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Remarks to the General Assembly on Before the Vote on the Resolution to
Grant Palestine Non-member Observer State Status in the United Nations

New York, 29 November 2012

Mr. Secretary-General,
Mr. President,
Esteemed Foreign Ministers,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

At the start of this meeting, we had the distinct privilege to hear from representatives of two great nations President Mahmoud Abbas of Palestine and Ambassador Ron Prosor of the State of Israel.

They are each children of Abraham one a descendant of Ishmael, the other of Isaac. Both come from a land that has been almost continuously tormented by conflict for many centuries, with countless victims on all sides.

The strife has not abated during the sixty-seven years of this Organization’s existence, despite the fact that it came into being “to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war.”

Notwithstanding the valiant efforts of some of the most courageous statesmen of the 20th century, a negotiated comprehensive settlement enabling Israel and Palestine to live side by side in peace and security has yet to materialize.

And so we still witness the enmity, estrangement, and mistrust as parents continue to burry their children.

In today’s globalizing, interconnected world, what happens between the river Jordan and the shores of the Mediterranean has become the key to the security and well-being of the entire mankind.


I have no doubt that history will judge this day to have been fraught with significance but whether it will come to be looked upon as a step in the right direction on the road to peace will depend on how we bear ourselves in its wake.

Let us therefore have the wisdom to act in furtherance of the goal I’m sure we all share.

In coming to the end of my remarks, allow me to extend an appeal from this rostrum and in particular to my dear friends from Palestine and Israel to work for peace; to negotiate in good faith; and ultimately, to succeed in reaching the historical settlement.

This is our common and most solemn duty to the whole world but first and foremost to the proud men and women who live in a land that is holy to so many of us.

In the Zohar it is written, “God is peace, His name is peace, and all is bound together in peace.” And in the Qu’ran, we read that “Allah invites [all the] nations to the Abode of Peace, and brings whom He wills to a straight path.”


In a few moments, I will ask you to cast your ballots as you see fit.

I am sure each of you will do so with a veritable feeling in your heart that your choice is serving the cause of a righteous peace.

Thank you for your attention.


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