Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.

Palestinian Shameless Twisting of History at the U.N.

November 20, 2012 3:21 am 1 comment

The United Nations Security Council chamber.

It’s a shame to have to re-visit history for the umpteenth time, but Palestinian revisionism forces us to provide a reality check.

The Palestinian National Authority has announced it will seek to upgrade its status at the United Nations to non-member state (the status the Vatican now enjoys) on Nov. 29. The choice of date is no accident.

The date, of course, relates to the partition vote at the United Nations in 1947,  rejected by the Arabs, and now considered the origins of what the Palestinians call the “Nakba”—or “catastrophe” (the Palestinians actually “commemorate” the “Nakba” on May 15, which is when the State of Israel was declared).

Put bluntly, the Palestinians today are seeking to gain, on the cheap what they rejected in 1947.

Sixty-five years later, the world, and the Jewish people are in a far different place.

(It is unclear if the recent wave of Hamas rocket attacks into Israel and Israel’s defensive response will have an impact on the Palestinians’ efforts at the U.N., but the latest word is the Palestinians will stick with the plan to seek a change in status on Nov. 29.).

Part of the problem is that Palestinian leadership is both in denial, and is also emboldened, by side-stepping Israel and taking these steps directly to the international community.

It is time for the countries the Palestinians either fear or respect to lay down the law and declare to the Palestinians: Don’t expect us to do your heavy lifting. Get to the negotiating table or lose your opportunity.

Now it may be that the Palestinians won’t listen to this advice, or more likely, really don’t care.

In the years since Oslo, what’s become increasingly clear is the impression that the so-called moderates of the Palestinian National Authority prefer the status of permanent victim, while still enjoying the trappings of statehood (e.g. an annual speech by Mahmoud Abbas before the U.N. General Assembly). They’d rather continue on both of those fronts than concede the right of Jewish sovereignty to Israel and assume the responsibilities and obligations of running a state.

For nearly four years, the Palestinians have refused to commit to negotiations notwithstanding Israel’s offer to meet without pre-conditions. Logic would have it that the onus for this failure to move forward would lie with the Palestinians. But that is not the way it plays out in real life. The fingers of blame are often pointed in Israel’s direction: The settlement freeze wasn’t long enough, there are too many checkpoints, the Gaza blockade—the list goes on and is well known.

With a full agenda of contentious issues, how can anyone expect unilateral moves by the Palestinian National Authority will produce anything other than a perpetuation of the conflict?

Having cast Israel into the corner at every turn, and with a good part of international public opinion at his back, Abbas is now gambling on doing the ultimate end-run, but being accorded increased international recognition.

What makes this all-the-more hypocritical is that with the United Nations, where this vote will occur, and European Union, which is divided on this issue, we have two of the four parties to the Quartet— the international grouping which has pledged support for a negotiated settlement between Israel and the Palestinians.

So far, according to an EU spokesman, nearly half of the 27 EU member states have expressed support for the non-member state status bid of the Palestinians. Hopefully, this will not be the case.  The EU nations that do vote “for” will cast those countries as enablers of diplomatic oblivion for the peace process. All EU countries should adhere to their bloc’s own guidelines on a negotiated settlement and vote against the Palestinian move.

One would think that with the Middle East in the midst of what will be a long period of uncertainty (at best) and violent uncertainty (at worst) cooler heads would see the Palestinian initiative as counterproductive to a goal of stability in the region.

That appears not to be the case, as expediency—or issue fatigue—may very well, and most regrettably, carry the day.

Daniel S. Mariaschin is the Executive Vice President of B’nai B’rith International.

1 Comment

  • You are right Daniel, it is shameless. In 1947 the Arabs were given the opportunity to abandon their homes, farms and villages to foreigners and for some reason, known only to themselves they voted not to do so.

    What on earth were they thinking.

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition. Comments written in all caps will be deleted.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Arts and Culture Author of New Book on Connection Between Jews, Punk Rock Describes Bands Flinging Gefilte Fish, Bagels at Audience (INTERVIEW)

    Author of New Book on Connection Between Jews, Punk Rock Describes Bands Flinging Gefilte Fish, Bagels at Audience (INTERVIEW)

    Some punk rockers integrate their Jewish identity into their music through food, the author of a new book on the topic told The Algemeiner on Wednesday. Michael Croland, author of Oy Oy Oy Gevalt! Jews and Punk, described the way different musicians express this connection. “One band is known for throwing gefilte fish in the mosh pit, and people at its concert slide around on it while dancing,” he recounted. “Another used to drink Manischewitz [sweet kosher] wine out of a shofar [the ram […]

