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UN Resolution Calls Israel’s Founding a ‘Catastrophe’

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avatar by i24 News

A general view shows the results of the voting during the 11th emergency special session of the 193-member U.N. General Assembly on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, at the United Nations Headquarters in Manhattan, New York City, U.S., March 2, 2022. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

i24 NewsThe United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday passed a resolution to mark the founding of the modern state of Israel in 1948 as a “catastrophe.”

Palestinians consider the establishment of Israel and its existence to this day as the “Nakba” (catastrophe in Arabic) and the world body decided to acknowledge the Palestinian version of events with the resolution, which was adopted by a vote of 90-30 with 47 abstentions. The United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and most European Union countries including Germany voted against the anti-Israel resolution.

Israel’s Abraham Accords ally the United Arab Emirates was one of the co-sponsors of the resolution.

The resolution calls for a commemoration of the “Nakba” at the General Assembly Hall at UN headquarters in New York City next year — Palestinians and their supporters mark the event every year on May 15 which is the day after Israel’s independence was declared in 1948. Israel in 2023 celebrates 75 years since the establishment of the state.

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“What would you say if the international community celebrated the establishment of your country as a disaster? What a disgrace,” Israel’s UN Ambassador Gilad Erdan said after the vote.

Erdan went on to say that the Palestinians brought the disaster upon themselves, in reference to the Arab-Israeli War of 1948 when five Arab armies attacked the nascent state — Egypt, Transjordan, Syria, Lebanon and Iraq. Abdul Rahman Azzam, the Arab League’s first secretary-general, said that the establishment of a Jewish state would lead to “a war of extermination and momentous massacre which will be spoken of like the Mongolian massacre and the Crusades.”

Palestinians and their supporters cheered the adoption of the resolution, with Riyad Mansour, Palestinian envoy to the UN, remarking that the General Assembly was finally acknowledging the “historical injustice that befall the Palestinian people.”

Mansour added: “Our people deserve recognition of their plight, justice for the victims, reparations for their loss, and fulfilment of their rights.”

The day before Wednesday’s anti-Israel vote, Israel’s UN mission launched its first ever exhibition documenting Jewish expulsion from Arab countries and Iran. Erdan said that the exhibition, which will be on display at UN headquarters in New York City for a week, “tells the story of the real Nakba – the Nakba of the Jews who were expelled from Arab countries and Iran.”

Former Israeli ambassador to France and political commentator Daniel Shek told i24NEWS on Thursday that these types of resolutions have three dimensions in order of importance for the Palestinians.

“Many of these resolutions have budgetary implications in favor of aid to the Palestinians, UNRWA, all sorts of things like that. Then looking a little bit lower, the symbolic dimension and symbolic importance — clearly the Palestinians need this in order to keep the issue alive,” Shek said.

“And last I think that at the lowest level of importance is the political dimension. I don’t think that this adds any real bearing. You might say unfortunately that UN General Assembly resolutions don’t have any bearing on reality but this is more a ritual than a turning point.”

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