The United Nations continues to serve as the Palestinians’ battering ram to try and destroy the legitimacy of the Jewish state of Israel. Between the Organization of Islamic Cooperation-influenced UN Human Rights Council, the Division for Palestinian Rights, the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Human Rights Practices Affecting the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories, the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees, more UN resources and time are devoted to the advocacy of the Palestinian cause than to virtually any other issue.
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has also been used to advance the Islamists’ Palestinian agenda, which went into high gear after the admission of Palestine to UNESCO with full membership privileges in 2011. Not satisfied with UNESCO’s recent outrageous resolution using only Arabic names for the Temple Mount and Western Wall, and condemning Israel for conducting archeological excavations in and around Jerusalem, the Palestinian Authority now wants UNESCO to demand that Israel “surrender” the Dead Sea Scrolls. This is yet another example of the Palestinians’ strategy to use UN bodies to help them rob the Jewish people of their historic association with the land of Israel.
As Israeli Ambassador to UNESCO Carmel Shama-Hacohen was quoted in Israel Hayom as saying in criticizing the Palestinians’ latest gambit, "This is another provocative and audacious, attempt by the Palestinians to rewrite history. The Dead Sea Scrolls are factual and weighty archeological evidence of the presence of the Jewish people in the land of Israel."
Meanwhile, the UN General Assembly’s Fourth Committee conducted the annual ritual of adopting a series of anti-Israel resolutions. The ten resolutions – more than three times the number of resolutions condemning the other 192 member states of the UN combined – are virtually certain to be formally adopted by the General Assembly in plenary session next month.
The hypocrisy of the UN in action is staggering. Israel is repeatedly condemned in resolutions spearheaded by Islamic countries with atrocious human rights records. At the same time, Saudi Arabia, which is responsible for a massive number of civilian deaths in Yemen as a result of the Saudi-led coalition’s indiscriminate aerial bombing, is rewarded with a seat on the UN Human Rights Council. Double standards may not be enough to describe what has become of the United Nations. In some ways it has no standards at all.
“The U.N.’s assault on Israel today with a torrent of one-sided resolutions is surreal,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch, on November 8th. “Even as Syrian president Bashar Assad is preparing for the final massacre of his own people in Aleppo, the U.N. is about to adopt a resolution — drafted and co-sponsored by Syria — which falsely condemns Israel for ‘repressive measures’ against Syrian citizens on the Golan Heights. It’s obscene,” added Neuer.
The Assad regime’s brutal repression has led to the deaths of more than 3000 Palestinian refugees, including at least 200 children, in Syria since 2011. A thousand or so Palestinians are languishing in Syrian prisons. Yet the Palestinians lock arms with their Syrian regime oppressors to join in supporting resolutions condemning “Israel, the occupying Power.”
A number of the resolutions passed by the UN General Assembly’s Fourth Committee appear to endorse the Palestinians’ demand for the right-of-return – or, as one such resolution puts it, the “protection of Arab property, assets and property rights in Israel.”
Beginning in 1977, the United Nations has sponsored the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People on November 29th, the date in 1947 when the UN General Assembly approved its partition resolution, which the Jewish residents had accepted but was rejected by many Palestinians and neighboring Arab countries. The event takes place every year at UN Headquarters in New York and at the UN Offices at Geneva and Vienna and elsewhere.
Former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan called November 29th a “day of mourning and a day of grief.” In other words, every November 29th, the United Nations publicly mourns the passage of its own peaceful solution to the Arab-Jewish dispute. The UN is effectively repudiating its own original two-state solution, spurned by all of the Arab countries back in 1947, which still lies at the heart of the solution that the UN claims to support as the basis for ending the Palestinian-Israeli conflict today.
The Palestinians used the observance of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People in 2012 to push for the passage of a General Assembly resolution upgrading their UN status to that of a non-member observer state. Although not yet a fully voting member of the United Nations as a whole, their observer state status has allowed the Palestinians to be admitted to individual UN bodies with full voting privileges.
When addressing the General Assembly on November 29, 2012, President of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, said that Al-Nakba of 1948 represented “one of the most dreadful campaigns of ethnic cleansing and dispossession in modern history.” He said that Al-Nakba was intended to “extinguish” the Palestinians’ “being and to expel them in order to uproot and erase their presence, which was rooted in the depths of their land and depths of history.”
Of course, it is the Palestinians who are attempting to use UN bodies such as UNESCO to extinguish recognition of deep Jewish historical roots in the Holy Land, including Jerusalem. And they are pressing for the UN Security Council to adopt a resolution outlining the parameters of a final peace settlement on their terms. These include borders conforming to the Palestinian demands for Israeli withdrawal to virtually the pre-June 1967 lines, East Jerusalem as the Palestinian State capital and preservation of the so-called right-of-return of millions of Palestinian refugees to areas within pre-1967 Israel.
In short, the Palestinians are using the United Nations to avoid direct negotiations with Israel, to delegitimize Israel’s Jewish roots and to use the leverage of so-called UN-created “international law” to pressure Israel into accepting a suicidal “peace.” The question is whether President Obama, with the U.S. presidential election behind him, will facilitate the Palestinians’ scheme by, for example, having the United States abstain or even support the kind of Security Council resolution the Palestinians are looking for.