The U.N. General Assembly has voted to make “Palestine” a “non-member state” of the United Nations. This has done no less than legitimize the two Palestinian regimes that promote terrorism, murdering Jews and Israel’s destruction. How can the world claim to be fighting terrorism when it has just declared that two terrorist regimes should enjoy sovereignty?
For years, the world body, controlled by a majority composed of dictatorships, has supported odious and evil causes. This is the organization that gave us the “Zionism is racism” resolution among other anti-Israel, anti-American, anti-democratic resolutions. It is the body that appointed Libya to its Human Rights Council and Iran to its Committee on the Status of Women.
True, assembly resolutions are non-binding and have no legal force; only Security Council resolutions have legal force. Nonetheless, the Palestinian movement enjoyed a victory. Why? Because this resolution gives aid and comfort to its cause — eliminating Israel — not its fictitious cause of creating a peaceful Palestinian state.
Consider Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas’ choice of language. He falsely called the state he professes to wish to live peacefully alongside guilty of creating “apartheid” and a “colonial occupation.” No one makes peace with colonial entities; they dismantle them. Can any other meaning be read into his words of 2010 to Arab journalists: If Arab states “want war, and if all of you will fight Israel, we are in favor”?
The horrid irony is that Abbas’ cause fits the lurid description he applied to Israel. His Fatah party still calls in its Constitution for the destruction of Israel and Hamas, which controls Gaza, a portion of the territory Abbas is claiming for statehood, calls in its charter for the destruction of Israel and the murder of Jews.
Senior P.A. officials have clearly insisted that a Palestinian state be Jew-free. And the Palestinian Authority also does not accept the existence of Israel as a Jewish state. Abbas has said this several times; so have other P.A. officials. Nor has the P.A. fulfilled its Oslo obligations to dismantle terrorist groups and to end incitement to hatred and murder against Israel in its schools, media and speeches. The Palestinian goal has never been statehood; it has been preventing or destroying Jewish statehood. The proof is that, whenever offered statehood alongside a Jewish state — in 1937 (the Peel Commission), 1947 (U.N. partition plan), 2000 (Barak/ Clinton plan) or 2008 (Olmert plan) — they turned it down.
What did the P.A. hope to achieve at the U.N.? Three things:• Statehood without signing peace with Israel and ending the conflict; U.N. affirmation that all of Judea/Samaria, Gaza and eastern Jerusalem is “Palestinian”; and enabling continued conflict with Israel with recourse to international organs that such a declaration will facilitate.
The Obama Administration and several other countries correctly opposed the Palestinian U.N. statehood bid. Now it is the turn of the U.S. Congress.
The United States can cut aid to the Palestinian Authority, which has after all circumvented U.S.-sponsored negotiations and ignored U.S. opposition to this U.N. move.
The United States provides nearly a quarter of the U.N.’s regular budget, which, in turn, funds major U.N. organs. In essence, the United Nations can decide if it wants Palestinian “statehood” more than it wants U.S. funding.
Morton A. Klein of Merion Station is president of the Zionist Organization of America. Daniel Mandel is director of ZOA’s Center for Middle East Policy.