Ambassador Hassassian at Palestine Solidarity Campaign’s Annual General Meeting, Saturday 23rd January 2016Jan. 23, 2016, midnight
Ambassador Hassassian was invited to make the closing remarks at Palestine Solidarity Campaign’s Annual General Meeting last Saturday. He paid tribute to the hard work of Sarah Colborne, the outgoing Director of the PSC. In a heart felt address to Sarah, he said that he could not find the words, either in Arabic or English to express his gratitude and admiration for her tireless and diligent work for Palestine over the years. She has fought for the Palestinian cause on so many fronts with so much passion and has left an indelible mark on every achievement of the PSC. He welcomed the incoming Interim Director, Sarah Apps and wished her well in steering the PSC onwards in all the good work it does. The Ambassador went on to praise the many successes of PSC and their around-the-clock work and diverse activities, particularly in promoting the Boycott Divestment Sanctions movement and all the hard graft undertaken for the recognition of the State of Palestine by Parliament.
Ambassador Hassassian closed the session by speaking about the current situation in Palestine and talked in some detail about the utter disillusionment of Palestinian youth. He also spoke at some length about what is happening, now, in Jerusalem where Palestinians are being subjected to ever more economic debilitation, discrimination in work and education and stripped of their identity cards in an ongoing process of oppression and exclusion amounting to ethnic cleansing. He re-affirmed Palestine’s commitment to the peace process but at the same time said Palestinians have the right to peacefully resist Israel’s draconian occupation and to sign international agreements which support and protect the rights of the Palestinians.
The present extreme right-wing government in Israel has no intention of genuinely engaging in the peace process or supporting the establishment of a Palestinian state, the Ambassador said and this is becoming increasingly apparent to all, even to those who traditionally give it unconditional support. Concluding, the Ambassador asserted that the Palestinians will work relentlessly to make visible to the international community the corrosive damage of Israel’s ongoing colonial settlement project and will continue to fight for the recognition of the State of Palestine.