Israel's ambassador to the UN, Danny Danon, holds up a collage of Israeli victims of Palestinian terrorism.
(photo credit: UN)
NEW YORK – “The heinous murder of 20 innocent Israelis, just because they are Israelis, is no different than the cruel massacre of innocents in France,” Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon told the General Assembly.
“Terror is terror is terror, and it must be fought against, not justified,” he said.
Danon made the comments Monday during a debate on “the Question of Palestine” ahead of the UN’s International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.
In his speech to the UN Committee on Exercise of Inalienable Rights of Palestinian People just a few hours before Danon’s address, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said the “angry uprising” is the result of “diminishing hopes, the continued situation of strangulation, siege and pressure, and the lack of sense of security and safety” Palestinians feel.
According to him, these factors generate “tremendous frustration,” and that the stabbing attacks are “an inevitable result” of Israel’s “incessant violations and crimes against the Palestinian people.”
Danon said the day of solidarity is “a shameful day for the United Nations,” which is used “as a platform to attack Israel.”
“Over the years, this assembly has passed countless one-sided resolutions blaming Israel for any and all problems confronting the Palestinians,” he said on the podium. “Let’s be honest – for those members states who constantly engage in demonization and delegitimization of Israel, every day here at the UN is a day of solidarity with the Palestinians.”
Danon added that if the Palestinians had accepted the existence of a Jewish state alongside a Palestinian one, “Israelis and Palestinians would have been spared decades of needless conflict, of unnecessary pain and suffering, and of the devastating loss of life on both sides.
“Let’s stop avoiding the real, pressing question of Palestine, and ask ourselves: If the Palestinian leaders really want peace, why do they refuse to sit in the same room with the Israeli prime minister?” Abbas had told the UN earlier that “it is not logical to waste time in negotiations for the sake of negotiations; it is urgent to act now to salvage the prospects for peace.”
He also accused Israel of using many rounds of negotiations to gain more time in order to build more settlements, perpetuate apartheid on Palestinian land and steal Palestinian’s natural resources.
The Palestinian president added that the authority will continue its accession to international conventions and membership of international organizations.
He also reiterated that the Palestinians consider themselves no longer bound by agreements signed with Israel in the past due to “Israel’s destruction of the foundations upon which the political, economic and security agreements were signed.”
Danon said, “You can raise a Palestinian flag here in the UN, but as long as the Palestinians fail to raise a generation committed to peace and reconciliation, there will be no end to the violence.
“As long as those in this chamber do not demand that Palestinian leaders make the difficult decisions needed for peace, no rhetoric and no theatrics will improve the lives of the Palestinian people.”
Danon also read out loud the names of 22 Israelis who were killed in attacks by Palestinians since September.
The UN will mark International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People on November 29, the day the General Assembly adopted resolution 181 (II) on the Partition of Palestine, in 1947.