Same Old Sad News From the U.N. -- Solidarity With Those Who Laud Suicide
Scholar Anne Bayefsky writes in the National Review (www.nationalreview.com ) on Dec. 5 about the United Nation's latest Israel-bashing fest:
"Hate-mongers at the United Nations outdid themselves again at the annual U.N. Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, held every Nov. 29. This year was the 60th anniversary of the U.N. General Assembly resolution that partitioned Palestine into a Jewish and an Arab state -- a resolution rejected across the Arab world. At U.N. headquarters, the day was marked by speeches from all U.N. leaders in a room adorned with just two flags, the U.N. flag and a Palestinian flag. The flag of the U.N. member state of Israel was nowhere to be seen.
"In 2005, with Kofi Annan at the helm, the same event sported a U.N. Middle East map without the State of Israel and included a moment of silence honoring the self-sacrifice of suicide bombers. In 2006 -- after the scandal was widely publicized -- the map did not appear, and the moment of silence was canceled. Instead, the U.N. Trusteeship Council room was adorned with a series of panels rewriting the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict from the Arab point of view, describing 7 or 8 million Palestinians claiming a right of return -- enough to destroy the Jewishness of the State of Israel, and lauding the success of the violent Palestinian uprising or intifada.
"In 2007 -- after the 2006 debacle was also publicized -- the panels did not appear. This year, instead, the occasion was marked by what a Secretariat official casually described as 'just keeping it clean' -- flying only the flags of 'Palestine' and the U.N.
"Lest the simple message of the organizers who refused to fly the Israeli flag be missed, statements of some meeting participants were more explicit. They glorified violence, complained of the evils of 'Judaization,' pressed the message of a racist 'apartheid' Jewish state, and called for Israel's economic strangulation (boycotts, divestment and so on.) Paul Badji is chairman of the Committee on the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, which sponsors the annual event, and which was created on the same day as the U.N.'s infamous 'Zionism is racism' resolution to implement that message. Badji gushed: 'It was 20 years ago that the Palestinians as a people stood up to the occupation, and the world learned a new word -- intifada.'
"Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas delivered a statement through Yasser Abed Rabbo, secretary general of the executive committee of the PLO. This alleged peace partner accused Israel of 'the construction of the apartheid wall' at the same time as he objected to 'judaization measures.' Lost on the PLO representative was the contradiction between alleging Israel practices apartheid on the one hand, and objecting to Jews living in 'Arab territory' on the other. The logo of the letterhead of the Palestinian U.N. Mission, upon which his statement was officially circulated, has a map claiming all of Israel as 'Palestine.'
"The representative of 'civil society' invited by the U.N. Committee to address the audience was Rev. Chris Ferguson of the World Council of Churches. He was given a U.N. platform -- Webcast around the world -- to call upon the international community to 'strengthen the global campaign for boycotts, divestment and sanctions ... against Israeli ... apartheid and oppression,' and to laud the latest NGO 'campaign identifying and opposing Israeli policies as violations of the International Covenant Against the Crime of Apartheid.'
"Though Nov. 29, 1947, was a day celebrated by Holocaust survivors, the following 60 years has seen the occasion bemoaned by the many who wish the Jewish people had never succeeded in creating a haven in the land of their ancestors.
"Kofi Annan labeled the U.N. Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian people 'a day of mourning and a day of grief.' Sixty years later, the vast majority of U.N. members -- and the organization they own and operate -- are still trying to turn back the clock."
What Israelis Can't Seem to Forget, Palestinians Cannot Remember
Publisher Mortimer Zuckerman writes in U.S. News & World Report (www.usnews.com ) on Dec. 2 about the perilous path to peace:
" 'How many divisions has the pope?' That was Joseph Stalin's curt dismissal of the perceived power of the papacy in World War II -- a podium, but no troops.
"The question might today be asked of Mahmoud Abbas, the Fatah leader presuming to speak for the Palestinians at the Annapolis conference. He no longer controls the Gaza Strip, and his grip on the West Bank is so weak that even in his capital of Ramallah, Fatah lost to Hamas in the most recent mayoral election.
"Most intelligence assessments agree that Fatah has virtually ceased to exist in the West Bank; that instead of gaining strength after its debacle in Gaza, Fatah is weaker, having failed to curb terrorism or corruption.
"Remove Israeli forces in the West Bank and the Palestinian Authority dies, with Hamas taking over. And where would that leave the Israelis, given the vulnerability of major cities, like Tel Aviv, to rocket fire?
"What the Israelis cannot forget, the Palestinians cannot remember. The harsh reality is that every time Israel has transferred security to the P.A. and its police, terrorism has followed. Look what happened after the Oslo 'peace' agreement. In the decade before, 41 Israelis were murdered. In the decade after, 945 were.
"Fatah itself, for all the handshakes at Annapolis, does not even accept Israel as a valid country. Just a few weeks ago, its leaders surprised the Israelis and made it clear that they will never recognize Israel as a Jewish state and, in effect, still do not support the U.N. Resolution of 1947 that provided for two states for two peoples -- a 'Jewish state' and an 'Arab state.' The State of Israel was not mentioned, for it would not be established until six months after the vote. But the state that was approved was the 'Jewish state.'
"Stunningly, even in his speech at Annapolis, Abbas made two specific references to the Arab word for catastrophe, nakba, which is the way the Palestinians describe the creation of Israel in 1948. It is their code language for the destruction of the Israeli state, for it refers to Israel's existence and not to its boundaries.
"Anybody who has visited the West Bank knows how much Fatah is dedicated to peace with Israel. The Fatah-controlled press and TV and the mosques reverberate with a continuous incitement to violence and hate. Suicide bombers are depicted as heroes. In recent polls, almost half the Palestinian population would not accept Israel, even if there was a settlement. And Fatah still maintains its own terrorist wing, namely the Al Aksa Martyrs Brigade that has killed so many Israelis.
"These are the hard facts that underlie the hoopla and photo ops in Washington. Nobody wants Annapolis to fail. But it was prematurely arranged, thereby enhancing the danger of longer-term failure. The sequence is wrong. The Palestinians should have had to build up a civil administration and an effective and reliable security force first.
"It is not enough to say it is always good to talk. That is not so if the talks do not succeed, for failure can make things worse. What happens on the ground is what counts. Hope is not enough. Hope, as Francis Bacon remarked, is a good breakfast but a poor supper." u