Washington: US President Barack Obama
will underline the need for urgency in an Israeli-Palestine
peace pact and call upon world leaders to help seal a deal in
his address to the UN on Thursday.
"Consider the alternative. If an agreement is not
reached, Palestinians will never know the pride and dignity
that comes with their own state. Israelis will never know the
certainty and security that comes with sovereign and stable
neighbors who are committed to co-existence," Obama will tell
the UN General Assembly in New york.
"The hard realities of demography will take hold. More
blood will be shed. This Holy Land will remain a symbol of our
differences, instead of our common humanity," Obama will say
according to the excerpts of his speech released by the White
House, hours before his speech.
The US president will tell the world body it is time
for key regional players to help forge peace.
"Peace must be made by Israelis and Palestinians, but
each of us has a responsibility to do our part as well. Those
of us who are friends of Israel must understand that true
security for the Jewish state requires an independent
Palestine one that allows the Palestinian people to live
with dignity and opportunity," he will say.
Obama will also make the point that "those of us who
are friends of the Palestinians must understand that the
rights of the Palestinian people will be won only through
peaceful means including genuine reconciliation with a
"Many in this hall count themselves as friends of the
Palestinians. But these pledges must now be supported by
deeds. Those who have signed on to the Arab Peace Initiative
should seize this opportunity to make it real by describing
and demonstrating the normalization that it promises Israel,"
Obama is expected to say in his speech.
The president's speech will come at a critical moment
for his Middle East peace initiative, with an Israeli
moratorium on most settlement construction in the occupied
West Bank set to lapse at the end of this month.
Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas has warned that
he will walk out of peace talks brokered by the US if Israel
does not extend the settlement ban.
Obama will ask those "who speak out for Palestinian
self-government" to "help the Palestinian Authority with
political and financial support" as in doing so they will be
helping Palestinians build the institutions of their state.
"And those who long to see an independent Palestine
rise must stop trying to tear Israel down," the president will
tell the international community today.
Noting that many are pessimistic about this peace
process, Obama will warn against the cynics who say: "Israelis
and Palestinians are too distrustful of each other, and too
divided internally, to forge lasting peace".
He will note that rejectionists on both sides of the
conflict will try to disrupt the process.
"Rejectionists on both sides will try to disrupt the
process, with bitter words and with bombs. Some say that the
gaps between the parties are too big; the potential for talks
to break down is too great; and that after decades of failure,
peace is simply not possible," he will tell world leaders,
according to the remarks released by the White House.
He is expected to remind them that the conflict
between Israelis and Arabs is as old as this institution. "And
we can come back here, next year, as we have for the last
sixty, and make long speeches about it".
"We can read familiar lists of grievances. We can
table the same resolutions. We can further empower the forces
of rejectionism and hate. We can waste more time by carrying
forward an argument that will not help a single Israeli or
Palestinian child achieve a better life. We can do that,
Obama will tell world leaders.
First Published: Thursday, September 23, 2010, 18:42