an Israeli partner with whom to talk. It thus ends the contractual relationship with us, and makes the relationship between the State of Palestine and Israel a relationship between an occupying state and an occupied people, and nothing else. We will not deal with Israel except on this basis, and we demand the international community to deal with it on this basis as well. This is Israel’s choice, not ours. 

Israel is carrying out a frantic campaign to confiscate our lands and spread its colonial settlements and plunder our resources, as if this land was empty and had no owners, just as it did in 1948. It is also unleashing the hand of the army and terrorist settlers who are killing our Palestinian people in broad daylight, stealing their lands and water, burning and demolishing their homes, and forcing them to pay the price for the demolition, or force them to demolish it with their own hands and uproot their trees, all with official protection.  

Moreover, the Israeli government allowed the formation of racist Jewish terrorist organizations that practice terrorism against our people, and provided them with protection as they attack the Palestinians and call for their expulsion from their homes. At the top of these terrorist organizations are the Hilltop Youth, the price tag groups, Lahava, and the Temple Trustees, and these terrorist organizations are led by members of the Israeli Knesset, and, in this context, we call on the international community to put these terrorist organizations on the lists of global terrorism. 

Israel has left us nothing of the land to establish our independent state in light of its frenzied settlement attack, so where will our people live in freedom and dignity? Where will we establish our independent state to live in peace with our neighbors? The settlers now constitute about 751,000, which constitutes 25% of the total population in the West Bank and Jerusalem. Israel kills our people without accountability, as it did with the Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Aqleh, who was killed by an Israeli sniper. Shireen has a dual Palestinian-American citizenship. I challenge the US to prosecute those who killed her. The religious holy sites, Christian and Islamic, especially in Jerusalem, our eternal capital and the jewel of the crown. Here, we would like to emphasize our adherence to the Hashemite custodianship of these holy sites.  

Israel is imposing forged educational curricula in our schools in occupied Jerusalem, in violation of international law, and disrupts the presidential and legislative elections in Palestine, by preventing Palestinian citizens of Jerusalem from participating in them, as took place in three previous elections (1996, 2005, 2006), and enacts racist laws that it perpetuates a system of racial discrimination, an Apartheid against our people in front of the international community, and evades accountability and punishment, so why not hold Israel accountable for violating international law? Who is protecting Israel from being held accountable? Why these double standards when it comes to Israel? 

Israel has not refrained from the repeated violation of our land and its recent closure of the headquarters of six Palestinian human rights organizations operating in the Palestinian territory, in accordance with Palestinian and international law, after it had accused them in the past of being terrorist organizations, while the whole world rejected and condemned this accusation, after confirming it was baseless.  

Ladies and Gentlemen 

Since its inception, Israel has committed brutal crimes against our people, when it destroyed 529 Palestinian villages, expelled their residents from them during and after the 1948 war, and expelled 950,000 Palestinian, more than half of the Palestinian people at the time, from their homes, according to the records of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA). UNRWA) and committed more than fifty massacres since 1948 to this day, which claimed the lives of tens of thousands of children, women, the elderly and innocent people, and everyone remembers the massacre of children in the war on Gaza last year, which killed 67 children.  

I put before you lists of these destroyed villages and massacres, and I call upon Israel from your podium to acknowledge its responsibility for the destruction of these villages and the massacres and the displacement of Palestinian citizens, and to apologize to the Palestinian people, and to bear the legal, political, moral and material responsibility, and we will demand the International Criminal Court to begin investigating these crimes immediately. 

Does the Israeli people want to be and remain a colonizer of another people forever? What are the moral and human values ​​that justify silence on this injustice and the harm that their government inflicts on the Palestinian people? 

Ladies and Gentlemen, 

We do not accept that we remain the only party that adheres to the agreements we signed with Israel in 1993, agreements that no longer exist on the ground, due to Israel's continued violation of them. Despite our demand for it to end its occupation and to stop its aggressive measures and policies, as well as to stop all unilateral actions that were stipulated in the Oslo Accords, and which President Biden mentioned to me personally, but they continued to perpetuate this occupation and these measures and policies, leaving us with no other choice but to reconsider the entire relationship with Israel. 

Thus, it has become our right, and even our obligation, to search for other means to obtain our rights and achieve peace based on justice, including implementing the decisions taken by our Palestinian leadership bodies, especially the Palestinian Central Council. 

We take these decisions in order to preserve our national presence on our land, and in order to preserve our historical rights in our homeland, under the umbrella of the Palestine Liberation Organization, the sole legitimate representative of our Palestinian people, under whose banner the Palestinian people gather everywhere in the world. Home, in refugee camps and in the diaspora. 

Honorable Audience, the United Nations, with its various bodies, has issued hundreds of resolutions related to Palestine and not a single one of them has been implemented (754 resolutions of the General Assembly, 97 resolutions of the Security Council, 96 resolutions of the Human Rights Council). 

Therefore, I present today to this UN organization, the title of international legitimacy in this world, with a formal request to implement General Assembly resolution 181, which formed the basis for the two-state solution in 1947, as well as resolution 194 calling for the right of return of Palestine refugees. Perhaps I need to remind you that Israel's commitment to implement these two resolutions was a condition for the acceptance of its membership in your esteemed international organization. We ask you, in the event of Israel's refusal to comply and the failure to implement these two resolutions, to impose sanctions on it and suspend its membership in the international organization. (We have submitted our request to the Secretary-General of the United Nations in this regard). 

