Exterior of United Nations Building NYC

The United Nations last week commemorated the displacement of about 700,000 Palestinians during Israel’s founding in 1948 for the first time, drawing new focus to the deteriorating conditions in the region.

“This resolution represents a recognition by your organizations of the ongoing historic injustice that fell on the Palestinian people in 1948 and before that date, and that continues after” Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Palestinian Authority, said, according to The New York Times.

The U.S., Germany, and the U.K. did not attend the event. These countries often align themselves with Israel regardless of the issue. The U.S. said the event perpetuated “anti-Israel bias.” These countries were among 30 that voted against the resolution to adopt the commemoration.

CNN obtained a letter from Gilad Erdan, Israel’s ambassador to the UN, who urged diplomats to ignore the commemoration of the Nakba or “catastrophe.”

“Such events only serve to demonize Israel and further push away any chance for reconciliation,” he wrote. He said “the real Nakba” was the expulsion of hundreds of thousands of Jewish people from Arab countries following the establishment of Israel.

Rashid Khalidi, a Middle East historian and author of “The Hundred Years’ War on Palestine,” told NPR in 2021, “For Israelis and for most other people who know only the Israeli narrative, 1948 represents the miraculous establishment of a Jewish state in the wake of the Holocaust.”

But he noted that Palestinians refer to it as “the catastrophe.”

“For Palestinians, it represents the destruction of their society, the loss of self—the right to self-determination and the expulsion of most of them and the expropriation of the property of most of them,” he said.

Rosemary DiCarlo, under-secretary-general for political and peacebuilding affairs, addressed the UN in New York and noted that there is a diminishing prospect of peace between Israel and Palestine “given the current landscape of expanding Israeli settlements in occupied territory, recent violence, and Israel’s violation of Palestinian rights.”

“Palestinians deserve a life of justice and dignity and the realization of their right to self-determination and independence,” she said. “The UN position is clear: the occupation must end. A two-State solution must be achieved in line with international law. We want to see an independent State of Palestine living side by side with Israel in peace.”

Tensions between Israelis and Palestinians remain high. In March, Bezalel Smotrich, the Israeli finance minister, told a business conference that he believes the Palestinian village of Hawara “needs to be wiped out.”

The Times of Israel on Thursday removed a news article, written by blogger Jeffrey Camras, that called for Palestine to be “obliterated.”

“In order to right a wrong, in order to make peace and move forward, Palestine must be obliterated,” Camras wrote. “It is an affront to society, morality, humanity. It represents lies and antisemitism, oppression, and terror. Nothing more.” 

Mediaite, which first reported on the article, reported that he wrote: “No one cares about the Palestinians” and any sympathy “solely exists in the form of Anti-Israel advocacy, NOT Pro-Palestinian support.”

Volker Turk, the human rights chief of the UN, said at the time, “The situation in the occupied Palestinian territory is a tragedy, a tragedy above all for the Palestinian people.”

He said Israeli troops routinely use lethal force “regardless of the level of threat and at times even as an initial measure rather than as last resort.” 

He said his agency’s report found that Israel carries out “extrajudicial targeted killings” and, over the past year, 131 Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces “in a context of law enforcement that is outside any context of hostilities. This includes 65 people who we understand were not armed nor engaged in any attacks or clashes.”

TRENDPOST: We remind subscribers that in the 1967 six-day war, Israel invaded and seized Palestinian territories of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, Gaza Strip, and the Syrian Golan Heights, expelling some 300,000 Palestinians from their homes, while gaining stolen territory that was three and a half times its original size. To date, some 670,000 Israelis live in the occupied West Bank.

Israeli settlements are illegal under international law. They violate Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 which states, “The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.”

The Trends Journal has reported extensively on the tension between Israel and Palestine under the new hardline government in Israel. (See “HUNGER STRIKER DEATH SPARKS ROCKET EXCHANGE BETWEEN PALESTINE AND ISRAEL” 9 May 2023, “ISRAEL KILLS 3 MORE PALESTINIANS DURING ANOTHER DEADLY WEEK” 14 Mar 2023, and “DOES ISRAEL SEEK A ‘FINAL SOLUTION FOR PALESTINIANS?’” 14 Feb 2023.)

The Financial Times called Netanyahu’s government the most “far-right” in Israel’s history.

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