t has become a tradition in the United Nations.
The organization marks the events of Nov. 29, 1947, the day on which the partition plan of Palestine was approved upon the end of the British Mandate, with a series of anti-Israel resolutions.
Over the weekend, the U.N.’s near unanimous calls for Israel’s withdrawal from the Golan Heights and even from East Jerusalem received an enormous majority of 157 nations against only seven opposition votes.
The first resolution, which recognizes the Palestinian Arab people’s right to self-definition and to the establishment of a Palestinian state, was accepted by a majority of 157 votes against only seven opposed: Israel, Australia, the United States, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru and Palau (the latter two are islands that have less than 20,000 people each).
Regarding Jerusalem, the resolution that does not recognize Israeli authority over the Jewish Quarter or any other part of The Old City and which calls upon Israel to cease building Jewish communities around East Jerusalem was revived. This resolution passed with a similar majority.
In yet another resolution, the U.N. General Assembly reiterated its demand for Israel’s full withdrawal from the Golan Heights, and even added new paragraphs calling for the resumption of negotiations among Israel and Syria and Lebanon. The resolution passed with a smaller majority of 107 countries with 60 abstaining. In addition to these three resolutions, three more resolutions were passed recognizing the activity of U.N. committees that act on behalf of the Palestinian people.
The Israeli delegation to the U.N. insists that there is not much excitement about the decisions.
“Everybody here knows that this is a permanent ritual that repeats itself every year on Nov. 29,” said the Israeli Deputy Ambassador to the U.N., Dan Carmon. “For decades, the Arab bloc has been rehashing this menu that is known in advance, already assured of a decisive majority in the General Assembly.”
Carmon said that this is a fixed group of countries that makes sure every year to pull the same resolutions out of the drawer, and except for trivial changes, to vote for the same things again and again. Carmon explained that, like the Americans and the Australians, Israel has learned that no fair dialogue can be held within this framework, and so prefers not to give speeches or respond to the series of resolutions.
“We prefer to concentrate on more important things that have to do with the state of Israel’s security,” Carmon said.
An Israeli Foreign Ministry official said Saturday night, “This is a resolution that adds no positive value to peace in the Middle East. The U.N., which was established in 1946, accepted responsibility immediately for the Israeli-Arab conflict, failed in its mission to bring peace here, among other things, because of unilateral resolutions of this kind. The Palestinians enjoy an automatic majority in the U.N. General Assembly, and every year they pass this resolution.”
An official response said, “These decisions do not promote peace, nor do they contribute anything to the Palestinians or to the Israelis. They harm the status of the UN and its ability to be involved in the Israeli-Arab conflict.”
Israel’s circle of friends in the General Assembly is growing wider.
Once, Israel was used to standing alone in the large hall with the United States and with Micronesia, and Saturday there were already seven.
There is something symbolic in the U.N. General Assembly’s anti-Israel barrage at a time when Secretary-General Kofi Annan is packing his bags and getting ready to leave his office after years of impressive anti-Israel activity. The man who was responsible for the U.N.’s peacekeeping forces when a million people were massacred in Rwanda is completing a decade in the organization’s number-one position precisely when it is too busy to send troops to stop the massacre of another people in Sudan.
Annan is leaving the U.N. when the U.N. Human Rights Commission of this organization, which scolds us every year for annihilating the Palestinian people, has member countries such as Zimbabwe and Sudan -yes, that very same Sudan whose government is systematically trying to annihilate Darfur, an ethnic community in its territory.
This is precisely the same U.N. to whom the delusional president of Iran, the one with the apocalyptic vision starring Israel, gave a speech. The same U.N. that, with sickening frequency, has free time in its schedule to remind us of what we have known for years – that, for our own sakes, we had better get rid of the occupation of the Palestinians. So Saturday we got a reminder of what we should do if we care about the world’s welfare – urgently leave the territories we conquered in 1967.
Just over a year ago, Israel abandoned territories in Gaza that were taken in 1967, and expelled all of its Jewish communities, by force. Not only did that not contribute to the world’s welfare, it didn’t even help Israel’s standing either.
©The Bulletin 2006