Today at the UN Human Rights Council, the Palestinian delegation attacked the Jewish nature of Israel. While critiquing the recent two-state solution peace plan proposed by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu it said its “most dangerous” aspect is “his request to our people to recognize the Jewish nature of the Israeli State.” Such a demand is “evidence of a systematic and organized racist policy.”
Taking it a step further, the Palestinian delegate specifically targeted the non-Jewish members of the Israeli delegation, asking, “People in the Israeli mission here who aren’t Jewish, can they continue to pursue their tasks? What would be the fate of non-Jews in Israel who are original citizens of Israel?”
In fact, non-Jews do far better in Israel than do non-Muslims in the Palestinian territories or any other Muslim land. And when’s the last time a non-Muslim spoke on behalf of Saudi Arabia or Sudan?
Later in the session, one such Israeli delegate took the floor in his native Arabic to proudly declare that the Jewish nature of Israel in no way implies that it is racist. “The Jewish people have suffered over several ages because of racism,” he said. “Israel is a Jewish State committed to tolerance, democracy and human rights, and will always be a partner in the battle against racism.” The Israeli delegate also noted that some of the States that single out Israel for racism, including through the Durban process, themselves “commit the most flagrant violations against their own people.”
In this whole debate one tiny historical fact went unmentioned. The United Nations itself recognized Israel as a “Jewish State” from the very beginning. The UN General Assembly called for the creation of “a Jewish State” in the Partition Plan, adopted on 29 November 1947, in Resolution 181. The resolution mentions the term “Jewish State” no less than 30 times.
And after Israel was created, the 1949 UN resolution admitting Israel as a member state recalls this resolution. In other words, the UN created Israel as a Jewish state, and admitted it as such into its organization. So why should it be even remotely controversial today? Do the Palestinians still reject the 1947 two-state solution, as they did to their great detriment 62 years ago?