Text of Pres Abbas’ / Netanyahu Addresses to the UN, Sep 30, 2015

Mamoud Abbas

In the name of God, the Beneficent, the Merciful
H.E. Mr. Mogens Lykketoft, President of the General Assembly,
H.E Mr. Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations,
Excellencies, Heads of Delegations

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I come before you today from Palestine, compelled to sound the alarm about the grave dangers of what is happening in Jerusalem, where extremist Israeli groups are committing repeated, systematic incursions upon Al-Aqsa Mosque, aimed at imposing a new reality and dividing Al- Haram Al-Sharif temporally, allowing extremists, under the protection of Israeli occupying forces and accompanying ministers and Knesset members, to enter the Mosque at certain times, while preventing Muslim worshipers from accessing and entering the Mosque at those times and freely exercising their religious rights.

This is the scheme that the Israeli government is pursuing, in direct violation of the status quo since before 1967 and thereafter. By doing so, the occupying power is committing a grave mistake, because we will not accept this, and the Palestinian people will not allow the implementation of this illegal scheme, which is aggravating the sensitivities of Palestinians and Muslims everywhere.

I call on the Israeli government, before it is too late, to cease its use of brutal force to impose its plans to undermine the Islamic and Christian sanctuaries in Jerusalem, particularly its actions at Al-Aqsa Mosque, for such actions will convert the conflict from a political to religious one, creating an explosive in Jerusalem and in the rest of the occupied Palestinian territory.

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is my honor to come before you to speak on behalf of the state of Palestine before your esteemed General Assembly in this session, which coincides with the 70th anniversary of the establishment of the United Nations, which has made the promotion and protection of international peace and security and the preservation of human rights its most central goals.

The question of Palestine was one of the first just issues brought before the United Nations from the time of its inception, and yet it remains unresolved until this moment, as the organization and its members continue to be unable to end this injustice inflicted upon our people and to assist our people to exercise their right to self-determination and freedom in their independent and sovereign state.

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

I ask you to consider the history of the question of Palestine and the relevant United Nations resolutions to realize the obvious truth: that a historic injustice has been inflicted upon a people and a homeland, a people that had lived peacefully in their land and made genuine intellectual, cultural and humanitarian contributions to mankind. This people do not deserve to be deprived of their homeland, to die in exile or be swallowed by the sea, or to spend their lives fleeing from one refugee camp to another. Yet regrettably, their just cause remains at a standstill after the passage of all these years.

Our people have placed their hopes on the countries of this organization to help them to gain their freedom, independence and sovereignty, so that their wish and right to their own state, like all other peoples of the Earth, can be achieved, along with a just solution for the Palestine refugee issue in accordance with General Assembly resolution 194 and the Arab peace initiative.

Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen,

We are calling for rightness, justice and peace. While Palestine was partitioned into two states – according to which Israel was established 67 years ago- the second part of that resolution still awaits implementation. Palestine, which is an observer state in the United Nations, deserves full recognition and full membership. It is unreasonable and painful – in light of all the enormous sacrifices we have made, our patience over all of these years of exile and suffering, and our acceptance to make peace according to the two-state solution based on international law, the relevant United Nations resolutions, the Arab peace initiative, and the Quartet roadmap – that the question of Palestine unjustly remains unresolved.

Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Continuation of the status quo is completely unacceptable because it means surrender to the logic of the brute force being inflicted by the Israeli government, as it continues its illegal settlement expansion in the West Bank, especially in occupied East Jerusalem, and continues its blockade of the Gaza Strip, deepening the immense suffering of our people there, in defiance of United Nations resolutions and the agreements signed between the two sides under international auspices. We recall here the words of the late Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin in 1976, when he stated that Israel will become an apartheid state if it continues its occupation of the Palestinian territory and described the Israeli settlements on Palestinian land as “cancer”.

The persistence of this matter prompts us to ask: do the votes by democratic countries against Palestine-related resolutions and the legitimate rights of our people serve peace and those who believe in the two-state solution? Or do they serve and encourage extremists and increase their hatred and racism, making them believe that they are above the law, to the point where they commit the burning of a Palestinian family in the town of Duma in the West Bank, claiming the lives of an infant, Ali Dawabsheh, and his father and mother? What is left of this family is an orphan child, Ahmed, four-year old, who lies between life and death in the hospital as a result of his burns, while the killers remain free and have not yet been arrested.

