The UN and the West Try to Suppress Israel’s True Story
The UN’s anti-Israel bias has reached a new low.
An exhibit prepared by StandWithUs about the history of Zionism, the Jewish connection to Jerusalem and the story of Israeli Arabs was supposed to be displayed this week at UN headquarters in New York. However, the exhibit was banned. as it was deemed “inappropriate.”
After a furious response from Danny Danon, Israel’s ambassador to the UN, and much public backlash, the UN decided to allow the part about Zionism — but maintained the ban on the exhibits about Jerusalem and Israeli Arabs. Banning Israel’s story from the United Nations is not only morally reprehensible, but it is highly revealing of the mindset of many of Israel’s detractors in the West.
These detractors seek to paint a totally one-dimensional picture, consistently employing the narrative that Israel is a militaristic, aggressive nation, engaged in a long and brutal conflict with the poor and weak Palestinians.
For example, the BBC has a profile page for every country in the world. For most countries, the page describes a little bit about the history, politics, economy and culture of that country. (See, for example, the pages on Sweden and Saudi Arabia). The page about Israel, however, focuses on one issue, and one issue alone — the Israeli Arab conflict. The page does not feature the name of a single Israeli prime minister, or say that Israel is a democracy; it does, however, mention the word “Gaza” eight times and the word “Palestinian” nine times. One could literally change the title of the page from “Israel – country profile” to “Israeli-Arab conflict profile” and not have to change any of the content.
Another example of the West’s hatred for Israel is found in The World in 2016, a magazine produced by the leading British weekly, The Economist. In the magazine, there was an article about the Israel-Palestinian conflict that featured a small photo of an Israeli soldier standing in front of the Al-Aqsa Mosque. The caption of the photo read: “Jerusalem – past and present.” There, summed up in one line, is the narrative of Israel according to The Economist.
Jerusalem’s past features the Al-Aqsa Mosque and, seemingly, a rich and exclusive Muslim and Palestinian history and heritage. The image that captures modern-day Jerusalem is not a Jewish child walking the streets, a high-tech company, a Jew praying at the Western Wall or a polling booth — but an Israeli soldier, one of the aggressive Israeli invaders, causing all these problems.
So what happens when an Israeli education organization wishes to display an exhibit at the United Nations to show a different side of Israel? What happens when the United Nations is asked to deal with the fact that Israel has a Jewish past and a tolerant and democratic present? It is banned for being “inappropriate.”
Supporters of Israel must keep reminding the world that Israel is the Jewish homeland, and that it has a Jewish past — not just a Muslim one. We must keep showing the world that Israeli Arabs have full rights under Israeli law, and more rights than in any Arab country. It may not fit the narrative that many in the West have decided for Israel — but if we make our voices heard, the truth will prevail, even if the United Nations does not like it.