Since its establishment in 1993, the Palestinian Authority has been the leading political body for achieving Palestinian rights in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. But behind the scenes in the UN, the Committee for the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People has been holding a knife to Israel’s back since 1975. And just recently, this monstrous organization based within the venerable corridors of the UN lashed out maliciously and baselessly at Israel again.
On August 19, the UN Committee for the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People issued an extremely harsh condemnation of Israeli settlement policy. The UN Public Information Office press release begins: “The United Nations committee on inalienable Palestinian rights today called on the international community to take ‘credible and decisive action’ to compel Israel to halt its settlement activity in occupied Palestinian territory.” The press release goes on to say:
The illegal Israeli settlements have a corrosive effect on confidence and undermine goodwill, absent which serious and genuine permanent status negotiations are unlikely to succeed… the issues of settlements and Jerusalem are among core issues to be negotiated by the parties. All unilateral actions by Israel which prejudge the outcome of negotiations by creating faits accomplis on the ground have no legal validity.
The Palestinian Inalienable Rights Committee also strongly condemned Israel’s “illegal and provocative acts,” which it said were aimed at “encircling and separating East Jerusalem from the rest of occupied Palestinian territory behind a wall of settlements.”
The committee’s statement concludes by demanding the UN Security Council implement harsh punitive measures against Israel.
Two years ago, in 2009, the Palestinian Authority halted bilateral peace negotiations with Israel and set off on a global diplomatic initiative to obtain the support of governments for its proposed unilateral statehood recognition in the UN.
The consequences and repercussions of this recognition are unclear.
Some even say that now at the last minute Palestinian Authority chairman Abu Mazen is having cold feet about the UN vote in September. For his part, Abu Mazen continues to claim he prefers direct negotiations with Israel, but this claim is always attached to completely unacceptable conditions. So it appears the die is cast.
But the problem is not something that started in 2009; it goes back 35 years to 1975 and the establishment of the UN Committee for the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People:
General Assembly resolution 3236 (XXII) of 22 November 1974 reaffirmed the “inalienable rights of the Palestinian people in Palestine including (a) the right of self-determination without external interference, (b) the right to national independence and sovereignty.
In 1975, by its resolution 3376 the United Nations General Assembly established the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, and requested it to recommend a program of implementation to enable the Palestinian people to exercise their inalienable rights to self-determination without external interference, national independence and sovereignty; and to return to their homes and property from which they had been displaced.
Assisted by the Division for Palestinian Rights, the Committee organizes international meetings and conferences, cooperates and liaises with civil society organizations worldwide, maintains a publications and information program, and holds each year on 29 November a special meeting in observance of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People (29 November).
The selection of 29 November as the day for international solidarity with the Palestinian people is obviously a slap in Israel’s face. The date is the anniversary of the partition resolution in 1947, over which all Israelis rejoice. But this exceptional date, like the date for Israel’s declaration of independence (Nakba Day), are preserved in Palestinian psychology as days of disaster.
And clearly, these Palestinian approaches to their history are not just frivolous impulses in the Palestinian heartland. They emanate directly from the authority of the United Nations – and its committee for inalienable Palestinian rights. It is this UN committee which has beaten the drum for four decades in the Palestinian community and promoted independence and sovereignty for the Palestinian populace in the West Bank and Gaza. And also persistently, the Palestinian refugee right of return. This is where the initiative for Palestinian statehood recognition was born, not the mind of the PA’s chairman Abu Mazen. After 35 years in the hands of this UN committee, Abu Mazen is just taking the Palestinian statehood idea the last mile.
Abu Mazen would not be where he is now without the decades of the inalienable rights committee’s work that stands behind him and that continues to stab Israel in the back.
Just look at how this committee describes itself:
The question of Palestine was first officially brought before the United Nations General Assembly in April 1947, upon a request by the United Kingdom to place the “Question of Palestine” on the Assembly’s agenda in order for “the Assembly to make recommendations, under Article 10 of the Charter, concerning the future government of Palestine” following the termination of its League of Nations’ Mandate over Palestine. The Assembly decided to partition Palestine into two States, one Arab and one Jewish, with a special international régime (corpus separatum) for Jerusalem (resolution 181 (II) of 29 November 1947). Although the independence of the State of Israel was declared on 14 May 1948, the Arab State did not come into being as several wars were fought in the area.
“The Arab state did not come into being as several wars were fought in the area…”
This is obviously a complete obfuscation and distortion of the truth. But since 1975, this sort of brazen malicious deceit is precisely what has characterized the UN narrative for the inalienable rights of the Palestinians. The Palestinian statehood egg has incubated there for 40 years, and now Abu Mazen is turning up the heat to make the egg hatch.
In its first report submitted to the Security Council in June 1976, the Committee affirmed that the question of Palestine was “at the heart of the Middle East problem” and that no solution could be envisaged without fully taking into account the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people, Palestinian national independence and sovereignty in Palestine.
Here again the language of the committee suggests that it is the UN itself which will grant independence and sovereignty to a conceivable Palestinian state. But this is unheard of. In every other case where a state has become a UN member, it has entered the organization with sovereignty and independence already in its possession. But for the Palestinian cause, the UN bends over backwards and twists its own procedures out of shape for the purpose of accommodating these people. The fact is, in spite of the inalienable rights committee’s claims, the UN has no legal or practical power to translate General Assembly recognition of a Palestinian state into facts on the ground.
Furthermore, the committee’s advocating the Palestinian refugee right of return is perhaps its clearest and most salient statement of hatred for Israel and its desire to destroy the country. There are millions of descendants of the original 1948 refugees in the various countries of the Arab world today. Admitting them back to Israel, where the homes their forebears abandoned no longer exist, is a formula for disaster. Israel’s social fabric would be torn to shreds and the country would be immersed in chaos. This of course is what the UN Palestine committee wants.
The UN committee’s propaganda and other activities for the promotion of Palestinian independence and sovereignty, including the doomsday Palestinian right of return, represent the actual foundation and back up support for the present Palestinian Authority initiative to achieve UN recognition of a Palestinian state in the UN in September. And this wholly anti-Israel and subversive UN organ has been in operation for 35 years.