Palestine’s President Mahmoud Abbas has just addressed the UN General Assembly. He began by lamenting the progress of the international community to implement the clear path to the full re-establishment of Palestinian statehood that was promised in the 1993 Oslo Accords which were signed between PLO leader Yasser Arafat, Yitzhak Rabin (who was later assassinated by an Israeli terrorist for his role in the accords) and US President Bill Clinton.
The accords led to Jordan singing a peace treaty with Israel, but the recognition of Palestine, according to the 1967 borders agreed upon in Norway has still not come to fruition. Abbas lamented international lethargy on this during his speech before the United Nations.
Abbas stated further that many further promises were broken to the Palestinians by many members of the international community including the United States. Abbas urged the US to re-start the tripartite peace process involving the leadership of Palestine, Israel and the US.
The Palestinian President further condemned Israel’s recent actions in militarising the Nobel Sanctuary in Jerusalem/Al-Quds. While criticising this internationally condemned move by the Tel Aviv regime, Abbas praised his fellow Palestinians for their commitment to peace and piety throughout the ordeal.
Mahmoud Abbas cautioned the wider international community not to allow the occupation of Palestine to turn into a religious conflict, warning that it would spread suffering to all peoples of the region, including Israel. He remarked with pride that Palestinians have not joined groups like al-Qaeda and ISIS and that this was because of the principled Palestinian commitment to legitimate peaceful processes.
The President devoted a great deal of the speech to criticising the United Kingdom for its authorship of the Balfour Declaration of 1917. Abbas explained that it was an illegal imperialist move which saw Britain give Palestinian land to a third party without any consultation. He lambasted Britain for its plans to celebrate the Balfour Declaration, named for the then UK Foreign Secretary who made the promise to the powerful Lord Rothschild. Abbas stated that Britain owes Palestine a profound apology for the 1917 Declaration.
Abbas then stated that Palestine is willing to accept the controversial 1967 borders on terms of mutual respect or else, Palestine will be equally happy for a one state solution based on full civil rights for all in a united Palestine from river to sea.
Here, Abbas paid tribute to the struggle against the former Apartheid regime in South Africa which serves as in inspiration for Palestine, in spite of the fact that many years have passed since South Africa’s liberation from Apartheid in 1994.
Abbas concluded his speech by quoting Nelson Mandea who stated that South Africa’s struggle for freedom will be incomplete until Palestine achieves its own.
Now watch the full speech by Mahmoud Abbas before the UN General Assembly.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.