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Identical letters dated 26 November 2014 from the Permanent Observer of the State of Palestine to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General, the President of the General Assembly and the President of the Security Council
I have the honour to enclose herewith a statement issued on 25 November 2014 by the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization regarding recent unilateral and illegal measures and provocative declarations by the Government of Israel, the occupying Power, the Palestinian leadership's rejection of all of these illegal actions and our appeal to all members of the international community to uphold their responsibilities under international law and the relevant United Nations resolutions at this most critical juncture (see annex).
I would be grateful if you would have the text of the present letter and its annex distributed as a document of the General Assembly, under agenda item 36, and of the Security Council.
The Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) strongly condemns the Israeli occupation Government's approval of the draft law on the “Jewish nation-State”. It strongly rejects that law, by which Israel defines itself on a religious basis.
The Executive Committee affirms that the law is aimed at terminating the two-State solution by imposing the “Greater Israel” project and a Jewish nation-State on the historic land of Palestine. The law amounts to a unilateral Israeli rejection of the 1993 document of mutual recognition. By defining the identity of the State in terms of Judaism, it lays claim to the religious and holy sites of the other faiths.
The “Jewish nation-State” law is a racist political decision that completes the seizure of Palestinian land and entitlements. It is inconsistent with international law and instruments, and flagrantly contravenes the standards that underpin the international legal and human-rights framework and the principles of democracy and equal rights. It enshrines racism and discrimination in all areas of life. It completes Netanyahu's plan to turn Israel into a State whose legal basis is racism. It is being used to entrench and justify racism and rejection of the other.
The so-called “Historic national home of the Jewish people” is a racist, extremist ideological concept that endeavours to distort and defame the Palestinian historical narrative and eliminate the Palestinian presence by erasing its history, legitimate rights and continuity on the historic land of Palestine. It legalizes the denial of the political, economic and social rights of our Arab Palestinian people living in Israel, and justifies their displacement and dispossession under the pretext that they do not belong to the “Jewish nation”.
The Executive Committee stresses that the draft law completes and consolidates the “Law of return”, which entitles any Jew in the world to return to Palestine while denying that right to others, particularly the original Palestinian inhabitants. It comprehensively abrogates the legitimate rights of our Palestinian people and, in particular, the refugees' right to return to the homes from which they were expelled by force in 1948. It also absolves the Israeli occupation of its responsibility for the humanitarian tragedies and successive calamities that it has caused, and for the historic crime that it committed by displacing the Palestine refugees from 1948 to the present day.
The Executive Committee notes that the draft law exposes the true essence of the twisted Israeli political and judicial system, which violates the international prohibition on racism and ethnic cleansing. The draft law, which is supplemented by an inflammatory and extremist political discourse, is the culmination of a calculated series of laws, proposals and racist practices that reflect an official political decision to make the conflict about religion and to stoke ideological violence.
The Executive Committee deplores the dozens of official decisions taken by the occupation Government and the laws that are being drafted for submission to the Knesset in order to enact those decisions. One example is the draft law that would extend all Israeli laws to the settlements. Those laws would then be binding in the illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank, which would thus be seized and annexed, eliminating the two-State solution. The Executive Committee condemns the acts of revenge and collective punishment imposed by Israel on our people through draft laws which, for example, would revoke permanent residence and social rights for the perpetrators of operations and their relatives; displace their families; demolish the homes of Jerusalemite suspects (by resorting deceptively to British mandate law, which allows home demolitions only subject to certain conditions that the occupation authorities do not follow); and increase the penalty for children who throw stones to 20 years' imprisonment. In addition, the draft law on Israeli sovereignty over the Al-Aqsa Mosque would use religion to impose sovereignty over religious sites that Israel does not own. The Executive Committee also condemns the enactment by the Knesset plenum of a law distinguishing between Christians, Muslims and Druze, thereby dividing Palestinian society into faiths and sects in order to create a situation based on religious discrimination rather than national identity. It deplores the fact that the Supreme Court of Israel has upheld a racist law that legalizes discrimination in housing access on national grounds. That law bans Palestinians in Israel from living in towns reserved to Jews or using vehicles that are used by Jews. The Executive Committee condemns all such oppressive decisions and laws.
The Executive Committee of the PLO calls on the United Nations and the international community to take effective steps not only to rein Israel in, but also to hold it to account, and to support Palestine's legal effort within the Security Council later this month to determine a deadline for the end of the occupation and the establishment of the State of Palestine on the borders of 1967, with Jerusalem as its capital.
The PLO thanks those parliaments and free peoples of the world that have recognized the establishment of the State of Palestine. It urges all world parliaments and governments to follow suit and support our people in bringing an end to the military occupation of Palestine.
The Executive Committee commends the steadfastness of our people living in Israel, on the territory of the occupied State of Palestine and in exile. It calls on them to stand together and confront the threat to our presence on the historic land of Palestine. The correct response is to stand our ground and be firm; hold to national unity and the popular, legal, political and diplomatic struggle; and defend our inalienable rights under international instruments.