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“Failure to Accept Facts Causing Israeli-Palestinian conflict” – President Museveni

Wednesday, 28th February 2018
President Yoweri Museveni has said that the Israeli and Palestinian issue has been mishandled for a long time due to failure to accept facts, use of wrong methods of struggle and internal weakness of poor countries at the United Nations.

The President made the remarks during a meeting with the United Nations Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People delegation who called on him last evening at State House, Entebbe.

The Committee Chairperson, Mr. Fode Seck, who is Senegalese Ambassador to the United Nations, led the delegation that also included Afghanistan’s Envoy, Mr. Mahmoud Saikal; Mr. Rodolfo Reyes Rodgriguez of Cuba; Mr. Dian   Triansyah Djani of Indonesia and Mr. Carmelo Inguanez of Malta. Uganda Permanent Representative at the United Nations, Mr. Adonia Ayebare, attended the meeting.

The United Nations General Assembly, by its resolution 3376 of 1975, established the Palestinian Committee and requested it to recommend a programme of implementation to enable the Palestinian people exercise their inalienable rights to self determination, without external interference, national independence and sovereignty and a return to their homes from which they had been displaced.
President Museveni said that the Bible guides the facts about the area and that both Israel and Palestine belong in the area.

“The problem that I see in the Middle East is an effort to deny history and facts. Uganda has good relationship with both countries because we do not deny the existence of either group,” he said.

President Museveni explained that from the story of Abraham in the Bible, we learn about the Middle East and how his sons became the founders of the Arabs and the Jews.

“The Bible says that Abraham came from Uri, which is present day Iraq and found the other tribes there. It is believed that Ishmael, Abraham’s son who was born by Hagar, the Egyptian handmaid, started the Arabs’ lineage while Isaac, who was born by Sarah, started the Jews’ lineage,” he said.

The President said that given the history of Abraham, Palestinians and Israelis are half brothers, who should not be fighting each other.
President Museveni criticized the methods the two groups have used to address the conflict as another reason why the Palestinians and Israelis have failed to agree on a two-state solution. He added that the methods used by both countries put in bad light and created mistrust of one another.

“Even if the Palestine Liberation organization has a just cause in wanting their state to be recognized, they should never attack non combatants like children and women and the Israelis not to look at anyone who resists Israel as a terrorist,” he said.

Mr. Museveni said that war and terrorism should never be mixed. “A terrorist kills people regardless of whether they are armed or not while in war, the soldier is like a doctor and only seeks to remove the sick part of the body,” he said.

The President further said that the internal weaknesses of poor countries, has also contributed to the problem between Palestine and Israel. “We have internal weaknesses that make us vulnerable in diplomacy. We cannot make decisions independently and are, therefore, exploited by super powers at the United Nations,” he observed.
He said that because of poverty, poor countries are forced to vote with the rich ones on decisions or risk their funding.

The Palestinian Observer to the United Nations, Mr. Riyad Mansour wished Africa unity and strength, adding that when the African continent is powerful economically, Africa would make stronger decisions. ENDS