Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas addresses the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly at UN headquarters in New York on September 23. (AFP)
September 23, 2022
- ‘Why are we the only people left under occupation?’ Palestinian president asks UN
- ‘Our trust in achieving a peace based on justice is regressing’
LONDON: Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Friday delivered a stinging rebuke of the international community for allowing Israel to persist with its destruction of his country.
Addressing the UN General Assembly, he described the colonization of Palestinian land by Israel as a “stain on all humanity,” and asked why the international community had made an “exception” out of Palestine by allowing Israel to act with impunity.
“I am telling you on behalf of the Palestinian people that our trust in achieving a peace based on justice is regressing. Do you want to smother the hope we have?” asked Abbas.
“Israel has decided not to be our partner in the peace process, and has undermined any attempt to find peace by deploying policies that destroy the two-state solution because it does not believe in peace but in the forceful imposition of a status quo.”
Abbas described the relationship between Israel and the Palestinians as that of an “occupying state and occupied people.”
While spending a substantive amount of time detailing various Israeli abuses against the Palestinians, it was the lack of will from the international community to hold Israel accountable that received his sharpest criticism.
“How long should we wait for our lands? Should we wait one century, two centuries? Why are we the only people left under occupation?” he asked.
“Why is Israel held unaccountable for its violations of international law? Who is doing this? You, the UN, allow this, and on top of this, the most powerful in the UN. Why these double standards? Why do they not treat us equally?”
Abbas said Israel has so far committed more than 50 massacres against the Palestinians. Furthermore, he questioned how the UN, an institution constructed to uphold international law, was allowing Israel to commit crimes against humanity.
“The international community must hold them accountable, and we ask the international community to do this,” he said.
“States like the US pretend to uphold international law and protect human rights, while concurrently providing unlimited support to Israel and protecting it from accountability — behavior that has allowed the occupier to pursue its hostile policies.”