Issue 111: International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People

The UN’s Division for Palestinian Rights, a branch of its Department of Political Affairs, recently released an announcement for its annual “International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People” to be held on November 29.  The date marks the anniversary of the General Assembly’s 1947 Partition Plan that was accepted by the Jews and rejected by the Arabs.

Analysis:  Every year since 1977, the Division for Palestinian Rights has organized a meeting on November 29 in New York, Geneva and other UN locations, to give a platform to speakers from the PLO, the League of Arab States, the Organization of the Islamic Conference, the UN Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, the UN Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices in the Occupied Territories, and others.  They accuse Israel of the most heinous of crimes: genocide, apartheid, ethnic cleansing, war crimes, and terrorism.  This Day of Solidarity with the Palestinians promotes hate, not peace.  It all happens under UN auspices and is paid for by the UN.  Only the Palestinians have a UN Day of Solidarity.  Only Israel suffers such discrimination at the UN.

Most of this discrimination takes the form of one-sided resolutions that are initiated by Arab countries and passed with the support of other members of the Non-Aligned Movement.  Perhaps more egregious, though less well known, are examples of bias by the UN Secretariat, whose employees are required by the UN Charter to have “the highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity.”  The requirement however for the Division for Palestinian Rights appears to be the ability to describe the last ten years of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict without mentioning suicide bombings.

Announcing this year’s event, the Division for Palestinian Rights provided a succinct history from the signing of the Oslo Accords.  The period from September 1993 to the Sharm el-Sheikh Memorandum of September 1999 is characterized as “a long stalemate” that “brought the implementation of agreements to a halt.”  Only from the see-no-evil perspective of the UN could one conclude that the Camp David summit, “despite its inconclusive ending, reaffirmed the parties’ commitment to reaching an agreement on all permanent status issues.”  What happened next according to the UN history?  “[T]he visit by the then Israeli opposition leader to the holy site of Al-Haram al-Sharif in East Jerusalem provoked a major outbreak of violence,” which has “persisted, preventing the two sides from breaking out of the deadlock.”  Israel is subsequently condemned for “military offensives,” the “separation wall,” settlements, the isolation of Arafat, and the threat to remove him.  Suicide bombings did not find their way into this list of explanations for the “tense and highly volatile” situation.  Hamas and Islamic Jihad are only mentioned indirectly, and then to credit them for the “relative calm brought about by a ceasefire declaration by Palestinian organizations.”

The UN will only have a useful role in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict after it rids itself of biased officials and special committees that promote only Palestinian rights and condemn Israeli actions, never contemplating the reverse.


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