Tuesday, February 20, 2018

  • Tuesday, February 20, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon

Here's the text  of Danny Danon's response to Mahmoud Abbas' speech in the UNSC today. I thought it was a strong speech and it made all the major points that get ignored in the media and by diplomats.

I expected Mr. Abbas to stay for a dialogue, but once again he has run away instead of listening to what we have to say.

Look what just happened. Mr. Abbas came here put his demands on the table.

Now he expects you to deliver.

This is not the way to achieve peace. You cannot avoid direct negotiations.

Thank you, Mr. President.

It is unfortunate that we are meeting here today;
For the past seven and a half years the Chairman of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas,
has refused to meet even once with Prime Minister Netanyahu.

He has refused to negotiate peace.

Yet, during that same time, Mr. Abbas has made seven trips here to the United Nations.

Today, once again. rather than driving just twelve minutes from Ramallah to Jerusalem, he has chosen to fly twelve hours to New York to avoid the possibility for peace.

Mr. Abbas.

You have made it clear with your words and with your actions, that you are no longer part of the solution. You are the problem.

What have you done to better the life of a single person in Ramallah or Gaza?

The Palestinians need leadership that will invest in education, not glorify violence.
They need leadership that will build hospitals, not pay terrorists.
They need leadership that will negotiate with Israel and not run away from dialogue.

You just addressed the members of the Security Council and spoke of your commitments to peace. This is what you often do when speaking to international forums.

But when you address your people in Arabic, you convey a very different message.

A few weeks ago, when you spoke to the PLO Central Committee you called the national movement of the Jewish people and I quote “colonialist project that has no connection to Judaism.”

In the same shameful speech, you had the audacity to accuse Jews of supporting antisemitism in order to promote Zionism.

This was not the first time you used such hateful language.

In September 2015, as part of your attempts to delegitimize the connection between the Jewish people and the Land of Israel you said that Jews had no rights to the Temple Mount and other holy sites. And that the Jews, and I quote…“desecrate them with their filthy feet.”

You then went on to incite your people to violence saying, and I quote, “we welcome every drop of blood spilled in Jerusalem.”

Mr. Abbas,
You inspire a culture of hate within Palestinian society.
You name schools and public squares in honor of terrorists.
You encourage your children to hate by teaching them in school that Jews are descendants of apes.

Just this month, your Fatah faction praised the terrorists who killed Rabbi Raziel Shevach.

And you remained silent and refused to condemn the terrorists who killed a father of six as he was driving home to see his children.

Mr. Abbas, your incitement does not end with rhetoric. You have made it official Palestinian policy to sponsor terrorism.

In 2017, you spent $345 million dollars paying terrorists for killing innocent Israelis.

That is fifty percent of total foreign aid donated to the PA.
This is money you could have spent building forty hospitals.
This is money, you could have used to build 172 schools.
Every year.

Your travel around the world seeking international intervention is an attempt to avoid the hard choices necessary for peace.

You look to every possible forum because you don’t want to actually negotiate with Israel.

Mr. President,

It is unfortunate, but this reckless behavior by Chairman Abbas is nothing new.

It is a pattern he has continued in the spirit of over seventy years of missed opportunities by Palestinian leadership.

We recently celebrated seventy years since the adoption of General Assembly Resolution 181.

For the Jewish people, it represented international recognition of our historic rights to our homeland. We accepted the resolution immediately.

It was not perfect. It did not provide us with all that we deserved.

But it gave us hope for a better future.

Yet, this past November, as Israel celebrated this milestone the Palestinians marked this anniversary with grief and mourning just as they did seventy years ago when they chose to reject it.

Since that moment in 1947 Israelis fought valiantly in too many wars against our enemies intent to destroy our country.

Over time, brave leaders emerged in Egypt and Jordan. Leaders who were willing to negotiate, compromise, and ultimately sign peace agreements with Israel.

But the Palestinian leadership continued to choose conflict over coexistence.

At the Camp David summit, in 2000, Prime Minister Ehud Barak presented the Palestinians with an unprecedented offer.

What was Mahmoud Abbas’s reaction? To side with Yasser Arafat, claim it was a trap, and reject the proposal.

In 2005, Mahmoud Abbas was elected to chair the Palestinian Authority.

The world hoped he would follow in the courageous footsteps of President Sadat and King Hussein, seek peace with Israel, and forge a better future for Palestinians.

But he let his people down.

Since the day he took office, peace plan after peace plan has been accepted by Israel and rejected by Mr. Abbas.

Israeli leaders have sat with Mr. Abbas time and again. Three different Israeli prime ministers, three different American presidents. But every time there is an inch toward progress…

Mr. Abbas runs away.

