"This policy will destroy the chances of achieving a two-State solution upon which there is an international consensus" / Die Politik Israels zerstört die Chance auf eine Zwei-Staaten-Lösung
Rede von Mahmoud Abbas, Präsident des Staates von Palästina und Vorsitzender der PLO, vor der UN-Vollversammlung / Statement by H.E. Mr. Mahmoud Abbas, President of the State of Palestine
Palästinenserpräsident Mahmud Abbas hat am 23. September bei den Vereinten Nationen einen formellen Antrag auf Vollmitgliedschaft eines Palästinenserstaats eingereicht. Er übergab das entsprechende Papier bei einem Treffen mit UN-Generalsekretär Ban Ki Moon in New York. Ban leitete den Antrag an den UN-Sicherheitsrat weiter, der nun in absehbarer Zeit sich damit befassen wird.
In einer Rede vor der UN-Vollversammlung warf Abbas Israel vor, seit einem Jahr "alle Bemühungen um Frieden" blockiert zu haben. Die israelische Siedlungspolitik in Ostjerusalem und im Westjordanland zerstöre die Grundlage für eine Zwei-Staaten-Lösung, wie sie von der internationalen Gemeinschaft befürwortet werde. Unter der Bedingung der "vollständigen Beendigung des Siedlungsbaus" und auf der Grundlage der Grenzen von 1967 seien die Palästinenser aber zur Rückkehr an den Verhandlungstisch bereit.
Im Folgenden dokumentieren wir die historische Rede von Abbas im Wortlaut (englisch).
Statement by H.E. Mr. Mahmoud Abbas, President of the State of Palestine, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization, President of the Palestinian National Authority
before United Nations General Assembly, Sixty-sixth Session
New York, 23 September 2011
Mr. President of the General Assembly of the United Nations,
Mr. Secretary-General of the United Nations,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
At the outset, I extend my congratulations to H.E. Mr. Nassir Abdulaziz AI-Nasser on his
assumption of the Presidency of the Assembly for this session, and wish him all success.
I extend today my sincere congratulations, on behalf of the Palestine Liberation
Organization and the Palestinian people, to the government and people of South Sudan for its
deserved admission as a full member of the United Nations, wishing them progress and
I also congratulate the Secretary-General, H.E. Mr. Ban Ki-moon, on his election for a
new term at the helm of the United Nations. This renewal of confidence reflects the world's
appreciation for his efforts, which have strengthened the role of the United Nations.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The Question Palestine is intricately linked with the United Nations via the resolutions
adopted by its various organs and agencies and via the essential and lauded role of the United
Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East - UNRWA - which
embodies the international responsibility towards the plight of Palestine refugees, who are the
victims of Al-Nakba (Catastrophe) that occurred in 1948. We aspire for and seek a greater and
more effective role for the United Nations in working to achieve a just and comprehensive peace
in our region that ensures the inalienable, legitimate national rights of the Palestinian people as
defined by the resolutions of international legitimacy of the United Nations.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
A year ago, at this san1e time, distinguished leaders in this hall addressed the stalled
peace efforts in our region. Everyone had high hopes for a new round of final status negotiations,
which had begun in early September in Washington under the direct auspices of President
Barack Obama and with participation of the Quartet, and with Egyptian and Jordanian
participation, to reach a peace agreement within one year. We entered those negotiations with
open hearts and attentive ears and sincere intentions, and we were ready with our documents,
papers and proposals. But the negotiations broke down just weeks after their launch.
After this, we did not give up and did not cease our efforts for initiatives and contacts.
Over the past year we did not leave a door to be knocked or channel to be tested or path to be
taken and we did not ignore any formal or informal party of influence and stature to be
addressed. We positively considered the various ideas and proposals and initiatives presented
from many countries and parties. But all of these sincere efforts and endeavors undertaken by
international parties were repeatedly wrecked by the positions of the Israeli government, which
quickly dashed the hopes raised by the launch of negotiations last September.
The core issue here is that the Israeli government refuses to commit to terms of reference
for the negotiations that are based on international law and United Nations resolutions, and that it
frantically continues to intensify building of settlements on the territory of the State of Palestine.