This is not the first crime. Before, they burned alive and killed the Palestinian child, Mohammed Abu Khdeir, in Jerusalem, and the child Mohammed Al-Dura in Gaza, and before them thousands have been killed in Gaza and the West Bank. And, we still remember the Deir Yassin massacre and all of the crimes against our people that have passed without punishment. For how long will Israel remain above international law and without accountability?

Due to the time constraints, I shall not be able to discuss in detail how many Israeli violations are being committed against our people and how many repressive laws have been issued by successive Israeli governments, the latest of which is the formal legislation of instructions to fire live ammunition at and arrest and repress peaceful Palestinian demonstrators, as it continues to impose this illegal occupation.

Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen,

We do not respond to the Israeli occupation’s hatred and brutality with the same. Instead, we are working on spreading the culture of peace and coexistence between our people and in our region, and we are anxious to realize it and to witness the day when all of the people in our region will enjoy peace, security, stability and prosperity. This cannot be achieved with the continuation of the occupation, settlement colonization, the wall, the burning of people, places of worship and homes, the killing youth, children and infants, the burning of crops, and the arrest and detention of people without charge or trial.

How can a state claiming to be an oasis of democracy and claiming that its courts and security apparatus function according to the law accept the existence of a so-called “price tag” gangs and other terrorist organizations that terrorize our people, their property and holy sites, all under the sight of the Israeli army and police, which do not deter or punish, but rather provide them with protection.

Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Is it not time to end this injustice? Is it not time to stop this suffering? Is it not time for the racist annexation wall to be dismantled? Is it not time for the humiliating and degrading checkpoints and barriers set up by the Israeli occupying forces in our land to be removed, for the Israeli blockade imposed on the Gaza Strip to be lifted, and for our people to move in freedom and dignity in their own homeland and outside? Is it not time to end the racist, terrorist, colonial settlement of our land, which is destroying the two-state solution? Is it not the time for the six thousand Palestinian prisoners and detainees in Israeli jails to see the light of freedom and to live among their families and communities? Is it not the time for the longest occupation in history suffocating our people to come to an end?

Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Despite all the obstacles imposed by the occupation, we, since the establishment of the Palestinian National Authority, and until this moment, have worked incessantly to build the foundations of our state, its infrastructure and sovereign national institutions. We have made real
progress on the ground, as affirmed by several international bodies, especially the United Nations, World Bank, and International Monetary Fund. We will continue our efforts and work, with the support of our brothers and friends, to strengthen our state, committed to international
standards, the rule of law and transparency as a democratic and modern state.

In this context, we highly value the efforts of the AHLC, under Norway’s chairmanship, and urge donor countries to continue to support a better life for our people and our efforts to develop our state institutions. In this context, our accession to membership of international organizations and treaties and conventions, is not directed against any one, but rather aimed at safeguarding our rights, protecting our people, harmonizing the laws and regulations of our country with international standards, and strengthening its international legal status and identity.

As for the internal Palestinian situation, we are determined to preserve the unity of our land and our people. We will not accept temporary solutions or a fragmented state. We seek to form a national unity government that functions according to the program of the Palestine Liberation Organization, and we seek to hold presidential and legislative elections.

Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Palestine is a country of holiness and peace. It is the birthplace of Christ, the messenger of love and peace, and the Isra’ and Mi’raj (ascension to heaven and night journey) of Mohammed, peace be upon him, who was sent as a mercy unto the world. This is Palestine that is still looking for peace, and its people want to live in their homeland in safety, security, harmony, stability and good neighborliness with all peoples and countries of the region. This is attested to by their cultural, humanitarian and spiritual contributions to humanity from the start.

Recently, on 17 May 2015, two nuns from Palestine, Alphonsine Ghattas and Mariam Baouardy, were canonized as saints by His Holiness Pope Francis at the Vatican in the presence of tens of thousands of the faithful from around the globe. The flag of Palestine was raised at the Vatican, which recognized the state of Palestine, as documented in the agreement signed between the Holy See and the state of Palestine.

