NGO Monitor calls on Guterres to “repudiate anti-Israel hate and rejectionism” ahead of 70th anniversary of Resolution 181.
By: Ben Cohen, The Algemeiner
A prominent Israeli research organization that tracks the role of the UN and international NGOs in promoting the demonization of Israel is urging UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to “repudiate anti-Israel hate and rejectionism” in remarks to be delivered in Geneva on Wednesday.
The 70th anniversary of the passage of UN Resolution 181 partitioning Palestine into Jewish and Arab states on November 29 will be marked by UN offices around the world as the “International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.” The global organization first designated the date as a day of Palestinian solidarity in 1977, with a General Assembly resolution authorizing the practice as an “annual observance.”
In a letter to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Prof. Gerald Steinberg, president of the Jerusalem-based NGO Monitor, argued that the Day of Solidarity, along with the numerous UN bodies that promote an anti-Israel agenda through various pro-Palestinian committees and agencies, undermines the UN’s stated desire for peace based on a two-state solution.
Exhibit praises Palestinian ‘contribution to humanity’
“Too often, UN officials are willing and active players in this dynamic, applying double standards and singling out Israel for attack,” Steinberg wrote. “As occurs every year, the UN will hold a special meeting in Geneva on the occasion of ‘International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People,’ featuring anti-Israel demagogues and highlighting agendas that undermine the spirit of UNGA 181.” Among the events planned is a photographic exhibition at UN Headquarters in New York, titled “The Palestinian People: Everlasting Roots, Infinite Horizons.”
According to the UN’s web page devoted to the “Question of Palestine,” the UN “celebrates the lives and careers of Palestinians who have contributed to humanity in different walks of life, in the face of extraordinary challenges. The UN General Assembly will also hold its annual debate on the question of Palestine on this day.”
Steinberg highlighted a number of UN bodies – such as its dedicated Division for Palestinian Rights and its annual condemnation of Israel through the UN Human Rights Council’s Agenda Item 7 – as contributing decisively to the anti-Israel environment at the UN. The Division for Palestinian Rights in turn services the “Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People” (CEIRPP), created on November 10, 1975 – in the same session of the General Assembly that passed the infamous Resolution 3379 denouncing Zionism as a “form of racism.”
A forum sponsored by the Committee in New York in June of this year drew condemnation from Israeli and western diplomats for featuring NGOs with links to Hamas and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). One of the NGO speakers declared that Israel “was a colonial project from the very beginning and in fact Israel has been able to benefit from the historical colonial practices to develop what I call ‘best business practice model of colonization.’”
UN spends millions on anti-Israel campaigns
In his letter to Guterres, Steinberg pointed out that the UN spends millions of dollars on pro-Palestinian activities every year. “In October 2017, 24 separate UN agencies contracted with the Palestinian Authority to spend more than $18 million on campaigns aimed at isolating Israel through coordinated political, economic, and legal attacks,” he noted, emphasizing the need for the UN as a whole to “accept the obligation to end the rampant and systematic discrimination against Israel that currently plagues the UN.
“A good place to start will be in your remarks to be read on November 29 in Geneva at the forthcoming ‘Special Meeting on the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People,’” Steinberg told Guterres. “Your repudiation of anti-Israel hate and rejectionism on this occasion would send a strong message that the vision and principles expressed in the 1947 Partition Plan remain guiding principles in the UN.”
Guterres has previously expressed his objection to UN statements and activities that encourage the rejection of Israel’s sovereign existence. On a visit to Yad Vashem, Israel’s memorial to the Holocaust, in August, Guterres stated that “the idea or the intention or the will to destroy the State of Israel is something totally unacceptable from my perspective.” Guterres has also described calls for Israel’s elimination as a “modern form of antisemitism.”