Israel has largely avoided sending an representative to this annual gathering because it is largely a day to bash Israel and to keep the notion of Palestinian victim hood going. Yesterday, however, Israeli Ambassador Gillerman spoke and his words should be heard by everyone.
Below are some excerpts:
Late last night, I returned from Annapolis. It was a memorable occasion, with representatives from over 40 nations – chiefly among them moderate states of the Arab and Muslim world – committed to supporting the bilateral process between Israel and the Palestinians. The air in Annapolis was filled with the hope that by working together we can realize a peaceful and better tomorrow. I have no doubt that this sense of optimism was felt by all those in attendance.
Yet, back here in New York, standing before this august Assembly – in a place so distant from Annapolis in body, mind, and soul – I cannot help but wonder whether today’s debate will contribute to the spirit, promise, and hope of Annapolis.
After all, this Assembly hall is also the birthplace of the annual 21 resolutions defaming Israel – with a litany of predetermined, impractical, and completely biased conclusions – that have only given the Palestinians a fictitious sense of reality and a discourse of rights without responsibilities, both of which render the United Nations completely incapable of playing a meaningful role in addressing the conflict.
Today – 29 of November – is perhaps the greatest example of how this Assembly continues to stifle hope and faith for peace in our region. According to the calendar of the United Nations, today is the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, which by definition precludes Israel.
The terrorism we still see today stems from an innate refusal to recognize Israel, a refusal to recognize the Jewish state, and a refusal to recognize the value of our lives. So long as there is a denial of the existential issues, I fear, there can never be an agreement on the territorial ones.
Israellycool has the most of Gillerman's speech and a link to it.
November 29, 1947 could have been so much different for today's Palestinians. But as seen time and again, it is not peace with Israel that is sought but instead the destruction of the Jewish State of Israel.
Many people claim that Israel has upsurted Palestinians from their land and that this is where the conflict lies. But it is not so.
One of early Zionism’s slogans that took hold of the imagination of the proponents of a Jewish state was “A land without a people for a people without a land.” Coined by Israel Zangwill, it evoked a desolate, empty desert where the industrious Jews could build a modern state.
Israel-bashers are fond of using this quote as proof of early Zionist mendacity, ignoring the 400,000 Arabs that lived in Palestine at the beginning of modern Zionism. To an extent they are right - certainly there were people there - but the slogan was more accurate than they claim.
Firstly, while there were people there, they weren’t “a people” - Arabs at the time identified with the Arab people as a whole, or often as a part of southern Syria, but Palestinian Arab nationalism did not appear until after the phrase was coined, in no small part as a direct reaction to Zionism itself.
Secondly, it is hard to claim that the land was anything but sparsely populated, considering that today some ten million people manage to fit in that same space. In other words, the claim that pre-state Zionism was displacing the existing Arab population is simply a lie, as the aim of Zionism was to build and grow in places where no one was living.
Before World War I, most of what is Israel, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, and other Arab states were part of the Ottoman Empire. The Romans, after brutally massacreing Jews, destroying the Second Temple, and dispersing the Jewish people, wanted to erase the name of Israel. They called it Philistia. Today, the Jewish State of Israel exists once again. The Roman Empire and the Ottoman Empire no longer exist. The State of Israel will always exist. For it is the Jews of this small but extraordinary nation that have brought life back to The Land.