UN Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, November 23, 2015

On November 23, 2015 the United Nations held its annual Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. This was the 68th anniversary of the UN General Assembly resolution (adopted on November 29, 1947) which partitioned Palestine into a Jewish and an Arab state. This resolution was accepted by its Jewish inhabitants and rejected across the Arab world.

The Setting

The meeting room was adorned with just two flags, the UN flag and a Palestinian flag. The flag of the UN member state of Israel was nowhere to be seen.

Speakers on the opening panel (left to right): Desra Percaya (Indonesia), Vice-Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People; Mogens Lykketoft (Denmark), President of the General Assembly; Jan Eliasson (Sweden), Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations; Matthew Rycroft (United Kingdom), President of the Security Council; Riyad Mansour, Permanent Observer of the Palestinian Authority; Amrith Rohan Perera (Sri Lanka), Chairman of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories; Jeffrey Feltman (United States), Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs. Trusteeship Council Chamber, UN Headquarters, New York

The Speeches

Continued rejection of a Jewish state – a member of the UN – and blatant antisemitism were evident throughout the proceedings.

The statement of Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian Authority, delivered by Palestinian UN representative Riyad Mansour, made a series of libelous accusations against Israel: "extrajudicial killings," "war crime," building an "apartheid wall," and "Judaization" of Arab-claimed land.

Iyad Amin Madani, Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, condemned what he called "the racist separation wall" and accused Israel of "judaization and ethnic cleansing" and conducting a "policy of shoot to kill ... against defenseless Palestinian civilians..."

Desra Percaya (Indonesia), Vice-Chair of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People and Chair of the meeting, accused Israel of committing "a war crime."

Ahmed Fathalla, Permanent Observer for the League of Arab States accused Israel of practicing "apartheid" and "terrorism."

There was also an attempt to erase Judaism's ancient connection to Jerusalem as the historic capital of the Jewish people. Tete Antonio, Chairperson of the African Union said: "The African Union reaffirms the sanctity of Islamic and Christian shrines in Jerusalem and warn against the serious consequences of such Israeli measures ... in Jerusalem, such as the judaization of that Arab city and obliteration of its Islamic and Christian identity..."

President of the General Assembly Mogens Lykketoft said there was a "wave of violence across the occupied Palestinian territory" but did not say one word about the wave of Palestinian stabbings, shootings, and vehicular attacks against Israelis. He also said "I can align myself very much with the statement just made by the Chair" – which accused Israel of war crimes.

Despite the two months preceding the meeting being littered with Palestinian terror attacks across Israel, not a single speaker mentioned Palestinian terrorism. On the contrary, Abbas (Mansour) and Ahmed Fathalla (League of Arab States) accused Israel of committing terrorism.

Brad Parker, from the NGO "Defense For Children International, Palestine," was the sole invited representative from "civil society." Notwithstanding the stated purpose of his NGO, he did not condemn Palestinian leaders for cowardly and cynically inciting Palestinian children to serve as combatants and attack Israelis – war crimes. Instead, he condemned Israelis forced to defend themselves against these attacks: "Israeli forces ... target children with live ammunition to quash protests."

The Published Messages of Support

The 60-plus year rejection of the Jewish state by Arab and Muslim countries and their UN-based campaign to destroy Israel - given full vent on Palestinian Solidarity Day - also took other forms. Multiple states and organizations submitted "Messages on the Occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People." Again, they included statements in support of the destruction of Israel and the criminal prosecution of Israelis for exercising their right of self-defense.

For instance:

Hassan Rouhani, President of the Islamic Republic of Iran:
"...the suffering and injustice imposed on the people of Palestine by the Zionist regime... Palestinians, both Muslims and Christians, are suffering from a situation which is tantamount to ethnic-cleansing. We are all witnessing measures taken by the Zionist regime which aims at Judaizing Palestine... shudder more than ever. The sound of the collapse of the Regime's shaky foundation can clearly be heard now...[T]he Zionist regime is continuing its inhuman acts..."
Government of South Africa:
"The on-going moves to internationalise the struggle, including accession to international organisations and treaties such as the ICC, are injecting a new dynamic into the pursuit of the Palestinian cause..."