Settlement activities embody the core of the policy of colonial military occupation of the
land of the Palestinian people and all of the brutality of aggression and racial discrimination
against our people that this policy entails. This policy, which constitutes a breach of
international humanitarian law and United Nations resolutions, is the primary cause for the
failure of the peace process, the collapse of dozens of opportunities, and the burial of the great
hopes that arose from the signing of the Declaration of Principles in 1993 between the Palestine
Liberation Organization and Israel to achieve a just peace that would begin a new era for our
The reports of United Nations missions as well as by several Israeli institutions and civil
societies convey a horrific picture about the size of the settlement campaign, which the Israeli
government does not hesitate to boast about and which it continues to execute through the
systematic confiscation of the Palestinian lands and the construction of thousands of new
settlement units in various areas of the West Bank, particularly in East Jerusalem, and
accelerated construction of the annexation Wall that is eating up large tracts of our land, dividing
it into separate and isolated islands and cantons, destroying family life and communities and the
livelihoods of tens of thousands of families. The occupying Power also continues to refuse
permits for our people to build in Occupied East Jerusalem, at the same time that it intensifies its
decades-long campaign of demolition and confiscation of homes, displacing Palestinian owners
and residents under a multi-pronged policy of ethnic cleansing aimed at pushing them away from
their ancestral homeland. In addition, orders have been issued to deport elected representatives
from the city of Jerusalem. The occupying Power also continues to undertake excavations that
threaten our holy places, and its military checkpoints prevent our citizens from getting access to
their mosques and churches, and it continues to besiege the Holy City with a ring of settlements
imposed to separate the Holy City from the rest of the Palestinian cities.
The occupation is racing against time to redraw the borders on our land according to what
it wants and to impose a fait accompli on the ground that changes the realities and that is
undermining the realistic potential for the existence of the State of Palestine.
At the same time, the occupying Power continues to impose its blockade on the Gaza
Strip and to target Palestinian civilians by assassinations, air strikes and artillery shelling,
persisting with its war of aggression of three years ago on Gaza, which resulted in massive
destruction of homes, schools, hospitals, and mosques, and the thousands of martyrs and
The occupying Power also continues its incursions in areas of the Palestinian National
Authority through raids, arrests and killings at the checkpoints. In recent years, the criminal
actions of armed settler militias, who enjoy the special protection of the occupation army, has
intensified with the perpetration of frequent attacks against our people, targeting their homes,
schools, universities, mosques, fields, crops and trees. Despite our repeated warnings, the
occupying Power has not acted to curb these attacks and we hold them fully responsible for the
crimes of the settlers.
These are just a few examples of the policy of the Israeli colonial settlement occupation,
and this policy is responsible for the continued failure of the successive international attempts to
salvage the peace process.
This policy will destroy the chances of achieving a two-State solution upon which there is
an international consensus, and here I caution aloud: This settlement policy threatens to also
undermine the structure of the Palestinian National Authority and even end its existence.
In addition, we now face the imposition new conditions not previously raised, conditions
that will transform the raging conflict in our inflamed region into a religious conflict and a threat
to the future of a million and a half Christian and Muslim Palestinians, citizens of Israel, a matter
which we reject and which is impossible for us to accept being dragged into.
All of these actions taken by Israel in our country are unilateral actions and are not based
on any earlier agreements. Indeed, what we witness is a selective application of the agreements
aimed at perpetuating the occupation. Israel reoccupied the cities of the West Bank by a
unilateral action, and reestablished the civil and military occupation by a unilateral action, and it
is the one that detennines whether or not a Palestinian citizen has the right to reside in any part
of the Palestinian Territory. And it is confiscating our land and our water and obstructing our
movement as well as the movement of goods. And it is the one obstructing our whole destiny.
All of this is unilateral.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
In 1974, our deceased leader Yasser Arafat came to this hall and assured the Members of
the General Assembly of our affinnative pursuit for peace, urging the United Nations to realize
the inalienable national rights of the Palestinian people, stating: "Do not let the olive branch fall
from my hand".
In 1988, President Arafat again addressed the General Assembly, which convened in
Geneva to hear him, where he submitted the Palestinian peace program adopted by the Palestine
National Council at its session held that year in Algeria.
