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Roger Waters address at The United Nations 29

th
November 2012
on behalf of the Russell Tribunal on Palestine
Table of contents:
1. The text of the speech delivered to The UN Committee on the exercise of the
inalienable rights of the Palestinian People. (UNIP!"# (page 1 to page 9)
$. The original %n&edited speech. (page 10 to page 17)
1.
'r. Chairman( )o%r *xcellencies( "adies and +entlemen
Than, )o% ver) m%ch for receiving me at this moment of solidarit) and crisis. I am a
m%sician( not a diplomat( and so I shall not -aste this precio%s opport%nit) on niceties of
protocol. .o-ever I -ill sa) that )o% m%st all be s%ffering from listening fatig%e( to a
certain extent( so -hile I/ve been sitting there listening as -ell( I/ve been editing m)
rather long speech do-n to a rather shorter speech( b%t I believe the f%ll text -ill be
available to an)bod) -ho cares to read it( at the end of this meeting.
I appear before )o% as a representative of the fo%rth 0%ssell Trib%nal on Palestine and in
that capacit) I am representing global civil societ).
1) -a) of preamble I sho%ld sa) m) remar,s here toda) are not personal or driven b)
pre2%dice or malice( I am loo,ing onl) to shed some light on the predicament of a
beleag%ered people.
The 0%ssell Trib%nal on Palestine -as created to shed s%ch light( to see, acco%ntabilit)
for the violations of international la- and the lac, of United Nations resolve that prevent
the Palestinian people from achieving their inalienable rights( especiall) the right of self&
determination. 3ne partic%lar stim%l%s to o%r convening -as the dist%rbing fail%re of the
international comm%nit) to implement and enforce the clear 2%dgment of the International
Co%rt of 4%stice in $556( contained in its advisor) opinion on the Israeli 7all( as
re8%ested b) the UN.
7e met here in Ne- 9or, Cit)( six -ee,s ago( on the :
th
and ;
th
of 3ctober( having
previo%sl) sent o%t invitations to all interested parties. !fter listening to exha%stive
testimon) from man) expert -itnesses( and after caref%l deliberation( -e arrived at the
follo-ing 2%dgements.
7e fo%nd that the tate of Israel is g%ilt) of a n%mber of international crimes.
1. !partheid.
The UN/s International Covenant on the %ppression and P%nishment of the Crime
of !partheid( defines that crime as inh%man acts b) an) government that are
committed for the p%rpose of establishing and maintaining domination b) one
1
racial gro%p of persons over an) other racial gro%p of persons and s)stematicall)
oppressing them. !s )o% all ,no-( the prohibited acts incl%de arbitrar) arrest(
legislative meas%res that discriminate in the political( social( economic and
c%lt%ral fields< meas%res that divide the pop%lation along racial lines( and the
persec%tion of those opposed to the s)stem of apartheid.
!s )o% are a-are( this finding b) the trib%nal -as endorsed earlier
In the )ear b) the .0C Committee for the *limination of 0acial
=iscrimination in +eneva after s%bmissions b) the Trib%nal made
both orall) and in -riting.
$. *thnic cleansing. In this case that crime incl%des the s)stematic eviction of m%ch
of the native Palestinian pop%lation b) force since 1>6;&6?.
@. Collective p%nishment of a civilian pop%lation( explicitl) prohibited b) the
+eneva Convention !rticle @@. Israel has violated its obligation as 3cc%p)ing
Po-er thro%gho%t the 3cc%pied Palestinian Territor)( incl%ding the 7est 1an,(
+aAa and *ast 4er%salem. Its most serio%s violations have occ%rred recentl) in
+aAa -ith the bloc,ade and virt%al imprisonment of the entire pop%lation( the
indiscriminate ,illing of Palestinians d%ring the Israeli offensive( 3peration Cast
"ead in $55? and >( and no- the devastation -ro%ght b) the recent attac,(
ironicall) named( 3peration Pillar of =efense.

!s I spea,( I can hear the t%t( t%tting of governmental and media tong%es trotting o%t the
-ell -orn mantra of the apologists( b%t .amas started it -ith their roc,et attac,s( Israel
is onl) defending itself(
"et %s examine that arg%ment. =id .amas start ItB 7hen did It startB
.o- -e %nderstand histor) is shaped b) -hen -e start the cloc,. If -e start the cloc, at
a moment -hen roc,ets are fired from +aAa into Israel on a certain afternoon that( is one
histor). If -e start the cloc, earlier that morning( -hen a 1@&)ear&old Palestinian bo) -as
shot dead b) Israeli soldiers as he pla)ed soccer on a +aAa field( histor) starts to loo, a
little different. If -e go bac, f%rther -e see that since 3peration Cast "ead( according
to the Israeli h%man rights organiAation 1/tselem( $;1 Palestinians -ere ,illed b) Israeli(
bombs( roc,ets( drones and -arplanes( and d%ring the same period not a single Israeli
-as ,illed. ! good case can be made that It started in 1>:; -ith the occ%pation of +aAa
and the 7est 1an,. .istor) tells %s that the invasion and occ%pation of a land and the
s%b2%gation of its people almost al-a)s creates a resistance. !s, the Crench or the =%tch
or the Poles or the CAechs( the list goes on. This crisis in +aAa is a crisis rooted in
occ%pation.
Israel and its allies -o%ld contend that +aAa is no longer occ%pied. 0eall)B The
-ithdra-al of soldiers and settlers in $55D changed the nat%re( not the existence( of
occ%pation. Israel still controls +aAa/s airspace( coastal -aters( borders( land( econom)
$
and lives. +aAa is still occ%pied. The people of +aAa( the 1.: million Palestinians( half of
them children %nder the age of 1:( live in an open&air prison. That is the realit) that
%nderlies the c%rrent crisis. !nd %ntil -e( not onl) %nderstand that( b%t also %ntil )o%(
*xcellencies( )o%r governments( and )o%r +eneral !ssembl) ta,e responsibilit) to end
that occ%pation( -e cannot even hope that the c%rrent crisis is over. In 3ctober( on the last
occasion 2%rors from The 0%ssell Trib%nal addressed this committee( -e -ere ass%red
that o%r representations and reports -o%ld be advanced on the floor of the +! for general
debate. If things go -ell toda) -e ma) hope to hold )o%( *xcellencies( to that ass%rance.
