2001 Speech

Crown Prince Abdullah's Damascus statement on Palestine
Statement on Palestine by Deputy Prime Minister and Commander of the National Guard Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdulaziz during his visit to Damsscus, Syria, June 6, 2001
We have come to our sister Syria to discuss the current situation and future potential of Arab and Muslim issues, convinced that whoever has legitimate right on his side and depends on God Almighty will never hesitate nor speculate in voicing his demands: rights cannot be begged for. We have the strength of incontrovertible proof and argument against the usurper of our rights, who elevated the voice of power over that of reason, forgetting the fact that violence only begets violence.   

We remind Israel and its extremist representatives, led by Ariel Sharon, that the premises and given facts of peace implemented since the conference in Madrid are now crumbling one by one. The Madrid conference received the acceptance of the Arabs and the Muslims, who extended the bridges of dialogue, hoping that this would bring about a future of co-existence for all parties according to the principles of justice and land for peace.

This vision from Madrid is what led the Arabs to shake hands with Israeli negotiators, even though for more than fifty years they had rejected the extending of a friendly hand to any Israeli party. Today, what has happened to Madrid and its commitments, and what about the peace process in all its forms?

Israel has gone too far in its violence and intransigence: Israeli bullets have been gunning down the elderly, women, and infants. The ill-will entertained by Sharon and his supporters has reached out to all symbols of Arab pride. Tall trees seemed to him to represent the image of proud and youthful Arabs, and thus he stretched out his hand to root out all plants, thinking that force will lead to the achievement of his objectives.

"We are aware that Israel sees itself as strong: we are also aware that this could be the case for another ten to twenty or fifty years to come or even more. However, we believe that perpetual power is the prerogative of God Almighty alone.

Would there be any sane person on earth who thinks that any human being will accept injustice forever and that the wounded will silently nurse their wounds and the weak will be saved through their weakness? Is there any nation on the face of earth, believing in God and in God's messengers, that would consider abandoning its rights or failing to articulate them? Whoever thinks this possible, is simply deluded.

Sharon can do what he likes: for today might be his day. Yet tomorrow, God willing, is ours. Every single drop of Arab blood that has been spilled on our usurped Arab territories will be duly wrested from those who dared to shed it. Arabs and Muslims are not people who accept less than their full rights.

The womb of every Arab woman carries retribution and every fallen martyr has left behind a loud roar, vibrating in the chest of every child who is looking towards martyrdom.

Israel must therefore allow wisdom to assume its role before the face of peace turns pale and gloomy in our eyes.

We call upon all honorable communities in the world to embody the real meaning of honor and contribute effectively and impartially to implementing a just and comprehensive peace. We call upon the wise in the United States and in Europe, and in the world at large, to assume their historical role towards peace. Hope and good intentions motivate our call. Yet bitter are the disappointed hopes when swallowed by despair.

From here, from steadfast Syria and at the outskirts of the occupied Golan Heights, we call upon the rationality of the rational and the prudence of the wise, to hear - in an Arab tongue and a believing heart - this call, which is not overblown or exaggerated.