2023 UN General Assembly Debate: A Speech Worthy of the Palestinian People

The last speech of Palestinian President Abbas’ political career.

Sam Bahour
5 min readSep 19

State of Palestine — President Addresses General Debate, 77th Session | UN Web TV

I offer the following draft of what I suggest Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas adopt as his speech in the upcoming General Debate of the 78th Session of the General Assembly. It is as follows:

Dear President of the United Nations General Assembly,

Dear Secretary-General of the United Nations,

Excellencies, Heads of Delegations and Delegates,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

First, I apologize to the Palestinian people, those living under Israeli military occupation, those living under the fascist and undemocratic State of Israel, those still living as refugees outside of Palestine, and those Palestinians scattered around the globe in our Diaspora. To each and every one of you, and from this highest global podium, I deeply apologize. I’m sorry for many things but foremost among them is my refusal to allow you to maintain our political agency, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). My decisions were unquestionably a primary cause of its decline. I apologize to our Palestinian youth, who when they hear of the PLO today, imagine it perhaps as a flavor of ice cream, not our national liberation movement.

Dear member states,

I’ve stood at this podium one time too many. I’ve laid out our just cause ad nauseam. I’ve bored you with history lessons. I’ve tried to embarrass you by counting your resolutions on Palestine that have all been in vain, all 754 General Assembly resolutions, 97 Security Council resolutions, and 96 Human Rights Council resolutions, to list just a few. I know for a fact that many of you “get it” and understand the issues and are ready to act. Regretfully, however, one member in particular, who has monopolized these chambers, has blocked the ability for you to act in your collective interest. This is a sad fact that my people cannot correct on our own, thus I note it as the unvarnished fact that it is.

Therefore, I hereby make the following declaration on behalf of my people and their just struggle for freedom and independence. It is not coincidental that this declaration is a…

Sam Bahour

Writer, businessperson, activist.