I have diverted briefl)( let me ret%rn to the Israeli violations( -hich the 0%ssell Trib%nal
identified.
6. Contravention of the Co%rth +eneva convention/s prohibition on settlements E
specificall) !rticle 6>. The settlements( !"" the settlements( are not simpl) an obstacle
to peace( the) are illegal. Period. C%ll top. !ll of them. 9o%( in the +eneral !ssembl)(
and even the ec%rit) Co%ncil as -ell( have over the )ears identified them as illegal. !nd
)et the) stand( a dail) realit) in -hich no- more than :55(555 Israeli settlers in the 7est
1an, and 3cc%pied *ast 4er%salem violate the la- ever) morning simpl) b) -a,ing %p E
beca%se their ho%ses sit on illegall) expropriated land. It is not eno%gh to call( as some
governments do( for an end to f%rther settlement expansion< if -e are to live %nder the
la- the entire settlement %nderta,ing m%st be ended.
D. Use of illegal -eapons. =%ring Israel/s Cast "ead operation fo%r )ears ago(
international h%man rights organiAations doc%mented Tel !viv/s %se of -hite
phosphoro%s in attac,s on +aAa. .%man 0ights 7atch fo%nd that( and I 8%ote( Israel/s
repeated firing of -hite phosphoro%s shells over densel) pop%lated areas of +aAa d%ring
its recent militar) campaign -as indiscriminate and is evidence of -ar crimes. 7hite
phosphoro%s b%rns at %p to 1D55 degrees Cahrenheit. Imagine -hat happens -hen it
comes into contact -ith the s,in of a child. .%man 0ights 7atch called for Israel/s
senior commanders to be held acco%ntable. 1%t so far( there has been no s%ch
acco%ntabilit). No governments( nor even )o%( the United Nations +eneral !ssembl)(
have attempted to hold these Israeli commanders acco%ntable. 7e hear a great deal abo%t
the UN/s commitment to the responsibilit) to protect v%lnerable pop%lations. %rel)
the UN/s responsibilit) to protect m%st extend to this most v%lnerable of pop%lations(
Palestinians( imprisoned in a cro-ded( besieged open&air prisonB
There are more violations( )o%r *xcellencies( b%t )o% ,no- that. 9o%r resol%tions trace
the histor) of Israeli violations. 9o% regret( )o% deplore( )o% even condemn the
violations. 1%t -hen have )o%r resol%tions been implementedB It is not eno%gh to
deplore and condemn. 7hat -e need is for the United Nations E for )o%( excellencies(
)o%r governments and the +eneral !ssembl) in -hich )o% serve E to ta,e serio%sl) )o%r
0esponsibilit) to Protect Palestinians living %nder occ%pation and facing the dail)
violation of their inalienable rights of self&determination and e8%alit).
@
The -ill of -e the people of these United Nations is that all o%r brothers and sisters
sho%ld be free to live in self determination( that the oppressed sho%ld be released from
their b%rden( b) being given reco%rse to the la-( and that the oppressors sho%ld be called
to acco%nt b) that same la-.
In 1>?1 I -rote a song( called FThe +%nner/s =ream/ it appeared on a Pin, Clo)d alb%m
FThe Cinal C%t/( the song p%rports to express the d)ing dream of an 0!C g%nner as he
pl%nges to his death from a stric,en aircraft to-ards the corner of some foreign field. .e
dreams of the f%t%re for -hich he is giving his life. I 8%ote.
! place to sta)
*no%gh to eat
ome-here old heroes sh%ffle safel) do-n the street
7here )o% can spea, o%t lo%d abo%t )o%r do%bts and fears
!nd -hat/s more
No one ever disappears )o% never hear their standard iss%e
Gic,ing in )o%r door.
9o% can relax on both sides of the trac,s
!nd maniacs( don/t blo- holes( in bandsmen b) remote control
!nd ever)one has reco%rse to the la-
!nd no one ,ills the children an)more
No one ,ills the children an)more.
In 1>?$ and again in 1>?@( the +eneral !ssembl) passed resol%tions holding Israel
acco%ntable for its violations. Those resol%tions called for a complete arms embargo on
Israel and an end to militar) aid and trade -ith Israel. Those resol%tions -ere never
implemented. 7e never expected the United tates( or m) government( I/m from The
UG( b) the -a)( to implement those +! resol%tions E the U.. is giving Israel H6.1
billion this )ear to bolster its alread) bloated militar). The I'C sa)s Israel is the $:
th
-ealthiest co%ntr) in the -orld( and Israel is the onl) n%clear -eapons state in the 'iddle
*ast E -h) -o%ld an) government be giving them mone) for more armsB 1eats me. 1%t
the realit) that the) are does not exc%se other governments from their obligations to
implement those arms embargo resol%tions.
No s%ch embargo has been imposed. Instead( it has fallen to global civil societ) to ta,e
the lead. Collo-ing a $55D call from Palestinian civil societ)( social movements( activists(
and increasingl) ch%rch bodies and even some local government a%thorities aro%nd the
-orld have created the campaign for 1o)cott( =ivestment and anctions. It aims( as
man) of )o% ,no-( to bring non&violent economic press%re to bear on Israel to force an
end to its violations( an end to occ%pation and apartheid( an end to the denial of
Palestinians/ right of ret%rn( and an end to Palestinian citiAens of Israel being re8%ired to
live as second class citiAens( discriminated against on racial gro%nds( and s%b2ect to
different la-s than their 4e-ish compatriots. The 1= movement is gaining gro%nd hand
over fist. 4%st last -ee, I -as happ) to -rite a letter of s%pport to the t%dent
6
+overnment of the Universit) of California( Irvine( congrat%lating them on demanding
that their Universit) divest from companies that profit from the Israeli occ%pation.
