Tuesday, December 16, 2014

United Nation and Europe's Report Card From Ron Prosor

Jewish Press, Ron Prosor
Nadene Goldfoot                                            
Ambassador to UN Ron Prosor of Israel-11/24/2014.  He has served as Ambassador to UK and director-general of Israel's Foreign Ministry
"The world's unrelenting focus on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is an injustice to tens of millions of victims of tyranny and terrorism in the Middle East.  As we speak, Yazidis, Bahai, Kurds, Christians and Muslims are being executed and expelled by radical extremists at a rate of 1,000 people per month.

How many resolutions did you pass last week to address this crisis?  And how many special sessions did you call for?  The answer is zero.  What does this say about international concern for human life?  Not much, but it speaks volumes about the hypocrisy of the international community."

(Even today, 120, mostly children from 16 to 20, were killed in a Pakistani school by a Taliban attack.  Taliban terrorists want the families of these children to feel their pain.  This was a revenge attack for having military operations within their tribal land.)

"Of the 300 million Arabs in the Middle East and North Africa, less than 1/2 a % are truly free--and they are all citizens of Israel.  Israeli Arabs are some of the most educated Arabs in the world.  They are our leading physicians and surgeons.  They are elected to our parliament, and they serve as judges on our Supreme Court.  Millions of men and women in the Middle East would welcome these opportunities and freedoms.

Nonetheless, nation after nation will stand at this podium today and criticize Israel---the small island of democracy in a region plagued by tyranny and oppression.

Our conflict has never been about the establishment of a Palestinian state.  It has always been about the existence of the Jewish state.

67 years ago this week (spoken on November 24, 2014) the United Nations voted to partition the land into a Jewish state and an Arab state.  The Jews said yes.  The Arabs said no.  But they didn't just say no.  Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Lebanon launched a war of annihilation against our newborn state.

According to the United Nations, about 700,000 Palestinians were displaced in the war initiated by the Arabs themselves.  At the same time, some 850,000 Jews were forced to flee from Arab countries.

Why is it that 67 years later, the displacement of the Jews has been completely forgotten by this institution while the displacement of the Palestinians is the subject of an annual debate?

The difference is that Israel did its utmost to integrate the Jewish refugees into society.  The Arabs did just the opposite.

The worst oppression of the Palestinian people takes place in Arab nations.  In most of the Arab world, Palestinians are denied citizenship and are aggressively discriminated against.  They are barred from owning land and prevented from entering certain professions.

And yet none of these crimes are mentioned in the resolutions before you.

When it comes to matters of security, Israel learned the hard way that it cannot rely on others---certainly not Europe.

In 1973, on the holiest day on the Jewish calendar, the surrounding Arab nations launched an attack against Israel.  In the hours before the war began, Golda Meir, our prime minister then, made the difficult decision not to launch a preemptive strike.  The Israeli government understood that if we launched a preemptive strike, we would lose the support of the international community.

As the Arab armies advanced on every front, the situation in Israel grew dire.  Our casualty count was growing and we were running dangerously low on weapons and ammunition.  In this, our hour of need, President Nixon and Secretary of State Kissinger agreed to send Galaxy planes loaded with tanks and ammunition to resupply our troops.  The only problem was that the planes needed to refuel en route to Israel.

Our very existence was threatened and yet Europe was not even willing to let the planes refuel.  The U.S. stepped in once again and negotiated that the planes be allowed to refuel in the Azores.

The government and people of Israel will never forget that when our very existence was at stake, only one country came to our aid---the United States of America.  Israel is tired of hollow promises from European leaders.  You failed us in the 1940s.  you failed us in 1973.  And you are failing us again today.

Every European parliament that voted to prematurely and unilaterally recognize a Palestinian state is giving the Palestinians exactly what they want--statehood without peace.  By handing them a state on a silver platter, you are rewarding unilateral actions and taking away any incentive for the Palestinians to negotiate for compromise or renounce violence.  You are sending the message that the Palestinian Authority can sit in a government with terrorists and incite violence against Israel without paying any price.

Israel learned the hard way that listening to the international community can bring about devastating consequences.   In 2005, we unilaterally dismantled every settlement and removed every citizen from the Gaza Strip.  Did this bring us any closer to peace?  Not at all.  It paved the way for Iran to send its terrorist proxies to establish a terror stronghold on our doorstep.