We aspire to see the independent state of Palestine taking its rightful place among the community of nations, and we are confident that it will actively contribute to the achievement of economic, cultural, and humanitarian progress of civilization, with positive effects on our people, the region and the world.

It is from Palestine, and with Palestine, that peace will be achieved.

Here, I wish to express, on behalf of our people, deepest gratitude to the countries that voted in favor of the resolution enabling us today to raise the flag of the state of Palestine at United Nations Headquarters. The day is not far when we will raise the flag of Palestine in East Jerusalem, the capital of the state of Palestine.

I wish also to pay tribute to the recent decisions by the European parliaments that have clearly condemned Israel’s settlement activities and its products and affirmed the right of the Palestinian people to sovereignty and independence in their State alongside the State of Israel, and that also established a Committee on the relations with Palestine.

Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Several European countries and parliaments also affirmed their recognition of the State of Palestine, reaffirming our natural fight to independence. In this regard, we thank the Kingdom of Sweden for its courage and recognition of the state of Palestine. Indeed, the countries that say they support the two-state solution must recognize the two states, not just one.

Today, I appeal to those countries that have not yet recognized the state of Palestine yet, to do so. We are confident that they will do so, based on conviction in the justice deserved by our people and their cause.

From this rostrum at the United Nations and in this period of religious holidays, I also extend a sincere call to the people of Israel for peace based on justice, security and stability for all. I must also call again on the Security Council and the General Assembly to uphold their responsibilities before it is too late and the chances for peace are lost.

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

You are all aware that Israel undermined the efforts made by the administration of President Barack Obama in past years, most recently the efforts of Secretary of State John Kerry aimed at reaching a peace agreement through negotiations. The policies and practices of the Israeli Government and the positions of its Prime Minister and cabinet members lead to a clear conclusion: it is working extremely hard to destroy the two-state solution that we are seeking on the basis of the resolutions of international legitimacy.

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

We welcome the international and European efforts, including the French initiative calling for the formation of an international support group for the achievement of peace. In their recent summit, the Arab States confirmed their support for a resolution by the Security Council that reaffirms the clear parameters for a peaceful solution in accordance with the two-State solution based on the pre-1967 borders and that sets a timeframe for ending the occupation. It is no longer useful to waste time in negotiations for the sake of negotiations; what is required is to mobilize international efforts to oversee an end to the occupation in line with the resolutions of international legitimacy. Until then, I call upon the United Nations to provide international protection for the Palestinian people in accordance with international humanitarian law.

Mr. President, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

We have tried to oblige Israel to implement the signed agreements and to negotiate in conformity with the two state solution through direct contacts with the Israeli government, as well as through the United States, the Russian Federation, the European Union, and the United Nations (the Quartet members) and other parties. However, the Israeli government insists on continuing its destruction of the two-state solution and on entrenchment of two regimes on the ground: an apartheid regime that is currently imposed on the territory of the state of Palestine and against the Palestinian people on the one hand, and another regime of privileges and protection to the Israeli settlers on the other hand.

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

The transitional Oslo Agreement and its annexes, and the subsequent agreements signed with Israel, stipulated that the agreements would be implemented within five years, ending in 1999 with full independence for the state of Palestine and the termination of the Israeli occupation. But Israel stopped the completion of the process of withdrawing its forces from areas classified as “B” and “C”, which represent more than 60% of the territory of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. Instead, it intensified its settlement activities everywhere. Since the speech of President Obama in Cairo in 2009, in which he called for the cessation of settlement activities, the Israeli government increased settlement activities by at least 20%, violating its obligation not to undertake any action illegally and unilaterally that would prejudge the final solution. Moreover, the occupying power has repeatedly infringed upon the areas classified “A”, which are supposed to be under full Palestinian security jurisdiction and in which we have developed the institutions of the Palestinian State.

At the same time, as Israel refuses to review the economic agreements that control the ability of the Palestinian economy to develop and be independent, it is determined to impose dominance on our economy, similar to its military and security dominance, and rejects the right of the Palestinian people to development and to their natural resources. As such, Israel has destroyed the foundations upon which the political and security agreements are based, which have also been undermined by the measures taken by successive Israeli governments that have negated the transitional phase aimed at realizing the independence of our State, and has perpetrated gross violations, which have made the situation unsustainable.

