Birgir Þórarinsson

Birgir Þórarinsson á Evrópuráðsþinginu í vikunni – „Í fyrri störfum mínum hjá Sameinuðu þjóðunum fékk ég tækifæri til að búa og starfa með palestínsku fólki. Ég átti einnig góða ísraelska vini” – ræðan á ensku


Birgir Þórarinsson, Þingmaður Suðurkjördæmis

Mr. President.

In my previous position, with the UN in Jerusalem, I had the opportunity to live and work with the Palestinian people. I also made some good friends among the Israelis.

I lived in East-Jerusalem, and traveled for work, within the West-Bank and to Gaza.

In this short speech, I am not going to discuss the harsh living conditions of Palestinians, which they face every day, because of the Israeli occupation.

However, I have to say that I admire the Palestinian people for their steadfastness, and their true belief that one day they will be free and treated with dignity.

In terms of this I would like to quote, the former Israeli Mossad Chief, Efraim Halevy, who said in 2014

that there will never be peace in the Middle East, if the Israelis don´t treat the Palestinians as equals.

During my time in the Middle East. I often asked young Palestinians about their views of the conflict, and how they saw their future.

I asked them about the Two-State Solution.
It wasn´t a priority for them.

They don´t believe in the Two-State Solution because after 20 years of, on and off peace talks, there is no result.

A majority of young Palestinians have a University degree, but after graduation there are no opportunities, and sadly to say the future isn´t bright for them.

Young Palestinian have the same human desires as we all do. To have a job, start a family, and have their own home.

They want to live in security, and be able to travel without restrictions.
The hopes and dreams of young Palestinians are no different than those of other young people, all over the world.

In dealing with this intractable conflict, it is imperative to think outside the box.

I asked the young people about their views of the one state solution.
Surprisingly many of them were in favor of a unitry state, with freedom, and human rights for all. Freedom of travel, and freedom of work.

Equal rights for Palestinians, and Israelis.
Security for Israelis, and Palestinian.

The one state solution is thinking outside the box.
In the name of Peace.


Mr. President.
The will of the people must supersede the will of the politicians. Politicians who haven´t accomplished anything, for the last 20 years. We must listen to the hopes, and dreams of the young people.

Thank you.

Birgir er fimmtándi í röðinni og hefst ræðan á 49:13