When we adopted this program, we were taking a painful and very difficult step for all of
us, especially those, including myself, who were forced to leave their homes and their towns and
villages, carrying only some of our belongings and our grief and our memories and the keys of
our homes to the camps of exile and the Diaspora in the 1948 AI-Nakba, one of the worst operations of uprooting, destruction and removal of a vibrant and cohesive society that had been contributing in a pioneering and leading way m the cultural, educational and economic
renaissance of the Arab Middle East.
Yet, because we believe in peace and because of our conviction in international
legitimacy, and because we had the courage to make difficult decisions for our people, and in the
absence of absolute justice, we decided to adopt the path of relative justice - justice that is
possible and could correct part of the grave historical injustice committed against our people.
Thus, we agreed to establish the State of Palestine on only 22% of the territory of historical
Palestine - on all the Palestinian Territory occupied by Israel in 1967.
We, by taking that historic step, which was welcomed by the States of the world, made a
major concession in order to achieve a historic compromise that would allow peace to be made in
the land of peace.
In the years that followed - from the Madrid Conference and the Washington negotiations
leading to the Oslo agreement, which was signed 18 years ago in the garden of the White House
and was linked with the letters of mutual recognition between the PLO and Israel, we persevered
and dealt positively and responsibly with all efforts aimed at the achievement of a lasting peace
agreement. Yet, as we said earlier, every initiative and every conference and every new round of
negotiations and every movement was shattered on the rock of the Israeli settlement expansion
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I confirm, on behalf of the Palestine Liberation Organization, the sole legitimate
representative of the Palestinian people, which will remain so until the end of the conflict in all
its aspects and until the resolution of all final status issues, the following:
I. The goal of the Palestinian people is the realization of their inalienable national rights in their
independent State of Palestine, with East Jerusalem as its capital, on all the land of the West
Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip, which Israel occupied in the June 1967 war,
in conformity with the resolutions of international legitimacy and with the achievement of a just
and agreed upon solution to the Palestine refugee issue in accordance with resolution 194, as
stipulated in the Arab Peace Initiative which presented the consensus Arab vision to resolve the
core the Arab-Israeli conflict and to achieve a just and comprehensive peace. To this we adhere
and this is what we are working to achieve. Achieving this desired peace also requires the
release of political prisoners and detainees in Israeli prisons without delay.
2. The PLO and the Palestinian people adhere to the renouncement of violence and rejection and
condemning of terrorism in all its forms, especially State terrorism, and adhere to all agreements
signed between the Palestine Liberation Organization and Israel.
3. We adhere to the option of negotiating a lasting solution to the conflict in accordance with
resolutions of international legitimacy. Here, I declare that the Palestine Liberation Organization
is ready to return immediately to the negotiating table on the basis of the adopted terms of
reference based on international legitimacy and a complete cessation of settlement activities.
4. Our people will continue their popular peaceful resistance to the Israeli occupation and its
settlement and apartheid policies and its construction of the racist annexation Wall, and they
receive support for their resistance, which is consistent with international humanitarian law and
international conventions and has the support of peace activists from Israel and around the world,
reflecting an impressive, inspiring and courageous example of the strength of this defenseless
people, armed only with their dreams, courage, hope and slogans in the face of bullets, tanks,
tear gas and bulldozers.
5. When we bring our plight and our case to this international podium, it is a confirmation of our
reliance on the political and diplomatic option and is a confirmation that we do not undertake
unilateral steps. Our efforts are not aimed at isolating Israel or de-legitimizing it; rather we want
to gain legitimacy for the cause of the people of Palestine. We only aim to de-legitimize the
settlement activities, the occupation and apartheid and the logic of ruthless force, and we believe
that all the countries of the world stand with us in this regard.
I am here to say on behalf of the Palestinian people and the Palestine Liberation
Organization: We extend our hands to the Israeli government and the Israeli people for peacemaking.
I say to them: Let us urgently build together a future for our children where they can
enjoy freedom, security and prosperity. Let us build the bridges of dialogue instead of
checkpoints and walls of separation, and build cooperative relations based on parity and equity
between two neighboring States - Palestine and Israel - instead of policies of occupation,
settlement, war and eliminating the other.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Despite the unquestionable right of our people to self-determination and to the
independence of our State as stipulated in international resolutions, we have accepted in the past
few years to engage in what appeared to be a test of our worthiness, entitlement and eligibility.