Thus, we declare that as long as Israel refuses to commit to the agreements signed with us, which render us an authority without real powers, and as long as Israel refuses to cease settlement activities and to release of the fourth group of Palestinian prisoners in accordance with our agreements, they leave us no choice but to insist that we will not remain the only ones committed to the implementation of these agreements, while Israel continuously violates them.

We therefore declare that we cannot continue to be bound by these agreements and that Israel must assume all of its responsibilities as an occupying power, because the status quo cannot continue and the decisions of the Palestinian Central Council last March are specific and binding.

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

The state of Palestine, based on the 4th of June 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital, is a state under occupation, as was the case for many countries during World War II. Our state is recognized by 137 countries around the world and the right of our people to self determination, freedom and independence is recognized globally as being inalienable and unquestionable.

I further recall General Assembly resolution 67/19 of 2012, which accorded to Palestine observer state status, reaffirmed that the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization would be the interim government of the state of Palestine and that the Palestinian National Council is the Palestinian parliament of the state of Palestine.

I must reiterate: the current situation is unsustainable. Our people need genuine hope and need to see credible efforts for ending this conflict, ending their misery and achieving their rights. We will start the implementation of this declaration by all peaceful and legal means.

Either the Palestinian National Authority will be the conduit of the Palestinian people from occupation to independence, or Israel, the occupying power, must bear all of its responsibilities.

At the same time, and based on our commitment to the principles of international law, the state of Palestine will continue in its efforts to accede to international conventions and organizations, and it will move forward in the defense of its people under occupation through all available legal and peaceful means, including as a High Contracting Party to the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and a State Party to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. Those who fear international law and international courts must cease committing all crimes.

Mr. President, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

My hands remain outstretched for the just peace that will guarantee my people’s fights, freedom and human dignity. I say to our neighbors, the Israeli people that peace is in your interest, in our interest, and in the interest of our future generations. Narrow vision is destructive. I hope that you will consider the dangerous reality on the ground and look to the future and accept for the Palestinian people what you accept for yourselves. Then, you will find that the achievement of peace will be possible, and you will enjoy security, safety, peace and stability. These are the aspirations that we also seek to realize for the Palestinian people.

I thank you for your kind attention.

May the peace, mercy and blessings of God be upon you.


Benyamin Netanyahu

Ladies and Gentlemen, I bring you greetings from Jerusalem. The city in which the Jewish People’s hopes and prayers for peace for all of humanity have echoed throughout the ages.

Thirty-one years ago, as Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations, I stood at this podium for the first time. I spoke that day against a resolution sponsored by Iran to expel Israel from the United Nations. Then as now, the UN was obsessively hostile towards Israel, the one true democracy in the Middle East. Then as now, some sought to deny the one and only Jewish state a place among the nations.

I ended that first speech by saying: Gentlemen, check your fanaticism at the door.

More than three decades later, as the Prime Minister of Israel, I am again privileged to speak from this podium. And for me, that privilege has always come with a moral responsibility to speak the truth.

So after three days of listening to world leaders praise the nuclear deal with Iran, I begin my speech today by saying: Ladies and Gentlemen, check your enthusiasm at the door.

You see, this deal doesn’t make peace more likely. By fueling Iran’s aggressions with billions of dollars in sanctions relief, it makes war more likely. Just look at what Iran has done in the last six months alone, since the framework agreement was announced in Lausanne. Iran boosted its supply of devastating weapons to Syria. Iran sent more soldiers of its Revolutionary Guard into Syria. Iran sent thousands of Afghani and Pakistani Shi’ite fighters to Syria. Iran did all this to prop up Assad’s brutal regime. Iran also shipped tons of weapons and ammunitions to the Houthi rebels in Yemen, including another shipment just two days ago.

Iran threatened to topple Jordan. Iran’s proxy Hezbollah smuggled into Lebanon SA-22 missiles to down our planes, and Yakhont cruise missiles to sink our ships. Iran supplied Hezbollah with precision-guided surface-to-surface missiles and attack drones so it can accurately hit any target in Israel. Iran aided Hamas and Islamic Jihad in building armed drones in Gaza.