!lso( last s%mmer I -as in Pittsb%rg to -itness The Presb)terian Ch%rches of the U!
general assembl) vote on a resol%tion to divest from 'otorola( Caterpillar and .e-lett
Pac,ard( this -o%ld have been %nthin,able ten )ears ago. To 8%ote the great 1ob =)lan(
The Times The) !re a FChanging
1ac, to toda).
9o%( the members of the +eneral !ssembl) are abo%t to have the opport%nit) to vote on
changing Palestine/s UN stat%s to that of a non&member tate.
7hilst not according f%ll UN membership( it -o%ld provide UN recognition to Palestine
as a state that -o%ld have the right to sign treaties E cr%ciall) incl%ding the 0ome Treat)
as a signator) to the International Criminal Co%rt.
This is a momento%s occasion( -hich -as started here 1@ months ago. It is one of those
rare instances -here )o%( *xcellencies( can change the co%rse and the face of histor)( and
at the same time reinforce one of the fo%nding principles of the UN & the right to self
determination. The bid implicitl) incorporates pre 1>:; borders( incl%des the integrit) of
*ast 4er%salem( an a%tonomo%s +aAa and the ref%gee diaspora.
It is momento%s beca%se there are alread) over 1@$ members -ho have recogniAed
Palestine as a state and more are appearing ever) da). !nd( no-( 2%st this -ee, .amas
has lent its s%pport.
I %rge )o% to consider t-o points. Cirstl)( please resist press%re from an) po-erf%l
government to coerce )o% into defeating or dela)ing this iss%e E sadl) there is a histor) of
coercion in this hallo-ed place. No +overnment( ho-ever rich or po-erf%l sho%ld be
allo-ed to %se its financial or militar) m%scle to set UN polic) b) b%ll)ing other states on
this or an) other iss%e.
econdl)( do not ta,e the statehood vote as the end of f%lfilling )o%r obligations E
+eneral !ssembl) responsibilit) goes far be)ond UN technicalities( it m%st incl%de real
protection for Palestinians %nder occ%pation and real acco%ntabilit) for violations of the
la-. 9o% have po-ers )o% do not %se. 9o% do not have to defer to or -ait for the ec%rit)
Co%ncil.
In 2%st a fe- months -e -ill commemorate the tenth anniversar) of the ,illing of 0achel
Corrie( the )o%ng peace activist ,illed b) an Israeli soldier driving an armored Caterpillar
b%lldoAer as she tried to protect the ho%se of a pharmacist and his famil) in 0afah( on
+aAa/s border. International activists li,e 0achel Corrie( Tom .%rndall and 4ames 'iller
too, the ris,s the) did( and the)( and their families paid the %ltimate price( beca%se the
international comm%nit) E )o%r governments and the United Nations itself E had failed to
protect the v%lnerable Palestinian pop%lation living %nder this prolonged occ%pation. 7e
D
are pro%d( tho%gh tears b%rn o%r e)es( of the -or, of these )o%ng activists and deepl)
moved b) their sacrifice. 1%t -e are angr)( too( that o%r governments and o%r
international instit%tions( incl%ding the +eneral !ssembl)( have failed to provide the
protection that -o%ld ma,e 0achel Corrie/s sacrifice %nnecessar). !lso let %s not forget
the tho%sands of co%rageo%s and anon)mo%s Palestinians and their e8%all) co%rageo%s
Israeli brothers and sisters in arms (bo)cott from -ithin# -ho protest peacef%ll) on a
-ee,l) basis for the simple basic right to an ordinar) h%man life. The right to live in
dignit) and peace( to raise their families( to till the land( to b%ild a 2%st societ)( to travel
abroad( to be free of occ%pation( to aspire to each and ever) h%man goal( 2%st li,e the rest
of %s.
pea,ing of the rest of %s( I live here in Ne- 9or, Cit). 7e are a some-hat parochial
gro%p( -e Ne- 9or,ers( to a large extent c%t off b) propaganda and privilege from the
realities of the Palestinians plight. Ce- of %s %nderstand that the government of the
United tates of !merica( partic%larl) thro%gh its po-er of veto in the ec%rit) Co%ncil(
protects Israel from the condemnation of the global civil societ) that I have the honor to
represent here toda).
*ven as bombs rained do-n on 1.: million people in +aAa( the President of The United
tates of !merica reasserted his position that Israel has the right to defend itself.
7e all ,no- the reach and po-er of Israel/s militar) capabilit) and the deadl) effects of
its actions. o -hat did President 3bama meanB =id he mean that Israel has the right to
indefinitel) occ%p) the -hole of the region( that Israel has the right to forcibl) evict the
pop%lations of the occ%pied territories( ho%se&b)&ho%se( village&b)&villageB =id he mean
that in this special case Israel has the right to carr) o%t campaigns of ethnic cleansing and
apartheid( and that the U.. -ill protect Israel/s right to do soB =id he mean that Israel
has the right to b%ild roads( in occ%pied territor)( protected b) raAor -ire and concrete
-alls and CCTI and machine g%ns to protect the residents of 4e-ish&onl) settlementsB
=id he mean that in discriminate and deadl) bombing attac,s( incl%ding the %se of -hite
phosphoro%s( on the civilian pop%lation of +aAa( b) an over-helmingl) s%perior militar)
force( is 2%stified on the gro%nds of defenseB
The Palestinians are an ancient( intelligent( c%lt%red( hospitable( and genero%s people.
!nd of co%rse the) have pride and -ill resist the occ%pation of their land and defend their
-omen and children and their propert) to the best of their abilit). 7ho -o%ld notB 7o%ld
)o%B 7o%ld IB 7o%ld President 3bamaB 3ne -o%ld hope so. It -o%ld be his d%t).
