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Fifty - eighth  session (18 March - 26 April 2002)

 Item 8:  Question of the violation of human rights in the occupied Arab territories, including Palestine 

Mr. Chairman, 

            The Western world created in the mid of the past century the State of Israel in the Arab region without paying attention to the enormous international threats that may be posed by doing so.  Today, we ask the rational ones among the politicians of the Western world where they stand at a time when Israel has become the only State in the world that still exercises colonization and occupation which have been eradicated throughout the world.

            Not only does Israel exercise colonization and occupation, but Israel is also exercising State terrorism against the unarmed and defenseless Palestinian people in a racist ill-spirit of superiority as portrayed, loud and clear, in the statements of its leaders on several occasions.  Rafael Petan, one of the commanders of Israeli forces said to New York Times “we openly say it to Arabs that they have no right to live on one inch of Israeli soil.  Arabs only understand the language of force and we will use every extreme measure to break them until they come crawling on all four.”  Chief Rabbi Ovadiah Yosef, leader of the Shas party, declared in April of last year that “Jews should not show any mercy towards Arabs.”  Instead, they should “shower them with missiles and wipe them off the earth because they were cursed and evil people.”

            Furthermore, is there anywhere in the world a racist law as Israel’s law of return, which allows any Jew worldwide to come to live in Palestine and obtain residency and citizenship rights.  Meanwhile it prohibits millions of Palestinians, both Christians and Muslims, from returning to their homeland, properties and place of birth and upbringing where their parents and great grandparents lived for thousands of years, for no reason other than that they are not Jews!!

            Not long ago, the world saw what the Nazis did to the Jews during World War II.  Now here is the world witnessing Israel repeating the same Nazi crimes in a more brutal, hideous and racist manner.  Even some Israeli Jews recognize this sad irony as the famed violinist Lord Yehudi Menuhin who said to a French newspaper “it is extraordinary how nothing ever dies completely.  Even the evil which prevailed yesterday in Nazi Germany is gaining ground in Israel today.”

            The world’s conscience had previously considered Zionism as a form of racism through a resolution issued by the General Assembly of the United Nations.  Even if that resolution was revoked, nevertheless, the declaration of the Durban’s NGOs Forum for the World Conference Against Racism reaffirmed that Zionism equals racism.  Hundreds of organizations reached consensus on this serious matter including American organizations.  

            We believe this is not enough to stop the blood shedding in Palestine where thousands have been killed and injured during recent months.  There has to be a serious, effective and firm stand of the people and nations against the terrorist Ariel Sharon and his hysterical fanatic followers who are about to drive the world to the brink of destruction.

            The international community and public opinion was able to defeat the hideous racism that was degrading to human dignity in South Africa.  It did so by its candid and firm stand against apartheid and by suspending all international relations with that racist State and preventing it from participating in United Nations activities.  Now blacks and whites in South Africa live equally in peace and cooperation.  The crime of apartheid and the turbulence of bloodshed and misery, which it generated in the past, ended forever.  It has been a great victory for humanity at large.

            This victory can be repeated in Palestine if the international community stands against the rampant racism which has manifested itself throughout this land in the most despicable form.  In fact, it has reached more alarming degrees of ruthlessness and more massive massacring and subjugation of human beings than apartheid in South Africa.

            Every society in any place on earth has its good and peace loving people and its extremists who drive their communities towards evil schemes and tragic ends.  We know that millions of Jews in Israel and outside of it strongly oppose this racist trend against Christian and Muslim Palestinians and its daily consequences of blood shedding and pain and misery.  There is no doubt that those who are peace-loving are indeed hoping and patiently looking forward to the day they can live in peace and cooperation with their neighbors in a land, which is the cradle of civilizations and divine prophecies.  It is our hope that the international community should stand by them and help them reach this noble objective.

            We conclude this statement, Mr. Chairman, with words by the great historical leader who said to his followers to stand by their brother whether he is the oppressed or the oppressor.  His followers questioned:  we stand by him when oppressed, that is his right, which we will honor and respect, but why and how can we stand by him when he is the oppressor?!  He answered; you do so through standing by him against his oppression, forbidding him from proceeding further into it.

            Isn’t time to help those in Israel by preventing them from proceeding any further in their oppression and subjugation of Palestinians as we had done to apartheid in South Africa??!! 


26 March 2002