Iran also made clear its plans to open two new terror fronts against Israel, promising to arm Palestinians in the West Bank and sending its Revolutionary Guard generals to the Golan Heights, from which its operatives recently fired rockets on northern Israel.

Israel will continue to respond forcefully to any attacks against it from Syria. Israel will continue to act to prevent the transfer of strategic weapons to Hezbollah from and through Syrian territory.

Every few weeks, Iran and Hezbollah set up new terror cells in cities throughout the world. Three such cells were recently uncovered in Kuwait, Jordan and Cyprus.

In May, security forces in Cyprus raided a Hezbollah agent’s apartment in the city of Larnaca. There they found five tons of ammonium nitrate, that’s roughly the same amount of ammonium nitrate that was used to blow up the federal building in Oklahoma City. And that’s just in one apartment, in one city, in one country.

But Iran is setting up dozens of terror cells like this around the world, ladies and gentlemen, they’re setting up those terror cells in this hemisphere too. I repeat: Iran’s been doing all of this, everything that I’ve just described, just in the last six months, when it was trying to convince the world to remove the sanctions.

Now just imagine what Iran will do after those sanctions are lifted. Unleashed and un-muzzled, Iran will go on the prowl, devouring more and more prey. In the wake of the nuclear deal, Iran is spending billions of dollars on weapons and satellites.

You think Iran is doing that to advance peace? You think hundreds of billions of dollars in sanctions relief and fat contracts will turn this rapacious tiger into a kitten? If you do, you should think again.

In 2013 president Rouhani began his so-called charm offensive here at the UN. Two years later, Iran is executing more political prisoners, escalating its regional aggression, and rapidly expanding its global terror network.

You know they say, actions speak louder than words. But in Iran’s case, the words speak as loud as the actions. Just listen to the Deputy Commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Quds Force. Here’s what he said in February:

“The Islamic revolution is not limited by geographic borders….” He boasted that Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, Palestine and Yemen are among the countries being “conquered by the Islamic Republic of Iran.”


And for those of you who believe that the deal in Vienna will bring a change in Iran’s policy, just listen to what Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei said five days after the nuclear deal was reached: “Our policies towards the arrogant government of the United States will not change.” The United States, he vowed, will continue to be Iran’s enemy.

While giving the mullahs more money is likely to fuel more repression inside Iran, it will definitely fuel more aggression outside Iran. As the leader of a country defending itself every day against Iran’s growing aggression, I wish I could take comfort in the claim that this deal blocks Iran’s path to nuclear weapons. But I can’t, because it doesn’t.

This deal does place several constraints on Iran’s nuclear program. And rightly so, because the international community recognizes that Iran is so dangerous. But you see here’s the catch:

Under this deal, if Iran doesn’t change its behavior, in fact, if it becomes even more dangerous in the years to come, the most important constraints will still be automatically lifted by year 10 and by year 15. That would place a militant Islamic terror regime weeks away from having the fissile material for an entire arsenal of nuclear bombs. That just doesn’t make any sense.

I’ve said that if Iran wants to be treated like a normal country, let it act like a normal country. But this deal, this deal will treat Iran like a normal country even if it remains a dark theocracy that conquers its neighbors, sponsors terrorism worldwide and chants “Death to Israel”, “Death to America.”

Does anyone seriously believe that flooding a radical theocracy with weapons and cash will curb its appetite for aggression? Do any of you really believe that a theocratic Iran with sharper claws and sharper fangs will be more likely to change its stripes?

So here’s a general rule that I’ve learned and you must have learned in your life time – When bad behavior is rewarded, it only gets worse.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I have long said that the greatest danger facing our world is the coupling of militant Islam with nuclear weapons. And I’m gravely concerned that the nuclear deal with Iran will prove to be the marriage certificate of that unholy union.

I know that some well-intentioned people sincerely believe that this deal is the best way to block Iran’s path to the bomb. But one of history’s most important yet least learned lessons is this: The best intentions don’t prevent the worst outcomes.