The Panels Displayed

The carefully orchestrated day had other components. The UN event room prominently featured a set of six-foot high information panels.

They described successive attempts at the Arab annihilation of Israel as random acts of spontaneous combustion: "In 1948 as a result of the war between Israel and its neighboring Arab states, almost 750,000 Palestinians...became refugees." "1967 and 1973: Following two wars, the Security Council [adopted] resolutions..."

* * * * *

There was no mention of how the General Assembly's 1947 partition resolution was received - its acceptance by Jews and rejection by Arabs, the 1947-8 war launched by Arab states to prevent the creation of a Jewish state, or who started the 1967 and 1973 wars.

None of this attempted annihilation of the UN member state of Israel was a "contravention of international law." The only "contravention of international law" was "the building of Israeli settlements...after the 1967 war."

Settlements were built on "Occupied Palestinian Territory" - regardless of whether in law the territory's ownership is disputed and by agreement to be decided by negotiations.

* * * * *

Palestinian refugees "were uprooted" - there was no mention that Arab inhabitants of historic Palestine were advised to leave by Arab organizations and states, pending the anticipated imminent destruction of Israel.

There is no mention that Jewish refugees in equivalent, if not greater numbers, were expelled from Arab states after the creation of Israel.

* * * * *

Suicide-bombing, murder of Israeli civilians at home, on buses, at worship, is called an "uprising" - and cast as a justifiable response to Israeli occupation.

* * * * *

The Israeli military operation in Operation Cast Lead is carefully dated from beginning to end ("27 December 2008 – 18 January 2009"). Eight years of rocket attacks by Hamas that preceded Cast Lead are unrecorded. There is no start date or quantification of the rocket attacks against Israel's civilian population - setting up the alleged moral equivalence between aggression and defensive response.

The panel also erases the context that Hamas used the Palestinian civilian population as human shields - more war crimes.

Public Exhibit

On November 23, 2015, an exhibit, called "Palestinian Children: Overcoming Tragedies with Hope, Dreams, Resilience and Dignity," mounted under the auspices of the UN Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, was opened in the public entrance of UN Headquarters.

The purpose of the exhibit was to depict Palestinian children "at play" and suffering due to Israeli "oppression". Missing from the exhibit:

  • any acknowledgment of Hamas's use of children as human shields – a war crime
  • any depiction of Palestinian children committing acts of terrorism or being incited to commit terrorism – another war crime.
Instead, the exhibit promoted the message of the suffering Palestinian innocents at Israeli hands absent any context.

The image on the left is from the UN photo exhibit and depicts a Palestinian child playing computer games. The image on the right depicts something else Palestinian children play with – a doll of a Palestinian holding a rock to throw at Jews.

The image on the left is from the photo exhibit and depicts Palestinian teenagers "practicing Parkour... which helps them vent frustration in a positive way." The image on the right depicts another way Palestinian children are taught to "vent frustration"- by stabbing Jews.

The image on the left is from the photo exhibit and says playing soccer gives these Palestinian children "energy to continue with their lives." The image on the right shows two Palestinian teenagers who used their "energy" to try to end the lives of Israelis. The teens stabbed two Israelis, including a 13 year old child who was gravely wounded.

At the opening ceremony of the exhibit Palestinian representative Riyad Mansour openly praised Palestinian children who have attacked Israelis:

The UN General Assembly Debate: November 23-24, 2015

When the UN Committee on the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People was finished with its meeting, Solidarity Day moved to the General Assembly, where the Israel-bashing continued and six anti-Israel resolutions were subsequently adopted.

