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Monday, 16 May 2011, 10 a.m.
The President (spoke in French): Under rule 37 of the Council’s provisional rules of procedure, I invite the representatives of Cuba, Costa Rica, Indonesia, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Israel, Japan, Morocco, Pakistan, Spain, Switzerland, the Syrian Arab Republic, Turkey and the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to participate in this meeting.
The President (spoke in French): I now give the floor to the representative of Israel.
Mr. Reuben (Israel): ...
The anguish of countless victims of terrorism provides a powerful reminder that no cause or grievance can ever justify terrorism. Every day, at least one Member State suffers from some form of a terrorist attack. Roadside bombs, rockets, mortars, suicide bombers and kidnappings continue to wreak havoc and bring grief and agony to nearly every corner of the world.
Given Israel’s first-hand experience with the devastation caused by terrorism, we attribute particular importance to United Nations initiatives to voice and commemorate the untold stories of the victims of terrorism. Every day, more Israelis fall within the range of terrorist rockets as a result of illegal arms smuggling into Gaza. Hamas’s and Hizbullah’s ever-growing arsenal of missiles and rockets is made possible by the continuous transfer and smuggling of weapons and ammunition by two prime sponsors of terrorism in our region, namely, Iran and Syria. Only two months ago, we witnessed another example of this illegal activity when the cargo vessel Victoria, which set sail from Syria, was found to be carrying some 40 tonnes of concealed weaponry of Iranian origin among a cargo of lentils and cotton.
We continued to witness the devastating consequences of this smuggling activity when, last month, members of the Hamas terrorist organization used an anti-tank missile that they had smuggled into the Gaza Strip to strike and completely destroy a school bus travelling in southern Israel, injuring the bus driver and killing a 16-year-old child.
The President (spoke in French): I now call on the representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Mr. Al Habib (Islamic Republic of Iran): ...
Before I conclude, I would like to respond to the reference made to my country by the representative of the Israeli regime. I should like to place on record that my delegation rejects the baseless allegations and distortions made in the Chamber that were intended to distract the international community’s attention from the facts concerning the State terrorism, criminal policies and abhorrent atrocities in the region by the Israeli regime, in particular the heinous crimes committed against the people of Palestine, Lebanon and Syria, to say the least. Just in the past few days, at least 20 people lost their lives at the hands of this regime’s brutal forces in the Golan Heights, Ramallah and Lebanon.
The President (spoke in French): I now give the floor to the representative of the Syrian Arab Republic.
Mr. Ja΄afari (Syrian Arab Republic) (spoke in Arabic): ...
The famous resolution adopted by the General Assembly in 1974, resolution 3314 (XXIX), defines occupation as constituting the worst possible form of aggression. The representatives of Israel may say what they wish when it comes to lies and untruths beyond the realm of international legality. Within that realm, however, there are many resolutions condemning and denouncing Israel’s acts and its violations of the rights of the Palestinian, Lebanese and Syrian peoples living under its occupation for decades.
The representative of Israel has once again taken advantage of the forum of the Security Council for propaganda, which cannot stand against truth. He obviously thought that, in inappropriately mentioning my country’s name in his statement, it would be possible to deflect attention from the root causes of problems in the Middle East, namely, the continuing occupation by Israel of Palestinian territories, and ensure that people’s gazes were averted from the crimes perpetrated by Israel against the unarmed Palestinian people.
The whole world knows that Israel, as an occupying Power, is implementing a sadistic holocaust against the Palestinians, a holocaust based on settlements and the displacement of people and the annexation of Arab territories. State terrorism is the worst form of terrorism in the world. There is a special archive, an encyclopedia and a museum testifying to the crimes of genocide and war crimes perpetrated by Israel since it began its occupation of the territories.
State terrorism perpetrated by Israel has affected the United Arab Emirates, as the Council is aware, and the Sudan. Other areas have been affected as well, including European and non-European capitals alike, which have seen assassinations of Palestinians and other Arabs. Israel is the State that has introduced official terrorism to the region. All of that in the knowledge that Zionist terrorist groups such as the Stern Gang, the Irgun, the Hagganah and the Balmakh have massacred thousands of Palestinians and caused their exodus, as well as killing Count Folke Bernadotte, a United Nations representative, in 1948. The first terrorist act in the region was committed by Israel, in 1954 — I repeat, in 1954 — with the hijacking of a Syrian civilian aircraft. In those days, nobody spoke of Hamas or Hizbullah.
I shall conclude by quoting what I read in an Israeli newspaper. In 2009, Or Ben-David Katz, a 19-year-old Israeli girl, stated that she fully intended to flout Israeli law by refusing to perform military service. In an open letter to the Israeli Government, that young woman declared:
The President (spoke in French): The representative of Israel has asked to make a further statement. I now give him the floor.
Mr. Reuben (Israel): I would like to respond. It is somewhat surreal to hear a representative of a regime that brutally killed hundreds of its own civilians and citizens over the past few weeks, and which continues to do so as we speak, talk about terrorism.
As a country that actively supports, harbours and finances terrorist organizations, and that hosts the headquarters of internationally recognized terrorist organizations, Syria’s practices indeed reflect its long-standing perspective on sponsoring terrorism.
It is a shame and a disgrace for Syria to exploit the memory of the victims of the Holocaust.
The meeting rose at 1.50 p.m.