No Peace Without Justice, No Justice Without Human Rights: Lebanon Pres. Speech on Jerusalem

No Peace Without Justice, No Justice Without Human Rights: Lebanon Pres. Speech on Jerusalem
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Published December 13th, 2017 - 13:37 GMT via

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"Since its establishment to date, Israel relies on the principle of force, the usurpation of rights and the displacement, taking advantage of the veto power and the international laxity" (AFP/File)
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  • The OIC held an emergency summit meeting in Istanbul over Jerusalem
  • President Michel Aoun said Israel relies on force and the violation of human rights
  • He proposed filing a complaint to the Security Council and the United Nations on behalf of the OIC
  • He also suggested taking legal, political, and diplomatic measures to declare Jerusalem the capital of Palestine


President Michel Aoun Wednesday addressed an emergency summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, which was held in Istanbul to address U.S. President Donald Trump’s recent decision to recognize occupied Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

The full text of Aoun’s speech at the OIC summit reads as follows:

“I do not think that Palestine could ever become a Jewish state, nor that the Christian and Islamic worlds would ever be prepared to have their holy places under Jewish care.

It would have seemed more sensible to me to establish a Jewish nation which is not historically loaded with the heritage of Christianity and Islam...”

Your Majesties, Your Highnesses, Your Excellencies,

I have chosen to begin my address by quoting excerpts from Sigmund Freud’s letter to Chaim Koffler, a member of the “Resettlement of Jews in Palestine” foundation that dates back to Feb. 26, 1930 in which Freud listed his reservations on Zionism after being asked by Koffler to promote it.

His major reservation may be his awareness that the Islamic and Christian worlds would not allow the establishment of a Jewish national home on the land of Palestine.

Unfortunately, Freud’s expectations were out of place: prolonged silence, failure to act, conspiracy after conspiracy, and Israel was established on the land of Palestine.

Here we are gathering today in an urgent meeting. The city of Jerusalem at the forefront and behind it the decades-old Middle East crisis whose roots span a hundred years, going back to the declaration by Lord Arthur James Balfour of Britain’s support for the establishment of a national home for the Jewish people on the land of Palestine.

This declaration was implemented by the United Nations after 30 years when they adopted in 1947, against all international pacts, customs and laws, a resolution that would divide Palestine, thus sacrificing a people to solve another people’s problem. Those who were persecuted in Europe became persecutors in the Middle East, despite the fact that the Balfour Declaration clearly prohibited any act which would impair civil and religious rights enjoyed by non-Jewish communities.

However, Israelis practiced the worst kinds of ethnic cleansing on the land of Palestine. Paradoxically, the Arabs may be the only people who have not participated in the persecution of Jews throughout history. On the contrary, they have long coexisted with them.



And since the adoption of that resolution, calamities have been haunting us and instability has prevailed over our eastern lands.

Israel today is acting against the course of history and is defying human and social development. Unilateral thought is failing in the whole word, whether it is political, racial or religious, and societies are moving towards pluralism.

Yet, Israel declares itself a Jewish state and attempts to reaffirm this by Judaizing Jerusalem and making it its capital, thus abolishing the universal identity of the Holy Land and expressly eliminating two divine messages in which more than half of the world’s population believe.

It is a wound to civilization and humanity, which will lead to a new displacement, a new ethnic cleansing and to the creation of future wars. Jerusalem and all of Palestine assemble together the most sacred landmarks of Christianity and the most important Islamic landmarks – they are a destination of pilgrimage for the two universal religions.

Can we imagine Christians and Christianity without Jerusalem, Bethlehem, the Church of the Nativity and the Church of the Resurrection? Can we imagine Islam and Muslims without al-Aqsa Mosque and the sacred sights of Palestine?

The move taken by U.S. President Donald Trump whereby Jerusalem is recognized as the capital of Israel is not only a violation to all relevant international laws and resolutions but it also deprives the United States of the status of a superpower that works to find solutions aiming to achieve a just peace in the Middle East.

Nevertheless, if the United Nations does not stand against the application of this decision, it abdicates its role as an international reference in resolving international disputes according to the principles of justice and international law, as per its charter, thereby ceasing its very existence.

