Palestinian Sound and Fury

November 29, 2012 5:47 pm 1 comment

United Nations General Assembly hall in New York City. Photo: Patrick Gruban.

Today, November 29th, marked the 65th anniversary of UN Resolution 181, calling for the partition of Palestine into Jewish and Arab (not “Palestinian”) states. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, desperately trying to reclaim the limelight from Hamas after its fanciful claim of a Gaza “victory,” was expected to request his consolation prize from the General Assembly, welcoming the Palestinians as a non-member observer state, with the Vatican as its solitary partner.

But a General Assembly vote would be a hollow gesture. While it might be considered a promotion from the mere observer status the Palestinians have held since 1974, it is a nebulous title nowhere mentioned in the UN Charter. Any attempt to revive the authority of UN Resolution 181, wrote international law expert Julius Stone more than three decades ago, is “an undertaking even more miraculous than would be the revival of the dead.” But Abbas needed to say more to bolster the deflated image of the Palestinian Authority.

As Arab delegates enthusiastically cheered Abbas, they might have recalled their own role in dooming Palestinian statehood. In 1947 Zionists exulted over Resolution 181, the fulfillment of the 2000-year-old dream of the Jewish people to return to their ancient homeland and rebuild their shattered nation, even within truncated, porous, and precarious borders.

But Arab states showed no regard for a “Palestinian” people deserving a state of their own. They launched an invasion to eradicate the fledgling Jewish state and carve up the territory to suit their own wishes. King Abdullah of Jordan seized land from Palestine that became known as the “West Bank” while Egypt gobbled up Gaza.

Nineteen years later, confronting another looming attack from Arab states, Israel won a stunning victory in six days. Jerusalem and the biblical homeland were once again theirs. By now, 350,000 Israelis live in Judea and Samaria, as they have every right to do under international law that eighty years ago, under the auspices of the League of Nations, assured Jews the right of “close settlement” west of the Jordan River.

Ever since, Palestinians “never missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity” (as Israeli Foreign Minister Abba Eban memorably quipped). Rejecting any possibility for their own statehood that required recognition of the State of Israel, they have preferred to lament the Naqba, the 1948 tragedy of their defeat and dispersion, rather than become state-builders.

Mahmoud Abbas’s General Assembly speech was mostly familiar boilerplate. Recognition of Palestine would represent “a victory for truth, freedom, justice, law, and international legitimacy.” All blame rests upon Israel, for its “colonial military occupation of the land of the Palestinian people” and its “brutality and racial discrimination.” The only unexpected insertion was his announcement that he had submitted an application for the admission of Palestine as a “full member.” But that requires unanimous Security Council approval, which the United States is unlikely to support.

The young men in Ramallah who gleefully display signs proclaiming “The State of Palestine” are likely to discover that little has changed. Words in New York are not facts on the ground until the Palestinian Authority negotiates an agreement with Israel that recognizes the existence and borders of the Jewish state. The lurking presence of Hamas, still pledged to the annihilation of Israel, will not be easily ignored. Perhaps Abbas should make peace with Hamas before he negotiates with Israel.

If Palestinians settle for non-member observer state status “Palestine” can pursue legal action against Israel in the International Criminal Court. But Israel, like the United States a decade ago, recognized the ideological and political bias of the ICC and withdrew from its jurisdiction.

The lingering question is whether the Palestinians can heal their own internal divisions and finally, after 65 years, accept the reality of Israel. Can they finally relinquish their identity theft from Jewish history and develop an independent Palestinian identity?

Ever since 1948 Palestinians have constructed their identity on the foundation of Jewish history, archeology, texts, holy sites and, of course, land. Ironically, even as Israel was targeted for incessant Palestinian terrorist attacks Zionist state building inspired Palestinian emulation. November 29th hardly was a random choice by the Palestinian Authority. It is, after all, the day when Israelis celebrate international recognition of their right to establish a Jewish state in the Land of Israel – not in the land of Palestine.

Jerold S. Auerbach is writing a book about Israel’s legitimacy struggles.

1 Comment

  • Let us not forget brethren,

    To pay tribute to the astute visionaries orchestrating the velvet glove of time. Via the auspices of social engineering, as history cures the ripeness of our convictions, while remembering what Albert Einstein said, of the institutions parading before us, are set for our purposes, until the fullness of their time, to wit:

    “The United Nations is an extremely important and useful institution provided the peoples and governments of the world realize that it is merely a transitional system toward the final goal, which is the establishment of a supranational authority vested with sufficient legislative and executive powers to keep the peace.”

