OpinionIsrael-Palestinian Conflict

The UN’s world of the absurd

Only in such a world can the majority of the international community deliberately ignore the openly declared genocidal intentions of Iran, Hamas and the PLO in their efforts to eliminate the Jewish state and kill all Jews.

A view during the high-level week of the 78th session of the U.N. General Assembly on Sept. 18, 2023. Credit: Laura Jarriel/U.N. Photo.
A view during the high-level week of the 78th session of the U.N. General Assembly on Sept. 18, 2023. Credit: Laura Jarriel/U.N. Photo.
Alan Baker (JCPA)
Alan Baker
Amb. Alan Baker is director of the Institute for Contemporary Affairs at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.

Only in the world of the absurd can a despicable purveyor of terror, Hamas, carry out a brutal massacre, killing over a thousand innocent people, torturing, murdering and carrying out sadistic mass rape, over a space of just a few hours, and then run home to Gaza taking with them hundreds of hostages.

Only in the world of the absurd can the Palestinian representative organization that encourages, finances, supports and represents such murderers be feted and upgraded by the majority of member states in the international community.

Only in the world of the absurd can a group of non-democratic, terror-supporting states oblige the United Nations General Assembly by proposing a resolution that indulges in pampering a terror-supporting entity in a misguided and surreal demonstration of naïveté, skewed political correctness and acute hypocrisy.

Only in the same world of the absurd can 143 states parrot their support for what they blindly proclaim to be a “two-state solution” without really understanding what they are talking about out of ignorance and stupidity.

Only in the world of the absurd can the majority of the international community deliberately ignore the openly declared genocidal intentions of Iran, Hamas and the Palestinian Liberation Organization in their efforts to eliminate the Jewish state and kill all Jews. And this, while at the same time upgrading the Palestinian representation in the United Nations.

Lastly, only in the world of the absurd can all this happen at the same time as incited and handsomely financed and organized groups of violent, hysterical, antisemitic demonstrators occupy campuses and town centers in U.S. and European cities, calling for the elimination of the only Jewish state.

Shooting blanks for statehood

Despite the artificial hype surrounding this resolution, the bottom line is that this upgrade does not grant the Palestinians the status of statehood or U.N. membership that they wished to receive. The U.N. General Assembly has neither authority nor jurisdiction to establish states and grant membership status without Security Council sanction.

The sad naïveté and hypocrisy of those states that proposed and voted in favor of this abnormal new General Assembly resolution are evident in their stated determination in the body of the resolution to the effect that “the State of Palestine is qualified for membership in the U.N. in accordance with article 4 of the U.N. Charter.”

But the U.N. Charter article 4 requires that United Nations membership be open to “all other peace-loving states which accept the obligations contained in the present Charter.”

One may legitimately ask if the self-respecting states voting in favor of this resolution, including Russia, China, Norway, Japan, South Korea, and Australia, and E.U. member states Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, France Greece, Ireland, Luxembourg, Portugal, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain, genuinely believe that the Palestinians are, or could be a “peace-loving state,” or is this just self-delusion, artificial political correctness or naive wishful thinking?

International law requires the fulfillment of universally accepted criteria for statehood, including control of a defined population and territory and enforcement of the rule of law, none of which the Palestinian Authority has ever fulfilled. This is in addition to the Charter requirement of being a peace-loving state, assuming responsible governance and the capability of respecting international obligations. Therefore, it is clear that this resolution is nothing more than a sad and miserable fiction, a sham.

Clearly, no element of the Palestinian political existence—neither the infamous and brutal terror organization Hamas nor the terror-supporting PLO and its Palestinian Authority—can seriously claim to fulfill such criteria.

Like all General Assembly resolutions, the resolution is not binding, only recommendatory. It does not represent international law and only reflects the political views of those states that proposed and supported it.

The various modalities listed in the resolution for improving the seating, establishing a speaking order of the Palestinian delegates in the General Assembly’s chamber and other U.N. bodies, and upgrading their participation in meetings and conferences are cosmetic, symbolic lip-service.

Despite its call for full Palestinian membership, the resolution distinctly denies and negates any notion of full membership in the United Nations. As such, the Palestinian delegation remains nothing more than an observer delegation, wherever and however they may be seated.

The resolution stresses that they have no entitlement to vote and have no right to membership in U.N. organs, including the Security Council.

The violations inherent in the resolutions

However, in the context of the Palestinian obligations set out in the Oslo Accords, this attempted change of status constitutes a serious and fundamental violation of the agreed obligation not to change the status of the territories pending the outcome of the permanent status negotiations.

The Palestinian leadership and Israel agreed that all outstanding issues, including the permanent status of the territories, must be resolved through negotiations and cannot be determined by unilateral action, whether in the United Nations or anywhere else.

Even the United Nations itself, in several resolutions, has given its endorsement to the Oslo Accords as the only agreed-upon means to resolve the Israel-Palestinian dispute.

Similarly, the European Union, Russia, Egypt and Norway, together with the United States, are signatories to the Oslo Accords as witnesses. A vote in favor of this new resolution by these witnesses undermines the Oslo Accords and is contrary to the accepted obligations of states and organizations that witness international agreements.

Indeed, by supporting this new resolution, they seek to bypass the requirements in the Oslo Accords for the negotiation of the permanent status of the territories and attempt to prejudge the outcome of any such negotiations unilaterally.

Despite this resolution’s artificial and ineffectual symbolic and cosmetic aspects, the overall result of the exercise is nevertheless grave and unfortunate. It will be seen by Hamas and the Palestinian leadership as a green light from the international community for them to continue to support and conduct terrorism.

The regrettable message emanating from this resolution is that the international community is not just ignoring Palestinian terror against a fellow U.N. member state; it is encouraging it.

Originally published by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.

The opinions and facts presented in this article are those of the author, and neither JNS nor its partners assume any responsibility for them.
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