Shame for the UK at the United Nations
In supporting language of cultural erasure, the government has crossed a new line
United Nations General Assembly
Once again, the British government has chosen a strange way to demonstrate its purportedly close friendship with the State of Israel.
Last week saw another typical episode of Israel-bashing at the UN. Its General Assembly Special Political and Decolonisation Committee passed no fewer than seven resolutions condemning Israel.
One of these denounced it for “repressive measures” against Syrian citizens in the Golan Heights, simply because Israel remains in control there. Since the only reason Israel is in the Golan is to repel Syrian aggression, this is clearly absurd.
Three other resolutions addressed the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA), one of them renewing its mandate.
According to the NGO UN Watch, none of these noted the corruption in the agency that had been exposed by a UN investigation.
Not to mention, of course, the fact that UNRWA’s very existence is designed to perpetuate hostility to Israel, by creating in the classification of Palestinian “refugees’’ a unique category that actually multiplies them over time; nor that most of UNWRA’s staff are under the thumb of Hamas.
As the UN Watch director Hillel Neuer pointed out, the UN stayed silent when the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist group recently attacked Israeli civilians with a barrage of rockets from Gaza. Yet two weeks later, the UN bashed Israel instead in this slew of resolutions.
Said Neuer: “While France, Germany, Sweden and other EU states are expected to support most of the estimated 20 resolutions to be adopted against Israel by December, the same European nations have failed to introduce a single UNGA resolution on the human rights situation in China, Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, Cuba, Turkey, Pakistan, Vietnam, Algeria, or on 175 other countries. Where’s their supposed concern for international law and human rights?”
The only one of these seven resolutions on which the UK abstained rather than voted in support renewed the mandate of a UN special committee to investigate “Israeli practices affecting the human rights of the Palestinian people”. But worse still was one of the seven that the UK did support.
This expressed concern over “the tensions and violence in the recent period throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem and including with regard to the holy places of Jerusalem”.
It was bad enough that this blamed Israel for violent disturbances which had actually involved Palestinian Arabs attacking Israelis. But the real sting was that it referred to the Temple Mount solely by its Muslim name, Haram al-Sharif.
It thus went much further than unjustly blaming Israel for violence and for falsely calling the Old City of Jerusalem an “occupied Palestinian territory” (since there are no sovereign “Palestinian territories” and never have been, none can be “occupied” under international law). By using the Muslim name alone for Temple Mount, it also erased the history of the Jewish people from their holiest place. It was therefore not just a malicious initiative against Israel but an attack on Judaism and the Jewish people.
It aligned the UN with the Palestinians’ strategy of exterminating Israel through attempting to rewrite the Jews out of their own history and religious culture.
They seek to do this above all by erasing the ancient connection of the Jewish people to Jerusalem, which was the Jewish capital centuries before the Arabs ever invaded the land.
Apart from Israel, eight countries voted against this resolution including Australia, Canada and the United States. 138 countries, including Britain, Cuba and France, voted for it.
Despite the support for the motion by some of the EU’s member states, a German representative who spoke on behalf of the EU said it opposed the sole use of Haram al Sharif to describe the Temple Mount.
Any language, he said, should reflect the importance and historic significance of the holy sites for the three monotheistic religions. This was what the EU said last year when it warned that it might pull its support from the resolution unless that language was changed.
After this vote, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre tweeted that the UN was “pushing itself into irrelevancy by continuing to promote a pernicious lie”.
The UN’s institutionalised hostility to Israel is hardly new. The pro-Palestinian fictions promoted by the British government, that Israel is in “illegal occupation” and that Jerusalem is not in Israel, are hardly new either.
But by supporting the verbal erasure of the Jews’ connection to Temple Mount, Boris Johnson’s government has crossed a new and still more shameful line.
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