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January 18, 2017 5:12 am

The UN’s Long, Shameful History on Israel

avatar by George Jochnowitz

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the United Nations. Photo: screenshot via live stream.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the United Nations. Photo: screenshot via live stream.

The Israeli English-language newspaper The Jerusalem Post was originally called The Palestine Post. It adopted its current name in 1950, two years after the creation of the state of Israel.

When the paper first appeared in 1932, the word “Palestinian” generally referred to those living in the British Mandate of Palestine. It was viewed by people everywhere as an appropriate word to describe the Jewish minority living in the area.

Languages change. Sometimes a word takes on a meaning that contradicts an earlier definition. Occasionally, different forms of a word reflect both meanings. Think of “awful” and “awesome” in English today. We can be filled with awe because something is terrible (awful) or wonderful (awesome).

In 1947, when “Palestine” still sounded like it might refer to a Jewish state, the United Nations voted to divide the territory into two countries: one Jewish and one Arab. The UN intended to create two independent states that would live together in peace and harmony.

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One of the two halves — Israel — accepted its independence. The other side did not. On the day that Britain left and Israel declared its independence, five Arab nations invaded the whole territory, with the intent of conquering, and destroying, the Jewish half. Besides pushing the Jews into the sea, it was not clear what they wanted to do with the actual territory had they been victorious. Yet when the war was over and Israel controlled more land than the UN planned to give it, the remaining Arab territory went to Jordan and Egypt. There was no movement for an independent Palestinian Arab state.

Although the UN voted to establish the state of Israel, one might argue that this was the last pro-Israel step they ever took. Since 1947, the UN has spent all of its time criticizing and condemning Israel.

Recently, Iran’s former president, Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, died. The world has been describing, and praising, him as a moderate. But nobody remembers that Rafsanjani called the existence of Israel an ugly, colonialist phenomenon and advocated for a nuclear war that could destroy the Jewish state.

The world is enraged because Israel is expanding its settlements in and around Jerusalem. But Israel cannot surrender east Jerusalem and its suburbs at this moment in time. There is a large Jewish population in Ma’ale Adumim and other areas east of the pre-1967 borders. They cannot and should be forced out the way that the Jewish settlers in Gaza were. Furthermore, what would happen if the Palestinians gained control of east Jerusalem — or had their own state?

After Gaza was turned into an independent Palestinian state, Hamas was elected and a state-sponsored reign of terror was launched upon Israel. Should Israel make the same mistake again?

People who advocate for returning to the pre-1967 borders never think about what  the pre-1967 political situation looked like: namely, Egypt ruling Gaza and Jordan’s inclusion of the West Bank as part of its own territory. So you want to return to the 1967 borders? OK. But in that case, it might make sense for Egypt to declare that Gaza is part of Egypt and offer Egyptian citizenship — or dual Palestinian-Egyptian citizenship — to its residents. And it might make sense for Israel and Jordan to redraw their boundary lines and agree that Jordan would re-annex the lands west of the river that Israel would agree to cede. At that point, Jordan could change its name once again: to Palestine. Palestinians are already a majority in Jordan.

Angela Merkel recently agreed to accept a large number of Syrian refugees into Germany. In contrast to this, there are Palestinian refugees who have lived in refugee camps for almost 70 years. This is unprecedented. The world, including the Arab world, wants the refugees from the Israeli war of independence to remain a running sore forever.

The world hates Israel — and is biased against it. Let’s expose the truth once and for all.

A version of this article was commissioned by Perry Greenbaum.

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