The cause of the Jews would be half won if only their friends brought to their defence a little of the passion and the perseverance their enemies use to bring them down.
...........Jean-Paul Sartre, Anti-Semite and Jew
On the 13th of November, 1997 the world community committed a crime against the Jewish people and the Jewish state. An emergency special session of the UN General Assembly voted for a resolution that urged Switzerland to prepare for a conference of the parties from the Fourth Geneva Convention (which bars settlements on occupied land), to enforce the convention "in the occupied Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem."
In blatant violation of its own Charter, the UN labels as "occupied" the territory of Judea, Samaria and Gaza, knowing very well that only the Jewish state and the Jewish people have legitimate rights to this land. In 1946, when the UN was established, there were still several places in the world under the League of Nations mandate system. To allow the continuation of the existing mandates Article 80 was included in the UN Charter. It states that "nothing...shall be construed in or of itself to alter in any manner the rights whatsoever of any states or any peoples or the terms of existing international instruments to which Members of the United Nations may respectively be parties."
On July 4, 1997 the Australian lawyer David Zinger wrote in A Mandate for Peace that Article 80 "was incorporated into the Charter as a result of intense Zionist lobbying...to ensure that the terms of the Mandate for Palestine were fully implemented...and not allowed to die with the League of Nations." He further recalled the fact that, based on this article, "the International Court of Justice in an Advisory opinion on South West Africa (1950 I.C.J Reports 128) decided that the substantive obligations of the Mandate over that territory continued in force despite the dissolution of the League of Nations. The Court affirmed that these obligations remained the essence of 'the sacred trust of civilization' despite the dissolution of the League of Nations."
On the 13th of November, 1997 the sacred trust of civilization was broken. The UN, successor of the League of Nations, has disregarded the only existing legally binding document that pertains to the territory of Judea, Samaria and Gaza -- the British Mandate - which, in Article 6, required the mandatory to "encourage...close settlement by the Jews on the land." It is exactly this Article that facilitated the reestablishment of the Jewish state.
True, in November of 1947, UN General Assembly resolution 181 was issued, recommending a "Plan of Partition" of Palestine. The Arabs rejected the resolution outright and Azzam Pasha, secretary-general of the Arab League, proclaimed that "the partition line shall be nothing but a line of fire and blood." The terrorist operations that began against Jewish targets on the day after the UN vote escalated into a full scale aggressive war against the newborn state. It was Jordan, and not Israel, that occupied the land of Judea and Samaria as a result of this war. Like the Romans, who changed the name Eretz Israel to Palestine in order to obliterate the name of the Jewish state from the memory of mankind, the Jordanians introduced the term "West Bank" trying to convince the world that they had always owned both banks of the Jordan river. When Israel liberated Judea and Samaria in 1967 justice was restored -- the only lawful owner of the land regained possession of it. It is ridiculous to say that Judea, Samaria and Gaza are "occupied territories" as these areas are, in fact, areas of the Mandate, where the Jews were and are encouraged to settle.
Any arguments that this land should be transformed into an Arab state, as was recommended by resolution 181, are absolutely immoral. One cannot wage an aggressive war for 50 years, lose it, and then come back and demand the return of territory that one lost as a result of this war. One cannot arbitrarily pick and choose only those international agreements which suit one's needs today, but were rejected the day before. One cannot turn back the wheel of history. Today is not the year 1947. The train has left. The Arabs did not want to catch the train then; it is immoral and unjust to assist them in getting on it now.
Anyone using Resolution 181 as an argument in defending the Arabs' desire for one more state has to bear in mind that, using the same kind of logic, Israel can demand to return to the year 1922. It is then that Britain, in violation of the Mandate, pushed through the League of Nations the creation of Trans-Jordan, chopping off 76% of the territory designated for the reestablishment of the Jewish state. Israel not only has the moral right to do so, but legal rights as well. Article 22 of the Mandate, which was used as an excuse to create Trans-Jordan, provided only for the "postponement or withholding" of certain provisions of the Mandate that could have been "considered inapplicable to existing local conditions." The words "postpone" and "withhold" signify temporary delay; they do not mean "abrogate forever." Therefore, any claim that Judea and Samaria should be transformed into an Arab state can be easily met by an Israeli demand to resume the provisions of the Mandate relating to the establishment of the Jewish national home in the territory of Jordan.
