Ambassador Hassassian at The News Line Anniversary RallyNov. 16, 2016, midnight
Ambassador Hassassian was invited to speak at News Line 47th Anniversary and 76th Anniversary of Leon Trotsky’s Assassination Rally, with 200 workers, students and youth in attendance, held at Cambridge House in London on Saturday.
Manuel Hassassian praised News Line for supporting the Palestinian struggle every day in its pages and said that he was proud to be there.
The Ambassador spoke of the current deadlock wherein Israel, not interested in peace, seeks to fulfil the messianic dream of a greater Israel. He said, “I came to this conclusion after 22 years of negotiations that we were not really in a process of negotiations, it was a political dictat constantly”.
He talked of the five million civilians in Gaza and the West Bank suffering atrocious crimes and living under siege continuously. “This is an ugly occupation” he said, “the longest occupation in modern history. We are suffering and struggling for basic human rights. Israel today is ruled by extreme right wing zealots”.
“We have no issue with Judaism – Judaism, Christianity and Islam complement each other. There are seven million Palestinians in the diaspora and five million in the occupied territories. They talk about a peace process and a diplomatic solution but there are 600 military checkpoints. Gaza is totally separated, there have been two major wars on Gaza, there is widespread demolition of houses, incarceration, soldiers raiding homes, all under the banner of security. Israel is an occupying force. Don’t be scared of criticising Israel”.
The Ambassador concluded by saying that 2017 was very important for Palestinians as it marks the centenary of the infamous Balfour Declaration. Britain plans to mark the Balfour Declaration, which is a badge of dishonour and we have a programme not to let this pass quietly but to put Palestinian rights back on the agenda in the UK. He said, “We need a public apology and recognition of our state from the UK government”.
He finished by saying, ‘Resistance and revolution will continue until victory. Imperialism created Islamic fundamentalism. There will never be peace while occupation continues. There will never be security in the Middle East until the Palestinians have their state”.