Imagine 7ashington =C( -alled in( a prison( mainl) r%bble from repeated attac,s. No
one allo-ed in or o%t. Constant po-er c%ts( foreign g%nboats on the Potomac ,illing the
fishermen( -arplanes la%nching s%rgical air stri,es from their imp%nit) on high( ta,ing
o%t( not onl) the resistance b%t -omen and children too.
'ore than a generation ago( the +eneral !ssembl) passed resol%tion $:$D( dealing -ith
the principle of e8%al rights and self&determination. It recogniAed that -hen a people face
:
an) forcible action depriving them of those rights( that the) have the right to actions
against( and resistance to s%ch %se of force. 7hen the international comm%nit) does not
sho%lder its responsibilit) to protect( Palestinians -ill sho%lder that responsibilit)
themselves.
This is not to s%ggest that I s%pport the la%nching of missiles into Israel. The
internationall) recogniAed legal right of resistance means attac,ing an) militar) target
engaged in illegal occ%pation. 1%t let %s be clear( as -e believe in The "a- as
indispensable and even handed. The la%nching of %ng%ided roc,ets into Israel( -here the
most li,el) targets -ill be civilians( is not a legal form of resistance.
'an) civil societ) activists E incl%ding man) Palestinians and Israelis E are committed to
non&violent resistance. The 1= movement( -hich has spread from Palestinian civil
societ) to activists aro%nd the -orld( is part of that non&violent resistance and I s%pport it
-hole heartedl)( b%t let %s be clear that the disparit) of po-er( and the realit) of the
occ%pation( and the response of the occ%pied is the realit) -e face %nless -e find
reco%rse in international la- and hold all parties to it. In the meantime
"et me tr) to dial bac, the rhetoric a little and address the Israel has a right to defend
itself claim from a legal and historical perspective.
Ex injuria non oritur jus.
! legal right or entitlement cannot arise from in2%stice
If -e tr%l) oppose all violence( -hether b) the occ%pier or violent resistance b) the
occ%pied( -e m%st aim to end the root ca%ses of violence. In this conflict( that means
ending Israel/s occ%pation( coloniAation( ethnic cleansing( and the denial of the right to
self determination and other inalienable rights that the Palestinian people is entitled to
according to the UN charter and other tenets of international la-.
o to the C%t%re.
.amas( having dropped its original demand for Israel to be dismantled in the r%n %p to
the elections -as democraticall) elected in 4an%ar)$55:( in elections deemed free and
fair b) ever) international observer present( incl%ding former U.. President 4imm)
Carter. The leaders of .amas have made their position clear over and over again. It is
thisJ .amas is open to permanent peace -ith Israel if there is total -ithdra-al to the 1>:;
borders ($$ per cent of historic Palestine#( and the arrangement is s%pported b) a
referend%m of all Palestinians living %nder occ%pation. I ,no- )o% all ,no- this( b%t
-here I live the) don/t ,no- this( the) don/t ,no- that that is the position of .amas. o
I/m telling them.
'r. Chairman( *xcellencies( friends. 7e are all here for the same reason. 7e are all
committed to h%man rights( international la-( the centralit) of the United Nations and
e8%alit) for all E incl%ding for Palestinians. 7e are all attending this meeting on $>
th
;
November that mar,s the UN/s International =a) of olidarit) -ith The Palestinian
People.
1%t it seems to me( o%r commemoration of this da) is not eno%gh.
o( -hat else to doB The battlegro%nd is here( at the head8%arters of the United Nations(
and sim%ltaneo%sl) in the middle of Ne- 9or, Cit)( -ith access to the media. The battle
is t-o prongedJ
1. To contin%e the -or, of informing the people of the U! abo%t the realit) of the
Palestinian&Israeli conflict( and most especiall)( abo%t the role of their
government( the host co%ntr) of the United Nations( %sing their tax dollars to f%nd
and enable Israel/s violations. To remind them of the billions of dollars in militar)
aid ever) )ear( the absol%te protection of Israel in the United Nations( in the
International Criminal Co%rt and else-here to ass%re its imp%nit) for -ar crimes
and potential crimes against h%manit) E to impress %pon them( the people of the
United tates of !merica that these d%bio%s attachments remain the center piece
of their governments/ polic) in the 'iddle *ast.
$. 4%st as importantl)( -e m%st address( finall)( serio%s reform of the U.N. The UN
needs to embrace a ne- democrac). The veto m%st be retho%ght( or the UN -ill
die. The %se of the veto as a strategic political tool b) one or other of the
permanent members of the ec%rit) Co%ncil has become o%tmoded. The po-er of
veto residing in the hands of 2%st five nations ma,es something of a moc,er) of
the pretence of democrac)( of the idea that The -ill of the Peoples is represented
here. The s)stem is too open to ab%se. The blan,et protection afforded to Israel b)
the United tates/ %se of the veto( is b%t one example of s%ch ab%se. Cor instance
in 1>;@ it bloc,ed a resol%tion 0e&affirming the rights of Palestinians and
demanding -ithdra-al from the occ%pied territories( in 1>;: another resol%tion
calling for The right of self determination for the Palestinians( and t-o resol%tions
in1>>; calling for Cessation of settlement b%ilding in *. 4er%salem and other
occ%pied territories. There are man) more.
@. l %rge )o%( the +eneral !ssembl)( to collectivel) -or, to-ards -resting the po-er
bac, to the people in order to facilitate progress to-ards a more democratic bod)(
better able to p%rs%e the high aspirations of this great instit%tion( to represent the
-ill of the peoples of these great United Nations.
9o%( the +eneral !ssembl)( represent the largest( most democratic component of the
United Nations. The United tates( and China and Crance and 0%ssia and the UG have no
veto here. 7hat is needed is political -ill. 9o% can ma,e decisions( and ta,e actions( that
the ec%rit) Co%ncil cannot( or -ill not. The United Nations Charter begins -ith the
-ords 7e( the peoples( of these United Nations. Not 7e the governments. I %rge
)o%( on behalf of the people of )o%r co%ntries( on behalf of the people of all co%ntries( in
fact on behalf of all the peoples( of this( o%r shared earth( to act.
eiAe this historic moment.