In 2007, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert offered the most generous deal since Resolution 181. An almost complete withdrawal from Judea and Samaria and a direct link to the Gaza Strip.

The offer even included a plan to place the Old City of Jerusalem, the gateway to our holiest sites, under international control.

Mr. Abbas’s response was simple: An unequivocal no.

Two years later, Prime Minister Netanyahu did something unprecedented. In an attempt to restart negotiations, he initiated a ten -month freeze on Jewish construction in Judea and Samaria.

This was a precondition that no Israeli Prime Minister, not even Yitzhak Rabin or Shimon Peres had ever agreed to. But soon enough, the ten months passed and Mahmoud Abbas was nowhere to be found. He never came to the table. (P)

In 2013, Secretary of State John Kerry opened another attempt at negotiations. Once again Prime Minister Netanyahu was ready to talk. Once again, he was ready to negotiate, despite the years of Palestinian rejections of peace.

Chairman Abbas responded by breaking his commitment to Secretary Kerry. He chose unilateral action joining international conventions. Then he sought peace with Hamas, the internationally recognized terrorist organization, without even demanding that it renounce violence.

Today, as we speak, the current US administration is once again working hard to make progress toward peace. Mr. Abbas, however, is once again looking hard for an excuse.

This time, he claims it was the American announcement about Jerusalem that drove him to reject negotiations. By recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, President Trump simply stated what should be clear to everyone.

Mr. Abbas,
Let me be clear.

For thousands of years Jerusalem has been the heart and soul of our people.

Jerusalem has been our capital since the days of King David.

And Jerusalem will remain the undivided capital of the State of Israel forever.

We will always insist on Israeli sovereignty over a united Jerusalem. But, even fair-minded observers would agree that under any possible agreement Jerusalem will be recognized internationally as our capital.

After all these years of Abbas’s rejectionism, one thing is clear: when we extend a hand,
Abbas extends a fist.

Only when the terrorists of Hamas extend a hand, does Abbas embrace them with open arms and without preconditions.

Mr. Abbas has no even insisted on the basic human gesture of demanding the return of the Israeli civilians and the remains of IDF soldiers Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul that Hamas is savagely holding.

Mr. President…

Israelis are an optimistic people.

We weathered four bloody wars with Egypt while waiting for a leader like Anwar Sadat to courageously visit Jerusalem.

It took decades of talks with Jordan until the time was right for King Hussein to enter into what he rightly called a “peace of the brave.”

Three times a day Jews in Israel and all over the world turn to Jerusalem, and pray for peace.

We ask the following from God:

שִׂים שָ לוֹם טוֹבָה וּבְרָכָה
חֵן וָחֶֽסֶד וְרַחֲמִים עָלֵֽינוּ וְעַל כָּל יִשְׂרָאֵל עַמֶּֽךָ

“Grant peace everywhere goodness and blessing, Grace, loving kindness and mercy to us and unto all Israel and all of the world.”

We have no doubt that the day will come when the Palestinian people will also be blessed with leadership that shares these noble aspirations.

This will be a leadership that condemns violence and ends the shameful practice of paying salaries to terrorists. It will be a leadership that educates its people to tolerance instead of peddling in antisemitism. It will be a leadership that recognizes that Israel is and always will be
the national homeland of the Jewish people.

Israel eagerly awaits the day, when this Palestinian leadership will emerge and will bring the hope of a better future for its people and our region.
Thank you.
 And here's Nikki Haley's response:

