Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
The Second Committee is entrusted with tackling the major economic, social and environmental challenges of our time. It is tasked with implementing the Millennium Development Goals—as well as guiding our discussions on a post-2015 development agenda.
Today, we take an unfortunate and destructive detour from this very important work.
The political dynamics in these halls are sadly predictable. Year after year, the Second Committee debates this anti-Israel agenda item, thereby undermining its credibility as a fair and impartial body. It also sends a clear message that matters of global importance takes a backseat to the whims of certain member states whose sole mission is to disparage my country.
The account we have heard today is one-sided. It is unilateral. And it is unhelpful. It transforms the cause of Palestinian self-determination into a deliberate attempt to denigrate, defame, and delegitimize the State of Israel. And it presents a distorted and inaccurate version of the reality on the ground.
I don’t intend to refute every misguided charge and reckless allegation directed at Israel in the discussions today. That would give this agenda item more credibility than it deserves. I would simply like to point out that this annual exercise does not improve the lives of Palestinians in any way. As we have repeated time and again in these halls, the outstanding issues between Israel and the Palestinians can only be resolved through direct negotiations. There are no magic formulas. There are no shortcuts. The road to resolving these issues, like many others, runs through Jerusalem and Ramallah – not New York.
The report before us today is filled with glaring omissions. It is silent about the repressive Hamas terrorist regime in Gaza – and says nothing about the rockets that this organization continues to fire onto our cities. Just weeks ago, Palestinian terrorists lobbed more than 80 rockets and shells onto homes in Southern Israel. This report apparently considers the residents of these homes unworthy of a single word of support.
Yet, even as rockets fly out of Gaza and onto our cities, Israel continues to ensure that humanitarian aid, medicine, and goods reach the inhabitants of Gaza. Israel also continues to support organizations like UNRWA in the Gaza Strip – which, despite its mandate, has implemented less than 10 percent of the projects approved by Israel since the beginning of 2011. How many other governments provide assistance and support to the same areas from which their citizens are being attacked?
In addition to the tens of thousands of rockets—I want to repeat that, tens of thousands of rockets—that Hamas has fired into Israeli civilian populations and the hundreds of Israelis they have murdered, Hamas also brutally subjugates anyone who dares to dissent from its extremist agenda. This includes political opponents, human rights activists, and women who go out in public unaccompanied by a man. A Human Rights Watch report released last month stated that rights groups received 147 complaints of torture by Hamas police agencies in 2011.
But for the authors of this one-sided report, none of this apparently falls under the aegis of "Palestinian human rights."
Finally Mr. Chairman,
I find it incredible that the Syrian delegate believes that she has any right to sit in this chamber and attack others. Trying to divert attention away from the crimes of the murderous regime he/she represents will not fool anyone.
Israel’s hand remains outstretched. We are willing to share our knowledge and experience with our neighbors. We are ready to work with the international community to take on the issues we are entrusted with in this Committee. We sincerely hope that in the future, our precious time will be entirely devoted to realizing our common goals.
Thank you Mr. Chairman.