    Most graciously ‘In Honor We Trust’

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Arts and Culture Blogs 10 New Hollywood Movies That Aim to Show Support for Israel (SATIRE)

    10 New Hollywood Movies That Aim to Show Support for Israel (SATIRE)

    Ten major film studios are currently in production on projects that promote a decidedly pro-Israeli narrative. In famously liberal Hollywood, such a development has left mouths agape and set tongues a wagging. Since the Jewish State began defending itself from the thousands of rockets that Hamas has hurled at it – as well as ongoing terror attacks and murders, the overwhelming number of Tinseltown’s producers, directors, actors, and studio moguls have remained indifferent to the plight of millions of Israeli [...]

    Read more →
  • Featured Israel Sports So Close: Israeli Judoka Loses Crown in World Cup Final, Finishes With Silver (VIDEO)

    So Close: Israeli Judoka Loses Crown in World Cup Final, Finishes With Silver (VIDEO)

    Israeli Judoka Yarden Gerbi (63kg), 25, of Netanya, on Thursday lost the final round at the Judo World Cup, and her world title to Clarisse Agbegnenou of France, at a match held in Russia. “I have mixed feelings,” Gerbi told Israeli Army radio. But, “I shouldn’t assume that I’d win the world Judo championship twice in a row,” she admitted. Gerbi won gold in Rio De Janeiro last year. “When I made my decision, I knew it was going to [...]

    Read more →
  • Book Reviews Jewish Identity Surviving the Holocaust by Hiding Their Faith (REVIEW)

    Surviving the Holocaust by Hiding Their Faith (REVIEW)

    “Jews Out!” was just the name of a child’s game that three little girls played in World War II Europe. But all is not as it seems because the three girls were Jewish, but hiding their true identities. In award-winning author R. D. Rosen’s riveting non-fiction work, Such Good Girls, “Jews Out!” wasn’t a game; it was a struggle for survival. The girls, Sophie, Flora, and Carla, grew up at a time and a place that did not allow them [...]

    Read more →
  • Music Personalities Twenty Years On, the Real and Radical Legacy of Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach

    Twenty Years On, the Real and Radical Legacy of Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach

    JNS.org – “He was part hippie, part yippie, part beatnik, and part New Age,” wrote Elli Wohlgelernter in a Jerusalem Post eulogy in 1994, following the Oct. 20 passing of Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach. Twenty years later, more robust accounts of Carlebach’s life have come to the surface. Earlier this year, Natan Ophir published the book Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach: Life, Mission & Legacy. This past summer, Rabbi Shlomo Katz’s The Soul of Jerusalem hit the shelves. But even the authors will admit [...]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Music Beatlemania Invades the Gaza Strip (SATIRE)

    Beatlemania Invades the Gaza Strip (SATIRE)

    As Hamas loses its grip on power in the Gaza Strip as a result of war, poverty and disillusionment, the Islamist terrorist group has developed an ingenious way to raise the moral of the 1.7 million Palestinian Arabs it was elected to serve. While currently focused on delivering a rocket into every Israeli home, Hamas has not left its own people behind. To gently wipe away the tears of children strategically placed inside kindergartens as human shields, the Hamas Interior Ministry has [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Spirituality/Tradition Removing Jesus’ Jewish Identity From Artwork

    Removing Jesus’ Jewish Identity From Artwork

    In a strong statement that challenges the historic divide between Christianity and Judaism, Pope Francis recently proclaimed, “Inside every Christian is a Jew.” But if you look at Renaissance artworks that depict Jesus, you will not find any evidence of a Jew inside the Christianized Jesus — even though the Gospels in the New Testament tell us that Jesus was Jewish to the core. Getting that point across to the public is a daunting task, as I learned in interviews I [...]

    Read more →
  • Music Personalities Recycling His Roots

    Recycling His Roots

    JNS.org – Having started his career playing on his family’s pots and pans, Jewish musician Billy Jonas has maintained this homemade performance ethic while spreading his messages of simple living and environmentalism to a shared home throughout the world. After beginning in the kitchen, Jonas soon moved to the music room, where he picked up the piano, guitar, and trombone. These days, the multi-talented multi-instrumentalist plays on with pretty much anything he can find, including cans, bottles buckets, and other recycled-object [...]

    Read more →
  • Book Reviews Personalities Jewish Renewal Movement Founder’s Insights Form a New Guide for Senior Living

    Jewish Renewal Movement Founder’s Insights Form a New Guide for Senior Living

    JNS.org – Sara Davidson’s The December Project is a new book that should be read by all senior citizens, and by those who hope to live a long life, for it raises a question that most of us have not been taught how to answer: What should we do in that final stage of our lives? Many of us continue working past the traditional retirement age of 65, not because we need the money and not because we find the [...]

    Read more →



Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.