Since its establishment to date, Israel relies on the principle of force, the usurpation of rights and the displacement, taking advantage of the veto power and the international laxity.

The United Nations, which divided Palestine, has never succeeded in condemning Israel effectively and dissuasively, however, and in spite of all that, Jerusalem preserved its unique significance in international resolutions and no country has ever dared to harm the prestige, the symbolism and the sanctity of this city.

Resolution No. 181 of the Partition Plan for Palestine, issued by the General Assembly of the United Nations on Nov. 29, 1947, has given Jerusalem a special international status and made it a separate entity under an international guardianship primarily aiming "to protect the unique spiritual and religious interests of the city."



Moreover, on August 20, 1980, the Security Council issued resolution No. 478 in response to the adoption of the "Basic Law" in the Israeli Knesset, which declares the city of Jerusalem as the “complete and unified capital of Israel.” The said resolution does not recognize the Israeli law considering it a violation of international law, calling on member states not to recognize it and asking them to withdraw their diplomatic missions from the Holy City.

As well as Resolution No. 2334 of 23 Dec. 2016, issued by the Security Council, in which the council announced that it would not recognize any changes to the 4 June 1967 lines, including those with regard to Jerusalem.

In addition, the successive resolutions of the General Assembly of the United Nations affirm the necessity to adopt the Security Council resolutions on the status of Jerusalem and considers “the decision of Israel to impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration on the Holy City of Jerusalem is illegal and therefore null and void and has no validity whatsoever” as stated in Resolution 52/53 issued on the Dec. 9, 1997, by the General Assembly.

Does any member of the Security Council, however exalted, have the right to individually overturn a decision taken by the council? Will the Security Council accept to breach its decision to which member states are bound? What if this happened: wouldn’t it terminate its existence?

What has changed today? What made the U.S. take this position thereby bypassing the international law and the United Nations with no concern for the rights of Muslims and Christians in the whole world, nor for their feelings or the repercussions that may result?

The events that befell the Arab and Islamic worlds in recent years, and the stumbling and the confusion of their peoples, have broken relations between some fraternal and friendly countries, created psychological barriers, deepened the gaps between them and drifted away the spirit of solidarity.

Therefore, these events turned the Arab-Israeli and Islamic-Israeli conflicts into Arab-Arab and Islamic-Islamic conflicts by feeding the sectarian conflict between Sunnis and Shiites. And we all know that division is a weakness and weakness leads to seclusion, no wonder that one of our most important Arabic proverbs is “divide and rule.”



There is no doubt that Israel is the only beneficiary from this new unfortunate and painful reality, and what is happening today is an inevitable consequence of our deviation from the main goal.

I have felt the seriousness of this stage since its beginnings and as I said in my speech at the Arab summit months ago, it is imperative for us to put an end to wars between brothers and sit down at the dialogue table, otherwise we will all be doomed to abide by a resolution that will be imposed on us in the near future.

The solution is being imposed: will we rebel in the final round? Will Jerusalem unite us again to save our history, our humanity, our heritage? Or will we fall and with us Jerusalem, and lose Palestine forever?

Nothing but a unified decision and unified measures will help us get back what we’ve lost and what we are about to lose, this is why it is imperative to establish an approach based on:

1- Lodging an urgent complaint to the Security Council and the United Nations on behalf of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation to undermine the American decision and make the U.S. abide by the annulment thereof.

2- Conducting a diplomatic campaign which aims to increase the number of states acknowledging the state of Palestine and considering it a U.N. member state, while taking all the necessary legal, political, and diplomatic measures to declare Jerusalem the capital of Palestine.

3- Taking punitive, unified and progressive actions at the diplomatic and economic levels against any given country that considers Jerusalem the capital of Israel.

4- Calling upon the people of our countries to act within their countries and those in which they reside in order to create public pressure to support our political and diplomatic pressure.

5- Upholding the Arab Initiative for Peace in all its provisions, without any exception, and assigning a fair international facilitator to enhance the said initiative so that we do not back off, knowing that such act will have many repercussions.

Peace will remain our first and foremost objective; however, there will be no peace without justice and certainly no justice without the respect of the human rights.


This article has been adapted from its original source.

Copyright © 2017, The Daily Star. All rights reserved.

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