UN General Assembly, President : Nicaragua, Miguel d'Escoto Brockmann
Mission of the General Assembly:
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General Assembly President Miguel d'Escoto Brockmann of Nicaragua embraced President of Iran Mahmoud Ahmadinejad immediately following a speech on September 23, 2008 in which the Iranian president said:
"In Palestine, 60 years of carnage and invasion is still ongoing at the hands of some criminal and occupying Zionists. They have forged a regime through collecting people from various parts of the world and bringing them to other people's land by displacing, detaining, and killing the true owners of that land. With advance notice, they invade, assassinate, and maintain food and medicine blockades, while some hegemonic and bullying powers support them. The Security Council cannot do anything and sometimes, under pressure from a few bullying powers, even paves the way for supporting these Zionist murderers. It is natural that some UN resolutions that have addressed the plight of the Palestinian people have been relegated to the archives unnoticed....The dignity, integrity and rights of the American and European people are being played with by a small but deceitful number of people called Zionists. Although they are a miniscule minority, they have been dominating an important portion of the financial and monetary centers as well as the political decision-making centers of some European countries and the US in a deceitful, complex and furtive manner. It is deeply disastrous to witness that some presidential or premiere nominees in some big countries have to visit these people, take part in their gatherings, swear their allegiance and commitment to their interests in order to attain financial or media support. This means that the great people of America and various nations of Europe need to obey the demands and wishes of a small number of acquisitive and invasive people. These nations are spending their dignity and resources on the crimes and occupations and the threats of the Zionist network against their will...Today, the Zionist regime is on a definite slope to collapse and there is no way for it to get out of the cesspool created by itself and its supporters. The Islamic Republic of Iran, while fully respecting the resistance of the oppressed people of Palestine and expressing its all-out support for it, submits its humane solution based on a free referendum in Palestine for determining and establishing the type of state in the entire Palestinian lands to the distinguished Secretary General of the UN.
"The General Assembly shall initiate studies and make recommendations for the purpose of:
a. promoting international co-operation in the political field and encouraging the progressive development of international law and its codification; b. promoting international co-operation in the economic, social, cultural, educational, and health fields, and assisting in the realization of human rights and fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion." ("UN Charter") Term of office: 2008-2009 Miguel d'Escoto Brockmann expressed these views on Israel and the Israeli-Palestinian (Arab-Israeli) conflict :
Press Conference of the General Assembly President Miguel d'Escoto Brockman to brief on the situation in Gaza, January 8, 2009.
- Statement at the General Assembly on the Question of Palestine, November 29, 2008.
"...Israeli policies in the Occupied Palestinian Territories appear so similar to the apartheid of an earlier era, a continent away...Today, perhaps we in the United Nations should consider following the lead of a new generation of civil society, who are calling for a similar non-violent campaign of boycott, divestment and sanctions to pressure Israel to end its violations."
- Statement on Gaza, December 27, 2008.
"The behavior by Israel in bombarding Gaza is simply the commission of wanton aggression by a very powerful state against a territory that it illegally occupies. Time has come to take firm action if the United Nations does not want to be rightly accused of complicity by omission. The Israeli airstrikes on the Gaza Strip represent severe and massive violations of international humanitarian law as defined in the Geneva Conventions, both in regard to the obligations of an Occupying Power and in the requirements of the laws of war. Those violations include: Collective punishment – the entire 1.5 million people who live in the crowded Gaza Strip are being punished for the actions of a few militants. Targeting civilians – the airstrikes were aimed at civilian areas in one of the most crowded stretches of land in the world, certainly the most densely populated area of the Middle East. Disproportionate military response – the airstrikes have not only destroyed every police and security office of Gaza's elected government, but have killed and injured hundreds of civilians; at least one strike reportedly hit groups of students attempting to find transportation home from the university. I remind all member states of the United Nations that the UN continues to be bound to an independent obligation to protect any civilian population facing massive violations of international humanitarian law – regardless of what country may be responsible for those violations. I call on all Member States, as well as officials and every relevant organ of the United Nations system, to move expeditiously not only to condemn Israel's serious violations, but to develop new approaches to providing real protection for the Palestinian people."
Brockmann: I love many people, but the Jewish people are definitely among the people I love most in the whole world....I love the United States and yet I have been outspoken in repudiation of certain policies. I think no possible enemy of the United States could have ever done more damage to the United States than President Bush has. The image of the United States is at the lowest. For its policy, don't blame anyone for that but it's their doing...and one of those things is the policy now with regard to Israel, protecting, Condoleezza comes to practically to wait for time...You know already ... that some people, not by any means all of them – most of my very dearest friends are Jewish people-- but some people are saying that I hate the Jewish people and that I should be liquidated and I just saw somebody gave me from the internet this picture with some Rabbis from an Orthodox community in Jerusalem [holds up photo of Rabbi holding sign saying "stop the massacre in Gaza"] Is it a fake? Is it - I don't know....So are they going to say that they hate the Jewish people? All dictatorships including Hitler claim that those who criticize us hated the Nazis, all dictators do the same, and so also here. Statement at the 10th Emergency Special Session on the Illegal Israeli Actions in Occupied East Jerusalem and the Rest of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, January 15, 2009.
Reporter: Mr. President, How fair do you think that you are being used as anti-Semitic when you clearly would show the same reaction if Israel wasn't a Jewish state?
Brockmann: The Palestinians. Are they not semites?"
"The Palestinians, as an unlawfully occupied population, enjoy the right of resistance within the constraints of international humanitarian law...It is a terrible irony that this onslaught in Gaza, what Israel calls its "war on terror," has led to the deaths of – so far – 13 Israelis, ten of them soldiers, at least four by so-called "friendly fire." A terrible irony because during the five months of the ceasefire last year, not a single Israeli was killed."