The vast majority of Israelis believe that this nuclear deal with Iran is a very bad deal. And what makes matters even worse is that we see a world celebrating this bad deal, rushing to embrace and do business with a regime openly committed to our destruction.

Last week, Major General Salehi, the commander of Iran’s army, proclaimed this: “We will annihilate Israel for sure.”

“We are glad that we are in the forefront of executing the Supreme Leader’s order to destroy Israel.”

And as for the Supreme Leader himself, a few days after the nuclear deal was announced, he released his latest book. Here it is. It’s a 400-page screed detailing his plan to destroy the State of Israel.

Last month, Khamenei once again made his genocidal intentions clear before Iran’s top clerical body, the Assembly of Experts. He spoke about Israel, home to over six million Jews. He pledged, “there will be no Israel in 25 years.”

Seventy years after the murder of six million Jews, Iran’s rulers promise to destroy my country. Murder my people. And the response from this body, the response from nearly every one of the governments represented here has been absolutely nothing!

Utter silence!

Deafening silence.

(At this point, Netanyahu paused for 44 seconds.)

Perhaps you can now understand why Israel is not joining you in celebrating this deal. If Iran’s rulers were working to destroy your countries, perhaps you’d be less enthusiastic about the deal. If Iran’s terror proxies were firing thousands of rockets at your cities, perhaps you’d be more measured in your praise. And if this deal were unleashing a nuclear arms race in your neighborhood, perhaps you’d be more reluctant to celebrate.

But don’t think that Iran is only a danger to Israel. Besides Iran’s aggression in the Middle East and its terror around the world, Iran is also building intercontinental ballistic missiles whose sole purpose is to carry nuclear warheads. Now remember this: Iran already has missiles that can reach Israel. So those intercontinental ballistic missiles that Iran is building – they’re not meant for us – They’re meant for you. For Europe. For America. For raining down mass destruction – anytime, anywhere.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It’s not easy to oppose something that is embraced by the greatest powers in the world. Believe me, it would be far easier to remain silent.

But throughout our history, the Jewish people have learned the heavy price of silence. And as the Prime Minister of the Jewish State, as someone who knows that history, I refuse to be silent. I’ll say it again: The days when the Jewish people remained passive in the face of genocidal enemies – those days are over.

Not being passive means speaking up about those dangers. We have. We are. We will.

Not being passive also means defending ourselves against those dangers. We have. We are. And we will.

Israel will not allow Iran to break-in, to sneak-in or to walk-in to the nuclear weapons club. I know that preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons remains the official policy of the international community. But no one should question Israel’s determination to defend itself against those who seek our destruction.

For in every generation, there were those who rose up to destroy our people. In antiquity, we faced destruction from the ancient empires of Babylon and Rome. In the Middle Ages, we faced inquisition and expulsion. And In modern times, we faced pogroms and the Holocaust.

Yet the Jewish people persevered.

And now another regime has arisen, swearing to destroy Israel.

That regime would be wise to consider this: I stand here today representing Israel, a country 67 years young, but the nation-state of a people nearly 4,000 years old. Yet the empires of Babylon and Rome are not represented in this hall of nations. Neither is the Thousand Year Reich. Those seemingly invincible empires are long gone. But Israel lives. The people of Israel live.

עם ישראל חי.

The re-birth of Israel is a testament to the indomitable spirit of my people.

For a hundred generations, the Jewish people dreamed of returning to the Land of Israel. Even in our darkest hours, and we had so many, even in our darkest hours we never gave up hope of rebuilding our eternal capital Jerusalem. The establishment of Israel made realizing that dream possible. It has enabled us to live as a free people in our ancestral homeland. It’s enabled us to embrace Jews who’ve come from the four corners of the earth to find refuge from persecution. They came from war-torn Europe, from Yemen, Iraq, Morocco, from Ethiopia and the Soviet Union, from a hundred other lands. And today, as a rising tide of anti-Semitism once again sweeps across Europe and elsewhere, many Jews come to Israel to join us in building the Jewish future.

So here’s my message to the rulers of Iran: Your plan to destroy Israel will fail. Israel will not permit any force on earth to threaten its future.

And here’s my message to all the countries represented here: Whatever resolutions you may adopt in this building, whatever decisions you may take in your capitals, Israel will do whatever it must do to defend our state and to defend our people.