?
%pport the vote toda) for Palestinian enhanced observer statehood stat%s as a step
to-ards f%ll membership.
!nd declare IsraelKs contin%ed membership of the UN to be dependent on reform of its
illegal apartheid regime.
Than, )o%(
0oger 7aters
$>
th
November $51$
>
2.
The C%ll Un&*dited Text.
'r. ecretar)&+eneral( 'r. Chairman( )o%r *xcellences( "adies and +entlemen.
Than, )o% for receiving me at this moment of solidarit) and crisis. I am a m%sician( not a
diplomat( and so I shall not -aste this precio%s opport%nit) on niceties of protocol.
I appear before )o% as a representative of the fo%rth 0%ssell Trib%nal on Palestine and in
that capacit) I am representing global civil societ).
1) -a) of preamble I sho%ld sa) m) remar,s here toda) are not personal or driven b)
pre2%dice or malice( I am loo,ing onl) to shed some light on the predicament of a
beleag%ered people.
The 0%ssell Trib%nal on Palestine -as created to shed s%ch light( to see, acco%ntabilit)
for the violations of international la- and the lac, of United Nations resolve that prevent
the Palestinian people from achieving their inalienable rights( especiall) the right of self&
determination. 3ne partic%lar stim%l%s to o%r convening -as the dist%rbing fail%re of the
international comm%nit) to implement and enforce the clear 2%dgment of the International
Co%rt of 4%stice in $556( contained in its advisor) opinion on the Israeli 7all( as
re8%ested b) the UN.
7e met here in Ne- 9or, Cit)( six -ee,s ago( on the :th and ;th of 3ctober( having
previo%sl) sent o%t invitations to all interested parties. !fter listening to exha%stive
testimon) from man) expert -itnesses( and after caref%l deliberation( -e arrived at the
follo-ing 2%dgments.
7e fo%nd that the tate of Israel is g%ilt) of a n%mber of international crimes.
1.!partheid.
The UN/s International Covenant on the %ppression and P%nishment of the Crime of
!partheid( defines that crime as inh%man acts b) an) government that are committed for
the p%rpose of establishing and maintaining domination b) one racial gro%p of persons
over an) other racial gro%p of persons and s)stematicall) oppressing them. !s )o% all
,no-( the prohibited acts incl%de arbitrar) arrest( legislative meas%res that discriminate in
the political( social( economic and c%lt%ral fields< meas%res that divide the pop%lation
along racial lines( and the persec%tion of those opposed to the s)stem of apartheid.
!s )o% are a-are this finding b) the trib%nal -as endorsed earlier
In the )ear b) the .0C Committee for the *limination of 0acial
=iscrimination in +eneva after s%bmissions b) the Trib%nal made
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both orall) and in -riting.
$.*thnic cleansing. In this case that crime incl%des the s)stematic eviction of
m%ch of the native Palestinian pop%lation b) force since 1>6;&6?.
@.Collective p%nishment of a civilian pop%lation( explicitl) prohibited b) the
+eneva Convention !rticle @@. Israel has violated its obligation as 3cc%p)ing Po-er
thro%gho%t the 3cc%pied Palestinian Territor)( incl%ding the 7est 1an,( +aAa and *ast
4er%salem. Its most serio%s violations have occ%rred recentl) in +aAa -ith the bloc,ade
and virt%al imprisonment of the entire pop%lation( the indiscriminate ,illing of
Palestinians d%ring the Israeli offensive( 3peration Cast "ead in $55? and $55>( and no-
the devastation -ro%ght b) the recent attac,( ironicall) named( 3peration Pillar of
=efense.

!s I spea,( I can hear the t%t( t%tting of governmental and media tong%es trotting o%t the
-ell -orn mantra of the apologists.
.amas started it -ith their roc,et attac,s( Israel is onl) defending itself(
"et %s examine that arg%ment. =id .amas start ItB 7hen did It startB
.o- -e %nderstand histor) is shaped b) -hen -e start the cloc,. If -e start the cloc, at
a moment -hen roc,ets are fired from +aAa into Israel on a certain afternoon that is one
histor). If -e start the cloc, earlier that morning( -hen a 1@&)ear&old Palestinian bo) -as
shot dead b) Israeli soldiers as he pla)ed soccer on a +aAa field( histor) starts to loo, a
little different. If -e go bac, f%rther -e see that since F3peration Cast "ead/( according
to the Israeli h%man rights organiAation 1/tselem( $;1 Palestinians -ere ,illed b) Israeli
bombs( roc,ets( drones and -arplanes( and d%ring the same period not a single Israeli
-as ,illed. ! good case can be made that /It/ started in 1>:; -ith the occ%pation of +aAa
and the 7est 1an,. .istor) tells %s that the invasion and occ%pation of a land and the
s%b2%gation of its people almost al-a)s creates a resistance. !s, the Crench or the =%tch
or the Poles or the CAechs( the list goes on. This crisis in +aAa is a crisis rooted in
occ%pation.
Israel and its allies -o%ld contend that +aAa is no longer occ%pied. 0eall)B The
-ithdra-al of soldiers and settlers in $55D changed the nat%re( not the existence( of
occ%pation. Israel still controls +aAa/s airspace( coastal -aters( borders( land( econom)
and lives. +aAa is still occ%pied. The people of +aAa( the 1.: million Palestinians( half of
them children %nder the age of 1:( live in an open&air prison. That is the realit) that
%nderlies the c%rrent crisis. !nd %ntil -e( not onl) %nderstand that( and %ntil )o%(
*xcellencies( )o%r governments( and )o%r +eneral !ssembl) ta,e responsibilit) to end
that occ%pation( -e cannot even hope that the c%rrent crisis is over. In 3ctober( on the last
occasion 2%rors from The 0%ssell Trib%nal addressed this committee( -e -ere ass%red
that o%r representations and reports -o%ld be advanced on the floor of the +! for general
debate. If things go -ell toda) -e ma) hope to hold )o%( *xcellences( to that ass%rance.
