Amid an uptick in violence by Palestinian attackers, Netanyahu will address the General Assembly shortly after Abbas, Iran’s Rouhani
(SOURCE) Following numerous speeches by world leaders encouraging Israel to adopt the two-state solution, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will address the United Nations General Assembly Thursday for his eighth speech to the annual plenary session.
The speech will come less than an hour after Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is scheduled to address the confab, amid a sharp uptick in attacks by Palestinians against IDF soldiers in recent days.
Also scheduled to speak before Netanyahu is Iranian president Hassan Rouhani, who has been a target of the Israeli leader’s opprobrium in many past speeches to the world body.
Netanyahu is 15th on the roster of world leaders scheduled to speak in the Thursday morning session at the UN, and is expected to go up to the podium at about 12:40 p.m. New York time (7:40 p.m. in Israel). Rouhani is 12th on the list and Abbas 13th.
Before taking off for the UN headquarters on Tuesday, Netanyahu said he intended to urge world powers to unite in the campaign against terror.
“I expect from the international community a uniform standard in the war on terrorism,” he said. “Today the entire international community says that there is a need to wage a determined and uncompromising fight against terrorism. And indeed, they must also support the determined and uncompromising fight against terrorism, and this moral clarity is necessary to both fight against — and defeat — terrorism.”
The prime minister added that he will “present Israel’s case, Israel’s truth, Israel’s justice and also Israel’s heroism — the heroism of our soldiers, our police officers and our citizens, who are waging an uncompromising struggle against brutal terrorism,” during his address to world leaders.
The prime minister’s speeches to the UN assembly in the last several years dealt largely with the issue of Iran’s nuclear program and trying to stymie the agreement between world powers and Iran that has, Jerusalem claimed, does little to push Tehran further from a nuclear weapon.
Last year he rebuked world powers for failing to challenge Iran over its threats to destroy Israel, accusing the international community of “deafening silence,” as he himself stood in silence for 44 seconds, staring reproachfully at the crowd.
Thursday’s speech comes a day after Netanyahu met with US President Barak Obama on the sidelines of the assembly, in what was likely the last encounter between the two in their current positions.
In their public remarks, the two displayed a jovial camaraderie with Obama only briefly mentioning peace efforts with the Palestinians and concerns over settlement building.
But behind closed doors, senior Obama administration officials claimed Obama was more pointed, raising “profound US concerns” that settlement-building was eroding prospects for peace. Netanyahu challenged that notion, said one official, adding that the two leaders had not “papered over” their differences.
In his own address to the General Assembly on Tuesday, Obama said that while the Palestinians should reject terror and incitement, Israel must recognize that it cannot “permanently occupy and settle Palestinian land.”
“Surely Israelis and Palestinians will be better off if Palestinians reject incitement and recognize the legitimacy of Israel. But Israel must recognize that it cannot permanently occupy and settle Palestinian land. We all have to do better,” he added.
A number of other world leaders also mentioned the Israel-Palestinian conflict, warning against the rejection of the two-state solution.
In the opening speech of the session, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said that the only solution to the conflict would be a two-state solution, and that the one-state option would “spell doom” for both sides.
On stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, Ban said that prospects for the creation of a Palestinian state alongside Israel “are being lowered by the day.”
“It pains me that this past decade has been lost to peace. Ten years lost to illegal settlement expansion. Ten years lost to intra-Palestinian divide, growing polarization and hopelessness,” he said, adding that West Bank settlements were “obstacles to progress.”
“This is madness. Replacing a two-state solution with a one-state construct would spell doom: denying Palestinians their freedom and rightful future, and pushing Israel further from its vision of a Jewish democracy towards greater global isolation,” said Ban.
Jordan’s King Abdullah warned Israel would find itself in “a sea of hatred” if it did not accept a Palestinian state.
“No injustice has spread more bitter fruit than the denial of a Palestinian state. I say: Peace is a conscious decision,” the king said. “Israel has to embrace peace or eventually be engulfed in a sea of hatred in a region of turmoil.”
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that he planned to use recently strengthened ties with Israel to help encourage the peace process with the Palestinians, calling the implementation of a two-state solution an “obligation of the international community.”
“There is a need to allow for the Palestinian people to establish an independent Palestine with East Jerusalem as its capital, based on the two-state solution,” he told the UN General Assembly in New York. “It is an obligation of the international community toward the Palestinian children, if nothing else.”
Egypt’s president, veering off his written speech, urged Israel and the Palestinians to look to the “wonderful” example set by his country and the Jewish state and agree on a solution that lets them exist in peace as two neighboring states.
President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi described the Israel-Egypt model as “a real opportunity to write a bright page in the history of our region to move towards peace.”
Sissi said the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was at “the core of regional instability” and called for a settlement based on a two-state solution leading to a Palestinian state.
Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.