U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations Susan Rice again stood up for Israel at the United Nations Security Council by delivering comprehensive remarks that affirmed Israel’s rights to self-defense and secure borders. Her speech underscores President Obama’s continuing leadership and commitment to Israel’s security and legitimacy.
In her remarks, Rice:
* Reiterated the Obama Administration’s position that negotiations are the only way to achieve a two state solution between Israel and the Palestinians:
The United States remains deeply committed to a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict agreed to by the parties. As President Obama said after his recent meeting with Israeli President Peres, ‘With the winds of change blowing through the Arab world, it is more urgent than ever that we try to seize the opportunity to create a peaceful solution between the Palestinians and the Israelis.’
We continue to consult with the Israelis and the Palestinians, as well as to work with the Quartet and our partners in the region, toward our shared goal of a two-state solution. Negotiations between the parties remain the only path to a solution that resolves all issues and establishes a sovereign state of Palestine alongside a secure state of Israel as a key part of a comprehensive peace among Israel and all of its neighbors.
We will continue to work with the Palestinian people as they lay the foundations for a future Palestinian state. ... Palestinians deserve the dignity and justice of a state of their own and the freedom to chart their own destiny. And Israelis deserve to live in security, at peace with their neighbors, and confident in their future.
* Condemned the recent rocket attacks launched from Gaza by Hamas against Israeli citizens in Southern Israel and affirmed Israel’s “inalienable right to self-defense”:
[W]e condemn, in the strongest possible terms, recent attacks on innocent civilians. We are deeply concerned by the escalation of rocket and mortar fire from Gaza into southern Israel. We are particularly disturbed by reports indicating the increased use of advanced weaponry, including rockets, in attacks against Israeli civilians. After enduring dozens of rocket attacks on civilian targets in southern Israel-including the deeply disturbing use of an advanced anti-tank missile in a fatal attack on a yellow school bus-Israel responded by exercising its inalienable right to self-defense.
We must work together to stop Hamas and other violent extremists from launching terrorist attacks and bringing increased misery to the people of Gaza. Let there be no doubt: there is no justification for targeting innocent civilians, and those responsible for these terrorist acts must be held accountable.
* Called for the United Nations to “end, once and for all, its actions in relation to the Goldstone report”:
[T]he Goldstone Report is back in the news. We have long said the issues it raised should be resolved through credible domestic investigations and follow-up. Israel has the democratic institutions and ability to carry out serious investigations-and is doing so. Justice Goldstone recently concluded that Israel has undertaken an appropriate review process and made changes in its combat doctrine. As we made clear when the Goldstone Report was first presented, we did not see evidence that the Israeli government intentionally targeted civilians. Justice Goldstone has now reached the same conclusion. He also concluded that Hamas has ‘done nothing’ to investigate the ‘allegations of its war crimes and possible crimes against humanity.’ The United States urges the United Nations to end, once and for all, its actions in relation to the Goldstone Report.
* Repeated the Obama Administration’s call for Hamas to free Gilad Shalit from captivity:
We also call again on Hamas to immediately release the Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, abducted and held by Hamas since 2006.
* Denounced the planned flotillas that will be heading towards the Gaza Strip in May and urged other countries to do the same:
We are also deeply concerned about reports that groups are organizing another flotilla that will attempt to sail to Gaza, ostensibly to deliver humanitarian assistance. The recent seizures of advanced weaponry underscore that Israel has clear security interests regarding cargo bound for Gaza. There are existing mechanisms to deliver goods to Gaza, and there is no justification for attempts to sail directly to Gaza. We therefore urge strongly all those who wish to deliver goods and assistance to Gaza to do so through existing mechanisms and avoid any provocative actions. This will ensure that the Palestinians’ humanitarian needs are addressed and Israel’s legitimate security needs are met. We also urge all member states to reinforce this message with their nationals and organizations and to use every legal means at their disposal to discourage additional flotillas to Gaza.
* Urged UN member states to cooperate on stopping Iran’s weapons smuggling to the terrorists groups that surround Israel:
[W]e strongly condemn Iran’s recent attempts to export advanced weapons and munitions in violation of several Security Council resolutions, including Resolution 1747. The interception of Iranian weapons in Turkey, along the Egyptian-Sudanese border, and aboard the M/V Victoria, which was carrying sophisticated anti-ship cruise missiles and other munitions, all clearly demonstrate that Iran is trying to flout this Council’s will-dramatically increasing the risks of conflict and instability in the region. We urge all member states to make clear to Iran the consequences for regional security of its reckless behavior. All countries have obligations under Security Council resolutions to prevent illicit trafficking in arms and ammunition.
There are no comments for this entry