Friday, 28 November 2014

Arab-Israeli Conflict

Israeli envoy Prosor says 'J'accuse' to UN, slamming the body's hypocrisy

Drawing inspiration from Emil Zola's famous response to the Dreyfus Affair, Israeli envoy says UN debate on rights of the Palestinian people is actually about speaking against Israel.

Israel's ambassador to the U.N. Prosor speaks to the media at U.N. headquarters in New York. (photo credit:REUTERS)


The UN’s debates on the rights of the Palestinian people actually consist of denials of Israel’s right to exist, envoy Ron Prosor says. Ambassador to the United Nations Prosor lashed out at the hypocrisy on Monday as the UN marked the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. “To the nations that continue to allow prejudice to prevail over truth, I say ‘J’accuse.’ I accuse you of hypocrisy. I accuse you of demanding concessions from Israel, but asking nothing of the Palestinians,” Prosor said, drawing inspiration from Emile Zola’s 1898 open letter written in response to the anti-Semitism of the Dreyfus Affair. “I accuse you of speaking about Israel’s right of self-defense in theory, but denying it in practice. I accuse you of lending legitimacy to those who seek to destroy our state. Our conflict has never been about the establishment of a Palestinian state. It has always been about the existence of the Jewish state,” Prosor said. “Among 193 flags at the UN there is one flag with a Jewish Star of David. There is just one small nation state for the Jewish people, and for some people, that is one too many. Today’s debate is not about speaking for peace or speaking for the Palestinian people – it is about speaking against Israel,” he said. “We will not return to the times of the world’s ignorance and indifference toward the Jewish people. We will never apologize for being a sovereign state.” PLO Ambassador Riyad Mansour spoke of how much had changed since a year ago when talks with Israel resumed, and accused Israel of “illegal and destructive activities, reckless provocations and incitement, and flagrant intransigence and bad faith in negotiations.” Calling the current situation “perilous,” Mansour reiterated the events of the summer from the Palestinian perspective. “It is without doubt that gross human rights violations and breaches of international humanitarian law amounting to war crimes were committed by Israel in its July and August military aggression in Gaza,” Mansour said. Israel’s “violent crimes” in other parts of the territories, including attempts to change the status quo in Jerusalem, are “dragging us farther away from the goal of peace.” Monday evening saw the opening of an exhibit of archival photographs of Palestinian refugees called “The Long Journey,” and a concert featuring Le Joubran Trio from Nazareth and Ramallah, co-organized by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East.