Why Does the United Nations Celebrate Palestinian Terrorism and Rejectionism?
The United Nations once again marked the “International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People” on November 29, with a day of speeches and “cultural events” at the organization’s New York headquarters.
Billed as an “opportunity for the international community to focus its attention on the question of Palestine,” the date marks 74 years since the UN passed resolution 181, the partition of the British-ruled Mandate for Palestine to create a Jewish state and an Arab state, with Jerusalem under international control.
It was a plan that drew support from world powers including the United States, the Soviet Union, France, and Belgium. It was also accepted by the majority of Jews.
However, the Arab side resolutely rejected any kind of compromise that would see the establishment of a Jewish state. Instead, it launched a wave of attacks against the Jewish population — and soon, a war of annihilation to destroy Israel, and push all of its Jewish residents into the sea.
Over the course of the following seven decades, the Palestinian leadership has maintained this combative approach to its Jewish neighbors, rebuffing every single peace overture that has ever been made, while simultaneously claiming to be systematically denied any chance at self-determination.
For example, after the 1967 Six-Day War — in which several Arab countries had tried to annihilate the Jewish state — Israel offered to return territory it had captured in return for peace. It was this well-intentioned proposal that earned the infamous response that became known as the Three Nos: no peace with Israel, no recognition of Israel, no negotiations with Israel.
At the Camp David Summit in 2000, Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat was presented with a deal that would have seen 92 percent of the West Bank, and all of the Gaza Strip, put under Palestinian control, with a plan to award territorial compensation for the remaining eight percent, and eastern Jerusalem designated as the new state’s capital.
Yet again, the proposal was rejected and, instead, Palestinians unleashed the Second Intifada, a concerted campaign of suicide attacks that killed more than 1,000 Israelis, and injured thousands more.
So, why does the United Nations commemorate a day that could just as easily be marking 74 years of Palestinian rejectionism?
A briefing on the UN’s website solemnly states:
The International Day of Solidarity provides an opportunity for the international community to focus its attention on the fact that the question of Palestine remains unresolved and that the Palestinian people are yet to attain their inalienable rights as defined by the General Assembly, namely, the right to self-determination, the right to national independence and sovereignty and the right to return.
It then announces a few notable speakers, including Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, Amnesty International Secretary-General Agnès Callamard, and the so-called “Palestinian activist from Sheikh Jarrah” Mohammed El-Kurd.
The mere fact that Abbas is constantly invited to ostensibly talk about the “unresolved” issue of Palestinian statehood is bizarre. This is, after all, a man who has turned his back on every single opportunity to realize this aim, including plans that would have seen the creation of an independent Palestinian state on almost all of the West Bank and the entirety of the Gaza Strip, with the eastern part of Jerusalem as its capital.
Abbas’ speech was followed by an address from Callamard, who, shortly before taking on her current role, falsely accused Israel of murdering Yasser Arafat.
Such a remark, however, did not preclude her from the top job at Amnesty International, which has a long history of being hostile towards Israel.
— Agnes Callamard (@AgnesCallamard) January 12, 2013
To top all this off, terrorism supporter-in-chief Mohammed El-Kurd took the stage.
El-Kurd, who rose to prominence during the Sheikh Jarrah/Shimon HaTzadik property dispute, has managed to carve out a career as the resident “Palestine correspondent” for the weekly magazine The Nation, and is regularly quoted by international media outlets.
This, despite an alarming history of making antisemitic comments and baseless claims about Israel — including his belief that the Jewish state is a “child killing entity” where the “sadistic & bloodthirsty” IDF run amok.
If the United Nations wants to know why peace has been so elusive for the Palestinians, it could start by taking a look at its roster of speakers.
The author is a contributor to HonestReporting, a Jerusalem-based media watchdog with a focus on antisemitism and anti-Israel bias — where a version of this article first appeared.