The State of Palestine will also initiate procedures for joining other international organizations, particularly the Intellectual Property Organization, the World Health Organization, and the International Civil Aviation Organization. 

The Security Council has adopted clear resolutions whose implementation will achieve a just and comprehensive peace, the latest of which is resolution 2334. The role of the Security Council is not limited to adopting resolutions only, but it must take practical steps to implement them, and it is not acceptable that Security Council resolutions apply to some countries only (double standards), and if the Security Council fails to carry out its tasks, there is a clear role for the United Nations General Assembly to which we will resort. 

If attempts continue to obstruct our endeavors to obtain full membership of the State of Palestine in the United Nations, protect the Palestinian people, their rights and their state, and adopt practical steps to end the occupation and achieve peace, it becomes imperative for us to go to the General Assembly again, seeking a determination on the legal and political steps that must be adopted, to reach to that end. At this point, we hope, and we are all confident, that the General Assembly will fully assume its responsibilities. 

Ladies and Gentlemen, 

I am confident that you will understand why we are taking these steps now. During all the past years, we have left no door but knocked on it in order to persuade Israel to return to the negotiating table on the basis of international legitimacy resolutions and signed agreements, but it refused and refuses to do so. 

Ladies and Gentlemen,  

With appreciation for what the international community has done, or tried to do in terms of political and material support and backing for our people and their just cause, it has, unfortunately, been unable to end the occupation, deter the heinous and continuous Israeli aggression against our people, provide international protection for it, and bring it to its legitimate rights to freedom and independence, like the rest of the peoples of the world. The occupying power continues to behave as a state above the law. 

It is surprising that countries like the United States of America claim to be the protectors of international law and human rights, provide unlimited support to Israel, protect it from accountability and help it to move forward with its aggressive policies, and in contempt for the international community as a whole, and Israel could not have done this without cover or support from these countries. 

Some of these countries were basically partners in issuing the resolutions that caused the Palestinian people’s Nakba (catastrophe), the ominous Balfour Declaration and the Mandate Instrument, and they continued to prejudice the rights of the Palestinian people when they refused to compel Israel to end its occupation and stop its aggression, and to respect the relevant United Nations resolutions. Therefore, they bear the responsibility with Israel for the plight of the Palestinian people. Accordingly, we call on Britain, America and Israel to acknowledge their responsibility for this great crime committed against our people, apologize and make reparations, and provide compensation to the Palestinian people as recognized by international law. 

It saddens us, ladies and gentlemen, that the United States of America and a number of European countries that advocate adhering to the two-State solution and recognize Israel have not yet recognized the State of Palestine, and threaten to use the veto against our legitimate pursuit of full membership in the international organization. Palestine, the observer State for ten years, has proven its worth for full membership, after it worked seriously and responsibly with the rest of the world in relevant international committees and bodies, and successfully and efficiently chaired the Group of 77 and China. 

What prevents them from recognizing the State of Palestine and accepting its full membership in the United Nations? Therefore, we renew our request for this membership now, and why are double standards being exercised against us? 

On the other hand, I call on the Secretary-General of the United Nations to actively work to develop an international plan to end the occupation of the land of the State of Palestine, in order to achieve peace, security and stability in the region based on the United Nations resolutions and the Arab Peace Initiative. 

Ladies and Gentlemen, 

I listened in the last few days what US President Joe Biden, Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid and other world leaders said in support of the two-State solution, and this is positive. The real test of the seriousness and credibility of this position is for the Israeli government to sit at the negotiating table immediately to implement the two-State solution on the basis of the relevant United Nations resolutions and the Arab Peace Initiative and the cessation of all unilateral measures that undermine the two-state solution. 

The State of Palestine yearns for peace, so let us make this peace in order to live in security, stability and prosperity, for the sake of our future generations and all the peoples of the region. 

At the end of my speech, I want to say to our people and to the whole world, that I am proud that I have spent several decades of my life struggling with my brothers from the leaders of the Palestinian people, those who perished and those who are waiting, in order to preserve the rights of our heroic and brave people, who struck the most wonderful models of heroism despite all the conspiracies and pressures exerted on us and exerted on our people, we have maintained our independent national decision and remained loyal to our national principles, and we renew our refusal to receive any instructions or orders from any party. 

All glory to the righteous martyrs of the Palestinian people who enlightened the path of freedom and independence with their pure blood. They will remain symbols that the Palestinian generations will remember with gratitude and reverence, generation after generation, and we remain accountable to them. 

As for our brave prisoners, the living conscience of our people, who sacrifice their freedom for the sake of the freedom of their people, these people cannot be described in words. They are living martyrs, they are heroes and firm leaders, and we have an obligation to secure their freedom, and we will not abandon them. We will not leave their sons and daughters and their families, and we tell them and our detained children and the heroic prisoner Nasser Abu Hmaid and his companions that dawn is coming, and it is time for their chains to be broken. Greetings from me and our entire people to all our heroic martyrs and families. I salute from this podium Nasser’s mother, the mother of prisoners and martyrs, and it is unfortunate that the occupation authorities did not allow her to see her captive, heroic son for one minute as he is struggling with death due to medical negligence.  

In conclusion, I say to you, ladies and gentlemen, who represent the international community and international legitimacy, that the occupation will inevitably end, now or after a while. So come now and uphold your obligations and implement your resolutions to achieve just and comprehensive peace instead of seeing it achieved through more victims and bloodshed. 

Oh God, bear witness...