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A history of hostility: The United Nations and Israel
By Alan Caruba
In December 2001, many United Nations ambassadors in New York, Geneva, and Vienna marked the "International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People" and called for the establishment of a Palestinian State.
On May 14, 1948, the United Nations had passed a partition plan calling for a Jewish national state in Palestine, the name designating the former protectorate administered by the British. The following day, Arab states attacked Israel. It was to be the first of several wars to destroy Israel. It also marked the beginning of the long history of hostility to Israel that reveals the UN for the sham it always was and remains today. On December 11, 1948, UN Resolution 194 was to serve as the basis for the return of Palestinians who had fled the new nation. All member Arab states voted against it.
Among the recent and most blatant examples of the UN's hostility to Israel was the UN World Conference Against Racism held during the summer of 2001 in Durban, South Africa. South Africa is a basketcase of murder and rape, and its economy has lost 90 per cent of its value, after seven years of ANC rule. The conference, before it even began, was rife with anti-Semitism and anti-Israel propaganda. The United States withdrew its representatives.
In November 2001, the Associated Press reported, "Shunned by President Bush and under attack for not doing enough to combat terrorism, Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat found a receptive audience at the United Nations yesterday and the ear of the secretary-general." The current state of war against Israel by the Palestinians had already been ongoing for over a year.
Those like myself who argue that the United Nations is a threat to the national sovereignty of our own and all other nations of the world draw lessons from the UN's constant rejection of Israel. Its General Assembly and many commissions have shown unstinting hostility to this member nation, never ceding even its right to exist. Its self-defense is always identified as an attack on Palestinians, a group of Arabs within Israel who, if they wished, could enjoy full citizenship in the only democracy in the Middle East. There are Arab members of the Knesset, the governing body of Israel.
Historically, however, the General Assembly has served as a forum to isolate and rebuke Israel. In November 1975, a UN resolution equated Zionism (the political movement to establish and maintain Israel as a home for Jews) as a form of racism and racial discrimination. For the record, Judaism is a religion, not a race. It would take until 1991 to repeal this calumny.
In the early 1990's, as so-called progress toward peace with its neighbors began, the UN's hostility began to wane somewhat as the Madrid and Oslo processes, along with the end of the Cold War, began to take shape. The powerful Soviet-Arab coalition had collapsed along with the then-Soviet Union. Both Israelis and Palestinians signed an historical Declaration of Principles in 1993 and the condemnations of Israel abated and anti-Semitism was declared a form of racism by the UN's Human Rights Commission.
For the first time since it was founded in 1948, Israel was able to participate in UN affairs by being named to its first UN committee in 1993. On December 14, 1993, 155 member nations endorsed the Israel-Palestinian and Israel-Jordan agreements. Earlier it had amended a large group of anti-Israel resolutions that had come to be known as the "Question of Palestine."
As the violence perpetrated by Palestinians began to rise, the passed year and a half has seen renewed efforts in the UN to condemn the Israelis. Opposition to the US decision to move its embassy to Jerusalem was expressed.
A resolution concerning Jerusalem, the nation's capital, said "The decision of Israel to impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration on the Holy City of Jerusalem is illegal and null and void." Jerusalem's status goes back some 3,500 years as the ancient capital and, for those who read their Bible, is frequently cited as such.
Demands that Israel withdraw from territories occupied as the result of the war in 1967 perpetrated against it by Arab states have never ended. The General Assembly voted in 1996 emphasizing the "inalienable rights" of the Palestinians. The Israeli UN ambassador summed up the situation saying, "the United Nations is a convenient and willing forum for bypassing the peace process."
As we now know, there never truly was, nor is there now, any peace process so far as the Palestinians are concerned. Their existence is predicated on the destruction of Israel. On April 20, 2001, the UN condemned the "disproportionate and indiscriminate" use of force by Israel in the so-called occupied territories. No mention is ever made of the terror bombings and other acts of aggression against Israel.
On February 21st of this year, Kofi Annan was again calling for a "just, lasting and comprehensive peaceful settlement", but just ten days earlier, the UN Committee on the Exercise of Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People declared through its chairman, that "the committee was more determined than ever to fulfill its mandate to give back to the Palestinian people all of their inalienable rights." Presumably, this means giving them the entire landmass of the nation of Israel.
All this suggests that the United Nations is one of the most biased and useless international institutions on the face of the earth today. Nothing about it addresses its supposed mission to secure world peace. Everything about it is moving inexorably toward establishing itself as a world government. When that happens, you can kiss the US Constitution goodbye. Or, if you live elsewhere in the world, whatever freedoms you assume your government will provide and protect.
Alan Caruba is the author of a pocket guide, "The United Nations
Versus The United States", available exclusively from www.anxietycenter.com,
the Internet site of The National Anxiety Center.
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