UN Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, November 29, 2016

On November 29, 2016 the United Nations held its annual Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. This was the 69th 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.

At the meeting, UN General Assembly President Peter Thomson (Fiji) (left) was handed a Palestinian scarf by Palestinian UN representative Riyadh Mansour (right). In an unprecedented display of bias, the GA President draped himself in a Palestinian flag while making his statement on behalf of the 193 member states of the UN. .

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 panel (left to right): Elio Tamburi, Director of the UN Division on Palestinian Rights; 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; Riyad Mansour, Permanent Observer of the Palestinian Authority; Dian Triansyah Djani (Indonesia), Vice-Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People (CEIRPP); Secretary of the CEIRPP; Suhad Babaa (Executive Director, Just Vision); Carmelo Inguanez (Malta), Rapporteur of the CEIRPP. Trusteeship Council Chamber, UN Headquarters, New York

The Speeches

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

The statement of Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian Authority, delivered by Palestinian UN representative Riyad Mansour, claimed that "Israeli practices ... are entrenching a one-State reality of an apartheid nature." He also delegitimized the existence of the state of Israel by calling the Balfour Declaration, which guaranteed the right of the Jewish people to a state in their historic homeland, an "historical sin."

The statement of Yousef Al Othaimeen, Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), delivered by the OIC representative to the UN Agshin Mehdiyev, accused Israel of "burning families and places of worship, extrajudicial killing of Palestinians."

Venezuela, on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement, accused Israel of committing "war crimes" and of perpetrating "terror."

Ahmed Aboul Gheit, Secretary-General of the League of Arab States claimed that Israel is "committing a fully fledged ethnic cleansing crime."

President of the General Assembly Peter Thomson, speaking while wearing the Palestinian flag scarf, equated Palestinian terror attacks and Israeli self-defense, condemning "continuing terror attacks against civilians, and brutal acts of violence by both sides."

Suhad Babaa, from the NGO "Just Vision," was the sole invited representative from "civil society." She used the UN platform to justify Palestinian terrorism as "resistance," and had special praise for the first "intifada" or violent uprising in which 223 Israelis were killed.

In her words:

"Next year ... also marks 30 years since the First Intifada, the most disciplined and sustained civil resistance movement in Palestinian history: a people-powered movement that puts such severe pressure on the machinery of the Israeli occupation that it's amounted that the international community reckoned with Palestinian's right to self-determination for the first time. Unknown to most people today, in 1987 a group of courageous and committed Palestinian women helped clandestinely fuel this extraordinary effort... All of this while facing off with Israel's brutal policies to squash the movement which sought to criminalize every act that threatened Israel's power..."

A Minute of Silence for the Palestinians' Long-time Collaborator, Fidel Castro

The meeting also featured a minute of silence to mark the death of Fidel Castro, the repressive former leader of Cuba responsible for the murder of thousands of Cubans by firing squads.

The Published Messages of Support

The 69-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." They included various libels, statements claiming that Israel's creation was itself "occupation" of Palestinian land, and condemnations of "Judaization" of Palestinian-claimed land.

For instance:

Hassan Rouhani, President of the Islamic Republic of Iran:
"After 69 years of Zionist regime's occupation of the land of Palestine... we are still witnessing the continuation of the Zionist regime's expansionist policy which seeks to ethnically cleanse the land of the Arab Muslims and Christians..."
Message of Pakistan:
"Israeli ... indiscriminate killing of innocent Palestinian people..."
Message of the King of Morocco:
"If Israel presses ahead with its ... Judaization of East Al Quds, these efforts will be in vain..."

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: "1948:...The first Arab-Israeli war breaks out..." "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.

* * * * *

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.

The UN General Assembly Debate: November 29-30, 2016

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 29 and 30, 2016. 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:

President of the General Assembly Peter Thomson equated the building of Jewish homes to terrorism, the brutal killing of over 400,000 people in Syria, and Saudi Arabia's bombings of schools and hospitals in Yemen:
"Today's meeting takes place at the time when the Middle East region is being rocked by instability. Brutal conflicts in Syria and Yemen, a refugee crisis that is flooding neighboring countries, the virulent spread of extremism and terrorism, and the ongoing construction of settlements on Palestinian territory are combining to create a highly combustible situation across the region."
Palestinian Authority:
"Israel's policies of settlement construction and expansion is eroding the two-state solution and entrenching a one-state reality; a reality that can only be deemed apartheid."
"[T]he Security Council must adopt without delay practical measures so that Israel puts an end to its aggression against the Palestinian people and that it is accountable for the crimes of aggression, collective punishment, arbitrary detention, massive imprisonments, and genocide committed against this people."
"Palestine, as all us states, has the right to receive development assistance and investment. But if we allow this vicious circle to continue on the part of Israel with its massive destruction and its massacres, then the international community's assistance will only help to ensure that these people survive, merely survive."
"The systematic violation of the rights of the Palestinian people, including ...terror and provocations by Israeli settlers and extremists, including at sensitive religious sites, particularly al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem have persisted unabated...