Distinguished delegates,

As this deal with Iran moves ahead, I hope you’ll enforce it…how can I put this? With a little more rigor than you showed with the six Security Council resolutions that Iran has systematically violated and which now have been effectively discarded.

Make sure that the inspectors actually inspect. Make sure that the snapback sanctions actually snap back. And make sure that Iran’s violations aren’t swept under the Persian rug.

Well, of one thing I can assure you: Israel will be watching… closely.

What the international community now needs to do is clear: First, make Iran comply with all its nuclear obligations. Keep Iran’s feet to the fire. Second, check Iran’s regional aggression. Support and strengthen those fighting Iran’s aggression, beginning with Israel. Third, use sanctions and all the tools available to you to tear down Iran’s global terror network.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Israel is working closely with our Arab peace partners to address our common security challenges from Iran and also the security challenges from ISIS and from others. We are also working with other states in the Middle East as well as countries in Africa, in Asia and beyond. Many in our region know that both Iran and ISIS are our common enemies. And when your enemies fight each other, don’t strengthen either one – weaken both.

Common dangers are clearly bringing Israel and its Arab neighbors closer. And as we work together to thwart those dangers, I hope we’ll build lasting partnerships – lasting partnerships for security, for prosperity and for peace.

But in Israel, we never forget one thing. We never forget that the most important partner that Israel has has always been, and will always be, the United States of America. The alliance between Israel and the United States is unshakeable. President Obama and I agree on the need to keep arms out of the hands of Iran’s terror proxies. We agree on the need to stop Iran from destabilizing countries throughout the Middle East. Israel deeply appreciates President Obama’s willingness to bolster our security, help Israel maintain its qualitative military edge and help Israel confront the enormous challenges we face. Israel is grateful that this sentiment is widely shared by the American people and its representatives in Congress, by both those who supported the deal and by those who opposed it.

President Obama and I have both said that our differences over the nuclear deal are a disagreement within the family. But we have no disagreement about the need to work together to secure our common future. And what a great future it could be.

Israel is uniquely poised to seize the promise of the 21st century. Israel is a world leader in science and technology, in cyber, software, water, agriculture, medicine, biotechnology and so many other fields that are being revolutionized by Israeli ingenuity and Israeli innovation. Israel is the innovation nation.

Israeli knowhow is everywhere. It’s in your computers’ microprocessors and flash drives. It’s in your smartphones, when you send instant messages and navigate your cars. It’s on your farms, when you drip irrigate your crops and keep your grains and produce fresh. It’s in your universities, when you study Nobel Prize winning discoveries in chemistry and economics. It’s in your medicine cabinets, when you use drugs to treat Parkinson’s Disease and Multiple Sclerosis. It’s even on your plate, when you eat the delicious cherry tomato. That too was perfected in Israel, in case you didn’t know.

We are so proud in Israel of the long strides our country has made in a short time. We’re so proud that our small country is making such a huge contribution to the entire world. Yet the dreams of our people, enshrined for eternity by the great prophets of the Bible, those dreams will be fully realized only when there is peace.

As the Middle East descends into chaos, Israel’s peace agreements with Egypt and Jordan are two cornerstones of stability. Israel remains committed to achieving peace with the Palestinians as well. Israelis know the price of war. I know the price of war. I was nearly killed in battle. I lost many friends. I lost my beloved brother Yoni.

Those who know the price of war can best appreciate what the blessings of peace would mean – for ourselves, our children, our grandchildren. I am prepared to immediately, immediately, resume direct peace negotiations with the Palestinian Authority without any preconditions whatsoever. Unfortunately, President Abbas said yesterday that he is not prepared to do this. Well, I hope he changes his mind. Because I remain committed to a vision of two states for two peoples, in which a demilitarized Palestinian state recognizes the Jewish state.

You know, the peace process began over two decades ago. Yet despite the best efforts of six Israeli prime ministers – Rabin, Peres, Barak, Sharon, Olmert and myself – the Palestinians have consistently refused to end the conflict and make a final peace with Israel. And unfortunately, you heard that rejectionism again only yesterday from President Abbas. How can Israel make peace with a Palestinian partner who refuses to even sit at the negotiating table? Israel expects the Palestinian Authority to abide by its commitments. The Palestinians should not walk away from peace.