Thank you, Mr. Secretary-General, for being with us today, as well as to Mr. Mladenov for his briefing.
We are meeting today in a forum that is very familiar to all of us. This session on the Middle East has been taking place each month for many, many years. Its focus has been almost entirely on issues facing Israelis and Palestinians. And we have heard many of the same arguments and ideas over and over again. We have already heard them again this morning.
It is as if saying the same things repeatedly, without actually doing the hard work and making the necessary compromises, will achieve anything.
Beginning last year, we have tried to broaden the discussion, and we have had some success in doing so. I thank my colleagues who have participated in those broader discussions.
One reason we did that is our well-founded belief that the United Nations spends an altogether disproportionate amount of time on Israeli-Palestinian issues. It’s not that those issues are unimportant. They are certainly very important. The problem is that the UN has proven itself time and again to be a grossly biased organization when it comes to Israel.
As such, the UN’s disproportionate focus has actually made the problem more difficult to solve, by elevating the tensions and the grievances between the two parties.
Another reason we have attempted to shift the discussion is that the vast scope of the challenges facing the region dwarf the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
As we meet here today, the Middle East is plagued by many truly horrendous problems.
In Yemen, there is one of the worst humanitarian disasters on earth, with millions of people facing starvation. Meanwhile, militia groups fire Iranian rockets from Yemen into neighboring countries. In Syria, the Assad regime is using chemical weapons to gas its own people. This war has taken the lives of over half a million Syrians.
Millions more have been pushed into neighboring Jordan, Turkey, and Lebanon as refugees, causing major hardships in those countries.
In Lebanon, Hezbollah terrorists exert ever-more control, illegally building up a stockpile of offensive weapons, inviting a dangerous escalation that could devastate regional security.
ISIS is engaged in an inhumane level of cruelty in much of the region. They’ve been dealt severe setbacks in Iraq and Syria, but they are not completely yet destroyed, and they still pose serious threats.
Egypt faces repeated terrorist attacks.
And of course, there is the terrorist-sponsoring regime in Iran that initiates and encourages most of the troubles I just outlined.
These immense security and humanitarian challenges throughout the region should occupy more of our attention, rather than having us sit here month after month and use the most democratic country in the Middle East as a scapegoat for the region’s problems.
But here we go again.
I do not mean to suggest that there is no suffering in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Both sides have suffered greatly. So many innocent Israelis have been killed or injured by suicide bombings, stabbings, and other sickening terrorist attacks. Israel has been forced to live under constant security threats like virtually no other country in the world. It should not have to live that way.
And yet, Israel has overcome those burdens. It is a thriving country, with a vibrant economy that contributes much to the world in the name of technology, science, and the arts.
It is the Palestinian people who are suffering more. The Palestinians in Gaza live under Hamas terrorist oppression. I can’t even call it a governing authority, as Hamas provides so little in the way of what one would normally think as government services.
The people of Gaza live in truly awful conditions, while their Hamas rulers put their resources into building terror tunnels and rockets. The Palestinians in the West Bank also suffer greatly. Too many have died, and too much potential has been lost in this conflict.
We are joined here today by Palestinian Authority President Abbas. I’m sorry he declined to stay in the chamber to hear the remarks of others. Even though he has left the room, I will address the balance of my remarks to him.
President Abbas, when the new American administration came into the office last January, we did so against the fresh backdrop of the passage of Security Council Resolution 2334.
In the waning days of the previous American administration, the United States made a serious error in allowing that resolution to pass. Resolution 2334 was wrong on many levels. I am not going to get into the substance now.
But beyond the substance, perhaps its biggest flaw was that it encouraged the false notion that Israel can be pushed into a deal that undermines its vital interests, damaging the prospects for peace by increasing mistrust between the Israelis and the Palestinians.
In the last year, the United States has worked to repair that damage. At the UN, I have opposed the bias against Israel, as any ally should do.
But that does not mean I or our administration is against the Palestinian people. Just the opposite is true. We recognize the suffering of the Palestinian people, as I have recognized here today.
I sit here today offering the outstretched hand of the United States to the Palestinian people in the cause of peace. We are fully prepared to look to a future of prosperity and co-existence. We welcome you as the leader of the Palestinian people here today.
But I will decline the advice I was recently given by your top negotiator, Saeb Erekat. I will not shut up. Rather, I will respectfully speak some hard truths.
The Palestinian leadership has a choice to make between two different paths. There is the path of absolutist demands, hateful rhetoric, and incitement to violence. That path has led, and will continue to lead, to nothing but hardship for the Palestinian people.
Or, there is the path of negotiation and compromise. History has shown that path to be successful for Egypt and Jordan, including the transfer of territory. That path remains open to the Palestinian leadership, if only it is courageous enough to take it.
The United States knows the Palestinian leadership was very unhappy with the decision to move our embassy to Jerusalem. You don’t have to like that decision. You don’t have to praise it. You don’t even have to accept it. But know this: that decision will not change.
So once again, you must choose between two paths. You can choose to denounce the United States, reject the U.S. role in peace talks, and pursue punitive measures against Israel in international forums like the UN. I assure you that path will get the Palestinian people exactly nowhere toward the achievement of their aspirations.
Or, you can choose to put aside your anger about the location of our embassy, and move forward with us toward a negotiated compromise that holds great potential for improving the lives of the Palestinian people.
Putting forward old talking points and entrenched and undeveloped concepts achieves nothing. That approach has been tried many times, and has always failed. After so many decades, we welcome new thinking.
As I mentioned in this meeting last month, the United States stands ready to work with the Palestinian leadership.
Our negotiators are sitting right behind me, ready to talk. But we will not chase after you. The choice, Mr. President, is yours.
Thank you.
(h/t Daled Amos)

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