The continued illegal and brutal Israeli occupation not only causes so much misery to the Palestinian people, it also lies at the origin of the various tensions in the Middle East and is dangerously inflaming them in the volatile situation in the region with far-reaching and serious consequences for international peace and security...

The Security Council should shoulder its responsibilities under the Charter of the United Nations and international law to compel Israel ... to end its war crimes..."
"I will conclude with a new quotation of Fidel Castro, a different one. These words were uttered here in this General Assembly hall right from this rostrum in 1979 speaking on behalf of the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries. And I quote: 'We repudiate with all our force the merciless persecution and the genocide that was unleashed by Nazism against the Jewish people, but I cannot think of anything more similar in our contemporary history than the eviction, persecution, and genocide which, today, is being carried out by Imperialism and Zionism against the Palestinian people. Stripped of their land, expelled from their own homeland, dispersed throughout the world, persecuted and murdered, the heroic Palestinians constitute an impressive example of self-denial and patriotism. They are the living symbol of the greatest crime of our times.'"
"[W]e would like to recall the war crimes committed against humanitarian Gaza and in Jerusalem, the frequent use and excessive use of force against women and children and the system of isolation and the settlement activities, the crimes committed against Palestinians in the separation war and the assassinations and expulsions and expropriations of land and destruction of houses in the violation of holy places...

The oppression of the Palestinian people and the policy of an annexation and Judaization are the objective of removing the Arab identity from Jerusalem and are carried out, in practice, systematically in a recurring manner..."
"[T]he Israel occupation continues on the Palestinian territories, and these policies includes the establishment of the apartheid...

As Israel is acting unafraid of any punishment, the unjust Israeli practices and its continuous violations, on top of which is the policy of settlement and the Judaization of al-Quds al-Sharif..."
"May I recall here that Israel is continuing its warlike and racist policies against our brothers in the occupied Syrian Golan. We have seen that recently the Supreme martial court has condemned to set years and one month [to two prisoners] because they objected – they tried to obstruct an ambulance which was going through [a town] in the occupied territory. These sentences show the complicity of Israel with the terrorist groups in Syria and the violation of the resolutions of the Security Council concerning combating the Daesh terrorists...

We have recorded Israeli support for terrorist reports – armed terrorists in the separation zone. Daesh, which is on the black list of the Security Council, and their attacks – contacts between the two groups with regard to the cease-fire line, and to facilitate transit and movement in the south of the separation zone towards the north. Israel provides logistic support and medical support in a flagrant way and then it makes it possible for them to return to the Syrian territory to pursue their activities there..."
"[M]ovement is restricted in the West Bank by ...apartheid roads. And let's note that approximately 41,000 acres of Palestinian land has been confiscated in order to sustain this network of 1,661 kilometers of apartheid roads...

Acts of terrorism and violence by Israeli settlers... have also escalated in recent years."
"...Israeli occupation and apartheid system in place."

UN General Assembly Resolutions - November 30, 2016

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 15, 2016 the Committee transmitted four draft resolutions to the General Assembly that were adopted on November 30, 2016. 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/71/20:
    "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 100 in favor to 9 against (Australia, Canada, Guatemala, Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, United States), with 55 abstentions.

  • "Division for Palestinian Rights of the Secretariat," A/RES/71/21:
    "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 98 in favor to 9 against (Australia, Canada, Guatemala, Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, United States), with 57 abstentions.

  • "Special information programme on the question of Palestine of the Department of Public Information of the Secretariat," A/RES/71/22:
    " 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 United 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 153 in favor to 7 against (Australia, Canada, Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Palau, United States), with 7 abstentions (Cameroon, Honduras, Nauru, Paraguay, Togo, Tonga, Vanuatu).

  • The grossly one-sided language of the resolution "Peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine," A/RES/71/23, 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 154 in favor to 7 against (Canada, Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, United States), with 7 abstentions (Australia, Cameroon, Honduras, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Tonga, Vanuatu).

The General Assembly also adopted 2 other anti-Israel resolutions: "The Syrian Golan," A/RES/71/24 (calling on Israel to withdraw from the Golan - at the same time that Syrians are using the Golan to escape from the genocidal Assad regime and to seek medical assistance in Israel) was adopted by vote of 103 in favor to 6 against (Canada, Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Palau, United States), with 56 abstentions. "Jerusalem," A/RES/71/25 was adopted by vote of 149 in favor to 7 against (Canada, Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, United States), with 8 abstentions (Australia, Cameroon, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Vanuatu).

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