The United Nations has many subcommittees. Most are designed to handle global or regional issues. Some are unique and deal with a specific issue, such as UNRWA, which is a UN agency dedicated for descendants of Palestinian refugees from wars in 1948 and 1967 who remain stateless, while every other refugee in the world has one under-staffed agency called UNHCR.
One of the organizations/people specifically tasked (theoretically) with helping to solve a regional issue is UNSCO, the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process. One would imagine that such individual was there to actually help and facilitate “the Middle East Peace Process” as the title conveys.
A review of the comments made in 2018 by the special coordinator, Nickolay Mladenov, reveals a different story.
The UNSCO website lists 29 statements made by Mladenov over 2018. Most of them were addresses to the UN Security Council, in which he provided an update of the situation on the ground. Sometimes there were recommended actions to be taken to advance the Peace Process.
Oftentimes, there was finger-pointing.
Consider the statement made on January 25, 2018. Mladenov said that there was a clear and unambiguous end result for the peace process: two states. “We must also reaffirm the international consensus that the two-State solution remains the only viable option for a just and sustainable end to the conflict. We must be unwavering in this position.” Absent such solution, the Palestinians would suffer a “worsening reality of occupation and humiliation.” Little concern was noted for Israeli security. No mention that Hamas is a terrorist organization and that its existence and governance undermines the basic principles of a Peace Process. Instead, he offered an appeal for UNRWA to subsidize Palestinians and declared that Jewish houses living in Area C in Judea and Samaria are threats to peace. The message was clear: terrorism is not a threat to the Peace Process; Jewish homes are the obstacle.
A few weeks later, on February 20, 2018, Mladenov made the following comment:
“For a decade two million people have lived under the full control of Hamas with crippling Israeli closures and movement and access restrictions. Throughout this period the international community has provided aid and humanitarian assistance to alleviate the suffering and to rebuild what was destroyed in three devastating conflicts.
“It is time to break this cycle. It is time to return Gaza back to the control of the legitimate Palestinian Authority, for there can be no Palestinian state without Palestinian unity.
“Those who stand in the way of reconciliation hurt the Palestinian national cause and the price will be paid by generations of ordinary people.”
Mladenov could not have been clearer: he wants to have the terrorist group Hamas to be part of the ruling Palestinian Authority and chastised anyone opposed. The coordinator for a peaceful settlement between the Stateless Arabs from Palestine (“SAPs“) with the Jewish State called for a vehemently noxious anti-Semitic organization to be part of a governing coalition which would somehow make peace with its Jewish neighbor. That’s akin to a judge recommending that a couple conclude a divorce on peaceful terms by having the gun-toting spousal abuser live next door to his ex.
The comments on March 26 to the UN Security Council finally had more balance and called out Palestinian incitement to terror, including:
“Fatah’s official social media pages continued to feature posts glorifying perpetrators of past violence against Israeli civilians, including terror attacks that killed civilians and children. In addition, Palestinian officials continued to make statements denying the historical and religious connection of Jews to Jerusalem and its holy sites. One senior religious leader falsely claimed Jews had lived in historical Jerusalem for only 70 or 80 years. Others continue to describe Israel as “a colonial project.”
“I urge the Palestinian leadership to continue to speak against violence in general, and to condemn specific attacks against civilians.”
Regrettably, Mladenov once again failed to call out Hamas explicitly. Instead, he called for reconciliation between the two parties and demanded that Hamas civil servants start getting their salaries paid by the PA.
The following month, on April 26, Mladenov spoke to the Security Council again. His primary focus continued to be on Gaza, while speaking gently about Hamas:
“People should not be destined to spend their lives surrounded by borders they are forbidden to cross, or waters they are forbidden to navigate. They should not be destined to live under the control of Hamas, which invests in military activities at the expense of the population.”
Somehow, Mladenov ignored every Palestinian poll in which the Palestinians PREFER Hamas over the more moderate Fatah party. Almost no Palestinian places the blame for the dire situation in Gaza on Hamas itself.
A few days later on April 30, Mladenov was back to celebrating the efforts at Palestinian unity:
“Unity is essential to furthering the Palestinian national aspirations for statehood and sovereignty. That is why the Government of National Consensus should be enabled to take up its responsibilities in Gaza and bring immediate relief and change to the population. No one should stand in their way.”
It would seem that Mladenov finally understood the meaning of Palestinian unity a few days later: Hamas and Fatah would agree on anti-Semitism as Abbas leaned in to his hatred. Mladenov chastised Abbas on May 2nd after the PA president launched a long anti-Semitic tirade:
“Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas chose to use his speech at the opening of the Palestinian National Council to repeat some of the most contemptuous anti-Semitic slurs, including the suggestion that the social behavior of Jews was the cause for the Holocaust.
Such statements are unacceptable, deeply disturbing and do not serve the interests of the Palestinian people or peace in the Middle East.
Denying the historic and religious connection of the Jewish people to the land and their holy sites in Jerusalem stands in contrast to reality.
The Holocaust did not occur in a vacuum, it was the result of thousands of years of persecution. This is why attempts to rewrite, downplay or deny it are dangerous.
Leaders have an obligation to confront anti-Semitism everywhere and always, not perpetuate the conspiracy theories that fuel it.”
Mladenov was right to chastise Abbas for his anti-Semitic speech but it must have caught Abbas off guard as he never heard Mladenov lambast Hamas for their anti-Semitic genocidal charter. Further, Abbas sees a world community beginning to embrace his call for a boycott of Israel, referring to Israel by his preferred terms of a “colonial settler project” that engages in “apartheid.” Abbas thinks he’s winning the “Zionism is Racism” branding campaign and considers it only a matter of time when countries stop criticizing him for paying salaries to the murderers of Israeli Jews.
It is true that Israel must have a single negotiating party who has control of all Palestinian territories that can deliver upon a peace agreement. But Arab unity is being forged on the basis of Jew-hatred, which will never be able to accept the Jewish State. So the UN is pivoting to a different peace model as advocated by Palestinian Arabs: a purely Arab anti-Semitic Palestinian State and a bi-national Israel, as it is the only model which can meet the parameters of Muslim “dignity” and unify the Palestinian factions.
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