Intl. Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People Skip to main content

Intl. Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People

29 November 2017
Beirut, Lebanon
Statement by Mr. Mohamed Ali Alhakim
Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations
Executive Secretary of the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia
on the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People
 
Mr. Hassan Mneimneh, Chair of the Lebanese-Palestinian Dialogue Committee, and representative of the
   Prime Minister of Lebanon,
 
Mr. Riad Malki, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the State of Palestine, and representative of the Prime Minister
   of the State of Palestine,
 
Excellencies,
 
Ladies and gentlemen,
 
          One hundred years have passed since the inauspicious Balfour Declaration and 70 years have gone by since the United Nations General Assembly issued a resolution to partition Palestine, giving over half of the territory to the Jews and the rest to the Palestinians. Israel has now occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank for 50 years.
 
          Restricting the injustices faced by Palestinians to the events of 1967 and beyond is an injustice in itself. The current political structure of the occupying State is itself a grave violation of the principles of justice, and of the Charter of the United Nations. For it is sufficient for individuals to belong to a certain religion to become citizens of Israel, and Israeli authorities strive to maintain a decisive majority of followers of that religion by encouraging their immigration to Israel and denying the original inhabitants of the land their right of return.
 
          The assertion of a certain religious group’s historical right to a land that they consider holy is controversial in itself. However, this notion has been developed in Israeli practice into demands for an exclusive historical right; in other words, that a territory should be granted to a group of people simply because they believe that it is theirs and be denied to others regardless of their claims to it.
 
          Israel has violated the very resolution that established it: the Plan of Partition. This resolution prohibits the forced eviction of inhabitants, endorses their right to return in case of eviction and prohibits discrimination of any kind on the ground of race or religion. For decades, Israel has disregarded many international resolutions and instruments that stress the need for a two-State solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict; reaffirm the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force; and require Israel to freeze all settlement activity, including “natural growth”, and to dismantle all outposts erected since March 2001.
 
          Israel has ignored international appeals for it to halt all measures aimed at altering the demographic makeup and nature of the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem. It has continued to build and expand settlements, bring in Israeli settlers, confiscate land, demolish houses and evict Palestinians, in direct violation of international resolutions and international humanitarian law.
 
          The international community has repeatedly confirmed that settlement building in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, was a gross breach of international law principles, and a significant obstacle to the two-State solution and to the realization of just, inclusive and permanent peace.
 
 
 
Ladies and gentlemen,
 
          Justice in Palestine is a necessity not only for Palestinians, but for the international order as a whole. Not decrying crime is a rejection of the law, which in turn threatens society. The achievement of justice is
our common duty. To resist oppression and authoritarianism in Palestine is to defend the ideals of justice
and survival.
 
          One of the benefits of resistance to oppression and occupation is the protection of the collective conscience and memory. Today, we welcome our guests, Elias Khoury, Marcel Khalifeh and Mai Masri, as nothing is more effective than literature, music and cinema in forging a memory of the past for the future, a memory unaffected by the balance of power and political constraints.
 
          Thank you all for your attendance today at the United Nations House to mark the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. God bless us all for our services to the State of Palestine and to the Arab region as a whole.
 
          May the peace, mercy and blessings of God be upon you.
 
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