Today is International Human Rights Day. Mahmoud Abbas' speech on the occasion says nothing specific about how Palestinians should respect human rights (outside of signing human rights agreements) - only that this day must be used to attack Israel.
Here is the entire speech so you can see how little Abbas cares about his own responsibility to provide human rights for his people:
In the same year when the international community adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to ensure the maintenance of freedom and fundamental rights, and the preservation of human dignity, the Palestinian people faced to their misfortune a project that aims to eradicate them from his land and the denial of their existence, and while this announcement confirmed that the rights contained therein must ensure that each man has basic rights, the Palestinian man was deprived of the most basic national and individual rights, especially the right to life and freedom.What a great national leader! When Abbas speaks about the importance of human rights, he means the importance of Israel to cave to his blackmail, not his responsibilities to provide human rights to his people!
Taking salute today, December 10, of the International Day of Human Rights, the sons of our Palestinian people are targets of a new attack from the Israeli occupation and settlers in the framework of the continuous aggression on the rights and land and holy places of Christianity and Islam, which targets mainly children and young people, protectors of the dream and the future generation.
I've cited in the aggression against the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip in the summer of 2014 nearly 2200 Palestinians, including more than 500 children. Since the beginning of October 2015, 117 Palestinians have been killed so far, including 25 children, as well as arrest and torture campaigns against our people, including children, with more than 10,000 Palestinian children arrested, since 2000 to now.
In this regard, the State of Palestine decided to revive this day, particularly in schools all over the country, to highlight the crimes of the occupation against the Palestinian child, and the emphasis on their right, like the children of the world, to live in freedom and dignity upon the soil of his homeland.
Our Palestinian people will continue our struggle to achieve our objectives of freedom and independence and return, and will, at the same time, promote a human rights system and the protection of freedoms and ensure equality and non-discrimination as a basis for our independent state, as a state of all its citizens, male and female, different religions and beliefs, opinions, social circumstances, and the consolidation of National Unity and pluralistic democratic society and human dignity concepts.
Our national unity has been formed and our social solidarity is the guarantor and protector of the national fabric, despite displacement, occupation and illegal practices of colonization and siege and wall barriers.
Our Declaration of Independence has been confirmed in 1988, including the inalienable national rights of the Palestinian people in the face of the occupation, and it also stressed the respect and safeguarding of fundamental human rights principles to be protected as stipulated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, so as to consolidate the gains of our people in the framework of continuous struggle, and the embodiment of an independent Palestinian state, and an expression of its continuing quest to ensure the rights and freedoms of the Palestinian people in the face of the occupation, and meeting for the sacrifices of our people and their aspirations, and Palestine is now an observer in the United Nations and its accession to international agreements, especially in the field of human rights, without any reservations, to promote our national and state struggle to assure every citizen of his rights, and assume the maintenance of law and protection of human rights, as guaranteed by us as we sign these conventions of rights and pledge to fulfill our obligations towards them, through the harmonization of our law and policies with those principles and international conventions.
On this day, we reaffirm our commitment to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and appeal to provide international protection for the Palestinian people, especially children and youth, and the need for accountability of the occupation for their crimes, and to support us in the path of independence and to ensure all national and individual rights of the Palestinian people. Palestine remains the most important test of the international system, and countries must fulfill their obligations to respect and ensure respect for international law, and cut any links between their governments, bodies and companies with the settlements and their products and the occupation forces that protect them, and to link relations with Israel to its commitment to international law and peace.
As we address the people of Palestine in all parts of the country and in the Diaspora, in the camps, cities and villages, to commemorate the International Day for Human Rights and the confirmation of their rights under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and they continue to be deprived of them, tell the world that we are students of the life and dignity, freedom and peace, and the world must respond to the call of the youth of Palestine, whose steadfastness will defeat the occupation and oppression and triumph of the right and freedom.
Peace, mercy and blessings of God
This is in stark contrast with how real heads of state act. For comparison, here are statements about Human Rights day from Trinidad/Tobago and Pakistan in years past (the first ones I found from national leaders), where they speak of the challenges of providing human rights to their people.
One other thing: Abbas' last part about the youth whose "steadfastness" will "defeat the occupation" comes very close to supporting knife, car ramming and stoning attacks against Israeli civilians.
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