UN Chief Kofi Annan Demands End of Occupation, UN Security Council Calls for Palestinian State
Washington, DC — The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) applauds comments by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan describing the Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands as “illegal” and telling the Israeli people that “you must end the illegal occupation.” Annan also called on Palestinians to end “suicide bombings.” In a separate move, the UN Security Council passed a resolution endorsing “a vision of a region where two states, Israel and Palestine, live side by side within secure and recognized borders.”
ADC President Ziad Asali said “we warmly welcome the Secretary General’s acknowledgment that the occupation is illegal and that it must end. Clearly the entire conflict is based on Israel’s refusal to end the occupation, allow the Palestinians to live in peace and dignity in their own land and return Israeli troops to their own country. As long as the illegal occupation continues, without a process in place designed to bring it to a swift and complete end, there will be no peace.”
Dr. Asali also pointed out that “the Security Council resolution is welcome, insofar as it recognizes, for the first time explicitly, the need not only for an end to the occupation, but for the creation of a Palestinian state. This is the key to a just and lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians, and it is good that the Security Council has recognized this.” “One would have hoped,” Asali continued, “that the resolution would have referred directly, rather than indirectly, to the occupation and Israel’s responsibilities under the 4th Geneva Convention.” “However,” he continued, “these principles have been articulated numerous times by the Security Council, which recalled many relevant resolutions in its new determination, and they all clearly apply fully and completely. Overall, the position of the Security Council is quite clear: Israel is the occupier, it is bound by the 4th Geneva Convention, the occupation must end, and a Palestinian state must be created alongside Israel.” Dr. Asali concluded that “it is now the job of the international community, including the United States, to enforce these principles.”
ADC has declared March 30, the Palestinian “Land Day,” to be a day of support for a just and lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians marked by two major demonstrations in Washington, DC and Los Angeles, CA. The demonstrations to “End the Occupation, End the Violence” will in Washington be held at Freedom Plaza on 13th and Pennsylvania Ave near the White House from 1 to 4 PM, and in Los Angeles in front of the Federal Building at Westwood, which is at Wilshire Blvd. and Veteran St., at 1 PM.