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I have diverted briefl)( let me ret%rn to the Israeli violations( -hich the 0%ssell Trib%nal
identified.
6. Contravention of the Co%rth +eneva convention/s prohibition on settlements E
specificall) !rticle 6>. The settlements( !"" the settlements( are not simpl) an obstacle
to peace( the) are illegal. Period. C%ll top. !ll of them. 9o%( in the +eneral !ssembl)(
and even the ec%rit) Co%ncil as -ell( have over the )ears identified them as illegal. !nd
)et the) stand( a dail) realit) in -hich no- more than :55(555 Israeli settlers in the 7est
1an, and 3cc%pied *ast 4er%salem violate the la- ever) morning simpl) b) -a,ing %p E
beca%se their ho%ses sit on illegall) expropriated land. It is not eno%gh to call( as some
governments do( for an end to f%rther settlement expansion< if -e are to live %nder the
la- the entire settlement %nderta,ing m%st be ended.
D. Use of illegal -eapons. =%ring Israel/s Cast "ead operation fo%r )ears ago(
international h%man rights organiAations doc%mented Tel !viv/s %se of -hite
phosphoro%s in attac,s on +aAa. .%man 0ights 7atch fo%nd that( and I 8%ote( Israel/s
repeated firing of -hite phosphoro%s shells over densel) pop%lated areas of +aAa d%ring
its recent militar) campaign -as indiscriminate and is evidence of -ar crimes. 7hite
phosphoro%s b%rns at %p to 1D55 degrees Cahrenheit. Imagine -hat happens -hen it
comes into contact -ith the s,in of a child. .%man 0ights 7atch called for Israel/s
senior commanders to be held acco%ntable. 1%t so far( there has been no s%ch
acco%ntabilit). No governments( nor even )o%( the United Nations +eneral !ssembl)(
have attempted to hold these Israeli commanders acco%ntable. 7e hear a great deal abo%t
the UN/s commitment to the responsibilit) to protect v%lnerable pop%lations. %rel)
the UN/s responsibilit) to protect m%st extend to this most v%lnerable of pop%lations(
Palestinians( imprisoned in a cro-ded( besieged open&air prisonB
There are more violations( )o%r *xcellencies( b%t )o% ,no- that. 9o%r resol%tions trace
the histor) of Israeli violations. 9o% regret( )o% deplore( )o% even condemn the
violations. 1%t -hen have )o%r resol%tions been implementedB It is not eno%gh to
deplore and condemn. 7hat -e need is for the United Nations E for )o%( excellencies(
)o%r governments and the +eneral !ssembl) in -hich )o% serve E to ta,e serio%sl) )o%r
0esponsibilit) to Protect Palestinians living %nder occ%pation and facing the dail)
violation of their inalienable rights of self&determination and e8%alit).
The -ill of -e the people of these United Nations is that all o%r brothers and sisters
sho%ld be free to live in self determination( that the oppressed sho%ld be released from
their b%rden( b) being given reco%rse to the la-( and that the oppressors sho%ld be called
to acco%nt b) that same la-.
In 1>?1 I -rote a song( called FThe +%nner/s =ream/ it appeared on a Pin, Clo)d alb%m
FThe Cinal C%t/( the song p%rports to express the d)ing dream of a 0!C g%nner as he
pl%nges to his death from a stric,en aircraft to-ards the corner of some foreign field. .e
dreams of the f%t%re for -hich he is giving his life. I 8%ote.
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! place to sta)
*no%gh to eat
ome-here old heroes sh%ffle safel) do-n the street
7here )o% can spea, o%t lo%d abo%t )o%r do%bts and fears
!nd -hat/s more
No one ever disappears )o% never hear their standard iss%e
Gic,ing in )o%r door.
9o% can relax on both sides of the trac,s
!nd maniacs( don/t blo- holes( in bandsmen b) remote control
!nd ever)one has reco%rse to the la-
!nd no one ,ills the children an)more
No one ,ills the children an)more.
In 1>?$ and again in 1>?@( the +eneral !ssembl) passed resol%tions holding Israel
acco%ntable for its violations. Those resol%tions called for a complete arms embargo and
an end to militar) aid and trade -ith Israel. Those resol%tions -ere never implemented.
7e never expected the United tates( or m) government( I/m from The UG( b) the -a)(
to implement those +! resol%tions E the U.. is giving Israel H6.1 billion this )ear to
bolster its alread) bloated militar). The I'C sa)s Israel is the $:th -ealthiest co%ntr) in
the -orld( and Israel is the onl) n%clear -eapons state in the 'iddle *ast E -h) -o%ld
an) government be giving them mone) for more armsB 1eats me. 1%t the realit) that the)
are does not exc%se other governments from their obligations to implement those arms
embargo resol%tions.
No s%ch embargo has been imposed. Instead( it has fallen to global civil societ) to ta,e
the lead. Collo-ing a $55D call from Palestinian civil societ)( social movements( activists(
and increasingl) ch%rch bodies and even some local government a%thorities aro%nd the
-orld have created the campaign for 1o)cott( =ivestment and anctions. It aims( as
man) of )o% ,no-( to bring non&violent economic press%re to bear on Israel to force an
end to its violations( an end to occ%pation and apartheid( an end to the denial of
Palestinians/ right of ret%rn( and an end to Palestinian citiAens of Israel being re8%ired to
live as second class citiAens( discriminated against on racial gro%nds( and s%b2ect to
different la-s than their 4e-ish compatriots. The 1= movement is gaining gro%nd hand
over fist. 4%st last -ee, I -as happ) to -rite a letter of s%pport to the t%dent
+overnment of the Universit) of California( Irvine( congrat%lating them on demanding
that their Universit) divest from companies that profit from the Israeli occ%pation.