It is even more despicable to attach the adjective "occupied" to Jerusalem. No other international body has desecrated the eternal capital of the Jewish people more than the General Assembly and the agencies of the United Nations, with their resolutions. Yosef Tekoah, the Israeli ambassador to the UN, at the time when the city was reunited, after nineteen years of suffering under Jordanian rule, used all of his eloquence in explaining to the world community that Jerusalem and the Jewish people are inseparable. This is what he said on April, 27, 1968 in a statement to the Security Council:
Jerusalem is too precious to all of us to wrong it. Jerusalem is too central and too significant a part of the entire Jewish saga...for the Amman Government to play with it as if it were just another weapon in the campaign of hate in the hostility against Israel on which Jordan subsists. Those with an understanding of history, those with a feeling of justice and a respect for equity, will know that the Jordanian complaint is but a malicious attempt to create new tension and misunderstanding. If Jordan's belligerency, negativism and intransigence continue unchecked, there can be little prospect for peace in the area. Jordan seeks again encouragement to persist in its war against Israel. If Jordan finds such encouragement, it will of course, draw the appropriate conclusions, and the Middle East will have to brace itself for more hostility and conflict. As on numerous occasions in the past, the present situation calls for clear, unequivocal summons to disavow belligerency, to terminate warfare, to move onward to peace--the only hope for the nations of the Middle East.
One has only to replace "Amman Government" and "Jordan" with "PLO" and "Palestinian Authority" respectively and Israeli Ambassador to the UN Dore Gold has a ready rebuke to the latest UN resolution. Not a single country, of the 139 countries that voted for the resolution, existed at the time when Jerusalem became the capital of the Ancient Jewish state. After it was barbarously destroyed, for two thousand years, every day, three times a day, Jews all over the world have prayed:
"From Thine abode, our King, appear and rule over us, for we await Thee. When wilt Thou again reign in Zion. Soon in our day Thou shalt dwell there forever. Thou shalt be magnified and sanctified in Jerusalem, Thy city, for all generations, for ever and ever. And our eyes shall behold thy kingdom, as said in songs of thy glory sung by David, Thy truly anointed one."
The struggle of the Jewish people for survival is as ancient as the world itself. The latest UN resolution is only one new manifestation of antisemitism. Dennis Prager and Joseph Telushkin wrote in their book, Why the Jews?:
Jew-hatred and its latest incarnation, Israel-hatred, are the price Jews pay for their role in history. They pay it often unwillingly and they live the role, for the most part unwittingly. But as the great French Catholic theologian Jacques Maritain noted: "Israel...is to be found at the very heart of the world's structure, stimulating it, exasperating it, moving it. Like an alien body, like an activating ferment injected into the mass, it gives the world no peace, it bars slumber, it teaches the world to be discontented and restless as long as the world has not God, it stimulates the movement of history...It is the vocation of Israel which the world hates."
To escape the antisemitism of non-Jewish societies the Jews abandoned them. They returned to Eretz Israel and reestablished the Jewish state. They were not naïve and understood very well that the antisemitism would not disappear all at once. Antisemitism must be fought. It is a long and difficult struggle. As Prager and Telushkin wrote, "The only solution to antisemitism is for the Jews to affect the values of non-Jews. All other attempts to end antisemitism are doomed to failure. They only buy time until the next eruption."
The UN does not hold antisemitism in contempt. On the contrary, it is notorious for its antisemitic position. It has passed hundreds of anti-Israeli resolutions. When, in 1975, it passed a criminal resolution equating Zionism with racism, the UN delegate from Costa-Rica noted that the resolution "was an invitation to genocide against the Jewish people." It is a shame that so many countries are following in the wake of the UN's antisemitic policy.
It is time to repeat for them what Zeev Jabotinsky wrote in 1911. "...Nobody is old enough to call on us to answer. We came before them and will leave after them. We are what we are, we are good for ourselves, we will not change and we do not want to." [11/16/97]
Boris Shusteff works as an engineer in upstate New York and is also a research associate with the Freeman Center for Strategic Studies.