President Abbas, I know it’s not easy. I know it’s hard. But we owe it to our peoples to try, to continue to try, because together, if we actually negotiate and stop negotiating about the negotiation, if we actually sit down and try to resolve this conflict between us, recognize each other, not use a Palestinian state as a stepping stone for another Islamist dictatorship in the Middle East, but something that will live at peace next to the Jewish state, if we actually do that, we can do remarkable things for our peoples.

The UN can help advance peace by supporting direct, unconditional negotiations between the parties. The UN won’t help peace, certainly won’t help advance peace by trying to impose solutions or by encouraging Palestinian rejectionism. And the UN, distinguished delegates, should do one more thing. The UN should finally rid itself of the obsessive bashing of Israel.

Here’s just one absurd example of this obsession: In four years of horrific violence in Syria, more than a quarter of a million people have lost their lives. That’s more than ten times, more than ten times, the number of Israelis and Palestinians combined who have lost their lives in a century of conflict between us. Yet last year, this Assembly adopted 20 resolutions against Israel and just one resolution about the savage slaughter in Syria. Talk about injustice. Talk about disproportionality. Twenty. Count them. One against Syria.

Well, frankly I am not surprised. To borrow a line from Yogi Berra, the late, great baseball player and part time philosopher: When it comes to the annual bashing of Israel at the UN, it’s déjà vu all over again.


Thirty one years after I stood here for the first time, I’m still asking: When will the UN finally check its anti-Israel fanaticism at the door? When will the UN finally stop slandering Israel as a threat to peace and actually start helping Israel advance peace? And the same question should be posed to Palestinian leaders. When will you start working with Israel to advance peace and reconciliation and stop libeling Israel, stop inciting hatred and violence?

President Abbas, here’s a good place to begin: Stop spreading lies about Israel’s alleged intentions on the Temple Mount. Israel is fully committed to maintaining the status quo there. What President Abbas should be speaking out against are the actions of militant Islamists who are smuggling explosives into the al-Aqsa mosque and who are trying to prevent Jews and Christians from visiting the holy sites. That’s the real threat to these sacred sites.

A thousand years before the birth of Christianity, more than 1,500 years before the birth of Islam, King David made Jerusalem our capital, and King Solomon built the Temple on that mount. Yet Israel, Israel will always respect the sacred shrines of all. In a region plagued by violence and by unimaginable intolerance, in which Islamic fanatics are destroying the ancient treasures of civilization, Israel stands out as a towering beacon of enlightenment and tolerance. Far from endangering the holy sites, it is Israel that ensures their safety. Because unlike the powers who have ruled Jerusalem in the past, Israel respects the holy sites and freedom of worship of all – Jews, Muslims, Christians, everyone.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, will never change. Because Israel will always stay true to its values. These values are on display each and every day: When Israel’s feisty parliament vigorously debates every issue under the sun. When Israel’s Chief Justice sits in her chair at our fiercely independent Supreme Court. When our Christian community continues to grow and thrive from year to year, as Christian communities are decimated elsewhere in the Middle East. When a brilliant young Israeli Muslim student gives her valedictorian address at one of our finest universities. And when Israeli doctors and nurses – doctors and nurses from the Israeli military – treat thousands of wounded from the killing fields of Syria and thousands more in the wake of natural disasters from Haiti to Nepal.

This is the true face of Israel. These are the values of Israel.

And In the Middle East, these values are under savage assault by militant Islamists who are forcing millions of terrified people to flee to distant shores. Ten miles from ISIS, a few hundred yards from Iran’s murderous proxies, Israel stands in the breach – proudly and courageously, defending freedom and progress. Israel is civilization’s front line in the battle against barbarism.

So here’s a novel idea for the United Nations: Instead of continuing the shameful routine of bashing Israel, stand with Israel. Stand with Israel as we check the fanaticism at our door. Stand with Israel as we prevent that fanaticism from reaching your door.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Stand with Israel because Israel is not just defending itself. More than ever, Israel is defending you.


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