!lso last s%mmer I -as in Pittsb%rg to -itness The Presb)terian Ch%rches of the U!
general assembl) vote on a resol%tion to divest from 'otorola( Caterpillar and .e-lett
Pac,ard( this -o%ld have been %nthin,able ten )ears ago. To 8%ote the great 1ob =)lan(
The Times The) !re a/Changing
1ac, to toda).
9o%( the members of the +eneral !ssembl) are abo%t to have the opport%nit) to vote on
changing Palestine/s UN stat%s to that of a non&member tate.
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7hilst not according f%ll UN membership( it -o%ld provide UN recognition to Palestine
as a state that -o%ld have the right to sign treaties E cr%ciall) incl%ding the 0ome Treat)
as a signator) to the International Criminal Co%rt.
This is a momento%s occasion( -hich -as started here 1@ months ago. It is one of those
rare instances -here )o%( excellencies( can change the co%rse and the face of histor)( and
at the same time reinforce one of the fo%nding principles of the UN & the right to self
determination. The bid implicitl) incorporates pre 1>:; borders( incl%des the integrit) of
*ast 4er%salem( an a%tonomo%s +aAa and the ref%gee diaspora.
It is momento%s beca%se there are alread) over 1@$ members -ho have recogniAed
Palestine as a state and more are appearing ever) da). !nd( no-( 2%st this -ee, .amas
has lent its s%pport.
I %rge )o% to consider t-o points. Cirstl)( please resist press%re from an) po-erf%l
government to coerce )o% into defeating or dela)ing this iss%e E sadl) there is a histor) of
coercion in this hallo-ed place. No +overnment( ho-ever rich or po-erf%l sho%ld be
allo-ed to %se its financial or militar) m%scle to set UN polic) b) b%ll)ing other states on
this or an) other iss%e.
econdl)( do not ta,e the statehood vote as the end of f%lfilling )o%r obligations E
+eneral !ssembl) responsibilit) goes far be)ond UN technicalities( it m%st incl%de real
protection of Palestinians %nder occ%pation and real acco%ntabilit) for violations of the
la-. 9o% have po-ers )o% do not %se. 9o% do not have to defer to or -ait for the ec%rit)
Co%ncil.
In 2%st a fe- months -e -ill commemorate the tenth anniversar) of the ,illing of 0achel
Corrie( the )o%ng peace activist ,illed b) an Israeli soldier driving an armored Caterpillar
b%lldoAer as she tried to protect the ho%se of a pharmacist and his famil) in 0afah( on
+aAa/s border. International activists li,e 0achel Corrie( Tom .%rndall and 4ames 'iller
too, the ris,s the) did( and the)( and their families paid the %ltimate price( beca%se the
international comm%nit) E )o%r governments and the United Nations itself E had failed to
protect the v%lnerable Palestinian pop%lation living %nder this prolonged occ%pation. 7e
are pro%d( tho%gh tears b%rn o%r e)es( of the -or, of these )o%ng activists and deepl)
moved b) their sacrifice. 1%t -e are angr)( too( that o%r governments and o%r
international instit%tions( incl%ding the +eneral !ssembl)( have failed to provide the
protection that -o%ld ma,e 0achel Corrie/s sacrifice %nnecessar). !lso let %s not forget
the tho%sands of co%rageo%s and anon)mo%s Palestinians and their e8%all) co%rageo%s
Israeli brothers and sisters in arms (bo)cott from -ithin# -ho protest peacef%ll) on a
-ee,l) basis for the simple basic right to an ordinar) h%man life. The right to live in
dignit) and peace( to raise their families( to till the land( to b%ild a 2%st societ)( to travel
abroad( to be free of occ%pation( to aspire to each and ever) h%man goal( 2%st li,e the rest
of %s.
1
pea,ing of the rest of %s( I live here in Ne- 9or, Cit). 7e are a some-hat parochial
gro%p( -e Ne- 9or,ers( to a large extent c%t off b) propaganda and privilege from the
realities of the Palestinians plight. Ce- of %s %nderstand that the government of the
United tates of !merica( partic%larl) thro%gh its po-er of veto in the ec%rit) Co%ncil(
protects Israel from the condemnation of the global civil societ) that I have the honor to
represent here toda).
*ven as bombs rained do-n on 1.: million people in +aAa( the President of The United
tates of !merica reasserted his position that Israel has the right to defend itself.
7e all ,no- the reach and po-er of Israel/s militar) capabilit) and the deadl) effects of
its actions. o -hat did President 3bama meanB =id he mean that Israel has the right to
indefinitel) occ%p) the -hole of the region( that Israel has the right to forcibl) evict the
pop%lations of the occ%pied territories( ho%se b) ho%se( village b) villageB =id he mean
that in this special case Israel has the right to carr) o%t campaigns of ethnic cleansing and
apartheid( and that the U.. -ill protect Israel/s right to do soB =id he mean that Israel
has the right to b%ild roads( in occ%pied territor)( protected b) raAor -ire and concrete
-alls and CCTI and machine g%ns to protect the residents of 4e-ish&onl) settlementsB
=id he mean that in discriminate and deadl) bombing attac,s( incl%ding the %se of -hite
phosphoro%s( on the civilian pop%lation of +aAa( b) an over-helmingl) s%perior militar)
force( is 2%stified on the gro%nds of defenseB
The Palestinians are an ancient( intelligent( c%lt%red( hospitable( and genero%s people.
!nd of co%rse the) have pride and -ill resist the occ%pation of their land and defend their
-omen and children and their propert) to the best of their abilit). 7ho -o%ld notB 7o%ld
)o%B 7o%ld IB 7o%ld President 3bamaB 3ne -o%ld hope so. It -o%ld be his d%t).
Imagine 7ashington =C( -alled in( a prison( mainl) r%bble from repeated attac,s. No
one allo-ed in or o%t. Constant po-er c%ts( foreign g%nboats on the Potomac ,illing the
fishermen( -arplanes la%nching s%rgical air stri,es from their imp%nit) on high( ta,ing
o%t( not onl) the resistance b%t -omen and children too.
