II. Texts of statements made and messages received on the occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, 1986
Furthermore, Greece has always strongly supported the task of the United Nations and the work of its competent special body, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, and emphasize the role it can play in adherence to the existing resolutions of the General Assembly and of the Security Council for the settlement of the issue. In conjunction with the above, Greece would like to stress the issue of the withdrawal of Israeli troops from all occupied territories since 1967.
Finally an international conference of all the parties that have legitimate rights and interests in the area could be a major contribution towards a peaceful solution.
Greece will continue to support the tireless efforts undertaken by the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People for the accomplishment of its difficult but vital task. It is our belief, which is accompanied by the ever-growing feeling that an increasing number of people all over the world are awakening to the magnitude and importance of the problem, that peace and stability in the region and the rest of the world can only be reached through a just, lasting and comprehensive settlement of the question of Palestine.
In reflecting upon the plight of the Palestinian people, we find it profoundly regrettable that there are no signs that the situation has improved, nor any prospects for the settlement of the Palestinian question. Needless to say, the Palestinian problem is at the core of the Middle East issue as a whole, and until that problem is settled, a just, lasting and comprehensive peace cannot be achieved in the Middle East.
For the realization of peace in the region, it is essential that Israel should completely withdraw from the Arab territories that it has occupied since the 1967 war, and that the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people, including the right to self-determination, should be recognized and respected in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations. The right to self-determination includes the right to establish an independent State. At the same time, the right to exist of all States in the region must be ensured.
I am pleased to note on this occasion that international awareness of the Palestinian problem is growing year by year. I take this opportunity to affirm that I will spare no effort in extending assistance to the Palestinian people. The Government of Japan has in fact already extended to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) cash contributions totalling $69 million, and food assistance with a total value of $42 million. Furthermore, Japan has decided this year to co-operate with the UNRWA school-construction project in Jordan. My Government also began last year to receive Palestinian trainees and is this year considering technical co-operation to the UNRWA vocational training centre.
I wish to appeal to the Palestinian people so that it makes further effort to strengthen its solidarity and, from a realistic point of view, it works towards a solution of the Palestine problem through negotiations in which all parties concerned, including the Palestine Liberation Organization, participate. It is my earnest hope that, through those efforts, peace will be realized in the Middle East as soon as possible.
This conviction and commitment reflect the self-evident facts of the conflict in the region, foremost amongst which is the fact that the Palestine problem lies at the heart of the Middle East crisis and that peace and stability cannot be achieved in the Middle East unless a just and lasting solution is found to the question of the Palestinian people, taking into account the inalienable rights of that people.
The Zionist entity has for the last 16 years refused, and continues to refuse, to recognize the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Population of the Occupied Territories. It continues to refuse to co-operate with the Committee or to permit it to visit the occupied Palestinian territories, in a shameless and conspicuous attempt to conceal the nature of the Zionist occupation authorities' practices in the occupied Arab territories, which constitutes a flagrant violation of international instruments and norms. These practices have been condemned by the General Assembly of the United Nations in clear and specific resolutions at each of its sessions.
The determination of the Israeli entity not to recognize your Committee or to co-operate with it derives from the policy of aggression and expansion pursued by the Zionist entity. No precedent has been established in ancient or modern history for that racist policy other than in the case of South Africa, where we observe another racist régime which bases its power on the same ideological concept as that used by the racist Zionist régime in occupied Palestine. Zionist theory embraces the principle of selection or superiority on the basis of religious legends and purity of blood, while the racist régime in South Africa embraces a theory of selection based on race and colour. The victims of these two quasi-Nazi theories are the indigenous inhabitants and legitimate owners of their respective homelands and resources. The two régimes practise a policy of tyranny and oppression against the indigenous inhabitants with the aim of forcing them to flee and so evicting them from the land.
These two movements are the two most odious racist movements seen in history. Yet, despite the international consensus in condemning them, there are still some who support them, pitting their faith in a strategic alliance with one and in constructive engagement with the other.
The United States of America has in fact, since the conclusion of its strategic agreement become a direct partner of the Zionist entity, bearing the lion's share of responsibility for all the aggressive and expansionist wars initiated by the Zionist entity for the purposes of expansion and the establishment of Greater Israel. The United States is also responsible for the policy of contentiousness towards and disregard for relevant United Nations resolutions, foremost among the examples of which is the denial by the Zionist entity of the rights of the Palestinian people to return to their homeland, to exercise self-determination and to establish their own state.
The international community is today more than ever before calling for increased efforts and support for the Palestinian people and the triumph of its just struggle.
International solidarity with the Palestinian people gives tangible expression to the world's rejection of aggressive and racist Zionist policies and practices. It also constitutes indirect condemnation of any strategic or non-strategic alliance with the Zionist entity, since such an alliance will serve only to ensure the military superiority of the Zionist entity and to encourage it to persist in its disregard for United Nations resolutions and the will of the international community. International solidarity with the people of Palestine is equivalent to clear condemnation of the positions of those whose words are inconsistent with their deeds, those who speak of the rights of peoples to self-determination and self-defence but who remain as silent as the grave when discussion turns to the rights to self-determination and self-defence of the Palestinian people.
World solidarity with the Palestinian people, and the measure of commitment and sympathy thus implied, is in fact a true indication of the desire of the international community to defend the principles upon which the United Nations was founded, the purposes laid down by the Charter and the aims inherent in the concept of human rights.
We express our gratitude and appreciation for the efforts of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People and we also praise its efforts to awaken the conscience of the world and to reveal the true nature of the aggressive racist Zionist policies and practices perpetrated by the Zionist entity. We are Confident that the Committee will eventually be successful in mobilizing international public opinion and making it aware of the justice of the Palestinian cause, the legitimacy of the Palestinian people's demands and their right to defend those demands by all the means at their disposal. If world solidarity with the Palestinian people endures and increases, it will inevitably bring closer the day of the Palestinian people's triumph and the realization of all their legitimate and justified hopes.
While expressing our gratitude and appreciation for the efforts of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, we strongly condemn the position of the Zionist entity with regard to the Committee, its non-recognition of the Committee's mandate and the entity's refusal to grant it permission to visit the occupied Palestinian territories in order to carry out its assigned task of investigating illegal and illegitimate practices in occupied Palestine.
I have no need to emphasize that the Palestine refugee question, despite its importance, is only one component of the question of Palestine. While it is true that the question of Palestine can be solved only by a solution of the Palestine refugee question, it is also true that a just, lasting and comprehensive solution of the Palestine refugee question can be achieved only through a solution of the question of Palestine. The question of Palestine concerns an entire people which has been driven from its homeland by terrorism and violence, whose land has been usurped by force and aggression and which has been stripped of its rights through coercion and deceit. This question may be solved only through recognition of the established, legitimate and inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, foremost among which are their rights to return to their homeland, to exercise self-determination, to declare their independence and to establish their own State on all of their national soil.
I. Statements by non-governmental organizations
INTERNATIONAL CO-ORDINATING COMMITTEE FOR
NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS ON THE QUESTION OF PALESTINE
Message from Dr. Donald Betz, Chairman of the ICCP,
delivered by Ms. Rabab Hadi of the November 29th Committee