    Read more →
  • Sports Scottish Soccer Club Manager Hails ‘Fantastic’ Jewish-State Visit After Victory Over Israeli Team (VIDEO)

    Scottish Soccer Club Manager Hails ‘Fantastic’ Jewish-State Visit After Victory Over Israeli Team (VIDEO)

    The manager of Scotland’s Celtic soccer club lauded Israel, after his team won a match against the Jewish state’s Hapoel Be’er Sheva on Tuesday night. Brendan Rodgers said at a post-match press conference: On behalf of the players, the people of Celtic and Scotland, Israel’s been fantastic for us. We came out here on Sunday, [and from] the hotel, the staff, we’ve been very, very warmly received. The atmosphere at the game was amazing and, obviously, one team has to lose, but you have a wonderful team here, […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Second Jaffa Jazz Festival to Reunite International, Israeli Musicians

    Second Jaffa Jazz Festival to Reunite International, Israeli Musicians

    For the second time, Israel will host the Jaffa Jazz Festival, according to Broadwayworld.com. The festival will unite 43 Israeli musicians and eight international artists for a three-day event. The program will include a special performance by an ensemble of top jazz students studying at Belgium’s Royal Conservatoire of Antwerp, the Belgrade Music Academy in Serbia, Israel’s Rimon School of Music and the jazz program of the Israel Conservatory of Music in Tel Aviv. There will also be a jazz show for children led by Israeli saxophonist […]

    Read more →
  • Sports Israel’s First NASCAR Driver Revved Up to Win

    Israel’s First NASCAR Driver Revved Up to Win

    JNS.org – As a young boy growing up in Ashdod, Israel, Alon Day got his first go-kart at age 9. By 15, he was racing them. Less than a decade later, Day has become the first Israeli professional race car driver on the NASCAR circuit. He made history by competing in NASCAR’s Xfinity Series race at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on August 13. “Driving a race car is not like any other sport,” Day told JNS.org. “You are actually almost flying […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Writer of Popular Kids Series to Premiere Autobiographical Solo Show ‘Not That Jewish’

    Writer of Popular Kids Series to Premiere Autobiographical Solo Show ‘Not That Jewish’

    The writer of a popular children’s television series will premiere an off-Broadway solo show called “Not That Jewish,” according to The Hollywood Reporter. Written and performed by Monica Piper — the Emmy Award-winning showrunner of Nickelodeon’s “Rugrats” — the show is described as “the autobiographical telling of a Jew…’ish’ girl’s life.” “Not That Jewish” explores Piper’s Bronx upbringing in a show-business family, her comedy-club debut and her “almost” night with former Yankees legend Mickey Mantle. “Audiences can expect to leave laughed-out, a little teary-eyed and […]

    Read more →
  • Sports Scottish Soccer Team Will Fly to Israel on Private Jet Used by Madonna

    Scottish Soccer Team Will Fly to Israel on Private Jet Used by Madonna

    Scotland’s Celtic soccer club will fly to Israel with the same private jet Madonna used while on tour, The Scotsman reported on Monday. According to the report, the team is heading for the Jewish state to compete against Israel’s Hapoel Be’er Sheva on Tuesday night, and will be transported in the customized, luxurious Boeing 757-200 that the pop icon used in New Zealand for her six-month Rebel Heart tour, which wrapped up in March. The plane is on loan from Greece-based GainJet Aviation and can accommodate 62 passengers. The […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Revealed: Actor Jonah Hill Officiated at Wedding of Fellow Jewish Star, Singer Adam Levine

    Revealed: Actor Jonah Hill Officiated at Wedding of Fellow Jewish Star, Singer Adam Levine

    Jewish actor Jonah Hill revealed on Wednesday morning that he had officiated the wedding of good friend and Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine. The “War Dogs” actor, 32, was a guest on Sirius XM’s The Howard Stern Show when the conversation turned to Levine’s July 2014 wedding to Victoria’s Secret model Behati Prinsloo. Hill said that after he was asked to officiate the nuptials, he started getting worried about the type of speech he was going to deliver. “I’m writing all these things, and then I […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Music Jewish Indie Rocker Dedicates New ‘Refugee’ Track to Grandfather Who Fled Nazi Persecution

    Jewish Indie Rocker Dedicates New ‘Refugee’ Track to Grandfather Who Fled Nazi Persecution

    Jewish indie singer Ezra Furman released a song on Wednesday that he said was dedicated to his grandfather, who escaped Nazi persecution. Furman told the website Consequence of Sound that the new track, called “The Refugee,” is his “first song entirely concerned with my Jewish background and present, a song dedicated to my grandfather who fled the Nazis, as well as to all of the refugees desperate for a home today.” He added, “May all the wanderers find the homes they seek, and […]

    Read more →