n recent years sweeping the world is a wave or highest grade hurricane of populism and extremism, nationalism or a lack of respect for minority races and religions a vice that prevents the fundamental principle of unity in diversity.
This trend reached crisis proportion with the election in November 2016 of Donald Trump as President of United States which till then had been regarded as the moral and ethical leader of the free world while being the biggest military and economic power. Mr. Trump, widely known to be impulsive and dangerously unpredictable has spoken openly of his unqualified support for right-wing nationalism or populism which most analysts see as extremism that runs contrary to the multi-racial and multi-religious principle which lifted the US to the position it enjoyed till he took control of the White House. Mr. Trump, in addition to his other faults or failings keeps on sacking cabinet members or close associates, the latest being Attorney General Jeff Sessions who was once among his closest supporters.
The destructive vice of populism, nationalism or extremism have also hit the small but powerful and nuclear-powered state of Israel, which for the past ten years has been governed by the populists if not Zionist Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his right-wing coalition. With Israel more liberal Labour Party being thrown into the doldrums Mr. Netanyahu’s government has virtually crucified the Palestinian people.
Netanyahu’s regime reported to be actively supported by the Trump Administration, with the President’s son-in-law Jared Kushner -- himself a Jew -- being the main advisor on Middle-Eastern affairs. Mr. Kushner is reported to have developed a close relationship with Mr. Netanyahu and Saudi Arabia’s virtual leader, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
The US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) last week reported it had conclusive evidence that the crown Prince had ordered the brutal murder of Saudi journalistJamal Khashoggi at Saudi Embassy in Istanbul. But Mr. Trump has virtually ignored the CIA report for commercial purposes because Saudi Arabia buys US arms to the value of billions of dollars and the Saudi regime is known to be collaborating with Israel’s Netanyahu government in working out Middle East strategies, with the help of Trump Advisor Jared Kushner.
It is in this context that we need to see the November 29 United Nations proclamation of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. On that day, in 1947, the UN General Assembly adopted the resolution on the partition of Palestine.
In the resolution passed on December 1, 2005, the General Assembly requested the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People and the UN Division for Palestinian Rights, to get involved in the observance of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People on November 29. It requested the world body to continue to organize an annual exhibit on Palestinian rights or a cultural event in cooperation with the Permanent Observer Mission of Palestine to the UN. The resolution also encourages Member States to continue to give the widest support and publicity to the observance of the Day of Solidarity.
Sri Lanka has supported the Palestinian people and the widely accepted two-states solution, though we also maintain diplomatic relations with Israel. We hope the current political turmoil and unprecedented constitutional crisis, now running into its second month will not provoke any nationalist party to create anti-minority violence.
In the shadow of a grand war memorial in Paris to mark the centenary of the World Armistic Day, French President Emmanuel Macron marked the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I by delivering a forceful rebuke against rising nationalism, calling it a “betrayal of patriotism” and warning against “old demons coming back to wreak chaos and death.”