During the last two years our national authority has implemented a program to build our State
institutions. Despite the extraordinary situation and the Israeli obstacles imposed, a serious
extensive project was launched that has included the implementation of plans to enhance and
advance the judiciary and the apparatus for maintenance of order and security, to develop the
administrative, financial, and oversight systems, to upgrade the performance of institutions, and
to enhance self-reliance to reduce the need for foreign aid. With the thankful support of Arab
countries and donors from friendly countries, a number of large infrastructure projects have been
implemented, focused on various aspects of service, with special attention to rural and
In the midst of this massive national project, we have been strengthening what we
seeking to be the features of our State: from the preservation of security for the citizen and public
order; to the promotion of judicial authority and rule of law; to strengthening the role of women
via legislation, laws and participation; to ensuring the protection of public freedoms and
strengthening the role of civil society institutions; to institutionalizing rules and regulations for
ensuring accountability and transparency in the work of our Ministries and departments; to
entrenching the pillars of democracy as the basis for the Palestinian political life.
When division struck the unity of our homeland, people and institutions, we were
determined to adopt dialogue for restoration of our unity. We succeeded months ago in
achieving national reconciliation and we hope that its implementation will be accelerated in the
coming weeks. The core pillar of this reconciliation was to turn to the people through legislative
and presidential elections within a year, because the State we want will be a State characterized
by the rule of law, democratic exercise and protection of the freedoms and equality of all citizens
without any discrimination and the transfer of power through the ballot box.
The reports issued recently by the United Nations, the World Bank, the Ad Hoc Liaison
Committee (AHLC) and the International Monetary Fund confirm and laud what has been
accomplished, considering it a remarkable and unprecedented model. The consensus conclusion
by the AHLC a few days ago here described what has been accomplished as a "remarkable
international success story" and confirmed the readiness of the Palestinian people and their
institutions for the immediate independence of the State of Palestine.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is no longer possible to redress the issue of the blockage of the horizon of the peace
talks with the same means and methods that have been repeatedly tried and proven unsuccessful
over the past years. The crisis is far too deep to be neglected, and what is more dangerous are
attempts to simply circumvent it or postpone its explosion.
It is neither possible, nor practical, nor acceptable to return to conducting business as
usual, as if everything is fine. It is futile to go into negotiations without clear parameters and in
the absence of credibility and a specific timetable. Negotiations will be meaningless as long as
the occupation army on the ground continues to entrench its occupation, instead of rolling it
back, and continues to change the demography of our country in order to create a new basis on
which to alter the borders.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is a moment of truth and my people are waiting to hear the answer of the world. Will it
allow Israel to continue its occupation, the only occupation in the world? Will it allow Israel to
remain a State above the law and accountability? Will it allow Israel to continue rejecting the
resolutions of the Security Council and the General Assembly of the United Nations and the
International Court of Justice and the positions of the overwhelming majority of countries in the
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I come before you today from the Holy Land, the land of Palestine, the land of divine messages, ascension of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and the birthplace of Jesus Christ (peace be upon him), to speak on behalf of the Palestinian people in the homeland and in the Diaspora, to say, after 63 years of suffering of an ongoing Nakba: Enough. It is time for the
Palestinian people to gain their freedom and independence.
The time has come to end the suffering and the plight of millions of Palestine refugees in
the homeland and the Diaspora, to end their displacement and to realize their rights, some of
them forced to take refuge more than once in different places of the world.
At a time when the Arab peoples affirm their quest for democracy - the Arab Spring - the
time is now for the Palestinian Spring, the time for independence.
The time has come for our men, women and children to live normal lives, for them to be able to sleep without waiting for the worst that the next day will bring; for mothers to be assured
that their children will return home without fear of suffering killing, arrest or humiliation; for students to be able to go to their schools and universities without checkpoints obstructing them. The time has come for sick people to be able to reach hospitals normally, and for our farmers to
be able to take care of their good land without fear of the occupation seizing the land and its
water, which the wall prevents access to, or fear of the settlers, for whom settlements are being
built on our land and who are uprooting and burning the olive trees that have existed for
hundreds of years. The time has come for the thousands of prisoners to be released from the
prisons to return to their families and their children to become a part of building their homeland,
for the freedom of which they have sacrificed.