I can assure you we won't make the same mistake again.  When it comes to our security, we cannot and will not rely on others---Israel must be able to defend itself by itself.

Israel is the land of our forefathers---Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.  It is the land where Moses led the Jewish people, where David built his palace, where Solomon built the Jewish Temple, and where Isaiah saw a vision of eternal peace.

For thousands of years Jews have lived continuously in the land of Israel.  We endured through the rise and fall of the Assyrian, Babylonian, Greek and Roman empires.  And we endured thousands of years of persecution, expulsions, and crusades.  The bond between the Jewish people and the Jewish land is unbreakable.

Nothing can change one simple truth---Israel is our home and Jerusalem is our eternal capital.  
At the same time, we recognize that Jerusalem has special meaning for other faiths.  Under Israeli sovereignty, all people, regardless of religion and nationality, can visit the city's holy sites.  And we intend to keep it this way.  The only ones trying to change the status quo on the Temple Mount are Palestinian leaders.

President Abbas is telling his people that Jews are contaminating the Temple Mount.  He has called for days of rage and urged the Palestinians to prevent Jews from visiting the Temple Mount using, quote, "all means necessary."  These words are as irresponsible as they are unacceptable.

You don't have to be Catholic to visit the Vatican;  you don't have to be Jewish to visit the Western Wall;  but some Palestinians would like to see the day when only Muslims can visit the Temple Mount.

Israelis are ready for peace, but we are not naive.  Israel's security is paramount.  Only a strong and secure Israel can achieve a comprehensive peace.

Recent events should make it clear to anyone that Israel has immediate and pressing security needs.  Palestinian terrorists have shot and stabbed our citizens, driven their cars into crowds of pedestrians, and savagely attacked Jewish worshipers during morning prayers.  These attacks didn't emerge out of a vacuum.  They are the results of years of indoctrination and incitement.

As a Jew and as an Israeli, I know with utter certainty that when our enemies say they want to attack us, they mean it.

Hamas's genocidal charter calls for the destruction of Israel and the murder of Jews worldwide.  For years, Hamas and other terrorist groups have launched rockets into our towns and sent suicide bombers and terrorists into our cities.

And what about the Palestinian Authority?  It is leading a systemic campaign of incitement.  In schools, children are being taught that "Palestine" will stretch from the Jordan 'River to the Mediterranean Sea.  In mosques, religious leaders are spreading vicious libels accusing Jews of destroying Muslim holy sites.  In sports stadiums, teams are named after terrorists.  And in newspapers, cartoons urge Palestinians to commit terror attacks against Israelis.

Children in most of the world grow up watching cartoons of Mickey Mouse singing and dancing.  Palestinians children also grow up watching Micky Mouse, but on Palestinian national television a twisted figure dressed as Mickey Mouse dances in an explosive belt and chants "Death to America and death to the Jews."

Most people believe that at its core, the conflict is a battle between Jews and Arabs or Israelis and Palestinians.  They are wrong.  The battle that we are witnessing is a battle between those who sanctify life and those who celebrate death.  

Following the savage attack in a Jerusalem synagogue, celebrations erupted in Palestinian towns and villages.  People were dancing in the street and distributing candy.  Young men posed with axes, loudspeakers at mosques called out congratulations, and the terrorists were hailed as "martyrs" and "heroes."

This isn't the first time we saw Palestinians celebrate the murder of innocent civilians.  We have seen them rejoice after every terrorist attack on Israeli civilians and they even took to the streets to celebrate the September 11th attack on the World Trade Center right here in New York City.

Imagine the type of state this society would produce.  Does the Middle East really need another terror-ocracy?  Some members of the international community are aiding and abetting its creation.  

As we came into the UN, we passed the flags of all 193 member states.  If you take the time to count, you will discover that there are 15 flags with a crescent and 25 flags with a cross.  And then there is one flag with a Jewish Star of David.  Amid all the nations of the world, there is one state--just one small nation state for the Jewish people.  

And for some people, that is one too many. As I stand before you today, I am reminded of all the years when the Jewish people paid for the world's ignorance and indifference in blood.  Those days are no more.

We will never apologize for being a free and independent people in our sovereign state.  And we will never apologize for defending ourselves.  

Resource: The Jewish Press, December 12, 2014, page 6 by Ron Prosor; his speech to the UN General Assembly 11/24/2014
CNN; 12/16/14 on Pakistan school attack

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