International community marks the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Palestinian children

November 29 marked the United Nations International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People and the anniversary of the 1947 Resolution 181, which partitioned Palestine into two states – Jewish and Arab. Events have been held throughout the week including a non-violent Palestinian demonstration held in Bethlehem on Thursday, the screening of a film, "Voice from the Heart of Gaza" by Popular Committee against the Siege and photo exhibits at the Al Shawa Cultural Center and the United Nations.

On November 24, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said, "The Palestinians have been deprived of their inalienable rights, including the right to self-determination and statehood, for more than 60 years. Israelis live with an ever-present sense of insecurity. There is only one way to address such legitimate rights and fears: a peace agreement that results in an end of occupation, an end of conflict, and the creation of a State of Palestine living side-by-side in peace with the State of Israel".

The Israeli newspaper Haaretz had warned of a concerted diplomatic attack against Israel at the United Nations General Assembly. The Israeli Ambassador Gabriela Shalev said the UN is disconnected from reality and "does not represent or reflect what is truly happening" at a time when Israel is engaged in peace talks with the Palestinian Authority. The UN General Assembly President, Father Miguel d'Escoto Brockmann of Nicaragua, called for an international boycott of Israel and accused it of being an apartheid regime. The European Jewish Congress (EJC) denounced "anti-Semitic and anti-Israel remarks" made by Father Miguel d'Escoto Brockmann and called for his resignation.

UN partition plan, 1947
Map 2007

Dmitry Medvedev, the president of Russia said, “I want to reiterate the Russian Federation’s principled position of support for the Palestinian people and their legitimate national aspirations, including the right to establish an independent and viable Palestinian state. It is my conviction that the restoration of state sovereignty would contribute to stability in the region and the safe coexistence and conflict-free mutually beneficial cooperation of all countries and peoples. We support your commitment to peaceful dialogue in the aim of finding a political solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and finding mutually acceptable solutions based on universally recognized international law. Restoration of intra-Palestinian unity remains an important condition for achieving these aims".

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao sent a congratulatory message to the UN meeting on Tuesday which said, "To resolve the Palestinian issue at an early date is the aspiration of the people in the Mideast as well as the common expectation of the international community. As a permanent member of the UN Security Council, China will continue to support the United Nations in playing an important role in solving the Mideast problem and pushing forward the settlement of the Palestinian issue".

Gaza has had twenty-three days of complete closure and undergone a 18-month siege which has lead regional and international organizations to warn of a humanitarian catastrophe.