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Public Statements

Palestinian Unilateral Declaration of Statehood

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Mr. WAXMAN. Mr. Speaker, the Palestinian leadership's decision to seek status as a non-member observer state in the United Nations General Assembly is a reckless and dangerous move. The General Assembly's vote to approve this gambit is a new low point for the institution.

I commend President Obama for his unwavering stance opposing the Palestinian motion and the tireless efforts by this Administration to try and avert today's outcome.

No country has done more than the United States to advance the true cause of Palestinian statehood. No one has done more to undermine that goal than the Palestinians themselves.

Time and again the Palestinian leadership has chosen empty slogans over substantive achievements. These attempted short cuts have shortchanged the Palestinian people who aspire to achieve genuine statehood with the political, economic and social infrastructure to support a stable, functioning democracy.

Today's vote undermines the key principle of mutual recognition that has been the foundation of a generation of diplomacy and successive Security Council resolutions concerning the peace process. It threatens to further derail a U.N. system already struggling under the weight of an unrelenting Palestinian agenda to attack Israel in the U.N. Human Rights Council and the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. We now must consider the irreversible damage that could be wrought by irresponsible action in the World Health Organization, the International Court of Justice or the International Criminal Court.

This maneuver will also make it more difficult for the United States to constructively engage the Palestinian leadership and chart a productive path ahead.

At this uncertain time, the one thing that is abundantly clear is that the United States is committed to standing with Israel. We will continue to do all we can to maintain stability and security as we navigate the way forward.

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