My people desire to exercise their right to enjoy a normal life like the rest of humanity.
They believe what the great poet Mahmoud Darwish said: Standing here, staying here,
permanent here, eternal here, and we have one goal, one, one: to be.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
We profoundly appreciate and value the positions of all States that have supported our
struggle and our rights and recognized the State of Palestine following the Declaration of
Independence in 1988, as well as the countries that have recently recognized the State of
Palestine and those that have upgraded the level of Palestine's representation in their capitals. I
also salute the Secretary-General, who said a few days ago that the Palestinian State should have
been established years ago.
Be assured that this support for our people is more valuable to them than you can
imagine, for it makes them feel that someone is listening to their narrative and that their tragedy
and the horrors of Al-Nakba and the occupation, from which they have so suffered, are not being
ignored. And, it reinforces their hope that stems from the belief that justice is possible in this in
this world. The loss of hope is the most ferocious enemy of peace and despair is the strongest
ally of extremism.
I say: The time has come for my courageous and proud people, after decades of
displacement and colonial occupation and ceaseless suffering, to live like other peoples of the
earth, free in a sovereign and independent homeland.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I would like to inform you that, before delivering this statement, I, in my capacity as
President of the State of Palestine and Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Palestine
Liberation Organization, submitted to H.E. Mr. Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United
Nations, an application for the admission of Palestine on the basis of the 4 June 1967 borders,
with AI-Quds AI-Sharif as its capital, as a full member of the United Nations.
I call upon Mr. Secretary-General to expedite transmittal of our request to the Security
Council, and I call upon the distinguished members of the Security Council to vote in favor of
our full membership. I also appeal to the States that have not yet recognized the State of
Palestine to do so.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The support of the countries of the world for our endeavor is a victory for truth, freedom,
justice, law and international legitimacy, and it provides tremendous support for the peace option
and enhances the chances of success of the negotiations.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Your support for the establishment of the State of Palestine and for its admission to the
United Nations as a full member is the greatest contribution to peacemaking in the Holy Land.
I thank you.
Quelle/Source: Website der UN-Generalversammlung, General Debate: 66th Session, 23 September 2011; http://gadebate.un.org
Ban receives Palestinian application for UN membership
(UN-Generalsekretär erhält den Antrag auf Mitgliedschaft Palästinas in der UNO
23 September 2011 – Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas today submitted an application for Palestine to become a United Nations Member State.
Mr. Abbas handed over an application to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at UN Headquarters in New York this morning. Palestine currently has observer status at the UN.
This afternoon Mr. Ban submitted the application to the President of the Security Council, as per the provisions of the UN Charter.
Any application is considered by the Council, which decides whether or not to recommend admission to the 193-member General Assembly, which has to adopt a resolution for the admission of any new Member State.
Later, Mr. Abbas told the Assembly’s annual general debate that Palestine is applying for full membership of the UN, on the basis of the so-called 4 June 1967 borders.
“Palestine is being reborn. This is my message,” he said, adding that he hoped it did not have to wait long for the application to be approved.
“I call upon Mr. Secretary-General to expedite transmittal of our request to the Security Council, and I call upon the distinguished members of the Security Council to vote in favour of our full membership. I also appeal to the States that have not yet done so to recognize the State of Palestine.”
In his address to the Assembly, Mr. Abbas said that Israeli Government policies were responsible “for the continued failure of the successive international attempts to salvage the peace process.”
He cited the construction of settlements in the West Bank, the refusal of permits for Palestinians to build in East Jerusalem, and the extensive number of military checkpoints limiting Palestinian movement and the ongoing blockade of the Gaza Strip as examples of such policies.
“All of these actions taken by Israel in our country are unilateral actions and are not based on any earlier agreements. Indeed, what we witness is a selective application of the agreements aimed at perpetuating the occupation.”
He stressed that over the past two years Palestinian authorities have worked hard to implement a programme of building up State institutions, as well as strengthening civil society, increasing government accountability and promoting the participation of women in public life.
Meanwhile, the Middle East Quartet – a diplomatic grouping bringing together the UN, the European Union, Russia and the United States – is scheduled to hold a meeting at UN Headquarters later today to discuss the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Source: UN News Centre, 23 September 2011; /www.un.org
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