'ore than a generation ago( the +eneral !ssembl) passed resol%tion $:$D( dealing -ith
the principle of e8%al rights and self&determination. It recogniAed that -hen a people face
an) forcible action depriving them of those rights( that the) have the right to actions
against( and resistance to s%ch %se of force. 7hen the international comm%nit) does not
sho%lder its responsibilit) to protect( Palestinians -ill sho%lder that responsibilit)
themselves.
This is not to s%ggest that I s%pport the la%nching of missiles into Israel. The
internationall) recogniAed legal right of resistance means attac,ing an) militar) target
engaged in illegal occ%pation. 1%t let %s be clear( as -e believe in The "a- as
indispensable and even handed. The la%nching of %ng%ided roc,ets into Israel( -here the
most li,el) targets -ill be civilians( is not a legal form of resistance.
1
'an) civil societ) activists E incl%ding man) Palestinians and Israelis E are committed to
non&violent resistance. The 1= movement( -hich has spread from Palestinian civil
societ) to activists aro%nd the -orld( is part of that non&violent resistance and I s%pport it
-hole heartedl)( b%t let %s be clear that the disparit) of po-er( and the realit) of the
occ%pation( and the response of the occ%pied is the realit) -e face %nless -e find
reco%rse in international la- and hold all parties to it. In the meantime
"et me tr) to dial bac, the rhetoric a little and address the Israel has a right to defend
itself claim from a legal and historical perspective.
*x in2%ria non orit%r 2%s.
! legal right or entitlement cannot arise from in2%stice
If -e tr%l) oppose all violence( -hether b) the occ%pier or violent resistance b) the
occ%pied( -e m%st aim to end the root ca%ses of violence. In this conflict( that means
ending Israel/s occ%pation( coloniAation( ethnic cleansing( and the denial of the right to
self determination and other inalienable rights that the Palestinian people is entitled to
according to the UN charter and other tenets of international la-.
o to the C%t%re.
.amas( having dropped its original demand for Israel to be dismantled in the r%n %p to
the elections -as democraticall) elected in 4an%ar)$55:( in elections deemed free and
fair b) ever) international observer present( incl%ding former U.. President 4imm)
Carter. The leaders of .amas have made their position clear over and over again. It is
thisJ .amas is open to permanent peace -ith Israel if there is total -ithdra-al to the 1>:;
borders ($$ per cent of historic Palestine#( and the arrangement is s%pported b) a
referend%m of all Palestinians living %nder occ%pation.
'r. Chairman( *xcellencies( friends. 7e are all here for the same reason. 7e are all
committed to h%man rights( international la-( the centralit) of the United Nations and
e8%alit) for all E incl%ding for Palestinians. 7e are all attending this meeting on $>th
November that mar,s the UN/s International =a) of olidarit) -ith The Palestinian
People.
1%t it seems to me( o%r commemoration of this da) is not eno%gh.
o( -hat else to doB The battlegro%nd is here( at the head8%arters of the United Nations(
and sim%ltaneo%sl) in the middle of Ne- 9or, Cit)( -ith access to the media. The battle
is t-o prongedJ
To contin%e the -or, of informing the people of the U! abo%t the realit) of the
Palestinian&Israeli conflict( and most especiall)( abo%t the role of their government(
the host co%ntr) of the United Nations( %sing their tax dollars to f%nd and enable
Israel/s violations. To remind them of the billions of dollars in militar) aid ever)
)ear( the absol%te protection of Israel in the United Nations( in the International
Criminal Co%rt and else-here to ass%re its imp%nit) for -ar crimes and potential
1
crimes against h%manit) E to impress %pon them( the people of the United tates of
!merica that these d%bio%s attachments remain the center piece of their
governments/ polic) in the 'iddle *ast.
4%st as importantl)( -e m%st address( finall)( serio%s reform of the U.N. The UN needs to
embrace a ne- democrac). The veto m%st be retho%ght( or the UN -ill die. The %se
of the veto as a strategic political tool b) one or other of the permanent members of
the ec%rit) Co%ncil has become o%tmoded. The po-er of veto residing in the hands
of 2%st five nations ma,es something of a moc,er) of the pretense of democrac)( of
the idea that The -ill of the Peoples is represented here. The s)stem is too open to
ab%ses. The blan,et protection afforded to Israel b) the United tates/ %se of the veto
is b%t one example of s%ch ab%se. Cor instance in 1>;@ it bloc,ed a resol%tion 0e&
affirming the rights of Palestinians and demanding -ithdra-al from the occ%pied
territories( in 1>;: another resol%tion calling for The right of self determination for
the Palestinians( and t-o resol%tions in1>>; calling for Cessation of settlement
b%ilding in *. 4er%salem and other occ%pied territories. There are man) more.
l %rge )o%( the +eneral !ssembl)( to collectivel) -or, to-ards -resting the po-er bac,
to the people in order to facilitate progress to-ards a more democratic bod)( better
able to p%rs%e the high aspirations of this great instit%tion( to represent the -ill of the
peoples of these great United Nations.
9o%( the +eneral !ssembl)( represent the largest( most democratic component of the
United Nations. The United tates( and China and Crance and 0%ssia and the UG have no
veto here. 7hat is needed is political -ill. 9o% can ma,e decisions( and ta,e actions( that
the ec%rit) Co%ncil cannot( or -ill not. The United Nations Charter begins -ith the
-ords 7e( the peoples( of these United Nations. Not 7e the governments. I %rge
)o%( on behalf of the people of )o%r co%ntries( on behalf of the people of all co%ntries( in
fact on behalf of all the peoples( of this( o%r shared earth( to act.
eiAe this historic moment.
%pport the vote toda) for Palestinian enhanced observer statehood stat%s as a step
to-ards f%ll membership.
!nd declare IsraelKs contin%ed membership of the UN to be dependent on reform of its
illegal apartheid regime.
Than, )o%.
0oger 7aters. $>th November $51$.
1