Speeches by states explaining their votes and positions were made on November 23 and 24, 2015. Here is a sampling of the hysterical lies, the demonization and delegitimization of Israel, hate and antisemitism delivered via a UN platform from where it is broadcast throughout the world:

Palestinian Authority:
"Israel has continued killing and injuring Palestinian civilians in military raids, air strikes and sniper attacks. Children and youth are clearly being targeted by the excessive force and malice of the occupying forces and settlers...All of this has been accompanied by racist, discriminatory policies...There has been blatant dehumanization of the Palestinian people, who have been characterized as terrorists and animals, including by Israelis' highest officials, and whose legitimate resistance to the occupation has been criminalized as terrorism, quote-unquote...It has also exacerbated Israeli prejudices against the Palestinian people, fueling paranoia, aggression and extremism among Israelis...and incitement for their crimes and terror...[T]he Israeli Representative is not different from all colonial power, especially settler colonial power, who always through history have blamed the victims for all the evil crimes of the victimizers, the occupier..."
"67 years have elapsed since the tragedy of the Palestinian people started. Their suffering began when the migrant Jews invaded their territories in 1948. They forced them to leave their homeland and establish the Israeli entity with no borders 'til this very day, so it continued to expand at the expense of the Arab and Palestinian territories the more power they gained...
We're not here to enumerate the Israeli occupation practices that aim to alter the demography of the usurped Palestinian land and Judaize Jerusalem since it's known and documented at the UN organs and all international organizations.
However, it could be of interest to recall that the Israeli entity was established on a policy of terrorism and devoiding [sic] the territory from its people. To that end, they terrorized the Palestinians and dis-appropriate their land, level them. They demolish their homes. They forcefully displace them, establish settlements and expand them to be another habitat for extremist Jewish Israelis coming from all four corners of the globe.
The Israeli -- the extortioner [sic] Israeli entity has proved over the past seven decades that it was not established on terrorism per se, but terrorism is an instilled concept in its practices and a paramount pillar to its existence. This is clear from the war crimes, crimes against humanity ... used by the Israeli military against women and children everywhere in Palestine...
It's high time for ... all those Israeli officials who have committed or were responsible dangerous crimes against the Palestinian people to be prosecuted at the ICC..."
"We strongly condemn the systematic policy of repression against the Palestinian population, the brutal and cowardly attacks by Israel against innocent people... These are acts of state terrorism, war crimes and crimes against humanity.
With this in mind, we'd like to reiterate our support to the request made by Palestine, its referral to the International Criminal Courts that the perpetrators of such acts be brought to justice. Accountability is one of the essential preconditions to ensure peace and stability in the region.
We would like to denounce once again and deplore the Israeli policy of attacking Palestinian children..."
Kuwait on behalf of the Organization of Islamic Countries:
"The OIC condemns in the strongest terms ... the policy of execution and deliberate murder carried out by the Israeli occupation forces and extremist Israeli settlers against defenseless Palestinian civilians, including children...
There is no doubt that Israel considers the silence of the international community towards its crimes as encouragement to proceed with the state terrorism... These Israeli acts of aggression constitute war crimes, and the perpetrators should be brought to justice...the horrendous Israeli war crimes and atrocities against the people under its 48th year military occupation."
"The Palestinian people and the Syrian people under the yoke of Israeli occupation in Golan cannot bear to be used as a goal for Israeli leaders to project their weapons of blind Jewish hatred... [A]n Israeli soldier ... represents the terrorism, racism and hatred of the Israeli policies, including -- allow me to mention, Mr. President, the support of Israel to the terrorist groups in the occupied territories..."
"The policy of her country [Israel] has tilted to the shoot to kill, an incitement to violence and extrajudicial killings. What are extrajudicial killings, a fundamental pillar of Israeli democracy and respect for human rights in the most pure sense of Israeli democracy?"
United Arab Emirates:
"Israel committed a number of heinous crimes against the Palestinian people, including the killing of civilians, the demolition of houses and mass arbitrary arrests that included even children..."
"...Israeli occupation and the apartheid system that is currently in place..."
"... they do not even spare innocent children..."
"...ending occupation and all illegitimate Judaization attempts by Israel..."

