World-renowned Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz gave an important speech at “The Perils of Global Intolerance: the United Nations and Durban III” conference that took place on 22 September 2011 – designed to coincide with and counter the UN Durban III conference which promoted an anti-Zionist agenda and focussed on Israel as the world’s sole nation mentioned as a source of “racism.” It has just been made publicly available.
In his speech Dershowitz condemned the UN for failing to live up to its own Charter, and began his speech with this statement:
“One important reason why there is no peace in the Middle East an be summarised in tragically in two letters – U.N. That building dedicated in theory to peace has facilitated terrorism, stood idly by genocide, given a platform to Holocaust deniers, and disincentivised the Palestinians from negotiating a reasonable two state solution.”
Dershowitz condemned the UN for wrongly focusing on criticism of Israel, while real human rights abuses occurred and were ignored for decades, he said:
“Think back to one dramatic year in 1975 when between two to three million Cambodians were being murdered by Pol Pot, the UN spent its time debating whether Zionism was racism and did not spend one single session in trying to stop the blood shed in Cambodia…Think about what happened several decades when genocides were taking place in Rwanda and Darfur and the UN was debating the building of houses on the West Bank…Think how often the rights of women, rights of gays, minorities have been ignored because the UN has been able to say ‘we have no time for these minor rights we need to focus on the major oppressor of the world; Israel.'”
Dershowitz also criticised the UN for undermining Israeli-Palestinian peace, he said:
“The UN has for 40 years rewarded Palestinian terrorism by enhancing the status of Palestine while Arafat and Hamas were openly advocating and implementing the murder of Jewish civilians as a matter of government policy…While they were murdering and killing the charter of the UN we saw incremental steps to the point that the Palestinians virtually own the UN…The UN has become the main advocacy arm for one group of people – the Palestinians – and thereby neglecting the rights of so many other people whether they be the Kurds or the Armenians…”
Dershowitz also condemned the planned UN vote on recognition of a Palestinian state on the pre-1967 lines. He argued that given the resolution is aimed at a two state solution, only nations that recognise Israel’s right to exist should be allowed to vote. He said:
“How can you implement a two state solution if so many of the people voting don’t recognise the existence of the other state… These countries which do not recognise Israel are not voting for a two state solution to the Israeli Palestinian conflict, they are voting for a final solution to the Jewish state problem…”
Dershowitz stated that the Palestinians no longer see the need to compromise with Israel because they are handed their demands by the UN, for example starting the negotiations based on 1967 borders, which includes the most holy Jewish sites – the Temple Mount, Western Wall, and Jewish Quarter in Jerusalem. He also adds that the Palestinians will not agree to a demilitarised Palestinian state because the UN is not demanding it of them, nor will they relent on the “right of return” to Israel because the UN “supports this peace-ending mission”.
Dershowitz also noted the hypocrisy of countries that have a terrible record of human rights abuses criticising Israel, citing Saudi Arabia and Turkey as examples.
To watch Dershowitz’s stirring and incisive speech in full, click here.