For many years, the United Nations has chosen to mark the anniversary of the November 29, 1947 vote to partition Palestine into distinct Jewish and Arab states as a day of solidarity for only one of those groups – the Arabs.
The times they aren’t a changin’.
On November 28, 2018, the UN Secretary General Antonio Gutteres spoke at the Meeting of Committee of the Inalienable Rights of Palestinian People (that’s the actual name of the group). Not only does the UN only have a unique group for the Arabs from Palestine and none for the Jews, but the UN also argues that the Arabs have “inalienable rights” to a separate country – not autonomy or self-determination – but a special unique country, which is also a right not afforded to any people anywhere on the planet.
Speaking at such a forum the day before the November 29 anniversary, Gutteres gave the audience the red meat they so covet. After calling on Israel to stop building “illegal settlements,” he added the following:
“I call on all actors, and first and foremost the leadership of Israel and the Palestinian Authority, to take bold steps and restore faith in the promise of General Assembly resolution 181, of two States living side-by-side in peace and security, fulfilling the legitimate national aspirations of both peoples, with borders based on the 1967 lines and Jerusalem as the capital of both States ‑ East Jerusalem being the capital of the Palestinian State.
It is the only way to achieve the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people. It is the only option for a comprehensive and just peace, and I call on the international community to intensify its engagement and reiterate its commitment to assist Palestinians and Israelis in reaching the two-State solution.”
Moving past the absurdity that no people on the planet have inalienable rights to their own sovereign country, just to self-determination (hey, anyone want to start a country tomorrow?) it is further absurd to state that the only formula to achieve such right is based on armistice lines from a war fought over 70 years ago in which all parties agreed would NOT serve as permanent borders, and that dividing a capital city between two countries has any logic, when it is a formula only used in war-time (Berlin, Beirut, Nicosia anyone?)
But it moves past the absurd to discriminatory and antisemitic to declare that Jews should be banned from living anywhere east of that Green Line. That the only way that an Arab state could exist is to be Jew-free and controlling Judaism’s holiest location.
People who want to see peace in the region should stand firmly against this antisemitic formula for a two-state solution. A viable – and peaceful – independent Palestine could exist:
- WITH Jews living throughout the land;
- with borders that DO NOT follow the 1949 Armistice Lines / Green Line;
- with BETHLEHEM, an integral part of the corpus separatum that was voted upon on November 29, 1947, as the Palestinian capital city
The world continues to declare that Palestinian Arabs have unique rights and Jews uniquely have none: Palestinian Arabs must have a distinct country; Jews must be banned from living in parts of their holy land.
It is past time to call out the insanity and antisemitism, and mark November 29 as a day of solidarity with Jews in Israel and its territories. It is time to recall:
- that international laws of 1920 and 1922 specifically ENCOURAGED Jews to live throughout Palestine, including in Judea and Samaria which were later renamed the “West Bank”;
- international laws and human rights laws that forbid the discrimination of anyone based on religion from being able to live in Palestine, including the West Bank and Gaza (Article 15)
These are not “right-wing” positions. These are positions based on human rights and international law.
View of Jerusalem, from Hebrew University
I stand with the rights of Jews to live throughout their holy land, including in their holiest city of Jerusalem.
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