November 29 used to be a day
of celebration in the history of the United Nations - until that
date rolled around this year and the U.N. chose to rebuke
On November 29, 1947, the United Nations' General Assembly voted
to partition Palestine into a Jewish and an Arab state. The Jewish
leadership accepted the plan; the Arab leadership rejected it.
Sixty-five years later, on November 29, 2012, Mahmoud Abbas,
president of the Palestinian Authority, excoriated Israel, praised
Islamic terrorists, and received the overwhelming approbation of
the General Assembly, which voted 138 to 9 (with 41 abstentions) to
recognize Palestine as a "non-member observer state."
Abbas was perfectly clear: "The moment has arrived for the world
to say clearly: Enough of aggression, settlements and occupation."
The world, then, through the U.N., would be rebuking Israel with
To be sure, President Abbas made some conciliatory remarks, such
as: "We did not come here seeking to delegitimize a state
established years ago, and that is Israel." But these remarks were
completely overridden by his unstinting condemnation of Israel,
whose policies, he claimed, "have thrown [negotiations] into the
intensive care unit."
How could he claim that he came to the U.N. to "launch a final
serious attempt to achieve peace"?
Speaking of the recent conflict in Gaza, Abbas said, "Palestine
comes today to the United Nations General Assembly at a time when
it is still tending to its wounds and still burying its beloved
martyrs of children, women and men who have fallen victim to the
latest Israeli aggression, still searching for remnants of life
amid the ruins of homes destroyed by Israeli bombs on the Gaza
Strip, wiping out entire families, their men, women and children
murdered along with their dreams, their hopes, their future and
their longing to live an ordinary life and to live in freedom and
Yes, this is how Abbas attempts "to breathe new life into the
negotiations" with Israel: by failing to mention the thousands of
rockets launched first by Hamas terrorists at Israel; by failing to
acknowledge that some of these Palestinian "martyrs" were men like
Ahmed Jabari, the mastermind of numerous mass-murder plots against
unarmed Israeli citizens; by forgetting entirely that it was Hamas
that brutally drove the Palestinian Authority out of Gaza.
Yet in the mind of Abbas (and apparently of the U.N. General
Assembly as well), it is the Israelis who are the murderers, guilty
of "brute force and war." And how many times did Abbas speak of
"Israeli aggression" in this speech, which was allegedly aimed at
Abbas also recounted the revisionist version of recent
Palestinian history, noting that, "hundreds of thousands of
Palestinians were torn from their homes and displaced within and
outside of their homeland, thrown from their beautiful, embracing,
prosperous country to refugee camps in one of the most dreadful
campaigns of ethnic cleansing and dispossession in modern history."
(What extraordinary charges!)
The tragic irony of all this is that, had the Arab leadership
accepted the U.N. partition plan offered in 1947, "Palestine would
be celebrating its [65th] anniversary this May. And
there would have been no Nakba [catastrophe]" (quoting Professor
Ephraim Karsh in his important book Palestine
As far back as 1937, David Ben Gurion stated that, "We do not
wish and do not need to expel Arabs and take their place. All our
aspiration is built on the assumption - proven throughout all our
activity in the Land of Israel - that there is enough room in the
country for ourselves and the Arabs."
And on November 29, 1947, when the Jewish leadership accepted
the two-state partition plan, Golda Meir said: "We are happy and
ready for what lies ahead. Our hands are extended in peace to our
neighbors. Both States can live in peace with one another and
cooperate for the welfare of their inhabitants."
This was followed by Ben Gurion's statement in December 1947:
"If the Arab citizen will feel at home in our state ... if the
state will help him in a truthful and dedicated way to reach the
economic, social, and cultural level of the Jewish community, then
Arab distrust will accordingly subside and a bridge will be built
to a Semitic, Jewish-Arab alliance."
In contrast, Arab leaders like Azzam Pasha, Secretary-General of
the Arab League, had their sights set on driving the Jews into the
sea: "It will be a war of annihilation. It will be a momentous
massacre in history that will be talked about like the massacres of
the Mongols or the Crusades." (As quoted in an interview in the
Akhbar Al-Yom newspaper, October 11, 1947.)
Speaking to the U.N. Security Council on April 16, 1948, Jamal
Husseini stated: "The representative of the Jewish Agency told us
yesterday that they were not the attackers, that the Arabs had
begun the fighting. We did not deny this. We told the whole world
that we were going to fight."
The Arab nations did fight - and lost. And while the fledgling
state of Israel absorbed 800,000 Jewish refugees who were expelled
from surrounding Muslim lands, these same countries made no effort
to absorb the 600,000 Arab refugees who fled Israel. Sadly, to this
day, there are Palestinian refugee camps in Arab countries like
Lebanon, while the inhabitants of Gaza lived in oppressive
conditions when it was under Egyptian control after 1948.
But truth and justice matter little to the U.N. General Assembly
when it comes to Israel, and so, November 29, which was once an
important day in the history of the United Nations, has become a
day of infamy.
Dr. Michael Brown, a Jewish believer in Jesus, is a biblical
scholar, apologist, worldwide speaker, and activist. He is the host
of the nationally syndicated, talk radio program "Line of Fire,"
and he serves as president of FIRE School of Ministry in Concord,
NC, as well as adjunct professor at a number of seminaries. He is
the author of 21 books, most recently "The Real Kosher Jesus."
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