UN Votes To Hold Annual Event Memorializing Israel's Founding As A 'Catastrophe'

News Image By Kate Anderson/Daily Caller December 03, 2022
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The United Nations General Assembly voted on Wednesday to hold an event commemorating Israel's establishment as a "catastrophe."

In a majority, 90 member countries voted in favor of the move with 30 dissenting, and 47 abstaining from the vote, according to the Jerusalem Post. The United States and most of the European Union came out against the proposal. 

The word "Nakba" is an Arabic word meaning catastrophe, according to the Jerusalem Post. The Palestinians use to the term to refer to Israel's establishment in 1948, which is observed annually on May 15.

In 1948, the British Mandate expired allowing Israel to announce the formation of a Jewish state and its independence. The Palestinians, however, claim the day as a time of mourning due to the displacement of their people following the Palestinian government's rejection of the two-state proposal put forth by the United Nations in 1947.

The U.N.'s Division for Palestinian Rights of the Secretariat is responsible for organizing the event which will be held on May 15, 2023, at the U.N. headquarters in New York.

Israel's permanent representative to the U.N. Gilad Erdan called the resolution "extreme and baseless."

Erdan had previously spoken out against the resolution, asking the U.N. to acknowledge the Jewish "Nakba" after displaying an exhibit for the 750,000 Jews that have been expelled from Arab countries and Iran.

Israel established Nov. 30 as its own "Nakba" Day to commemorate the expulsion of Jews from many Middle Eastern countries since 1947.

The U.N. also passed several additional resolutions that called for Israel to cease imposing "its laws and jurisdiction" in the Syrian Golan and to stop performing arrests and holding prisoners from the disputed territory of the Western Bank in Gaza.

The Permanent Observer for the state of Palestine said during the debate over the proposal that "Israeli exceptionalism has only emboldened Israel's worst instincts."

The Assembly's vote comes after United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres spoke at the Israeli-Palestine conflict on the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, saying "the occupation must end," according to the Times of Israel.

The annual event, held on Nov. 29, was sponsored by the U.N. General Assembly Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People and was attended by representatives of countries wishing to express support for Palestine and its freedom from Israeli influence. 

The U.N.'s website says "the International Day of Solidarity provides an opportunity for the international community to focus its attention on the fact that the question of Palestine remains unresolved and that the Palestinian people are yet to attain their inalienable rights as defined by the General Assembly, namely, the right to self-determination, the right to national independence and sovereignty and the right to return."

"The United Nations' position is clear -- peace must advance, the occupation must end," said the Chef de cabinet Earle Courtenay Rattray, who delivered the secretary general's comments at the U.N.'s New York headquarters.

The United States and Israel were not in attendance.

The Daily Caller News Foundation spoke with senior research analyst David May of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, who said that Guterres' remarks are just another example of the U.N. putting "their thumb on the scale on the side of the Palestinians."

"It's a nice slogan to say that the occupation must end but it ignores two things that are pretty important. One is how we got here and where we go from here," he said. "Israel made several attempts to negotiate a peace with the Palestinians, all either rejected or ignored them. ... This idea that Israel should just leave the Gaza Strip, what happens the day after? We saw what happened in Gaza in 2005 when Israel pulled out and then it turned into a terror launchpad for Hamas."

The event comes on the heels of an impending decision from the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on a resolution proposed by the United Nations Special Committee on Decolonization. The resolution asked the IJC to rule whether Israel's "occupation, settlement, and annexation of the Palestinian territory" infringed on the Palestinians' ability and right to self-determination, according to Reuters.

May argued that the committee's resolution was "not really coherent."

"This notion that somehow the length and the duration of Israel's presence in the West Bank, therefore makes it illegal somehow, is not really coherent," he stated. "Especially when you go back to the fact that the Palestinians are the ones who have perpetuated and refused to come to any resolution on this."

Guterres said Tuesday he was "deeply saddened" by the growing violence in the West Bank of Gaza and Eastern Jerusalem.

The West Bank is a part of the disputed territory at the heart of the Israeli-Palestine conflict and the U.N.'s decolonization committee's resolution.

"A lot of the Palestinians that are being mourned for having been killed by Israel, were killed in the course of attacking Israelis," May explained. "So in terms of mourning their deaths, the United Nations and different representatives in the United Nations are mourning people who are actively seeking to kill Israelis."

A spokesperson for the Secretary-General, however, told DCNF, "the entire point is that this is set aside by the U.N. General Assembly for the Palestinians. But we've spoken out against the violence that has been inflicted on the Israelis the many times and the Secretary General, if you look at speeches over the course of the year, has repeatedly weighted against against the violence that has happened to Israeli civilians as well."

May said the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People erases an important marker in history.

"The very selection of the day, Nov. 29, being the anniversary of the 1947 partition plan, as a day for solidarity with the Palestinian people is also indicative of erasing Palestinian agency in this conflict. Had the Palestinian leadership agreed to the Partition Plan, then 80 plus years of bloodshed would have been avoided, but they didn't," he stated.

Originally published at The Daily Caller - reposted with permission.

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