Saturday, September 27, 2014

A Tale of Two Speeches

I selected excerpts from the "Full Official Text of President Mahmoud Abbas' Speech at the UNGA, to be delivered on September 26 with my underlining.

But there was a problem.  A different speech, in part, was delivered on September 27.

First, the pre-version:

The Question Palestine is intricately linked with...the plight of Palestine refugees, who are the victims of Al-Nakba (Catastrophe) that occurred in 1948...

...Over the past year we did not leave a door to be knocked or channel to be tested or path to be taken and we did not ignore any formal or informal party of influence and stature to be addressed...all of these sincere efforts and endeavors undertaken by international parties were repeatedly wrecked by the positions of the Israeli government...the Israeli government refuses to commit to terms of reference for the negotiations that are based on international law and United Nations resolutions, and that it frantically continues to intensify building of settlements on the territory of the State of Palestine.

Settlement activities embody the core of the policy of colonial military occupation of the land of the Palestinian people and all of the brutality of aggression and racial discrimination against our people that this policy entails.  This policy, which constitutes a breach of international humanitarian law and United Nations resolutions, is the primary cause for the failure of the peace process...

...a horrific picture about the size of the settlement campaign, which the Israeli government does not hesitate to boast about and which it continues to execute through the systematic confiscation of the Palestinian lands...The occupying Power also continues to undertake excavations that threaten our holy places, and its military checkpoints prevent our citizens from getting access to their mosques and churches, and it continues to besiege the Holy City with a ring of settlements imposed to separate the Holy City from the rest of the Palestinian cities.

...At the same time, the occupying Power continues to impose its blockade on the Gaza Strip and to target Palestinian civilians by assassinations, air strikes and artillery shelling, persisting with its war of aggression of three years ago on Gaza, which resulted in massive destruction of homes, schools, hospitals, and mosques, and the thousands of martyrs and wounded.

...In recent years, the criminal actions of armed settler militias, who enjoy the special protection of the occupation army, has intensified with the perpetration of frequent attacks against our people, targeting their homes, schools, universities, mosques, fields, crops and trees. Despite our repeated warnings, the occupying Power has not acted to curb these attacks and we hold them fully responsible for the crimes of the settlers.

...the 1948 Al-Nakba, one of the worst operations of uprooting, destruction and removal of a vibrant and cohesive society that had been contributing in a pioneering and leading way in the cultural, educational and economic renaissance of the Arab Middle East.

...we agreed to establish the State of Palestine on only 22% of the territory of historical Palestine - on all the Palestinian Territory occupied by Israel in 1967.

...1. The goal of the Palestinian people is the realization of their inalienable national rights in their independent State of Palestine, with East Jerusalem as its capital, on all the land of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip...and with the achievement of a just and agreed upon solution to the Palestine refugee issue in accordance with resolution 194...

2. The PLO and the Palestinian people adhere to the renouncement of violence and rejection and condemning of terrorism in all its forms, especially State terrorism...

4. Our people will continue their popular peaceful resistance to the Israeli occupation and its settlement and apartheid policies and its construction of the racist annexation Wall...

5. ...We only aim to de-legitimize the settlement activities and the occupation and apartheid and the logic of ruthless force, and we believe that all the countries of the world stand with us in this regard.

...we have been strengthening what we seeking to be the features of our State: from the preservation of security for the citizen and public order; to the promotion of judicial authority and rule of law; to strengthening the role of women via legislation, laws and participation; to ensuring the protection of public freedoms and strengthening the role of civil society institutions; to institutionalizing rules and regulations for ensuring accountability and transparency in the work of our Ministries and departments; to entrenching the pillars of democracy as the basis for the Palestinian political life.

...It is a moment of truth and my people are waiting to hear the answer of the world.  Will it allow Israel to continue its occupation, the only occupation in the world?  Will it allow Israel to remain a State above the law and accountability?  Will it allow Israel to continue rejecting the resolutions of the Security Council and the General Assembly of the United Nations and the International Court of Justice and the positions of the overwhelming majority of countries in the world?

...I come before you today from the Holy Land, the land of Palestine, the land of divine messages, ascension of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and the birthplace of Jesus Christ (peace be upon him), to speak on behalf of the Palestinian people in the homeland and in the the Diaspora, to say, after 63 years of suffering of the ongoing Nakba: Enough....

And now, from the actual one:

Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen,

In this year, proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly as the International Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, Israel has chosen to make it a year of a new war of genocide perpetrated against the Palestinian people...the occupying Power has chosen to defy the entire world by launching its war on Gaza, by which its jets and tanks brutally assassinated lives and devastated the homes, schools and dreams of thousands of Palestinian children, women and men and in reality destroying the remaining hopes for peace...

...I have...cautioned that the colonial occupying Power was preparing for a new Nakba

Here we find ourselves, full of grief, regret and bitterness, raising the same long-standing conclusions and questions after a new war, the third war waged by the racist occupying State in five years against Gaza, this small, densely-populated and precious part of our country.

The difference today is that the scale of this genocidal crime is larger...this recent aggression is unmatched in modern times...This last war against Gaza was a series of absolute war crimes carried out before the eyes and ears of the entire world...

We must also assume that no one will wonder anymore why extremism is rising...I affirm in front of you that the Palestinian people hold steadfast to their legitimate right to defend themselves against the Israeli war machine and to their legitimate right to resist this colonial, racist Israeli occupation...we will maintain the traditions of our national struggle established by the Palestinian fedayeen and to which we committed ourselves since the onset of the Palestinian revolution in early 1965.

...Amidst a torrent of massacres and storms of massive destruction, we witnessed the peoples of the world gathering in huge demonstrations...manifestations of true solidarity constituted an important message to those who were facing genocide in Gaza, helping them to feel they felt that they were not alone.

and on the question of Jerusalem, he was more specific

The occupation’s campaign specifically targeted the City of Jerusalem and its inhabitants, attempting to artificially alter the spirit, identity and character of the Holy City, focusing on Al-Aqsa Mosque, threatening grave consequences. At the same time, racist and armed gangs of settlers persisted with their crimes against the Palestinian people, the land, mosques, churches, properties and olive trees.

As usual, the Israeli government once again failed the test of peace.

So, what happened in between?


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