UN General Assembly Resolutions - November 24, 2015

The hate-mongering against the Jewish state by the the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People has specific concrete results. On November 13, 2015 the Committee transmitted four draft resolutions to the General Assembly that were adopted on November 24, 2015. First and foremost these resolutions perpetuated the operations of the Committee and the vast UN secretariat apparatus for demonizing and delegimitizing Israel:

  • "Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People," A/RES/70/12:
    "2. Requests the Committee to continue to exert all efforts to promote the realization of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, including their right to self-determination,...and to mobilize international support for and assistance to the Palestinian people,...
    3. Also requests the Committee to continue to keep under review the situation relating to the question of Palestine and to report and make suggestions to the General Assembly, the Security Council or the Secretary-General, as appropriate;
    4. Further requests the Committee to continue to extend its cooperation and support to Palestinian and other civil society organizations and to continue to involve additional civil society organizations and parliamentarians in its work in order to mobilize international solidarity and support for the Palestinian people..."

    The resolution was adopted by the General Assembly by a vote of 102 in favor to 8 against (Australia, Canada, Federated States of Micronesia, Israel, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, United States), with 57 abstentions.

  • "Division for Palestinian Rights of the Secretariat," A/RES/70/13:
    " 2. Considers that, by providing substantive support to the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People in the implementation of its mandate, the Division for Palestinian Rights of the Secretariat continues to make a most useful and constructive contribution to raising international awareness of the question of Palestine...
    5. Also requests the Division, as part of the observance of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People on 29 November, to continue to organize, under the guidance of the Committee, an annual exhibit on Palestinian rights or a cultural event in cooperation with the Permanent Observer Mission of the State of Palestine to the United Nations, and encourages Member States to continue to give the widest support and publicity to the observance of the Day of Solidarity;..."

    The resolution was adopted by a vote of 99 in favor to 8 against (Australia, Canada, Federated States of Micronesia, Israel, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, United States), with 59 abstentions.

  • "Special information programme on the question of Palestine of the Department of Public Information of the Secretariat," A/RES/70/14:
    " 2. Considers that the special information programme on the question of Palestine of the Department is very useful in raising the awareness of the international community concerning the question of Palestine...
    3. Requests the Department, in full cooperation and coordination with the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, ...
    (c)...to update, on a periodic basis, the public exhibit on the question of Palestine displayed in the General Assembly Building as well as at Unit ed Nations headquarters in Geneva and Vienna; ... (f) To continue to provide assistance to the Palestinian people in the field of media development..."

    The resolution was adopted by a vote of 155 in favor to 7 against (Canada, Federated States of Micronesia, Israel, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, United States), with 7 abstentions (Australia, Cameroon, Honduras, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, South Sudan, Tonga).

  • The grossly one-sided language of the resolution "Peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine," A/RES/70/15, oblivious to Palestinian terrorism, includes:
    "Expressing grave concern also about all acts of violence, intimidation and provocation by Israeli settlers against Palestinian civilians,...
    Gravely concerned over ... acts of violence, vandalism and brutality committed against Palestinian civilians ..."

    The resolution was adopted by a vote of 155 in favour to 7 against (Australia, Canada, Federated States of Micronesia, Israel, Marshall Islands, Palau, United States), with 7 abstentions (Cameroon, Honduras, Nauru, Paraguay, South Sudan, Togo, Tonga).

The General Assembly also adopted 2 other anti-Israel resolutions: "The Syrian Golan," A/RES/70/17 (calling on Israel to withdraw from the Golan - at the same time that Israeli soldiers on the Golan are treating and saving the lives of Syrian victims of the genocidal Assad regime) was adopted by vote of 105 in favour to 6 against (Canada, Federated States of Micronesia, Israel, Marshall Islands, Palau, United States), with 56 abstentions. "Jerusalem," A/RES/70/16 was adopted by vote of 153 in favor to 7 against (Canada, Federated States of Micronesia, Israel, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, United States), with 8 abstentions (Australia, Cameroon, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, South Sudan, Toga, Tonga).

These resolutions support the use of the United Nations to incite hate against Israel through events such as the UN's "International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People" via the vehicles of these pro-Palestinian UN organs. And so the vicious cycle of UN-sponsored anti-Israel propaganda continues.